Just one week after President Obama reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to fighting global warming, nearly 900,000 residents across U.S. had no power Wednesday morning due to snow and ice storms the night before.
The hardest hit state was Pennsylvania, according to Reuters, with more than 640,000 people losing their power as of Wednesday morning. Ice storms also took out power in Maryland, West Virginia, Arkansas, New Jersey, Kentucky, Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and New York.
Exelon, a major U.S. utility, reports that more than 563,000 of its customers in Pennsylvania and Maryland are without power. Exelon is also a major backer of efforts to combat global warming. The company has recently been divesting itself of coal-fired power plants and been investing in renewable energy.
“Climate change is real,” the company says on its website. “Public concern about climate change is bringing new demand for environmentally friendly products and services to meet future energy needs and Exelon is leading the way. Exelon’s nuclear fleet, diverse renewable energy portfolio—hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, solar–and responsible fossil generation position us to reliably and cost-competitively compete in the markets where we operate.”
Now the company is faced with hundreds of thousands of customers who lack power from fierce snow and ice storms. This past month has been a cold one for much of the U.S. The East Coast and Midwest have experienced freezing temperatures and snowfall, which has reignited the debate over whether or not global warming is actually happening.
Environmentalists and climate scientists argue that such extremely cold weather is symptomatic of rising global temperatures and a changing climate. As the temperature continues to rise, winters will become colder and summers will become hotter.
Global warming skeptics counter that global temperatures have not risen in the past 17 years despite predictions that the polar ice caps would have completely melted by now. Activists have used every weather event as proof of global warming, skeptics argue, because the data no longer supports the theory of man-made global warming.