As a Republican, I am keenly aware of the controversy in Washington between the parties concerning a plan to combat climate change. As I watched President Obama’s speech, I deeply appreciated that our President emphasized that climate change used to be a bipartisan issue. He discussed the hard work of Republican presidents, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush. Nixon created the EPA and signed into law the Clean Air Act decades ago. Bush Sr. strengthened it. I was proud to hear Obama declare that he’s working to end tax breaks for big oil even in the face of protests from special interest groups.
President Obama put forth a three-pronged plan to cut carbon pollution that causes climate change:
- Cut Carbon Pollution in America: Just as we have celebrated newer, stronger Clean Air Standards and tough rules that limit Air Toxics, we can look forward to the implementation for new standards of Carbon Emissions in the coming months and years. Currently, the pollution from power plants is unrestricted and free from taxation. The EPA is now working to create those new standards for ALL power plants that impact even the smallest towns in America.
- Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change: Even though the plans are coming together to reduce the carbon emissions, we cannot escape from the fact that it is already in our environment and as we work to move forward, we must also be alert and prepared for the consequences of our decades of pollution.
- Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts: As the SECOND largest carbon emitter in the world, we owe it to ourselves and those we share the planet with to step up to the plate, take responsibility and lead. America is influential, we can use this to benefit the world… developing nations are often at a greater risk of damage from Climate Change (severe weather, droughts, tsunamis, etc.). Regardless of our political affiliations, religion or time zone, we share a planet, there’s no reason why we can’t work together to preserve it for future generations.
Historically, climate deniers haven’t warmed up to the idea of achieving clean energy sources and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. They have brought to the table all the reasons why American businesses will suffer if we make changes – jobs will be lost, business will fail. What weak faith they have in the determination and strength of our country’s people! By increasing our energy efficiency, we are offering our families and businesses opportunities to save money, reduce greenhouse emissions and make our own companies more competitive globally.
Of all the wonderful and encouraging things our President discussed in his plan to combat climate change, I was very excited about the news of the rising amount of power harvested from wind. I did not know that 75% of the wind energy harvested comes from Republican districts. Those states are looking beyond the color of the ticket and doing what is best for the economy, environment, health and future of our country.
Climate change is here. This isn’t a partisan position. This isn’t an opinion. Climate change is a scientific fact. While we’ve been challenged to face the future of climate change, President Obama has also given us faith and hope — faith that he is focused on our children’s future — and a hopeful plan to protect the health of our children and future generations.