Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center
Washington, DC – 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, record drought in many states, and wildfires in Colorado, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by Environment Virginia 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 Environment Virginia’s Sarah Frost. “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.”
Between 2007 and 2012, ninety-five percent of Virginians lived in counties and independent cities affected by weather-related disasters. Left unchecked, global warming is projected to bring to Virginia more frequent and intense storms, heat waves, and unhealthy air days. 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.
Environment Virginia offered special praise for the president’s pledge to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. More than 3.2 million Americans submitted public comments last year in support of the president setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Numerous organizations and opinion leaders from Virginia have spoken out in support as well, including Alexandria Mayor William Euille, State Senator John Edwards, and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott.
“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 Frost. “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. Environment Virginia stands ready to assist the president in following through on this critical commitment.”