USW: Important Work Ahead to Ensure Balanced State Efforts under the Clean Power Plan

Aug 03, 2015, 15:52 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its work on the Clean Power Plan:

"Since 1990, the USW has been a leader in the labor community on the issue of climate change.  Having long been at the forefront of this debate, we were one of the first industrial unions to endorse a comprehensive climate change bill.

"Building a clean energy economy and solving the challenge of climate change require new products, updated technologies and streamlined processes. The USW continues to work to ensure that these are created and sourced here in the United States, and built and powered by American workers.  We believe well-designed policies that address climate change and ensure the strength of our nation's energy and manufacturing sectors are compatible.

"Over the last year, the USW has worked in good faith with EPA to highlight key concerns with the rule that was proposed in June 2014. The EPA has been responsive to these concerns and we are in the process of assessing the changes made to the final rule.

"It is essential that the final rule achieves its intended goal of reducing our nation's emissions of carbon dioxide, and capitalizes on the broader potential of maintaining and creating jobs across our nation in the energy and manufacturing industries. Much of this work must take place at the state and local level and include the perspectives of labor, industry and state agencies, as well as environmental and community groups. Complementary federal-level policies that deal with the challenges of funding and deploying technologies, and that address carbon leakage with nations who do not adopt similar policies, are also necessary.

"The USW is committed to helping design state implementation plans that balance the need to address climate change with the need to ensure that U.S. workers and industries are not unfairly hurt in the process."

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information:

Roxanne Brown (202) 778-4384

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)