Testifying for Wildlife and Climate Action

Earlier today, I testified at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listening session in Washington, DC  to provide input on the agency’s plans to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants.

The Clark Fork River runs through downtown Missoula, MT. photo credit: flickr/Bitterroot
The Clark Fork River runs through downtown Missoula, MT. photo credit: flickr/Bitterroot
I spoke before EPA not just as a policy advocate for National Wildlife Federation, but as someone who has a deep appreciation for the natural resources we put at risk by not quickly addressing climate change.

Here are some excerpts from my full testimony, where I drew upon what I’ve learned working for NWF on behalf of the millions of conservation advocates across the country who are alarmed by what the future holds for our nation’s people, treasured wildlife and the natural resources upon which we all depend if we don’t act now to address climate change.

I am proud to call myself a native of the great state of Montana where I grew up among the majestic Rocky Mountains and crisp, cool waters of the Clark Fork River. I was lucky enough to spend my summers among the trails of Glacier National Park. The ski hills of Snowbowl and Big Mountain were my winter playground. It is with this on my mind that I speak today to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to take bold, aggressive steps to reduce carbon pollution that fuels climate change threatening the treasured landscapes that I know and love.

The historic glaciers of Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030 due to rising global temperatures. Bark beetle is ravaging forests like never before. Communities and habitats are threatened by hotter, drier fire seasons and more unpredictable and variable snowpack. Fish and wildlife, core to the state’s identity and heritage, are under threat from shifting landscapes and warming waters. It is past time we change course and reshape our energy future that is not dependent on climate altering pollution.

Finding Solutions

My testimony before an EPA listening session.
National Wildlife Federation works with nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts from across the country to bring attention to the present and growing threat to wildlife from climate change.  We know that solutions exist to confront this crisis.  Now we need the leadership and vision to put those solutions in place.

[Today, I urged] EPA to put in place a bold plan that will reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants by at least 25% below today’s levels[or 35% from 2005 levels] by 2020  to ensure the U.S. is successful in meeting our international climate commitments. EPA should build upon the work already in done in states and regions across the country to reduce pollution. In addition, the Agency should work with states to put in place plans that will encourage more renewable energy and energy efficiency development, rather than incentivizing expansion of other fossil fuels like natural gas that furthers our dependence on carbon-polluting fuels. Now is the time to set forward a bold energy vision for this country using the tools we have at our disposal.

It is now critical that we continue to support and pressure President Obama and the EPA to fulfill their promise to the American people to implement the President’s Climate Action Plan by setting strong Clean Air Act standards for carbon pollution from existing power plants.

Speak up for Pollution Limits

Take Action ButtonIf you can’t make it, still be sure that your voice is heard. You can speak up by submitting your comments to The Environmental Protection Agency.