Oceana Renews Call for Obama Administration to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Wake of Senate Controversy
Press Release Date: January 21, 2010
Location: Juneau, AK
In the wake of a series of controversial actions in the United States Senate, Oceana today called for a renewed focus on the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are already causing massive impacts in the Arctic and rising levels of ocean acidity. In 2008, Oceana petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect the Arctic, and ultimately the planet, by establishing regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Oceana has also joined petitions calling for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from aircrafts and the worldwide shipping industry.
Particularly in the wake of recent Senate controversy, Oceana renews a commitment to pursue this petition, and calls on the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change is here and it’s real, the polar ice cap is melting and ocean acidity is increasing. It would be irresponsible, illegal and immoral to avoid enforcing the Clean Air Act to protect our Arctic, the wildlife and people who live there,” said Jim Ayers, longtime Alaskan and Vice President of Oceana.
The EPA has begun a process to establish greenhouse gas regulations, including an “endangerment finding” under the Clean Air Act that declared greenhouse gases a threat to the public health and welfare. These actions have been concurrent to debate in Congress on a climate and energy bill.
“Climate change is too important to be relegated to political theater,” said Jim Ayers, longtime Alaskan and Vice President of Oceana. “The Arctic is in real trouble and our the planet is threatened.”
Oceana’s petition to EPA made the case that greenhouse gas emissions are harming the health and welfare of the Arctic, where shrinking sea ice and melting permafrost are already causing dramatic and perhaps irrevocable changes to local ecosystems and marine life, and to the lives of people who rely on those animals and ecosystems.
“Scientists have told us that if we don’t reduce our emissions we face disaster. The American public is struggling to move to sustainable living and a new future based on clean, affordable, renewable energy,” said Ayers. “Big Oil and Big Coal already control too much of our lives, and we pray that they don’t control the government.”
Oceana’s petition to the EPA presented the full scientific and social argument for immediate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the health and welfare of the Arctic, and ultimately the planet. With the lack of a substantive agreement at last month’s Copenhagen Climate Summit, Oceana has redoubled efforts calling on the United States to regulate national emissions and take a leadership role in reducing worldwide emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change and move to a future based on sustainable living and affordable, renewable energy.
More information on Oceana’s Arctic climate change petition, including a downloadable pdf of the full document, is at: http://na.oceana.org/en/news-media/publications/reports/arctic-climate-change-petition
More information on Oceana’s work to reduce emissions from the shipping industry is at: http://na.oceana.org/en/our-work/climate-energy/shipping-emissions/overview
Oceana’s climate and energy campaign is at: http://na.oceana.org/en/our-work/climate-energy