In this official comment on the NPS' draft General Management Plan for the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways, Environment Missouri urges a plan that will provide the strongest possible protections for the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.
Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. From Hurricane Sandy to devastating droughts and deadly heat waves, extreme weather events threaten our safety, our health and our environment, and scientists predict things will only get worse for future generations unless we cut the dangerous global warming pollution that is fueling the problem. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, responsible for 41 percent of the nation’s production of carbon dioxide pollution, the leading greenhouse gas driving global warming.
America’s power plants are among the most significant sources of carbon dioxide pollution in the world. The 50 most-polluting U.S. power plants emit more than 2 percent of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide pollution – or more pollution than every nation except six worldwide.
Despite their enormous contribution to global warming, U.S. power plants do not face any federal limits on carbon dioxide pollution. To protect our health, our safety and our environment from the worst impacts of global warming, the United States should clean up the dirtiest power plants.
Overwhelming public support for the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers led to the creation of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in 1964, and the public still supports the rivers and NPS management of the park. The Citizen’s Guide to the Current River serves as an educational tool for environmentalists, citizen advocates and the 1.3 million people who visit the Ozark National Scenic Riverways each year, outlining the stunning beauty of the park, must-see natural wonders and several of the recreational opportunities available to park visitors. The guide also provides a brief history of the park, outlines several threats to the park ecosystem, and provides a list of ways for Missourians to support the park.
Coal- and natural gas-fired power plants pollute our air, are major contributors to global warming, and consume vast amounts of water—harming our rivers and lakes and leaving less water for other uses. Wind energy has none of these problems. It produces no air pollution, makes no contribution to global warming, and uses no water.
America has more than doubled its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008 and we are starting to reap the environmental rewards. Wind energy now displaces about 68 million metric tons of global warming pollution each year—as much as is produced by 13 million cars. And wind energy now saves more than enough water nationwide to meet the needs of a city the size of Boston.