Obama Steps Up to Climate Change

Wind Power in Montana“We need to act.”  President Obama, in a June speech, outlined strong steps to combat climate change.  On a hot day at Georgetown University, the President described a multifaceted program with three key pieces:  to reduce U.S. carbon emissions, to adapt to the effects we will inevitably see, and for the U.S. to be a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Using Executive Powers  Today about 40% of U.S. carbon emissions come from power plants.  To lower that, the President ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to come up with stronger emission standards for both new and existing power plants.

The President announced a goal to double our energy from wind and sun, by “directing the Interior Department to green light enough private, renewable energy capacity on public lands to power more than six million homes by 2020.”

The Department of Defense – the biggest energy consumer in America – was ordered to install three gigawatts of renewable power on its bases.

Increasing energy efficiency will be accelerated by setting stricter Federal standards for vehicles, buildings, equipment, and appliances.

Federal agencies will lead the way by reducing their carbon emissions, with a new goal to get 20% of electricity for Federal government use from renewable sources by 2020.

Federal agencies are directed to make sure that any new project funded with taxpayer dollars is built to withstand increased risks caused by climate change, such as flooding, rising sea levels, and storms.

The League Agrees Global climate change, as part of Defending the Environment, is one of the top four priorities for LWVUS, and is the top priority for our League. As is so often the case, the most powerful action is our knowledgeable vote.  Join our Climate Change Team at their monthly meeting, Wednesday, September 25, 1:30-3:00 at the LWVBAE office, visit our Climate Change Team website and Vote Climate!

Diz Swift, Climate Change Team member

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