Local mayors oppose proposed repeal of Clean Power Plan

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 6, 2018

FERNDALE/PLEASANT RIDGE — Two local mayors have joined with more than 200 others from around the United States to voice their opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter and Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger, along with 238 mayors nationwide, submitted a letter to the EPA stating their dissent to a proposed repeal to the 2015 plan, which set new rules and caps on carbon emissions from power plants.

“Collectively, we represent over 52 million residents in 48 states and territories across the country,” a passage of the letter states. “We strongly oppose the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which would put our citizens at risk and harm our efforts to address the urgent threat of climate change.”

A spokesperson from the EPA could not be reached by press time.

Coulter said the group of mayors, called Climate Mayors, came together about a year ago when the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement.

“We felt that if the United States wasn’t going to act responsibly with one voice, then perhaps a majority of mayors could help move our country in the direction of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

Coulter said the city took a huge step by hiring its first environmental sustainability planner for its Planning Department to help map out a strategy that increases sustainability in its practices.

“We’re doing things like changing out lightbulbs to LED, increasing our urban tree canopy, improving our recycling rates and many other things that we’ve specifically included in our master plan to make sure Ferndale is being a responsible, environmental city,” he said.

Metzger said in an email that he joined the Climate Mayors network as soon as he became aware of its existence, and that he believes in the strength of collaboration and has found the leadership of this network to be passionate about its mission.

“While Pleasant Ridge is not directly affected by power plants, it is still true that no one is insulated from the impacts of climate change,” he stated in the email. “Our residents are extremely interested in environmental issues, and our city government has responded with total citywide lighting conversion to LEDs; the installation of solar panels at our Community Center; a revision in our ordinance to allow residential solar panels that are visible from the street; the introduction of bioswales and other measures to reduce water runoff in our parks; and more to come.”

Coulter said local communities are forced to act.

“Ideally, we would not repeal things like the Clean Power Plan because they’re designed to do exactly what Ferndale is going to do now,” he said.

Metzger further commented in the email that he will “continue to support, on behalf of Pleasant Ridge, any efforts that are designed to fight against the downgrading or elimination of strong environmental legislation at both the national and local levels.”