PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center
Philadelphia, PA – Today, President Obama announced a climate plan that will set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, advance energy efficiency and increase the nation’s commitment to renewable energy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which caused massive loss of power in Southeastern Pennsylvania and devastated huge sections of the Shore, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by PennEnvironment and many others.
“Today President Obama responded to the millions of Americans who have spoken out on behalf of their communities and their families, urging him to lead on climate,” said Adam Garber, PennEnvironment Field Director. “All of us who have felt the effects of global warming, or simply worried about what’s in store for our kids, can take comfort in knowing that President Obama has put the nation on a path toward a cleaner, healthier and safer future.”
Left unchecked, global warming is projected to bring to Pennsylvania more intense storms and more unhealthy air days. A recent report shows that nearly 9 in 10 Pennsylvanians live in areas designated as weather-related disaster zones by FEMA. Scientists have warned that the window is rapidly closing for making the necessary cuts in carbon pollution to protect future generations from the worst consequences of global warming.
To respond to this threat, the president’s plan contains several key components. It will:
- Limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, which currently lack any such federal limits despite being the largest single source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.
- Invest in energy efficiency. New efficiency measures for buildings and new appliances will cut carbon pollution by reducing our overall energy demand.
- Build more renewable energy. The plan focuses on expanding production of clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, especially on public lands.
- Support affected communities. The president’s plan will help ensure that communities are better equipped to prepare for and recover from the impacts of global warming.
- Rebuild U.S. leadership Internationally. The president’s plan calls for the U.S. to actively engage in international efforts to address global warming.
PennEnvironment offered special praise for the president’s pledge to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. More than 3.2 million Americans, including more than 200,000 Pennsylvanians, submitted public comments last year in support of the president setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Numerous organizations and opinion leaders from Pennsylvania have spoken out in support as well, including Dr. Walter Tsou, Senator Leach, Mayor Nutter, the PA State Nurses Association and more.
“Carbon pollution from power plants is a huge part of the global warming problem. Today President Obama acknowledged this and mapped out a plan for cleaning up this pollution,” said Garber. “We also know that this plan is just one important step in a multi-year effort, and that the proof of the plan’s success will be in the pudding. PennEnvironment stands ready to assist the president in following through on this critical commitment.”