Michigan State Legislators Applauded for Calling on President Obama to Prioritize Action on Global Warming

For Immediate Release

Today, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) delivered to President Obama a letter signed by 302 state legislators from 40 states, including 8 Michigan legislators, urging him to prioritize tackling global warming in his second term. The move was applauded by Environment Michigan and other environmental advocates across the country.  

“This is what leadership in tackling global warming looks like,” said Virginia Shannon, state associate with Environment Michigan. “From intense flooding in Flint to unseasonable weather that devastated fruit crops last year, far too many Michiganders have been harmed by the early effects of global warming. We have the solutions to address this problem, and today these legislators are speaking out and urging the President to follow through on his pledge to put these solutions to work.”

“We applaud the Obama administration for having finalized fuel efficiency standards and proposing limits to the amount of carbon that new power plants can emit in his first term,” said NCEL Board Chairman and Maryland Delegate Jim Hubbard. “Legislators from across the country are urging the President to continue his focus on climate change and use his office to spur the nation to act.”

The legislators cite recent extreme weather events such as Superstorm Sandy, western wildfires and increased frequency of drought among reasons for President Obama to prioritize addressing global warming. They argue that no U.S. community is immune from the effects of global warming, especially when you consider that, in addition to Superstorm Sandy, which left as much as $50 billion dollars of damage in its wake, there were 10 other extreme weather-related disasters in 2012 that have surpassed the $1 billion threshold in damages.  

"Global climate change is not a matter of speculation. It is here and it is devastating homes, infrastructure and entire communities. Taking steps to limit our carbon footprint will improve our health today and it is essential to protecting our planet for future generations," added Representative Jeff Irwin who represents Michigan's 53rd District.

The legislators joined a growing chorus of small businesses, religious leaders, environmentalists and public health advocates in urging President Obama to make tackling global warming a priority.  The group called on the President to finalize proposed standards limiting carbon pollution from new power plants and to propose additional standards to address our nation’s aging power plants.

“I was very pleased that the President highlighted climate change as an issue that he and Congress will be focusing on, in his inaugural address. With the President’s leadership, we must take steps that are so urgently needed to protect our country’s natural beauty, and preserve it for generations to come,” concluded Senator Glenn Anderson.

Read the full letter here.