North Carolina Leaders Urge Action on Climate Change

Dear President Obama,

As public officials concerned about our constituents’ well-being, we thank you for your leadership to date on addressing climate change.  We enthusiastically support the Climate Action Plan you have put forward.  Climate change threatens the health of our families, our communities and the ecosystems on which we depend, and we are ready to work with and support you and your Administration. Together, we can implement a comprehensive approach to reduce carbon pollution while building resilient communities with strong local economies, reliable and affordable energy choices, and that are well-prepared for the impacts of climate change now and into the future.

As you know, the many communities that we represent are already feeling the effects of climate change now.  We recognize, and are already seeing the economic and environmental benefits of a shift to clean energy that avoids the harmful emissions that cause global warming. We are also working to protect our communities with resilience strategies, but we also look forward to a strong partnership with the federal government to help us make our communities even stronger.  

Under your leadership, we can help you achieve the key pillars of your plan to reduce carbon pollution, especially the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants, increases in the energy efficiency of our built environment, and smarter investments in our country’s renewable energy infrastructure.  By committing to clean up power plants with a stakeholder process similar to that which was used for other Clean Air Act standards, you are once again demonstrating your commitment to commonsense solutions that takes the challenge of climate change seriously.  This move, combined with the strong efficiency and clean energy goals also outlined in your Climate Action Plan, is key to putting America on a path to a future powered by homegrown clean energy.  

However, as you have rightly acknowledged, it is not enough just to reduce carbon pollution, we must also prepare and adapt to the impacts that are here today and those that are expected, including stronger and more damaging storms, flooding, heat waves, prolonged drought, more frequent wildfires, and other extremes.  Therefore, we applaud your plan’s commitment to identify and remove barriers to climate-resilient investment, to remove policies that increase vulnerabilities.  We are particularly supportive of your pledge to provide targeted support and assistance to local governments as we work together to reduce our risk from climate change in a post-Superstorm Sandy world.

We are ready to stand up in support of this bold action to ensure our communities and our health are protected and that we are doing our part to take action to fight climate change.  Thank you again, Mr. President, for your leadership in addressing the largest environmental crisis of our time.