President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan
United Methodist Women Responds
Resolution 1026, The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church(2012)
In a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday, President Obama unveiled his plan to help curb climate change, focusing on energy providers and laying out comprehensive changes to the way the country consumes energy.
“I commend President Obama for using his moral authority and political power as head of state to move our nation forward in our urgent need to address climate change,” stated Harriett Jane Olson, general secretary and CEO of United Methodist Women. “In this time of deep need to transform our economy and our sources of energy, we recognize, like President Obama, that the eyes of the future are on us."
“Given the limited political space President Obama has in which to operate,” Olson continued, “we appreciate his willingness to move in multiple directions in addressing both the causes of climate change as well as its consequences. We need a far-ranging, comprehensive approach in terms of both domestic and international policy if we are to adequately meet the challenge before us.”
Overwhelming evidence shows that our fossil-fuel-based economy threatens the earth, its ecologies and its people. As we become more dependent on fossil fuels, ecologically harsher techniques are used to extract oil and gas. Extraction at tar sands and the gas drilling technique fracking degrade land, water and air. We need to transform our economy, our energy needs and sources, and our economy's relationship with the natural world.
“We are encouraged by the new announcement that the EPA will craft regulations to cover emissions from existing coal-fired power plants,” Olson stated. “Investing in energy efficiency and other climate transition measures is a wise economic course that will create jobs and contribute to economic vitality for all. It also makes prudent economic sense to stop providing tax subsidies to the petroleum industry.”
Though encouraged that large-scale changes are being proposed, United Methodist Women has the following concerns:
- The president’s goal of a 17% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 is too conservative.
- We oppose further investment in nuclear energy in the United States or internationally.
- We question the use of fracking as a safe alternative to coal and oil.
- We caution against approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- We urge the president to go further in halting new investments in fossil fuels at the World Bank and regional development banks.
- We urge the United States to give greater priority to addressing the energy needs of the poorest and most vulnerable among us in international negotiations.
See the following resolutions in The Book of Resolutions (2012):
Resolution 1001: Energy Policy Statement
Resolution 1002: U.S. Energy Policy and United Methodist Responsibility
Resolution 1003: Nuclear Safety in the United Methodist church
Resolution 1023: Environmental Justice for a Sustainable Future
Resolution 1031: Resolution on Global Warming