Center for American Progress

Congress Needs to Address U.S. Emissions of Heat-Trapping Pollution

Congress Needs to Address U.S. Emissions of Heat-Trapping Pollution

By failing to enact policies to curb U.S. emissions of heat-trapping pollution, Congress is imposing a costly unfunded mandate on Americans.

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There are many reasons why we should do something about climate change. One of them is that we cannot afford not to.

Roughly one year ago, Superstorm Sandy swept along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, eventually reaching as far west as Ohio and Michigan. The hurricane caused more than 150 deaths, damaged 659,000 homes, and disrupted millions of lives as transit systems, cellular phone networks, and other critical services failed or closed. The region suffered $65 billion in damages and economic losses, including power outages that temporarily closed 200,000 small businesses and led to 2 million lost workdays. Almost a year later, in September, a catastrophic Colorado storm dumped a year’s worth of rain in about 24 hours, washing away roads in Boulder and nearby towns and causing thousands of people to flee. The storm caused eight deaths and an estimated $2 billion in property losses.

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