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Climate change threat hits close to home for Md. [Letter]

EcosystemsGlobal ChangeConservationEnvironmental PoliticsMartin O'MalleyEnergy Saving

Maryland's coastal zones are the lifeblood of our state and especially vulnerable to sea level. That's why the terrifying news of the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet melt hits particularly close to home ("Historic sites face climate threats," May 19).

Scientists have referred to the West Antarctic ice collapse as a "tipping point" in global climate change. This collapse is not only irreversible but could have a domino effect on the entire ice sheet, raising sea level by three times what has already melted. The urgency for action is clear. We must reduce the amount of carbon pollution fueling global warming, especially from the largest sources: In America, that's power plants.

We're making progress here in Maryland, with strong policies to encourage clean energy like solar, onshore and offshore wind, and energy efficiency. Still, Maryland's power plants and top industrial facilities released nearly 25 million metric tons of carbon in 2012.

More needs to be done, and the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to limit carbon from power plants is a big opportunity to make more progress here in Maryland. I hope state leaders like Gov. Martin O'Malley seize the moment.

Lia Kurihara, Olney

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