Today's announcement by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is an important step forward for our nation and our planet. From now on, future coal- and gas-fired power plants must take responsibility for their global warming pollution by reducing or capturing their overall emissions.
This is a critical achievement for President Barack Obama and his administration. In the face of an intransigent and inactive Congress, the President has made halting the climate crisis a priority. The policies announced today, combined with the rest of the President's Climate Action Plan, will put us on the path toward solving the climate crisis, but Congress must also soon face the reality of the situation.
Three years ago, Congress failed to put a price on carbon and, in doing so, allowed global warming pollution to continue unabated. We have seen the disturbing consequences that the climate crisis has to offer—from a drought that covered 60% of our nation to Superstorm Sandy which wreaked havoc and cost the taxpayers billions, from wildfires spreading across large areas of the American West to severe flooding in cities all across our country—we have seen what happens when we fail to act. We need a price on carbon. We need it now.
The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an important milestone in the study of climate science. It reaffirms the overwhelming consensus that global warming is occurring and is caused by humans. I commend the authors of this important study on their dedication and hard work.
The climate crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. From not only the warming of the earth with higher global temperatures, but also from strengthening storms and expanding droughts to melting ice and rising seas, the costs of carbon pollution are already being felt by governments, corporations, taxpayers and families around the world. The climate crisis will affect everything that we love and alter the course of our future.
Now, more than ever, we must come together to solve this global crisis. We must act decisively, rise to the occasion and solve this monumental challenge.
It is time -- indeed overdue -- to put an economic price on carbon and a political price on denial.