Reactions Pro And Con To President Obama’s Climate Program Announcement
Courtesy of Pat Byington, The Green Register Editor
President Obama announced several ground-breaking initiatives concerning climate change on June 25 at Georgetown University.
The reaction to the historic announcement was universally applauded by the conservation organizations and condemned by resource trade groups. Here is a sampling of the statements:
Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, today issued the following statement about President Obama’s climate program announcement:
“We welcome the President’s proposals and leadership on this issue. Our nation needs to act, and act soon, to deal with climate change—from reducing carbon emissions to preparing for climate-fueled extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy.
We agree with the President that green, resilient cities and conserving natural carbon sinks like forests should be part of our nation’s response. Green cities can help lower carbon emissions, but must become more climate resilient through actions such as buffering coastlines and creating more natural shading and cooling.
Today’s proposal is a good first step, and we look forward to working with the President, his administration, and Congressional leaders to advance these strategies.”
Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, attended the release event at Georgetown University and said:
“President Obama is following through on his pledge to act and this is an important step in the journey to end industrial carbon pollution. Cutting the pollution that’s fueling global warming is critical to protect not only the communities, infrastructure and economy that support our livelihoods, but the wildlife, birds and fish that sustain our spirits.
“America’s economy is growing at a time when our carbon emissions are falling. That’s proof we don’t need more dirty energy to fuel our economy—we need more of the clean energy and efficient technology that’s already creating jobs and saving families money.
Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, made the following statement:
“The president nailed it: this can’t wait. We will cut this carbon pollution today so our children don’t inherit climate chaos tomorrow. We owe that to future generations, and we owe it to ourselves.”
In the United States, power plants produce 40 percent of the dangerous carbon pollution that is driving climate change. There are no federal limits, though, on how much carbon these plants may release.
Obama directed his administration to begin developing standards to reduce this dangerous pollution.
“That’s the single most important thing we can do, as a nation, to confront this widening scourge,” said Beinecke.
“Climate change is the central environmental crisis of our time. It is taking a grievous and growing toll on our country, threatening our people and imperiling our future. The president promised to do something about it. Today he turned that promise into action.”
The following is a statement from Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE):
“Recent EPA regulations have already taken a harsh toll on coal-fueled electricity. So far this year, EPA regulations have played a major role in the announced closure of 288 coal plants in 32 states. This is equivalent to shutting down the entire electricity supply of the state of New York. Further regulation could force even more plant closures.
The coal power industry has evolved to improve its environmental footprint through clean coal technologies, while providing affordable electricity to meet our national goals of job creation and a renewed manufacturing sector. Americans understand that coal must be a part of America’s clean energy future, and it can be if the federal government doesn’t stop us in our tracks.”
Statement regarding President Obama’s plan to address climate change and control carbon emissions by the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Marvin Fertel.
“The strength of America’s electric system is diversity of technologies and fuel types. When it comes to reducing the U.S. electric sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, efforts can succeed only if carbon-free nuclear energy plays a larger role in the nation’s electricity mix.
That’s not simply the opinion of our industry. It is the determination made by several independent organizations that analyzed the leading climate change bills pending in Congress some five years ago when prospects for enacting legislative measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions appeared to have momentum.
These include the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Information Administration, which found that between 69 and 187 new nuclear energy facilities would be needed to meet the bills’ carbon reduction objectives in the electricity sector.
“There is no debating this fact: Nuclear energy produces nearly two-thirds of America’s carbon-free electricity. As a nation, we cannot reach our energy and climate goals without the reliable, carbon-free electricity that nuclear power plants generate to power our homes, businesses and infrastructure.”