WASHINGTONTrout Unlimited welcomed today EPAs Clean Power Plan as an important step for substantially lowering greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, the largest source of climate change-causing emissions.
No one knows the adverse impacts of climate change better than sportsmen and women who cherish the nations coldwater fisheries. Trout and salmon need cold, clean water to survive. Climate change poses a significant long-term threat to North Americas coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, both by increasing water temperatures in critical habitat areas and by contributing to the frequency and severity of adverse weather events. Without bold action, the very future of our trout and salmon fisheries are jeopardized.
TUs Board of Trustees recently adopted a policy on climate change and responsible energy which summarizes well TUs position:
TU recognizes the powerful connections between our Nations energy choices and climate change. TU understands that avoiding the severe harmful effects that climate change will have on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds requires both a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from existing energy production as well as a fundamental shift in energy sources from fossil fuels to low-carbon technologies and conservation. Accordingly, TU supports policies and comprehensive systems mechanisms that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hasten the shift to low-carbon energy sources and conservation.
Todays announcement from EPA is the type of action that is needed from our state and federal resource agencies to give trout and salmon a fighting chance. The Clean Power Plan relies on the substantial flexibility and proven effectiveness of the Clean Air Act. TU has long championed the Clean Air Acts programs which have substantially reduced the Nations sulfur emissions which has drastically reduced the harmful impacts of acid rain on our waterways.
As we welcome the Clean Power Plan today, TU will continue its primary work to advocate policies and approaches that make communities and landscapes more resilient to the effects of climate change and to do so in a way that benefits wild and native coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. TU staff and volunteers are on the ground every day working with our federal, state and local partners to protect, reconnect, restore, and sustain trout and salmon habitats. Our work to build resilient watersheds is more urgent than ever, as the drought and heat persist in the western U.S., damaging trout and salmon fisheries throughout the region.