In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama made a firm commitment on climate change, declaring "if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will." Last week, the president laid out his plan to do just that -- an action that has been met with praise from Congressional leaders like Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Today, Sen. Whitehouse outlined why he believes the president's climate plan is a necessary action that will protect American lives and livelihoods.
"We pay for power plant pollution through higher health costs. In Rhode Island, as in many parts of the country, we often have "bad air days" during the summer, when seniors, infants, and people with breathing disorders are urged to stay indoors. The number and severity of these days grow with hotter weather, triggering asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments. Bad air also causes hospital trips and lost work and school days, all of which put costs on our communities.
Not a dime of these costs is included in the polluters' cost of doing business. You and I are picking up the tab as they freeload. And Congress is asleep at the wheel, lulled by the industry's influence peddlers.
The president's plan will force the polluters to clean up their act. It sends a clear message that we won't sit idly by while they dump their pollution, and all its costs, onto the rest of us. And maybe, just maybe, it will knock Congress out of its slumber."
You can read Senator Whitehouse's blog in its entirety at Huffington Post.