Friday, April 18, 2014
Climate change is already wreaking havoc on our Maine way of life. Yet it is clear from President Obama’s recent State of the Union speech, and from his actions, that he has no intention of looking his children in the eyes and telling them he failed to act when faced with the greatest environmental challenge of our time.
I applaud President Obama’s support of cutting carbon pollution from power plants, which account for 40 percent of all our carbon pollution – the largest sources of the global warming pollutant – as well as his leadership in cutting carbon pollution from cars and doubling the production of wind and solar power.
But he is simultaneously committed to increasing the United States’ dependency on fossil fuels by embracing oil and gas.
Despite our dysfunctional Congress, the president must use his ability to work toward obtaining the clean energy that our country deserves while cutting our reliance on oil.
No one can deny that winter seemed to thaw into spring three weeks ago, when the weather entered into the 40s. These extreme temperature fluctuations are reason enough for concern, yet this problem goes deeper than slushy sidewalks and patchy ski slopes.
Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon also cause ocean acidification and intensified storms. While people visit our state to experience the integrity and beauty of its coastal landscape, rising water levels threaten our wetlands and homes.
If we are to mitigate the impacts of climate change, we must support initiatives to reduce our use of carbon emitting fuels.
This September, as a part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants. I urge all representatives and citizens to support this measure, and endeavor to make it as strict as possible.