More than 100 people packed into a room at the Parkville Senior Center in Hartford to see a strong slate of leaders from the local, state and national level talk about the need to take action and what Connecticut is already doing to take on climate change. While the room itself warmed, one common thread echoed throughout the event: Connecticut is nationally leader in this effort already. Mayor Pedro Segarra welcomed everyone before highlighting the costs of extreme weather on the community, specifically the losses suffered by businesses when they lose power. And Governor Daniel P. Malloy noted just how much Connecticut is doing to address the cause of that extreme weather and climate change: "There is no state in the nation doing more on the issue of climate change than...Connecticut."
Malloy didn't limit his praise for Connecticut, however, as he introduced two other Obama Administration officials: "The President has been laser-like in his expression to combat climate change," he said. "He has shown leadership. The President gets it." Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal was also complimentary, saying "President Obama has done more to combat climate change than just about all the others combined."
But as EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding later noted, what Connecticut has done is "exceptional." Spalding, along with CEQ Chairwoman Nancy Sutley detailed the President's plan to cut carbon pollution, and the effort by his Administration to work with states to address climate change. State Senator John Fontara said other states could follow Connecticut's example. In closing, 91-year old Hazel Magwood told of being trapped in her home during a snow storm in later winter. Not only was she without power and unable to leave, the senior center was also closed. Extreme weather put her life at risk.
When the federal government and states work together as closely as the Obama Administration and Connecticut, we can make meaningful progress on combatting climate change. Will you stand up, say #IWILL, and take action?