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4 former EPA chiefs put forth 'a Republican case for climate action'


From the August 6, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 6, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor

Four former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency — each of whom served under Republican presidents — say the United States "must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally."

"There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts," the four said in an Aug. 1 op-ed column,  "A Republican Case for Climate Action," published in The New York Times. "Our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth's atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected."

The four former EPA administrators are William D. Ruckelshaus, who headed the agency from its founding in 1970 to 1973, and again from 1983 to 1985; Lee M. Thomas, who was administrator from 1985 to 1989; William K. Reilly, who was EPA chief from 1989 to 1993; and Christine Todd Whitman, who was administrator from 2001 to 2003.

"A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington," the four said. "Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress. He will use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate." 

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