The mayors of Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties joined 236 mayors from 47 U.S. states and territories in signing a joint letter opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan.
Together, they represent over 51 million Americans, according to a press release sent jointly by all four mayors’ offices. The Feb. 20 letter was sent to Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and Kauai County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. all signed the letter opposing the EPA’s proposed Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan.
“The Clean Power Plan is a fundamental building block in the nation’s response to climate change, and was a hallmark achievement of the EPA under the Obama Administration,” said Caldwell in the press release. “The Clean Power Plan encourages communities to embrace a future that will lead to new opportunities, cutting edge technology and higher paying jobs. This is a vision the City and County of Honolulu has embraced and it’s already paying dividends through sound planning for new infrastructure.”
With over a third of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from the electricity sector, the four mayors said they recognize that the Clean Power Plan is essential to the United States’ ability to curb future emissions and live up to its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Signing the letter signals Hawaii’s continued commitment to transitioning away from dependence on fossil fuels. It also reinforces Hawaii’s state law requiring 100 percent of the state’s electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2045.
Kim said: “It is important for the federal government to lead our transition to a cleaner, healthier, more affordable, and more resilient energy future. The Clean Power Plan is a step in the right direction and is aligned with local efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency, and use renewable energy sources. This is a mission that we must all be a part of.”
Arakawa said: “The benefit of the Clean Power Plan is twofold: Providing direct health benefit from avoiding air pollutants from combustion, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is gratifying to stand in solidarity with so many mayors at the local level, where power plants pollute, and continue down the path of a cleaner future.”
Carvalho Jr. said: “Kauai County is working hard to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions because we understand the cost of inaction. Everyone – at all levels of government, from small towns, to states, all the way up to our federal government, needs to be a part of this. The Clean Power Plan is a key piece of that effort across the U.S.”
On June 5, 2017, all four mayors joined Hawaii Gov. David Ige in the state’s commitment to upholding the Paris Agreement just days after President Donald J. Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the international accord to address global warming. In December, the four mayors also came together on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule‘a, and committed to transforming Hawaii’s public and private ground transportation to 100 percent renewable fuel sources by 2045.
The mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Houston, New Orleans, Boston, New York, and Puerto Rico, all part of the Climate Mayor’s network, also signed the letter opposing the repeal.