Governor Tom Corbett reacted to President Obama’s climate change proposal today, calling the initiative a “war on coal” and a “war on jobs.”
“Here in Pennsylvania, nearly 63,000 men and women, including 8,100 miners, work in jobs supported by the coal industry.” Corbett said in a statement. “This proposal is not only a war on coal, as suggested by a White House climate adviser, but also a war on jobs.”
Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest coal producing state in the nation.
President Obama says he is directing the Environmental Protection Agency to complete carbon emissions standards for new and existing power plants.
Corbett’s statement cited other countries, such as China, as the driver behind much of the increase in global carbon emissions.
“This means that global warming requires a global response if there is to be any meaningful action that does not put our nation at an even greater competitive disadvantage,” Corbett said.
As StateImpact Pennsylvania has reported, the Corbett administration made news earlier this year when the former head of the state Department of Environmental Protection questioned the scientific consensus around climate change.
“There is no uniformity within the scientific community on how much the warming is occurring,” former DEP Secretary Michael Krancer told StateImpact Pennsylvania, “And there’s no agreement about how much is attributable to the human part of it and how much is attributable to other factors.”
In fact, there is widespread agreement about climate change within the scientific community.
The most widely cited and broadest scientific consensus comes from a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which found:
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [man-made] greenhouse gas concentrations.
Michael Mann is a globally recognized climate scientist with Penn State University who has contributed to the IPCC’s reports. He praised the president’s proposals.
“It is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years,” Mann said in a statement. “[Obama's] call for carbon emission limits on all coal-fired power plants, not just newly built plants, is a bold step forward.”
In response the president’s speech, 41 state representatives sent a letter to Governor Corbett today, urging him to do more to address climate change.