Colorado citizens speak against global warming

By Carol Carpenter

RMC Communications Team

climate change graphic

Wearing lapel stickers affirming, “I will act on climate change,” scores of Colorado citizens, including several from RockyMountain Chapter Sierra Club, spoke last October in Denver in favor of a more stringent federal carbon pollution standard to reduce dirty carbon emissions by power plants.

The citizens, attending public listening sessions held by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), expressed strongly held convictions, backed by scientific research, that carbon emissions are a main cause of climate change and global warming.

“I have a concern about the extreme weather conditions we are seeing in Colorado,” one Denver man said. “We are seeing more droughts, floods, wildfires, bark beetle infestations, dust storms and lowered snow pack. There are many costs: to our economy, to jobs, to the wilderness and lives lost. We need to curb carbon pollution.”

A Longmont woman stated, “I am here on behalf of my grandchildren. They face an uncertain future due to the effects of carbon in the atmosphere and the resulting climate change. The fossil fuel industry is continuing to use our air as a dumping ground for greenhouse gases and are reaping record profits. They need to pay for the true cost of the carbon.”

A third Colorado resident commented, “Humans are making an impact on the environment; the droughts, fires and floods are real. We can’t rely purely on markets for our environmental health.”

Also speaking were representatives of coal and fossil-fuel industries, urging the EPA not to force power plants to adhere to a new and stricter carbon standard.

The EPA proposal follows President Obama’s June 2013 climate plan announcement that greenhouse gases should be reduced through new carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants.

According to Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, coal and gas-fired power plants emit more than 2.3 billion metric tons of carbon pollution annually, approximately 40 percent of total U.S. energy-related carbon pollution.

If you missed the public listening sessions, you can still contact the EPA about this matter. The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.

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