Rhode Island General Assembly members join call for national action on climate change

Media Contacts
Channing Jones

Letter to President urges carbon pollution standards for power plants

Environment Rhode Island

Providence, RI – Today, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) delivered to President Obama a letter signed by 302 state legislators from 40 states, including 8 Rhode Island legislators, urging him to prioritize tackling global warming in his second term. The move was applauded by Environment Rhode Island and other environmental advocates across the country.

“From Superstorm Sandy to the flooding of 2010, far too many Rhode Islanders have been harmed by the early effects of global warming,” said Channing Jones, Program Associate with Environment Rhode Island. “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.”

Rhode Island legislators signing the letter were Reps. Gallison, McNamara, Handy, Hull, Ruggiero, and Tanzi, and Sens. Bates and DiPalma.

The letter cites 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. It argues that no U.S. community is immune to the effects of global warming. 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.

“Global warming is not a matter of speculation,” said Jones. “It’s already here and is devastating homes and entire communities. Failing to address global warming is a failure to protect our communities.”

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.