From the daily beauty of autumn to the recent visit by the pope, reminders of the need to protect our fragile climate are all around us. This fall, Congress has an unprecedented opportunity to support a plan that will substantially reduce climate-changing carbon pollution in a cost-effective way.

The Clean Power Plan, released recently by the Environmental Protection Agency, aims to cut carbon emissions 32 percent by 2030 with flexible, state-by-state goals and tools. I strongly urge Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Independent Sen. Angus King to support the Clean Power Plan.

In 2007, when I was a first-year state representative, Maine’s Legislature voted overwhelmingly to join nine northeast and mid-Atlantic states in order to create jobs and to reduce pollution and energy costs. This partnership is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI for short — and it has been so successful that the EPA is showcasing it in the Clean Power Plan as a model for other states to emulate to meet required emission reduction targets.

Thanks to our participation in RGGI, Maine is already on track to meet the EPA’s new carbon emissions rate reduction targets.

By working to increase energy efficiency, use existing plants more effectively, and increase renewable energy, Maine and the United States can decrease energy costs and markedly slow the rate of climate change. With the implementation of the Clean Power Plan, Americans could see a 10 percent reduction in energy costs by 2030.

By supporting the Clean Power Plan, our senators will support job creation, reduce energy costs and help slow down climate change. I hope they will endorse and support this smart, effective plan.

Seth Berry


Editor’s note: The writer is vice president for business development at Kennebec River Biosciences and former majority leader of the Maine House of Representatives.

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