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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

Utah, SLC take opposite sides on federal Clean Power Plan

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EMMA PENROD | The Salt Lake Tribune

Two months after Utah joined West Virginia and 22 other states in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, Salt Lake City has taken the opposite side, joining a motion to participate in the case as a “friend of the court” to support the plan.

Salt Lake City is among around 19,000 U.S. municipalities signing on to the motion, which holds that climate change poses a grave threat to the cities’ residents and their local economies.

In the motion, the cities argue that the Clean Power Plan is necessary to prevent increased air pollution, longer droughts, more frequent and severe storms, degraded ecosystems and a potential loss of human life.

“Cities are on the front line of the work to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change,” outgoing Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said in a statement provided by the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. “While there is much we can do, and are doing, at the municipal level, we need federal actions like the Clean Power Plan to help move us away from fossil fuel consumption related to energy generation.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Gov. Gary Herbert said the state plans to move forward with its legal action against the EPA, noting that “the governor must represent the interests of all 29 counties and 243 municipalities in the state, not just the wishes of Utah’s capital city.” (…)

For more, visit the Salt Lake Tribune.