August 9, 2016

Senator Whitehouse Meets with Mayor Biskupski to Discuss Effect of Climate Change on Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, UT – Continuing his tour of Utah this week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sat down with Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski to discuss the climate policies she has pursued and the challenges the City must face as a result of climate change.  Whitehouse, who met earlier in the day with the heads of various City departments and community groups, applauded the Mayor and City leaders for their ambitious renewable energy goals and advocating for climate research and policy action.

“Salt Lake City’s leaders get that climate change is real and already having an effect on their city,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and co-founder of the Senate Climate Action Task Force to help build support for action to address carbon pollution.  “They also get that climate change demands action at every level of government.  The Mayor and City officials have crafted strong renewable energy goals and sought to expand climate research so Utahns will know what to expect and how to adapt in years to come.  I appreciate their hard work, and thank them for joining the fight for climate action.”

“Salt Lake City is in the midst of one of the hottest and driest summers on record,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We are facing threats to our water supply, $1 billion ski industry, and quality of life as a result of runaway climate change.  Incremental progress to combat this threat is no longer enough. We’re proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Senator Whitehouse in acknowledging these risks and acting aggressively to implement the solutions that are right in front of us.”

Earlier this summer, Mayor Biskupski, Members of the Salt Lake City Council, and leaders of City departments and divisions launched a new clean energy and climate change initiative called “Climate Positive,” which is the result of a joint Mayor-Council Resolution that commits the City to new clean energy and carbon reduction goals.  The City is also a lead organizer of the Utah Climate Action Network, which brings together nonprofits, private businesses, religious groups, and researchers in the state to promote climate change research and action in Utah. 

The Joint Resolution on Renewable Energy and Carbon Emissions Reduction Goals, adopted on July 12, commits Salt Lake City to achieving two interrelated goals.  This includes transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy for community-wide electricity needs by 2032, plus an overall reduction in total community greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80 percent by 2040. It also puts in place a reporting mechanism to track the City’s progress.

Senator Whitehouse is a leading advocate for climate action in the Senate.  Every week the Senate is in session, Whitehouse speaks out on the Floor of the Senate, urging Congress to wake up to the threat of climate change.  Whitehouse has also introduced legislation to put a fee on carbon, establishing a market incentive to reduce emissions while generating substantial revenue to be returned to the American people.


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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921