Our growing clean energy economy — like much of the overall economy — has taken a hit due to economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes at a troublesome time, as the climate crisis is making extreme weather events more frequent and severe throughout the world, while our own state of Utah is entering the summer months ill-equipped to fight the wildfire season due to a persistent and severe drought unlike any we’ve seen.
But despite these great challenges, there’s still reason to be optimistic. We now have a president who has promised to address the climate crisis and has wasted no time in mobilizing the federal government in response by unleashing a series of executive orders to support our country’s clean energy economy. President Joe Biden has also nominated a host of leaders to his “climate cabinet” to ensure these policies are implemented to the fullest extent of the law. Coupled with the American Jobs Plan, these domestic initiatives will work to create new jobs, cut carbon pollution, and expand clean energy so that the U.S. can act swiftly to protect future generations.
With the U.S. back in the Paris Climate Accord and a convening of global leaders imminent, the table is truly set to advance meaningful action on climate change. Next week, during the Leaders Summit on Climate, President Biden will unveil America’s pollution reduction goals and urge leaders to outline their efforts to invest in clean energy technology and infrastructure. This summit is a critical moment in the fight for climate action, sending a clear signal that tackling this global crisis is a central priority for the Biden Administration.
With this stage set, the time is now for Sen. Mitt Romney to act so that Utah can be part of the climate solution.
As a participant in the 2021 U.S. Senate Youth Program, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with our nation’s top leaders, including Romney. Speaking with the senator was a deeply enriching and educational experience, teaching me to trust and vote alongside my values in our political landscape.
Romney understands the importance of combating climate change and the need to do so urgently. He has set aside partisanship for progress by standing apart from many of his colleagues in the Senate in acknowledging the role humans play in driving the climate crisis.
As an activist and youth myself, I encourage the senator to answer the call to engage in climate action in all levels of his influence. Specifically, I ask that Romney support the American Jobs Plan, an ambitious plan to invest in our communities and strengthen Utah’s clean energy economy.
Now is the time for bold and ambitious climate policies. As we rebuild our economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to pursue green infrastructure in our Utah communities, and we need Sen. Romney to lead the way. My future and the future of our planet depends on it.
Aarushi Verma is a senior at Skyline High School, the lead student organizer of the Granite School District 100% Clean Energy Campaign and co-coordinator of the Sunrise Movement SLC Hub.