As the Senate prepares to hold hearings about the effects of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan on American businesses, the coal, oil and gas industries that give so generously to political campaigns are yelping that limiting carbon emissions would cut into their profits.
But the rest of us, businesses and people alike, will lose if carbon pollution — and the climate change it causes — continues unchecked.
For farmers, whose livelihoods (and our food) depend on consistent conditions, drought, heat and extreme weather are devastating. On our coasts, towns, property owners and small businesses that line our beaches know that sea level rise is the difference between maintaining livability and values, or a bottom line that’s under water.
And for mountain towns depending on snowfall for tourism and drinking water, climate change is a matter of jobs and survival.
Olympia Snowe, the former Maine senator, summed it up in describing how ocean acidification is killing the shrimp industry. As she put it, “Climate change is taking dollars and jobs away from New England.”
Republicans screech about “job-killing regulations.” But climate change is the real killer of jobs, profits and people.
The Clean Power Plan is an opportunity to do something about it. We all must support this plan.
With local economies around the country threatened by pollution-driven climate change, it’s clear that if our senators are interested in protecting more than coal, oil and gas industry profits, then the Clean Power Plan is our best bet.