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San Francisco rally urges EPA to keep emission rules

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Billionaire philanthropist and environmentalist Tom Steyer speaks at a rally protesting the Environmental Protection Agency potentially repealing restrictions against oil and coal companies at City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.

San Francisco officials, school kids and environmentalists rallied on Wednesday morning at City Hall to convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to not repeal a plan that would limit carbon dioxide emissions across the nation.

The Clean Power Plan, created under President Barack Obama’s administration, required states to submit plans on how they plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants powered by fossil fuels.

President Donald Trump last year in March issued an executive order to have the Clean Power Plan reviewed, which led to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt recommending to repealing the plan.

On Wednesday, The City was host to one of the listening sessions at the Main Public Library  where residents voiced concerns over the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The listening session was from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Mayor Mark Farrell said not matter what the EPA does, The City will continue to lead on environmental issues for residents:

“We will fight to make sure dirty fossil fuels remain in the ground. We will fight to defend our scientists and researchers that know climate change is real.”

The City has a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed said at the rally:

“We are here to stand strong and proud to say that we support moving clean power forward all over this country.”

Students from Oakland’s Melrose Leadership Academy and Urban Promise Academy joined in the rally with city and state officials.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer was also in attendance for the rally and gave testimony during the listening session.

Steyer said the testimonies of speakers from California were “smart, reasonable, science driven and data driven.”

But Steyer said he was skeptical officials in Washington D.C. were listening to anyone:

“They’re listening to money of the corporate contributors who are telling this president to keep going with fossil fuels.”

The EPA will hold another listening session Mar. 27 in Gillette, Wyoming.

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