Election 2020

Sen. Markey: Hillary Has ‘Most Progressive Environmental Plan’ in History

PHILADELPHIA – Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, told PJM that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has the “most progressive environmental” plan in U.S. history.

Markey lamented that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and higher fuel economy standards would likely get wiped away if Clinton loses to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I’ve read her environmental plan, her climate-change plan, and it actually is the single most progressive environmental plan that has ever been issued in our country’s history. On the other hand, Donald Trump is talking about abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency,” he said at the Democratic National Convention.

“He wants to turn the EPA into every polluters ally. So there’s just this vast difference between the two of them, and I think it’s going to be a big issue in suburban America before this entire campaign is completed,” he added.

Last year, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) proposed a bill that would establish an economy-wide tax on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. It has not passed.

Markey was asked if he thinks Clinton should advocate for a federal carbon tax.

“I think step one has to be ensuring that President Obama’s Clear Power Plan stays on the books. Trump is already saying he’ll remove it and that reduces greenhouse gases by 32 percent by the year 2030 from the utility sector. And the same thing is true for fuel economy standards – 54.5 miles per gallon, we need that to stay on the books. And without Hillary as president, that would go away,” Markey said.

“So those are the two biggest carbon reductions and those are in their own way both carbon taxes because you have to figure out in the utility sector and automotive sector how to dramatically cut carbon,” he added.

The Supreme Court has placed a stay on the Clean Power Plan. Despite the Supreme Court’s action, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has been promoting the plan at several events, stressing that the agency has a strong legal argument for its implementation.

In April, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told PJM that he disagrees with McCarthy.

“Here’s why the president can’t do it through regulation is, first of all, there are 27 states that have lawsuits against the EPA right now or against Obama in this case and the Supreme Court has come by and said until all these are settled we are putting a stay on it,” Inhofe said.