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January 14, 2013

New Campaign Calls for Climate, Clean Energy Leadership from President Obama

Today, the Sierra Club is launching a new campaign that lays out a clear roadmap for President Obama to take action on climate disruption and clean energy. As the President’s second term opens, millions of Americans are looking for real leadership on the climate crisis. The East Coast continues to clean up after Hurricane Sandy, last year was the hottest on record, much of the country is still mired in record drought – and the effects on American families and their pocketbooks are very real.

When my daughter gets a little older and asks me what my generation did to help stop climate disruption, I want to be able to not only tell her about my work, but also about the leadership President Obama showed in his second term to protect this planet for her and future generations. That’s why we created this campaign – to call on the President to provide real leadership on climate disruption, and to make the right call on the many climate and clean energy decisions before him in his second term.

The Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy brings together the Sierra Club’s 2.1 million members and supporters to push the Obama administration to tackle the most serious environmental crisis of our age. It outlines a host of actions the Obama administration can take – from issuing strong standards for coal pollution, to protecting public health and the planet from fracking contamination, to rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, to doubling down on clean energy – that all add up to a strong climate and clean energy legacy for the President.

You can become a leader in this push, too. Today we’re launching the Sierra Club's 100 Days of Action on Climate and Clean Energy, which will run through Earth Day on April 22. People across the nation will be holding events and taking action, and I encourage you to join us. Attend a town hall meeting or rally in your community, or submit your own event, and share your story about the effects of climate disruption.

Climate disruption is solvable if President Obama and the federal agencies he leads roll up their sleeves in 2013 and take bold action for clean energy and to slow climate change. As our climate agenda makes clear, there are a host of decisions the President will be making in the coming months and years that have the potential to set our nation on a course to turn the corner on climate disruption, and to power the nation with clean energy that doesn’t make our families sick.

One of the best ways to tackle this is to hold coal polluters accountable for their pollution, rather than allowing them to dump it into our communities. After all, burning coal for energy is not only a major source of climate-warming pollution, but it is also poisoning our air and water and making Americans sick.

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency must adopt and enforce coal pollution protections for carbon -- including from existing power plants -- soot, smog, sulfur, water toxics, and coal ash, and set water pollution standards that will end mountaintop removal mining.

And as we transition away from coal, we must make the U.S. a leader in clean energy. Clean energy like solar, wind, geothermal and efficiency can create millions of good new jobs, reenergize the economy, and rebuild our infrastructure – and during their second term, the Obama Administration can help ensure that the U.S. is a leader in the clean energy economy of the twenty-first century.

We live in an amazing country full of leaders and activists in local communities who are already pushing for clean energy.  Now it’s time our national leaders – especially President Obama – take bold action as well. The science is clear, and the damage to our planet and our economy is real. We can tackle climate disruption, and put the nation on a path to meet the emissions reductions that science demands, but only if America acts now.

Take a moment to check out the campaign, and join us.

-- Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Director

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