“President Obama ended 2011 by taking a big step for healthy children -- moving to get mercury out of our air, water and food. He should begin 2012 with another huge step toward a safer future, by using tonight's State of the Union to reaffirm his commitment to addressing climate pollution from power plants. The costs of delay are profound. This is the right time for the President to take a stand for the common-sense rules and clean energy technologies essential to our long-term health, security, and prosperity.
“If the President declares a goal of expanding domestic natural gas production, he must also lay out what's needed to ensure this production is safe: full disclosure of hydraulic fracturing chemicals and vigorous enforcement of strong regulations for well integrity, groundwater protection, wastewater disposal, and capture or flaring of methane emissions. It's clear how to get this done. Strong recommendations in all of these areas have been sent to the Secretary of Energy by the DOE advisory board on which I was honored to serve. The recommendations are awaiting action. It's time to put them into practice.
“As the President told the staff at EPA earlier this month, ‘We don’t have to choose between dirty air and dirty water or a growing economy. We can make sure that we are doing right by our environment and, in fact, putting people back to work all across America. When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, we create new jobs building and installing all sorts of pollution-control technology.’
“The President added, ‘Our next generation is so much more attuned to these issues than I was when I was growing up. I can tell you when I sit down and I talk to my kids, probably the area where they have the most sophisticated understanding of policy is when it comes to the environment. They understand that the decisions we make now are going to have an impact on their lives for many years to come. And their instincts are right. So your mission is vital.’
“The President was right to say those things to the hardworking staff at EPA. Tonight, he should deliver the same important message to the American people.”
- Fred Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund
EDF will have experts available to comment after tonight's speech. Please contact Sharyn Stein at 202-905-5718 to arrange interviews.
Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See http://twitter.com/EnvDefenseFund; http://facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund