Today the Co-Chairs of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change applauded President Obama's plans to address climate change by limiting carbon pollution from existing and new power plants, developing new fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks, and setting new efficiency targets for appliances and buildings. The plan also provides financial assistance for carbon capture and storage projects and sets a new goal for the deployment of renewable energy on public lands. Finally, the plan will help American communities prepare for the effects of climate change that are already occurring and will strengthen our nation's leadership on international efforts to combat global climate change.
"The President is absolutely right to act now. We have a moral imperative to protect the environment for our children and future generations," said Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman. "We are at a crossroads. Every year we delay, the impacts will worsen and the costs will rise. But if we act now, we can lead the world in developing the clean energy technologies of the future."
"For too long, the barricade of special interests in Washington has stopped Congress from acting against carbon pollution," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. "President Obama knows that we can't wait to address this issue. We're already paying the costs of climate change. Our oceans are warmer, more acidic, and rising; our seasons are shifting; and the dice are loaded for more frequent and more severe extreme weather events. I applaud President Obama for taking action today to protect the planet for future generations."
"These efforts to battle climate change are achievable, they are justified, and above all else, they are necessary to protect our planet and future generations," said Rep. Ed Markey, who with Rep. Waxman co-authored the only climate bill to pass a chamber of Congress. "Nearly four years ago to the day, the House passed Waxman-Markey, which would have made significant cuts in carbon emissions and unleashed new clean energy technologies. Since that day, climate science has strengthened, clean energy has grown, and the urgency to act has intensified with each extreme weather event. Congressional action on climate and clean energy is still needed, and it should start with confirming Gina McCarthy as the head of the EPA to help implement President Obama's new climate plan."
"Science tells us that climate change is real and it is among the biggest global threats facing us today. It is not only an environmental issue -- it is a public health issue, an economic issue, a national security issue. I applaud President Obama's decisive action on this critical challenge," said Sen. Ben Cardin. "Clean air is good for the economy, as we have seen in Maryland, where our strong clean air rules have resulted in job creation and economic growth. Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency will not only result in cleaner, healthier communities, it will also create jobs and a more resilient economy. We know the results of inaction: deadlier storms, rising sea levels, and crippling droughts and wildfires, with taxpayers shouldering the skyrocketing costs of disaster recovery. As a Nation, we must act now to avert the worst effects of climate change."