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Reader's view: America now has a chance to be climate change leader

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On June 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the largest single source of global warming pollution in America.

Minnesotans already are feeling the consequences of global-warming inaction. Global warming is fueling more frequent and severe weather, including devastating droughts interrupted by major floods. In addition, record-breaking heat and bad-air days threaten public health.

States were given the flexibility to set individualized goals to meet the EPA’s 30 percent total reduction in global warming-causing carbon pollution. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in her announcement, “We’ll turn climate risk into business opportunity; we’ll spur innovation and investment; and we’ll build a world-leading clean-energy economy.”

Minnesotans are counting on their U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to defend these pollution limits against dirty-energy industry attacks. We need their leadership to make sure these much-needed cuts in carbon pollution are finalized and implemented without delay.

The EPA’s announcement was exactly what we have been waiting for. This is now America’s best chance to lead in the fight against climate change and to give our children a legacy of which we can be proud.

Tatiana Hakanson

Minneapolis

The writer is a member of Environment Minnesota.

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