U.S. sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to President Obama today, describing the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused in New York, to urge him to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
Scientists have warned that global warming is helping to intensify extreme weather events, and power plants are the largest source of the carbon pollution that's fueling global warming. The letter, which was also signed by senators from Connecticut and New Jersey, was loudly applauded by Environment New York and others.
"Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand are showing what leadership in tackling global warming looks like," said Eric Whalen, field organizer with Environment New York. "Hurricane Sandy was a tragic example of how devastating extreme weather events can be for New York communities. By pushing President Obama to clean up the largest sources of the pollution fueling global warming, sens. Schumer and Gillibrand are standing up for those communities and for future generations of New Yorkers."
Hurricane Sandy caused more than $32.8 billion worth of damage, destroyed or damaged 300,000 homes, and led the deaths of 48 people in New York. Scientists have warned that global warming is helping to intensify extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, and will lead to even more extreme weather in the future. More than 9 out of 10 New Yorkers live in areas hit by at least one weather-related disaster in the last six years.
Environment New York said power plants are the largest single source of the carbon pollution that's fueling global warming, yet there are currently no federal limits on these facilities' carbon emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed limits on carbon pollution from new power plants last year, and 3.2 million Americans commented in support of the standards, but the administration has yet to finalize the standards - or propose limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.
"President Obama has said we have an obligation to future generations to address global warming. We and millions of Americans agree, and we urge the president to heed the call by sens. Schumer and Gillibrand to move ahead with cleaning up the largest sources of the pollution fueling global warming: power plants," Whalen said.