Today, 160 businesses and organizations from six Midwest states, including Illinois businesses, religious and health organizations, sent a letter to President Obama thanking him for the Climate Action Plan he laid out in June. The letter emphasized the importance of the President’s directive to EPA to develop carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.
As reminders that climate change is upon us, the letter cited record flooding in parts of the Midwest this spring, less than one year after devastating drought over much of the region last summer and fall. “We look forward to working with you, EPA, and Midwestern electric utilities to meet this challenge,” the signatories wrote to the President.
Much of the letter is focused on recent extreme weather, adverse health impacts brought about by climate change, and how the region’s low-income communities are especially susceptible to climate change impacts.
“Cutting carbon pollution from large sources will doubly benefit families living with lung and heart disease,” said signer Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for Respiratory Health Association. “Transitioning to energy sources like wind, solar and efficiency will not only reduce global warming over the long term, but will provide immediate health benefits by eliminating major sources of smog and soot pollution now harming millions of vulnerable adults and children across the Midwest.”
In addition, the letter highlights how carbon pollution standards can boost the Midwest’s economy. “The Midwest can be the world’s leader in manufacturing the clean energy technologies that meet our energy needs and protect the environment for future generations,” says the letter from businesses, health groups, religious groups and community groups from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
“Modernizing and cleaning up our nation’s electric grid is one of the greatest economic development opportunities of our lifetime,” said Amy Francetic, CEO of Clean Energy Trust, among the Illinois leaders signing the letter.
The letter stresses the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and threatens Midwest ecosystems.
” The Chicago Botanic Garden believes that climate change is a real threat to plants and is taking action to help flora adapt to a changing climate and to reduce the impact of the changes. Both on the Garden’s property and through working with partners, we will advocate for protection of native habitats as well as their management and restoration,” said Sophia Siskel, President and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, who also signed the letter.
“We applaud President Obama for calling for bold action to address the threat of climate change,” said Jack Darin, Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. “We look forward to working with the President and his team to craft climate solutions that protect our health and environment for today, and for future generations.”
A copy of the letter is available here.8.7.13 POTUS Thank you