President Obama was correct to cite Martin Luther King Jr. in his comments last week in reference to global climate change: There is such a thing as being too late.

Commencing Nov. 30, on the outskirts of Paris, leaders from over 150 nations came together for climate talks.

There is now global consensus that we are in the midst of a global climate crisis, and that comprehensive reform is imperative to stave off dire consequences, including increasingly severe natural disasters and home evacuations. Pacific Island nations are pleading for their survival as ocean tides and raw sewage flood their streets.

Yet somehow, although the United States produces the majority of carbon emissions, the U.S. Congress voted to pass the Congressional Review Act, which would have prevented the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. (President Obama swiftly vetoed the Congressional Review Act.)

The Clean Power Plan sets the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The plan will also provide Americans with concrete health benefits by preventing thousands of asthma attacks and premature deaths. Sitting at the end of the tailpipe of coal-burning states to the west, Maine has one of the highest asthma rates in the country.

It is disappointing that Congress passed the Congressional Review Act, because it shows a lack of commitment to do our part in the fight against climate change. Thankfully, our Maine delegation wisely voted against the Congressional Review Act and defended the Clean Power Plan.

We want to thank Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for their leadership on this issue, and we hope our leadership continues to do the right thing to protect our clean air and water for future generations.

Emily Eschner

University of Southern Maine EcoReps