Every year, we spend Earth Day honoring our planet. So what better way to celebrate this special day than to double down on our efforts to tackle the climate crisis? Across the country, we are already seeing the impacts of climate disruption with more extreme weather including stronger storms, more intense wildfires, longer droughts and record breaking heat waves. One thing is clear, we need to act now to protect our planet for future generations, and President Obama has stepped up to this challenge by taking bold action to combat climate change.
President Obama is tackling the climate crisis head on with his comprehensive Climate Action Plan. This commonsense plan will help to move America towards a clean energy economy by putting policies in place that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Also, the President’s plan is helping educate the public through initiatives like the website, climate.data.gov, where key government data surrounding climate change is made available. This data can be used to for geographic mapping and infrastructure mapping to give people an idea of how extreme weather will affect their communities.
However the biggest initiative in the President’s plan is Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that would place the first-ever limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can spew into our air. This measure is a big step forward that will protect public health while dramatically decreasing our carbon footprint.
The President has also been working with the EPA to finalize the standards, which will help to reduce pollution by curbing the harmful emissions from tailpipes and making our gasoline cleaner. Once in place, these standards will cut as much pollution as taking 33 million cars off the road.
Late last week, the State Department announced that they are extending the comment period for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The next step is for President Obama to reject the pipeline, because it clearly fails his climate test and would only worsen climate change. This project is all risk and no reward. It will not make us energy independent, and will harm our agricultural lands and waterways. President Obama and Secretary Kerry should reject the project.
President Obama has made significant progress in tackling the climate crisis, but we still have a long way to go. We should celebrate our planet this Earth Day with a commitment to double down our efforts to combat the challenge of our generation, climate change.
(Photograph by Silvia)