PACIFIC PALISADES, CA – December 4, 2013: Yesterday, Protect Our Winters and a large group of representatives, businesses, and athletes from the winter sports community held a conference call with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Their message, in this first ever connection between the snowsports community and the nation's leading agency working to solve climate change was: we will help support your plan and create a movement to solve climate change in key states.
Calling climate change "the most significant air quality and economic challenge of our time," Administrator McCarthy outlined their plans to curb carbon emissions as part of President Obama's landmark Climate Action Plan unveiled last June. The President tasked the EPA with regulating carbon emissions from industrial power plants, with authority granted to them under the Clean Air Act. Industrial power plants are responsible for 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
The conversation was attended by some of the most notable names in winter sports. They include, among others, professional mountaineer Conrad Anker, Burton Snowboards Founder and President Donna Carpenter, professional skier Pep Fujas, Brand President, Black Diamond Equipment, Ryan Gellert and President of the Snowsports Industry Association (SIA), David Ingemie. In total, there were more than twenty attendees from the snow sports community, committed to fighting climate change and better understanding the efforts of the EPA and how we can work together towards a common goal of reducing carbon in our atmosphere.
"Your economic impact is important, but your first-hand experience with climate change and your passion as a community is what's going to make a difference," said Administrator McCarthy.
"We are truly honored that Administrator McCarthy took time out of her busy day to meet with our group. It was inspiring hear her commitment to the issue and the environment," said POW's Executive Director Chris Steinkamp. "We have a group of very influential athletes and industry brands ready and willing to drive this issue forward at the grassroots level, and working in lock step and supporting the EPA is critical now."
The 45-minute conversation focused on how POW and the snow sports community can play a role in meaningful climate action. Since the states will play an integral role in addressing carbon pollution from currently operating power plants, Protect Our Winters will explore opportunities to reach out to local and state leadership in mountain regions. POW will continue the dialogue with the EPA staff to ensure that this conversation was the first of many strategic discussions.
Please join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag: #ActOnClimate, @ProtectWinters
Protect Our Winters (POW) is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united together towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and mountain economies. Founded in 2007, POW re-invests contributions in educational initiatives, advocacy and supporting community-based initiatives. For more information, visit http://www.protectourwinters.org.