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People are dying because of climate change. Hurricane Sandy is just one of the killer storms made more severe and more frequent by a warming planet. Deadly heat waves, droughts and floods are also on their way. And climate change caused by carbon pollution is increasing the formation of lung damaging and asthma-attack inducing smog, which is particularly dangerous for kids and seniors.
Climate change is an oncoming catastrophe, on a scale that will be historic and that will change the course of human life on the planet.
For several decades, the world has known about global climate change, but little has been done to address this issue. In the U.S. the environmental community and its political allies came close to enacting a comprehensive climate change bill in the early years of the Obama Administration when a good bill passed the House. But it was blocked by special interests in the Senate, and now it seems impossible that Congress could act in any timely way to protect our health and our planet.
Looking ahead, it is hard to imagine any scenario that effectively deals with climate change except one. The Obama Administration has to use its regulatory powers to put controls on new and existing power plants, the single biggest source of carbon pollution in the U.S. The President needs now to move ahead forcefully to protect us against a warming planet.
Simply put, if President Obama doesn’t do it, it won’t get done. If the United States doesn’t lead, the rest of the world cannot follow.
The President of the United States has the power to cut carbon pollution from power plants and establish the U.S. as a leader in fighting climate change by using the regulatory authority that he already has. President Obama can do it by himself, without a second-guessing Congress or a nay-saying Supreme Court. In fact, the Supreme Court has already said that the Administration can move forward under the Clean Air Act to cut this life-threatening pollution.
Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our generation, perhaps any generation. The League of Women Voters calls on President Obama to take the historically necessary step of controlling industrial carbon pollution. We believe that saving the world is a legacy worth fighting for. Join with us in calling on the President to do what he needs to do.