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President Announces Plan to Reverse Course on Climate Change

Ohio Environmental Council, June 25, 2013

For Ohioans and many throughout the Midwest who experienced unprecedented weather events during 2012, action to address climate change cannot come soon enough.

The Ohio Environmental Council is praising President Obama’s plan to address the growing threat of climate change through a series of executive orders aimed at cutting carbon pollution.

“The time for talk has passed, it’s time for action. President Obama’s plan is a responsible and significant step towards a healthier planet and a stronger economy,” said Brian Kaiser, Director of Green Jobs & Innovation at the Ohio Environmental Council.

The plan announced today by President Obama includes carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants, expands efforts to make buildings more energy efficient, accelerates the deployment of renewable energy projects like wind and solar on federal lands, and aims to cut more than 3 billion metric tons of carbon pollution through energy efficiency appliance standards.

The full plan announced today can be found here.

The Costs of Inaction

Pollution proponents and friends of fossil fuel industries will attack the plan as costly but they will fail to acknowledge the tremendous costs of inaction. In 2012 alone, Ohioans experienced 55 broken heat records, 10 broken snow records, 10 broken precipitation records, and 1 large wildfire.

“As a nurse and first responder, I’ve seen the profound impacts global warming is having on public health,” said Janet Reeves, OEC Board Member and a registered nurse from Canfield. “Carbon pollution, rising temperatures, and extreme weather are creating a real toxic mix here in Ohio that puts millions of Ohioans at risk.”

For more information on the likely effects global warming will have on public health in the Midwest, click here.

Broad Public & Scientific Support for Action

While opponents are loud, they make up a small percentage of the public and even smaller share of the scientific community. Recent polling shows that the vast majority (65%) of voters support Presidential action on climate change.

The consensus among the scientific community is even more pronounced with 97% in agreement that the planet is warming because of human activities. 1

Ohio Poised to Lead

As the 5th largest user of energy in the U.S., Ohio has a responsibility to cut carbon emissions and continue its transition to a clean energy economy. Fortunately, Ohio is well positioned to lead the transition away from dirty energy and towards a clean energy future.

Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich expressed what he sees as a moral obligation to address the threat of climate change. 

“This isn’t popular to always say, but I believe there is a problem with climates, climate change in the atmosphere,” Kasich told a meeting of Ross County Republicans. “I believe it. I don’t know how much there is, but I also know the good Lord wants us to be good stewards of his creation. And so, at the end of the day, if we can find these breakthroughs to help us have a cleaner environment, I’m all for it.” 2

In fact, Ohio is already transitioning to a cleaner energy economy. As of today, Ohio’s is home to hundreds of clean energy companies and is experiencing tremendous growth and investment in the clean energy sector in recent years.

  • Ohio is home to a robust energy efficiency industry with almost 10,000 Ohioans employed and in over 400 businesses.
  • Ohio ranks #4 in wind industry employment, largely due to our strong manufacturing base.
  • The single biggest private sector investment in Ohio during 2011 was the $600 million Blue Creek Wind Farm in Paulding and Van Wert counties.
  • There are more than 160 companies in Ohio providing jobs in the solar industry, and 55 of these companies have manufacturing facilities in the state.

Read more:

OEC Applauds Presidents Focus on Climate Change