Letter: Obama climate initiative lays good groundwork

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Last week, President Obama delivered his new plan for dealing with climate change. He began his speech with a lengthy, explicit endorsement of the science confirming humankind’s contribution to global climate change. With his premise of preserving our planet set, he introduced a three-part outline that will reduce U.S. carbon emissions, better prepare the U.S. for the severe weather and geographical challenges that will accompany a warmer climate, and reassert the U.S. as a global leader in contending with climate change.

Among the most impressive portions of the plan were a call for the Environmental Protection Agency to finally regulate carbon emissions by existing and future power plants, a call for the Interior Department to permit enough renewable energy projects to power at least 6 million homes with clean energy by 2020, and a call for the U.S. government to cease its support for constructing new coal-fired power plants in developing countries.

This plan is a crucial step toward taking climate change seriously as a nation. I hope Congress, key government agencies, state and local governments, and dominant industry players will take advantage of this groundwork and build on this momentum to make positive changes that will help protect this nation and this planet from climate change.

Joshua Snyder