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Tillis Fails the Clean Air Test

Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis — who is up for re-election in 2020 — voted to side with the Trump Administration and corporate polluters instead of cutting power plant pollution.

Tillis’ vote for dirty air came as the U.S. Senate voted 53-41 to reject a measure blocking Trump’s rollback of Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The Trump rule will allow far more climate-changing carbon dioxide and other pollutants into our atmosphere. Ironically, it will also raise costs for electric consumers by pushing power companies to continue operating dirty, uneconomic coal plants instead of switching to cleaner and less costly energy sources.

“This vote was an opportunity for Sen. Tillis to show his priorities: polluters or the people,” said Carrie Clark, NCLCV executive director. “Sadly, he chose to threaten North Carolinians’ lives with a handout to dirty fossil fuel interests instead of continuing our progress toward a clean energy future that creates jobs and saves us from climate disaster.” 

Trump’s so-called “Affordable Clean Energy” rule has become better known as the “Dirty Power Scam” because it “cuts carbon emissions from the electricity sector by less than half of what experts say is needed to avoid catastrophic global warming. And it replaced the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, which sought more aggressive limits on carbon emissions in a way that would have forced companies to switch from coal to lower-carbon energy sources.”

The national League of Conservation Voters’ (LCV) Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “We commend Leader Schumer, Senator Cardin and the Senate Democrats for bringing this effort to stop Trump’s Dirty Power Scam to the Senate floor. At a time when unhealthy air days are up 15 percent according to data from Trump’s own EPA and the science says we need to drastically cut carbon pollution, we can’t afford a new Trump rule that would do nothing to address the climate crisis or protect the health of our children and families including the frontline communities and communities of color often most impacted.”

Tillis’s North Carolina seatmate, Richard Burr, joined him in voting to support the Trump Dirty Power Scam.

Tillis has also remained silent on Trump’s rollback of Obama-era rules that were meant to tackle air pollution and the climate crisis through improved fuel efficiency. Tell Tillis to fight for common-sense clean car standards!

“By slashing the clean car standards, the Trump administration is putting corporate polluters over the people, and Tillis is letting them get away with it,” said Clark. “It’ll cost us more at the pump and more at the doctor. And it’ll make our already dire climate crisis even worse.”

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