Columbus, OH – Today, Tina Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioner, and Jennifer Cochran, Athens City Councilwoman spoke out in favor of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan along with climate allies around the state, including Environment Ohio, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Audubon Ohio, Sierra Club, and Ohio Interfaith Power and Light (OHIPL). Climate change is already impacting Ohio’s families and communities therefore, it is the responsibility of public officials around the state to stand in support of climate action.
In the summer of 2012 Ohio’s communities broke record high temperatures. As climate change progresses scientists suspect these temperatures will continue to rise, leading to and increase in heat induced illnesses, such as strokes, and fuel smog production, triggering asthma. Additionally, super-storms, like Hurricane Sandy, are only expected to grow in frequency and severity as global warming progresses. Already, 75% of Ohioans have been affected by extreme weather events since 2007. Finally, iconic landmarks that Ohioans treasure are at risk. For example, warming temperatures are inducing dangerous and toxic blue-green algae blooms in Lake Erie making the water unusable for drinking and recreational activities.
Elected officials are “painfully aware of the challenges that climate change will bring to our cities and municipalities,” says Jennifer Cochran, Athens City Councilwoman. “Faced with shrinking budgets we will struggle to pay for greater heating and cooling demanded by more extreme temperatures. Other costs will include paying overtime for emergency personnel and city crews who respond after super storms cause flooding, wind damage, power outages, and more. When storms like this occur most of us don’t think about the far-reaching implications. We think about the safety of our families, the contents of our refrigerators, the ability to communicate with loved ones, our food supply and such. But these storms mean millions of dollars in repairs to property and infrastructure.”
“Coastal communities like Lucas County depend on a healthy Lake Erie for millions of dollars added to the local economy through small businesses like marinas and charter fishing operators,” says Tina Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioner. “Inaction is not an option for these small, family-run businesses.”
Fortunately, there is a solution. This past summer President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan to limit global warming pollution from new and existing power plants while promoting clean renewable energy sources. Already the EPA has released the first of these rules, limiting carbon pollution from new power plants, our country’s largest single source of global warming pollution.
Already Ohioans submitted over a quarter million comments in support of climate action and now their locally elected officials would like to stand with them in support of climate action. “Environment Ohio, along with our climate allies, will be collecting letters of support for the President’s plan through the end of the year,” says Vivian Daly, Field Organizer with Environment Ohio. “We hope that these letters of support will show Ohio’s US Congressmen that their constituents and locally elected public officials support action on global warming.”
Environment Ohio, our climate allies, like NWF, Audubon Ohio, Sierra Club, and OHIPL, local public officials, and Ohioans support climate action. “Now, we would like to call upon our congressional leaders, like Senator Sherrod Brown, who has supported environmental issues in the past, to stand with us,” says Daly, “and support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”
Environment Ohio is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and special places.