Apple is pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The company filed a public comment with the EPA today arguing that scrapping the policy, which calls for cutting power plant pollution, would dull the United States’ competitive edge in the clean energy economy.
Apple’s comment on the repeal proposal is the first one from a company, according to Reuters. In a copy of the filing that Apple shared with The Verge, Apple calls the fight against climate change a “moral and environmental imperative that also makes good business sense.”
The Clean Power Plan (or CPP) was finalized by the Obama administration, and it takes aim at power plants — the number one carbon polluters in the US, according to the Obama-era EPA website. Had the CPP ever taken effect, it would have given power plants until the year 2030 to curb their carbon emissions by about 30 percent, a move that the Obama administration said could protect the environment, public health, and consumer’s pocketbooks.
Opponents argued that the plan was an example of federal overreach, and the Supreme Court temporarily blocked it in 2016 until both sides could fight it out in lower courts. But the Trump administration is moving to scrap it completely. Just a few months into his presidency, Donald Trump ordered current EPA director Scott Pruitt to repeal it. The EPA published their repeal proposal in October 2017, and then opened it up for public comment — extending the deadline from December 2017 to January 2018, and now until April 26th, 2018.
Apple’s comment cites the economic advantages of supporting clean energy, including that it provides “corporate electricity buyers with a hedge against fuel price fluctuation.” The price of solar and wind don’t change like the price of oil, Apple’s filing says. (It also notes that China is currently beating the US in clean energy investments.)
The company also says that regulating the grid’s carbon emissions “power plant by power plant” won’t work. It references its own experiences operating with 100 percent renewable energy here in the US and the work of its subsidiary, Apple Energy LLC, which sells the excess electricity the company generates back to the grid. The electricity system is far too interconnected, the filing says, so “regulation should consider the dynamic and interconnected nature of how power is generated, sold and consumed.”
That’s why it supports the clean power plan, which it says provides a nationwide framework for regulating electricity generation: “It is both needed and the smart thing to do.”