SALT LAKE CITY— Salt Lake City has joined more than a dozen other U.S. cities in urging national leaders to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and slow global warming. The city council, in passing a resolution Tuesday night, is the latest city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.
“Salt Lake City has taken an active role in addressing climate change for many years. We know the long-term impacts in the Rocky Mountain region are real, and that even with our best local efforts we must strengthen our partnership with the federal government to address climate change provisions only available through the Clean Air Act,” said Soren Simonsen, chair of the Salt Lake City Council. “We join many U.S. cities, as well as many advocates in our own community, in asking the Environmental Protection Agency to accelerate its efforts.”
“By passing this resolution, Salt Lake City recognizes the gravity of the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Seattle to Pittsburgh, have spoken with an urgent message to our national leaders: If we’re going to avert a climate catastrophe, the time to act is now.”
In Utah, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change examined climate trends in the state. Among the key findings made by the scientist-led panel are that Utah can expect to warm faster than other parts of the world, resulting in fewer frost days, longer growing seasons and more heat waves. If the trend continues, there will be a decline in snowpack and a threat of severe and prolonged droughts. Utah should expect less Colorado River water and, unless precipitation rises, lower lake levels and increased saltiness.
“I’m heartened that the Salt Lake City Council recognizes the danger of climate disruption and is urging the Obama administration to quit dithering and use the tools at hand in the Clean Air Act to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bob Brister, membership coordinator for the Utah Environmental Congress. “It’s important that local governments urge action by the federal government on this urgent local, national and global concern when the administration is failing to uphold its responsibility.”
The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working with volunteers around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Similar resolutions have been approved in Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Seattle, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 350,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
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