by Craig Lyons
Portland Daily Sun news story
The day after President Obama rolled out his policy plans to address climate change, Maine activists lauded his efforts.
“This is an important step,” said Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Pohlmann was joined by Portland City Councilor David Marshall, Waterville Mayor Karen Heck, Dr. Paul Perkins, of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Alysha McClain, of Environment Maine, to show support for Obama’s plan to address climate change.
On Tuesday, the president’s plan includes policy priorities that would limit carbon emissions, invest in energy efficiency measures and support renewable energy development.
Pohlmann said the NRCM is pleased with the priorities the president outlined in his plan, including limiting carbon emissions for power plants, investing in renewable energy and mentioning that he would not support the Keystone XL pipeline if it will increase carbon output.
It’s time to act on climate change, said Pohlmann, and if people do nothing, storms will become more severe, the sea level will continue to rise and air conditions will deteriorate.
The fight against climate change has become a movement, Marshall said, and Maine has already taken steps to combat the issue. He said the state passed in 2009 an act regarding Maine’s energy future, joined the regional greenhouse gas initiative and taken other actions.
“Maine is really a leader when it comes to climate change efforts,” he said.
In Portland, Marshall said the city has worked to reduce its carbon footprint and enact other policies related to climate change.
Marshall said he sees the most important parts of the president’s policy as the limits of power plants’s carbon emission, the standpoint he’s taken on the Keystone XL pipeline, especially how that might relate to the Portland pipeline and the willingness to support investment and use of renewable energy.
While there are no steps that can be taken to reverse climate change, Pohlmann said, people have an obligation to mitigate its effects.
“We can and will meet the challenge,” she said.