Washington, D.C. – Today President Barack Obama announced his administration's next steps for building a legacy of action to fight the climate crisis. The plan includes new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, doubles responsible clean energy production by 2020, and uses the full authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response:
"This is the change we have been waiting for on climate.
“Today, President Obama has shown he is keeping his word to future generations. His inspiring call to action is a testament to the vibrancy of the grassroots climate movement and the work of millions of activists to make tackling climate disruption a key part of the President’s legacy.
“The Sierra Club’s 2.1 million members and supporters issued a collective cheer as they heard the President declare that the most effective defense against climate disruption will be by tackling the biggest single source of carbon pollution: coal plants. The President’s plan does just that, implementing strong safeguards to slash deadly emissions from new and existing plants. Combined with the President’s commitments to energy efficiency and investments in American clean energy, this plan is a strong step forward in our fight to protect our planet and our families from a climate crisis that is already hitting home with droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other forms of extreme weather.
“The President's strong commitment to using climate pollution as the standard by which Keystone XL will be decided means his decision to reject it should now be easy. Any fair and unbiased analysis of the tar sands pipeline shows that the climate effects of this disastrous project would be significant.
“While we must reduce pollution further to truly address dangerous climate disruption, we applaud the Administration’s continued commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020. This plan includes key steps to reaching that goal, and we look forward to working with the Obama Administration to build on the progress laid out in today’s announcement.
“There is still more work to be done. The President’s climate commitment and his speech today gives us great hope that he will finally address some of the remaining, worst abuses of the fossil fuel industry, including dirty and dangerous fracking, ending the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, halting destructive oil drilling in the Arctic, and overhauling the sweetheart deal on public lands that pads the bottom line of coal companies at public expense”