Responding to Climate Change: Praise for Obama, Pride in California

Posted on 26 June 2013

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Sarah RoseBy Sarah Rose
California League of Conservation Voters

Like many Californians, I watched President Obama's announcement yesterday of a comprehensive plan to fight climate change with a great deal of pride in his leadership and in our state for leading the way on climate solutions. President Obama's plan begins to meet our moral obligation to protect future generations from climate change. The President's decision to take action to cut carbon pollution from power plants is particularly important and is inspired in part by California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).

Currently, there are no limits on carbon pollution from our nation's power plants despite the fact that they are its number one source.

Yosemite National Park. Photo credit: Davey NinIndustrial carbon pollution was just measured at the highest levels in human history. The costs of inaction are already apparent. All Americans including Californians are feeling the impacts of climate change already from destructive and deadly storms, droughts, and wildfires. In addition to the immeasurable cost of lives and livelihoods, cleaning up after climate-driven disasters last year cost taxpayers nearly $100 billion.

The California League of Conservation Voters applauds President Obama's climate plan and acknowledges our state's lawmakers for developing cutting edge solutions to the greatest challenge our planet has ever faced. This plan is full of common-sense solutions, starting with President Obama's call for the EPA to limit the carbon pollution from power plants. While we set limits for arsenic, mercury and lead, we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want. It's time to set a limit on pollution that affects public health, and that's why it's so important that the President is rising to the challenge.

It is also important that California continue to be a model for our nation by leading the way on climate change solutions. California's elected leaders, clean energy businesses and innovators, and our powerful grassroots environmental and public health advocates are the core of this movement. We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a state, country and planet that's not polluted and damaged by climate change.

The President's announcement is a great start. But it will take all of us to make sure this plan is put into action.

Sarah Rose is CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters, the non-partisan political action arm of California's environmental movement.