WASHINGTON (June 25, 2013) – President Obama’s speech today, in which he laid out a suite of climate and energy policies, demonstrates the growing demand for heeding the risks scientists have identified from a changing climate, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
UCS has assembled materials on its website related to the president’s plan. The White House just released a memorandum from the president to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that establishes a timeline for finalizing power plant carbon rules.
Below is a statement by Angela Anderson, the director of the science group’s Climate and Energy Program:
“The president is taking up the mantle of educator-in-chief on climate change. His speech was striking because it revealed a deep understanding of the consequences of climate change we’re already seeing. He recognizes our responsibility to protect future generations and he made the case that our prosperity and our climate are intrinsically linked.
“The ground is shifting on climate politics. We see a growing desire for climate action arising all over the country, from coastal towns facing higher seas to western cities fighting fiercer wildfires. The president is fulfilling his responsibility to extend a helping hand to communities that are already dealing with the effects of climate change.
“Beyond holding carbon-intensive projects like the Keystone pipeline accountable for their emissions, the president can do a lot more to cut oil use and the emissions it causes.
“The largest emissions reductions we can expect will come from quickly finalizing carbon rules for new and existing power plants. The directive lays out a timeline for the rules and provides ample time for all parties to have their say. Further delays should not be tolerated. More than 3 million Americans already voiced their support for the standard for new power plants the EPA issued last year. The administration will need to ensure the standard for new power plants stays strong even as it is being re-proposed.
“The president has to push as hard as possible to achieve emissions reductions. His actions will determine if his successor, and successive generations of Americans, can have a safer climate.”