Portland, ME—With President Obama announcing this afternoon that he will unveil a major new action plan on climate change on Tuesday, Environment Maine called on the president to take bold action that focuses on reducing carbon pollution from power plants and advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“From more bad air quality days to more intense storms, Maine is feeling the early impacts of climate change in many ways,” said Environment Maine Director Emily Figdor. “Protecting our children from more devastating consequences of climate change demands bold leadership. We’re hopeful that President Obama will finally rise to the challenge and begin to safeguard our children’s future.”
One critical aspect of the plan will be whether it effectively tackles carbon pollution from power plants, the largest U.S. source of the pollution fueling climate change. Currently, there are no federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants can spew into our air. The president’s plan could take a pivotal step to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
“President Obama’s plan must clean up dirty power plants, which are the biggest source of the pollution fueling climate change,” said Figdor. “His plan also must advance energy efficiency and expand renewable energy—two critical steps toward getting the nation on track to a truly clean energy future.”
Thousands of Mainers formally asked the administration to take strong action to reduce carbon pollution from power plants last year, during a U.S. Environmental Protection Action rulemaking to set the first-ever carbon limits for new power plants. Though 3.2 million Americans submitted public comments in support of the rule, it has yet to be finalized.
Scientists warn that time is short to make the necessary cuts in carbon pollution to protect future generations from the worst consequences of global warming.
Maine has successfully implemented programs and policies to cut carbon pollution, including participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first regional U.S. program that aims to reduce carbon pollution. However, other than the RGGI program, Maine’s action on climate change has stalled under the LePage administration.
“Environment Maine and our 17,000 members and supporters stand ready to help make the president’s plan a reality by building support for it across the state,” concluded Figdor.
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working to preserve Maine’s open spaces, protect clean air and water, and steer the state toward a clean energy future. www.environmentmaine.org