Media Contacts
Michelle Hesterberg

Legislators Call on President to Finalize Carbon Standards for Power Plants

Environment Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN – Today, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) delivered to President Obama a letter signed by 302 state legislators from 40 states, including 23 Minnesota state legislators, urging him to prioritize tackling global warming in his second term. The move was applauded by Environment Minnesota and other environmental advocates across the country. 

“This is what leadership in tackling global warming looks like,” said Michelle Hesterberg, Field Associate with Environment Minnesota. “From Superstorm Sandy to flooding in Duluth and droughts across the Midwest, 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.”

“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 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. 

“Climate change is no longer a matter of speculation.  It’s already affecting Minnesotans through more severe weather, and problems with both drought and flooding.  It is affecting our forests and habitat, our homes and communities.  Scientists are describing storms like Hurricane Sandy as the new norm,” added John Marty, chair of the Minnesota Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

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.

“In 2008, President Obama said that we need to make this the time when our planet begins to heal. Now, as he enters his second term, he has said addressing climate change is our obligation to future generations.  Working together with the President, we can take the bold steps so urgently needed, to safeguard our people, our public health and our children’s future,” concluded Senator Marty.

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