Front Porch Blog

Reflections on the President’s Climate Change Speech

On June 25, I gathered with my co-workers to watch President Obama unveil his vision for addressing climate change. It was encouraging to hear the president frame the issue in terms of a “moral imperative,” and the fact that he’s ready to take on power plant emissions — the single largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. — shows that he’s serious.

But no energy plan can be built on a moral foundation without ensuring that areas like Appalachia, heavily impacted by the country’s continued over-reliance on fossil fuels, don’t get left behind. The devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining has no place in a 21st Century energy plan.

President Obama must stop industry from pushing the costs of doing business off on communities and our environment. More than 20 health studies have shown that residents of Appalachian coal counties, particularly those living near mountaintop removal sites, suffer higher cancer rates, more birth defects, and have shorter life spans than other citizens.

The administration needs to address these immediate issues while also doing more to invest in energy efficiency and renewable sources — particularly in Appalachia. Such investments will go far to create jobs, economic security and environmental health for our region.

I applaud the president’s determination to make the issue of climate change a top priority on the national agenda. Appalachian Voices stands ready to work with his administration to achieve a new energy future, for Appalachia and America.

Appalachian Voices' Executive Director, Tom holds a degree in law from UCLA and has a life-long appreciation for Appalachia's mountains and culture. An avid hiker and whitewater rafter, his latest pleasure is in sharing with his kids a deep respect and appreciation of nature.


4 COMMENTS
  1. I applaud Obama for saying that he is making climate change a top priority; however, his past record does not mean that saying it = determination.

    He still kow-tows to the resource-extraction industries — and tolerates MTR & fracking for natural gas — as well as to the nuclear industry. These are all absolutely unacceptable.

    pkc

  2. Jennifer A. Summer says:

    Most of the major power plants are being funded to use biomass. Who is on the board of commissioners and in control since the savings are not being passed down to the consumer. Are these foreign owned like major blocks of NYC, major ports, and major motion picture and music companies? Something must be done as well to tax and license these major corporations including power plants to lower our debt and reverse the use of radioactive material. Thank you.

  3. Sorry, but I’ve learned not to believe a word that comes out of his mouth anymore. He might say one thing but will turn around and do something completely different! He’s as slick as they come. he’ll look you right in the eye and lie to your face. Anyone who believes anything he says is just setting theirselves up for heartbreak. I’ll believe he’s serious about climate change when he stops the fracking and says no to the Keystone pipeline, until then he’s just blowing more smoke up our butts!

  4. Todd Gervais says:

    Tongue in cheek. Suzanne’s right “he’s as slick as they come.” Always looking out for number one is how I’ve viewed these leaders. Appeasement is their middle name. This is another one those, let’s wait and see.

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