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Environmental groups applaud Obama's plan to address carbon pollution

Today, a coalition of Minnesota groups supporting federal clean air and climate change safeguards held a news conference, to highlight the support of Minnesotans for the historic Environmental Protection Agency carbon pollution standard for power plants announced by President Obama on June 25.

"We applaud President Obama for laying out a broad and common-sense plan for meeting our obligation to protect future generations from climate change," said Gary Botzek, executive director of the Minnesota Conservation Federation. "Americans are feeling the impacts of climate change already, right here in Minnesota in fact, from destructive and deadly storms, and other extreme events like floods, drought and heat waves."

The president's decision to take action to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants will significantly address, for the first time ever, the largest unlimited source of carbon pollution, namely carbon pollution from power plants.

Local clean energy leader J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy, says, "Setting responsible carbon pollution limits on existing power plants is key to protecting Minnesotans and other Americans from the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, and these limits will also be good for the economy."

"The President's climate plan is a strong step forward for business owners and innovators in Minnesota, particularly his focus on energy efficiency and upgrading the energy performance of our buildings--a win for the environment, and a win for the pocketbook of businesses and building owners," said Jeremy Kalin, president of Minneapolis-based Eutectics Consulting.

"President Obama has articulated a comprehensive plan for reducing carbon pollution that will also create and maintain hundreds of thousands of jobs all across the economy. Limits on carbon pollution are only one part of the solution, "said Katie Gulley, regional program manager at the BlueGreen Alliance. "We much ensure a smooth transition for workers and communities--including training, investments, in economic development, and industrial energy efficiency--to ensure that these rules create and maintain jobs and improve our economy."

In thanking him, the Minnesota groups say this action goes a long way towards fulfilling the "obligation to future generations" that the president outlined in his 2013 Inauguration and State of the Union addresses.