Trenton – Today, President Obama announced a climate plan that will set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, advance energy efficiency and increase the nation’s commitment to renewable energy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a dizzying stretch of extreme weather events, and continued temperature records, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by Environment New Jersey and many others.
“Today, President Obama responded to millions of Americans who spoke out on behalf of their communities and families, urging him to lead on climate,” said Doug O’Malley, interim director with Environment New Jersey. “All of us who have felt the effects of global warming, or simply worried about what’s in store for our kids, should know that this is the plan from President Obama we’ve been waiting for.”
Left unchecked, global warming is projected to bring to New Jersey more intense storms and more unhealthy air days, as well as increased sea level rise and rising storm surges. Scientists have warned that the window is rapidly closing for making the necessary cuts in carbon pollution to protect future generations from the worst consequences of global warming. Despite these warnings, Gov. Christie has failed to act, and has taken us backward on climate by pulling us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
To respond to this threat, the president’s plan contains several key components. It will:
- Limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, which currently lack any such federal limits despite being the largest single source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.
- Invest in energy efficiency. New efficiency measures for buildings and new appliances will cut carbon pollution by reducing our overall energy demand.
- Build more renewable energy. The plan focuses on expanding production of clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, especially on public lands.
- Support affected communities. The president’s plan will help ensure that communities are better equipped to prepare for and recover from the impacts of global warming.
- Rebuild U.S. leadership internationally. The president’s plan calls for the U.S. to actively engage in international efforts to address global warming.
Environment New Jersey offered specific praise for the president’s pledge to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. More than 3.2 million Americans submitted public comments last year in support of the president setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants, including tens of thousands of New Jerseyans.
“Carbon pollution from power plants is a huge part of the global warming problem. Today President Obama mapped out a plan for cleaning up this pollution,” said O’Malley. “To be clear, this is just one important step in a multi-year effort, and the proof of the plan’s success will be in the pudding. But this is one heck of an important step.”