Nearly 70 organizations from around the nation—including health, conservation, clean energy, environmental justice, and tribal organizations—joined together to call for presidential leadership.
Below are selected quotes, or read the full letter to President Obama.
Cutting carbon pollution at home and rejecting dirty fuels will establish America’s leadership and credibility, enabling you to create clean energy jobs in the United States while forging an effective international coalition to cut global carbon pollution.
Climate change threatens the health of our families, our communities and our planet. It is the great challenge of our time and our response will leave an historic legacy.
We urge you to continue underscoring the threat of climate change with the American people and to build on the historic vehicle standards and other progress you made during your first term by taking three decisive steps to curb dangerous carbon pollution:
Raise your voice. Elevate the issue of climate disruption and climate solutions in the public discourse. Connect the dots between carbon pollution and extreme weather, and lead the public discussion of what we need to do as a nation to both prepare for the changes in climate that are no longer avoidable and avoid changes in climate that are unacceptable.
Use your executive authority. You have the authority under existing law to achieve urgently needed reductions in the carbon pollution that is disrupting our climate and damaging our health. Most significantly, you can set standards that cut carbon pollution from America’s aging power plant fleet at least 25 percent by 2020 while boosting energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy sources. Power plants are our largest source of carbon pollution and you have the authority and responsibility to clean them up under the Clean Air Act. This will create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs, meet the pollution targets you set for the country, and restore U.S. international leadership.
Reject dirty fuels. We should not pursue dirty fuels like tar sands when climate science tells us that 80 percent of existing fossil fuel reserves need to be kept in the ground. More specifically, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.