Although recent national news has focused on the latest political events and gun attacks, the Obama administration's new rules forcing reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants is far more important ("Carbon rules can work," June 2).

Carbon dioxide traps sun-heated air at the earth's surface, raising temperatures and sea levels. As 2003's Hurricane Isabel and later Superstorm Sandy showed us, places like historic Annapolis, Fells Point and the entire Eastern Shore of Maryland — not to mention the Jersey Shore and New York City — could be inundated in years to come. Parts of Norfolk, Va., are already being abandoned due to frequent flooding.

Sudden, intense rainstorms have become more frequent to the point that I keep my convertible covered with a tarp whenever I'm not driving it. We can't afford to delay action any longer, especially since Maryland is affected by emissions from Midwestern power plants.

The day after the new federal standards were announced, China also declared it would cap carbon dioxide emissions at 2016 levels. That was a major step. Developing nations like China and India will more likely act if already prosperous areas like the United States and Europe show a true commitment to make tough choices.

Soon the Environmental Protection Agency will begin accepting public comment on the regulations, so don't remain passive. Tell the EPA you favor the new rules and even stronger action to prevent eventual catastrophe.

Larry Carson, Columbia

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