Legislators Call on President to Finalize Carbon Standards for Power Plants
Boston, MA – Today, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) delivered to President Obama a letter signed by 302 state legislators from 40 states, including 32 legislators from Massachusetts alone, urging him to prioritize tackling global warming in his second term. The move was applauded by Environment Massachusetts and other environmental advocates across the country. (View the Letter)
“This is what leadership in tackling global warming looks like,” said Alison Giest, Federal Field Organizer with Environment Massachusetts. “From Superstorm Sandy to record temperatures in Massachusetts this year, far too many Americans have been harmed by the early effects of global warming. We have the solutions to address this problem, and today these legislators are speaking out and urging the President to follow through on his pledge to put these solutions to work.”
“There is a strong consensus among scientists that we are already feeling the effects of global warming, including arctic shrinkage, rising sea levels, glacier melting, extreme weather, and changes in ecosystems due to seasonal changes,” said Senator Eldridge. “Some of these changes have already led to direct economic impacts, such as storm damage and lost crops and I thank the Obama Administration’s leadership on their efforts to invest in energy efficiency to help reduce the harmful and real effects of climate change.”
The legislators cite recent extreme weather events such as Superstorm Sandy, western wildfires and increased frequency of drought among reasons for President Obama to prioritize addressing global warming. They argue that no U.S. community is immune from the effects of global warming, especially when you consider that, in addition to Superstorm Sandy, which left as much as $50 billion dollars of damage in its wake, there were 10 other extreme weather-related disasters in 2012 that have surpassed the $1 billion threshold in damages.
“We applaud the Obama administration for having finalized fuel efficiency standards and proposing limits to the amount of carbon that new power plants can emit in his first term,” said NCEL Board Chairman and Maryland Delegate Jim Hubbard. “Legislators from across the country are urging the President to continue his focus on climate change and use his office to spur the nation to act.”
The legislators joined a growing chorus of small businesses, religious leaders, environmentalists and public health advocates in urging President Obama to make tackling global warming a priority. The group called on the President to finalize proposed standards limiting carbon pollution from new power plants and to propose additional standards to address our nation’s aging power plants. This letter comes at a time when Massachusetts is debating strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that would limit carbon pollution from power plants.
NCEL is a non-profit, non-partisan organization formed by state legislators for state legislators to network and promote environmental protection.
Environment Massachusetts is a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future.