As downpours and tornadoes hit the country, actor and conservation activist Robert Redford had weather on his mind and urged President Obama to follow suit.
In a collaborative campaign with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Redford challenged the president to strike at pollution and singled out coal-fired power plants as the root cause of the problem.
“Four months ago, President Obama spoke of our obligation to combat climate change, saying failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Redford was quoted as saying in a news release. “I just hope he has the courage of his convictions.”
During his two terms, Obama has ordered a doubling of vehicle fuel efficiency standards, promised to respond to climate change and stated that if Congress didn’t act, he would, according to the NRDC.
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Although the president continues to voice his commitment to cutting down on pollution, the situation calls for more action as well as words, according to Redford and the NRDC.
In April, the EPA missed its deadline to issue a limit on carbon emissions that would have been the first power industry restriction of its kind in U.S. history. The Obama administration also missed its December 2012 deadline to create emission standards for newly built, coal-burning energy plants.
“We all need to know what the president is going to do about climate change, and he can start by cutting carbon pollution from dirty power plants,” said Redford in a statement.
On Tuesday, the NRDC released a plan to further urge the president to utilize the Clean Air Act to limit the amount of pollution emitted by existing power plants with the help of the EPA. By setting “state-specific emissions rates” and giving power plant owners “flexibility to meet standards” by modernizing existing plant technology, the plan’s supporters claimed it would “cut carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020.”
Earlier this week, the International Energy Agency concluded that the world’s carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012. The study added that the U.S. produced its lowest rate of carbon emissions since the mid-1990s.
The White House has taken some steps on carbon emissions. In May, the White House released government data to various companies in order facilitate research pertaining to environmental matters. According to a statement issued on both the Office of Science and Technology and Council on Environmental Quality blogs, the president said, “[This] information is a valuable national resource and strategic asset” for improving the health of the environment.
The ads featuring Redford were to air on Washington, D.C., cable and broadcast stations through this week, and can be found online.