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EPA Could Save Arctic

As the threat of climate change becomes an actuality and the polar ice caps begin to melt, the search for a viable solution to curb and combat global warming has intensified.

The biggest obstacle, and there are many, to discerning legitimate strategies has been the national government of the particular area that is under scrutiny.

In the United States, the federal government, specifically Congress, has been a thorn in the side of environmental advocacy groups. As expected, the inaction on domestic efforts to combat climate change has continued toward foreign efforts, especially in the Arctic Circle, which has been the subject of environmentalists’ concern.

It has been well reported in the past weeks of the Arctic Circle ice melting at a faster rate than expected and subsequent sea levels rises being predicted.

This is not good news for any individual or government in the world, yet the Arctic Circle doesn’t necessarily fall under any one nation’s jurisdiction.

What could be the first contemporary example of nations working together to not only address the issue of climate change, but to forge relationships which could be of aid in other ways, has not happened. Instead, it appears governments are shying away from action, taking an isolationist perspective toward climate change, i.e. ignoring it unless the effects are in their backyards.

It could be possible to bypass the obstacles in the United States to take a legitimate stand against rising emissions, which would in turn mitigate the Arctic Circle ice melting, but only fractionally. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a new report explaining how President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could enforce sharp emission cuts at America’s power plants, reducing overall climate pollution 10 percent by 2020—without Congress.

Thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court decision, the EPA already has the authority to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide, and the agency has used that power to impose strict carbon limits on any future power plants that get built. However, the next step, says the NRDC, is to cut emissions from existing plants. The logistics are difficult, but the outcome is a hope at slowing the devastating effects of climate change.

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