November 4, 2013

Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change Applauds President Obama’s Commitment to Climate Change Resilience Preparation

Washington, DC – The Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change strongly supports the executive order issued by President Obama today to enhance climate preparedness and resilience for the United States.  This order firmly grounds Administration policy in the realities of climate science and acknowledges the variety of challenges that our country will face in coming years due to increasing erratic and dangerous weather patterns and events.
It will encourage increased information sharing on all levels of government in order promote smarter, more climate-resilient investments and will help provide state and local governments the tools to identify and make those investments.  The order also requires the Departments of Defense, the Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies to compile an assessment of the effects of climate change on communities, economies, and ecosystems across the nation.
“I commend President Obama’s continued action on climate change,” said Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).   “We are already feeling the effects of climate change through rising sea-levels, devastating wildfires, and deadly superstorms.  These harms pose serious risks to the public health, our national security, and our economy.  The Task Force the President established today will bring the wisdom and experience of state and local leaders to the challenge of protecting our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change.”
“Climate change poses a serious threat to national security, undermines the health and safety of our communities, and represents a substantial risk to taxpayers,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  “I applaud the Administration for issuing an executive order and forming a task force to help communities across the country prepare for the effects of climate change.”
“Climate change is already here, lapping at our doorstep in the form of more extreme weather and rising sea-levels,” said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA). “That’s why we have to deal with the realities of resiliency against these impacts we can no longer avoid, even as we try to cut the pollution that could make climate change even worse.”
“Climate change is increasing the severity of droughts and storms and the intensity of wildfires,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman (CA-33), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Today the President has taken important steps to ensure that the federal government is a good partner in helping our communities prepare for these serious impacts.  This is an important complement to his leadership in fighting for limits on dangerous carbon pollution.”
With the Republican-controlled Congress refusing to enact any type of legislation, comprehensive or otherwise, that would address the serious impacts of climate change, I applaud President Obama for showing leadership on this critical issue,” said Representative Bobby Rush (IL-01). “Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by the most harmful health and environmental effects associated with climate change. The President’s actions will undoubtedly give us a better understanding of how to protect these communities, in particular, and the nation as a whole from the dangerous and more frequent extreme weather events and disasters that the country has been experiencing.”
“In addition to fighting to reverse climate change, we must also ensure that we are as prepared as possible for its inevitable effects, which are already wreaking havoc across our country,” said Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03). “I’m grateful to the President for taking this action and will continue to work toward legislative solutions to combat the man-made sources of climate change and protect our land, soil, and water.”

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