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Supporters of Climate Change Action Say "Get On the Bus!"

Photo: The National Climate Change Bus Tour makes its way through North Carolina. Courtesy: Keven Kennedy
Photo: The National Climate Change Bus Tour makes its way through North Carolina. Courtesy: Keven Kennedy
July 12, 2013

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Today Asheville is the first stop in North Carolina for a 21-state bus tour rallying support for the new national climate change plan President Barack Obama announced late last month.

The “I Will Act on Climate” bus tour continues to Greensboro later today, then Wilmington on Monday.

At scheduled events, business and government leaders are expected to talk with community members about potential new jobs and other benefits that come with investing in renewable energies.

Erika Schneider, marketing and outreach coordinator with Sundance Power Systems in Weaverville, is on the tour. She compares official action to address climate change to a bus with no driver – until now.

"Obama is stepping up from the back seat, taking the wheel and steering us towards smarter policies and embracement of solutions," she says.

The bus tour is supported by several local, state and national organizations representing a wide array of activists, business leaders, health experts, climate scientists and national security experts.

The president's plan will increase funding for clean energy technology by 30 percent.

Sundance Power Systems manufactures solar panels at its western North Carolina facility. Schneider says additional funding will undoubtedly boost companies like hers.

"There's no doubt it will be a support to the industry if we're going to move forward to the clean energy technologies,” she says. “Those things can make a huge difference. "

Between Greensboro and Wilmington is Spring Lake, a suburb of Fort Bragg. The town's mayor, Chris Rey, says he's hoping the federal incentives for clean energy technologies will help diversify his town's economy.

"You're hoping that a small tech company is going to take some of the economic incentives that are going to be provided by the federal government,” he says, “and come to a community like a Spring Lake and create jobs, create opportunities."

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC