NWF Decries President Obama Delay on Climate Action

"Delaying action puts our nation unacceptably at risk from the ravages of air pollution and climate change"

09-15-2011 // Tony Iallonardo
Factory smoke stacks

Just days after shelving long needed action to reduce ozone and smog pollution that costs the nation billions, today the Obama administration said it was delaying action on climate change that would rein in carbon pollution from power plants.

Joe Mendelson, NWF policy director, climate and energy programs said:

“Delaying action puts our nation unacceptably at risk from the ravages of air pollution and climate change. With record summer heat, fires raging in Texas and unprecedented floods in the Northeast, the costly impacts of global warming have never been clearer.

“Every day we delay cleaning up our nation’s power plants fattens polluter profits and shrinks our chances of tackling the climate crisis. Today’s decision suggests that when it comes to uncontrolled carbon pollution, the administration appears content with business as usual.”

Cleaning up air pollution has also protected wildlife from harmful emissions that threaten species directly and also contaminate water, degrade habitats, and damage the environment. Despite these efforts,  unlimited carbon pollution that causes climate change, toxic  mercury emissions, and numerous other air pollutants  still  pose a serious threat to all species – including many icons of America’s hunting and fishing heritage.

NWF says it is critical that our nation build on the successful track record of the Clean Air Act in using the law as a tool to tackle urgent threats like climate change and toxic air pollution.  A 2007 Supreme Court case (pdf) confirmed that the Act, as passed by Congress, requires EPA to take action on controlling air pollution that leads to climate change. Now, after decades of federal inaction, the Obama administration seemed poised to move forward on this urgent issue, until today. For far too long, polluters across this country have been allowed to release unlimited amounts of pollution that contributes to climate change.

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