Congress, local leaders should step up to tackle climate change

Olivia Perfetti

The U.S. Supreme Court recently dealt a heavy blow to efforts to tackle climate change. Its ruling in the case of West Virginia v. EPA restricts the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions from power plants, which account for about a quarter of the nation’s climate pollution.

Science says that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – like extreme heat, intense flooding and rising sea levels – we should be doing everything we can to drastically cut carbon pollution and transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. But now, the agency we tasked with leading this transition has lost a critical tool to get the job done.

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In the face of the Supreme Court’s anti-environmental ruling, it's more important than ever that our elected leaders take steps to rein in climate pollution. Congress should amend the Clean Air Act to give the EPA full authority to tackle climate change and also pass bold investments in climate action and clean energy; federal officials should approve the pending proposal to reduce methane from oil and gas drilling; and legislators in Harrisburg should swiftly implement policies to transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy.

There’s no time to wait. We need our leaders to take action now so that we have clean air to breathe and a safe, livable planet to call home.

Brunner Island Power Plant, Wednesday, February 14, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo