West Coast defense


Leaders of California, Oregon, Washington state, and the Canadian province of British Columbia agreed this week to coordinate their efforts to deal with climate change. Because they represent 53 million people and a regional economy of $2.8 trillion, what these leaders do will affect the nation and world.

They propose raising taxes on greenhouse-gas pollution, encouraging greater use of zero-emission vehicles, and promoting access to cleaner fuels for public and private transportation. California and British Columbia have already enacted progressive measures in these fields.

Steps to prevent and respond to climate change are clearly required. New York’s observance of the anniversary of the ravages of Hurricane Sandy illustrates the need for urgent action.

The Obama Administration has had almost no success with climate-change legislation. So the West Coast states are leading the way for the rest of America in tackling one of the nation’s priorities.

These states should be commended for their imagination, farsightedness, and courage in doing so.