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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks at a news conference to unveil domestic energy and jobs legislation in 2012.

The EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan is a turning point for our nation in tackling climate change. Its goal? Cut climate-altering carbon pollution from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030. The plan gives states the flexibility to achieve pollution cuts in a variety of ways by switching to less carbon-intensive sources, using more renewable energy like wind and solar and improving energy efficiency.

A woman carrying her child in Tanzania fills a bucket with water at a well.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to focus not on the past, but on the future of women and the environment.

Climate change is coming for us all, right? That is more or less correct, but there are a few caveats worth mentioning. When disaster strikes, it doesn’t deal an equal blow to the rich and poor—or to men and women.

Solar in Colorado

The impacts of climate change have already begun to show across the nation. The state of Washington is facing threats of ocean acidification, increased wildfires, decline in snowpack and more severe weather from climate change, all of which cause harm to its economy. On the other side of the country, Delaware has seen the health and environmental impacts of emissions from fossil fuel-generated power plants blowing across the country from western states. However, states also have the solutions.

Oil pipe spill

Forty years ago, the United States stopped exporting almost all domestic crude oil and put into place a strict licensing process that has come to be known as the crude export ban. The idea was that if we could keep American crude at home, we would reduce our reliance on foreign oil. But now, as more and more wells pump crude out of North Dakota and Texas in the biggest oil boom since the 1970s, foreign markets are singing siren songs to oil producers and their allies in Congress.

Salmon filet

Washington’s Department of Ecology is making me cynical, and it’s bumming me out. The Clean Water Act is one of the best things to ever happen to the environment. A bipartisan Congress (remember those?) passed a law that said we need to clean up and protect our nation’s waters so that we can drink the water, swim in the water and fish from the water. Fishing includes eating the fish we catch, and these uses together are known as the “fishable and swimmable” goals of the Clean Water Act.


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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.