Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris Agreement Would Be Reckless, Inexcusable

Announcement comes same day as shutdown of New England’s largest coal plant

May 31, 2017 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to reports that President Donald Trump intends to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“President Trump’s reported decision to withdraw from the historic Paris Climate Agreement puts the U.S. on the wrong side of history and at odds with nearly 200 other countries that understand the threat climate change poses to the global economy and our survival as a species,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “CLF will be fighting to ensure this stroke of the president’s pen does not alter New England’s effort to protect our communities from climate risk and does not deter the innovators leading the expanding world market for the clean energy technologies that will shape our future.”

Illustrative of New England’s continued commitment to lowering carbon emissions, the President’s decision comes the same day that Brayton Point, the last operating coal plant in Massachusetts and largest in New England, closes its doors. Following years of advocacy by CLF, the Somerset community and others, plant operator Dominion Energy agreed in 2014 to scale down production by this June.

Campbell continued, “Despite the President’s best efforts, fossil fuels are on their way out. Brayton Point’s closure means Massachusetts is now coal-free, and the rest of New England will follow. We have the opportunity to lead the world in moving to a clean energy platform, but only if we fight the push by utilities and their allies to saddle New England with a new generation of natural gas pipes and plants the region does not need and families and businesses cannot afford.”

New England’s three remaining coal plants, Merrimack Station and Schiller Station in New Hampshire and Bridgeport Station in Connecticut, are all old power plants that are, like Brayton Point, expensive to operate. CLF remains optimistic that all three will shut down within the next few years. CLF has fought to take them offline as part of its Coal-Free 2020 campaign, which has helped shut down all of Massachusetts’ “Filthy Five” coal plants.

CLF experts are available for further comment.