DOVER, Del.- It was almost a year and a half ago that Gov. Jack Markell signed Executive Order 41, calling on cabinet leaders to form a plan to deal with climate change. Now Markell has released the plan, and is looking for the public's opinion to form a final plan.
Markell took to YouTube Friday for his weekly address. Amongst many other policies, Markell suggested cutting emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The idea follows a recent DNREC study, showing a majority of residents are supportive of government action to alleviate the problems of climate change.
In 2008, Delaware emitted more than 16.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Markell is now calling for a reduction of 30 percent, bringing that number down to approximately 11.5 million metric tons.
"Climate change effects our environment, our economy and our way of life," said Markell in the video.
Markell said that until May 30th, the state would be taking in public comment, in order to form a final platform for dealing with climate change.
"Climate change impacts all of us," he said. "And we all have a responsibility to take action."
The strategy follows three courses of action: "Adaption and Resiliency," "Flood Avoidance," and "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation." The third category calls for a reduction of the 30 percent by 2030.
At the Delaware Sea Grant in Lewes, Wendy Carey told WBOC that action was needed to keep Delawareans safe.
"The entire coast of Delaware," she said. "And most all of Delaware communities are susceptible to climate change impacts. Whether it be through increased precipitation events or rising sea levels. And increases in storm surge elevations."
The question that has some GOP legislators concerned with what cuts would be made, and with potential regulations. Just under 2/3 of the emissions in Delaware come from either electricity or transportation.
House Minority Leader Dan Short from Seaford said that at this point, a lot of questions remain about the plan. Short said he feared the emission cuts could mean more costs statewide.
"By pushing down emissions," he said. "What does that mean for the costs of things like electricity? What are the implications for a new business getting in to business as you put forth new regulations?"