Legislators push Obama to act on climate talk

Hailey Colwell

 

The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators sent a letter to President Obama Tuesday asking him to address climate change during his second term.

Among the 302 state legislators who signed the letter, 32 were from Minnesota, according to a press release from Environment Minnesota.

The NCEL, joined by a group of small business owners and environmentalists, demanded that Obama follow up on the statements he made in his inaugural address about combating climate change. 

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said during the address on Jan. 21, according to a transcript of the address by the Washington Post.  

“The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult,” he said. “But American[s] cannot resist this transition. We must lead it.”

The legislators pointed out severe weather instances like Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Duluth flooding, wildfires in the west and widespread drought in the Midwest as reasons for Obama to keep the environment on the national agenda, according to the release.

The group also asked the President to establish stricter carbon pollution limits for old power plants and solidify proposed emission standards for new plants.

“We applaud the Obama administration for having finalized fuel efficiency standards and proposing limits to the amount of carbon that new power plants can emit in his first term,” said NCEL Board Chairman and Maryland Delegate Jim Hubbard in the release.

Caucus members hope to help the President to uphold his environmental statements as he enters his second term, said John Marty, chair of the Minnesota Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

“Working together with the President, we can take the bold steps so urgently needed to safeguard our people, our public health and our children's future,” Marty said.