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Blumenauer & Bonamici Urge EPA Acting Administrator to Read National Climate Assessment

January 28, 2019
Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) led their colleagues in sending a letter today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking the Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, to familiarize himself with the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate Assessment. 

 

The Members wrote: “Although we are relieved that you acknowledged that climate change poses an existential threat to our way of life, it is unacceptable that you admitted you have not been fully briefed on the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate Assessment.”

 

 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the 13 participating agencies in the U.S. Global Change Research Program. EPA scientists contributed to the National Climate Assessment (NCA) and worked through a collaborative, peer-reviewed process to inform its findings. It is the most comprehensive science-based evaluation of the consequences of climate change, the risks of inaction, and potential adaptation strategies for the United States to date.

 

“The findings of the National Climate Assessment are incredibly dire for the U.S. economy and the environment, which the EPA is tasked with protecting. The Assessment outlines the devastating effects that climate change will have including catastrophic wildfires, crop failures, dramatic sea level rise, more acidic oceans, and crumbling infrastructure. The Assessment also makes clear that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only explanation for the observed global warming over the last six decades and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are now higher than at any time in the last three million years.”

 

In addition to Blumenauer and Bonamici, the letter was co-signed by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, Oregon Congressman & House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, U.S. Representatives Alan Lowenthal, Debbie Dingell, Thomas R. Suozzi, Charlie Crist, Ro Khanna, A. Donald McEachin, James P McGovern, Sean Casten, Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., Nanette Diaz Barragán, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Katie Hill, Brendan F. Boyle, Zoe Lofgren, Derek Kilmer, Salud Carbajal, Adriano Espaillat, Kathy Castor, Yvette D. Clarke, Diana DeGette, Peter Welch, Bobby L. Rush, Gerald E. Connolly, Betty McCollum, Jerry McNerney, Albio Sires, Harley Rouda, Doris Matsui, Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky, Paul D. Tonko, Judy Chu, Eliot L. Engel, Frederica S. Wilson, Mike Quigley, Brenda L. Lawrence, Dina Titus, and Mike Levin.

 

Read the full letter HERE or below.  Read the National Climate Assessment HERE.

 

January 28, 2019

 

 

The Honorable Andrew Wheeler

Acting Administrator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20460

 

 

Dear Acting Administrator Wheeler:

 

We watched your confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works with great interest. Although we are relieved that you acknowledged that climate change poses an existential threat to our way of life, it is unacceptable that you admitted you have not been fully briefed on the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate Assessment.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the 13 participating agencies in the U.S. Global Change Research Program. EPA scientists contributed to the National Climate Assessment and worked through a collaborative, peer-reviewed process to inform its findings. Surely the most comprehensive science-based evaluation of the consequences of climate change, the risks of inaction, and potential adaptation strategies for the United States to date bears enough significance to come across your desk.

 

The findings of the National Climate Assessment are incredibly dire for the U.S. economy and the environment, which the EPA is tasked with protecting. The Assessment outlines the devastating effects that climate change will have including catastrophic wildfires, crop failures, dramatic sea level rise, more acidic oceans, and crumbling infrastructure. The Assessment also makes clear that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the only explanation for the observed global warming over the last six decades and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are now higher than at any time in the last three million years. And the Assessment even concludes that U.S. gross domestic product could be reduced by one tenth by the year 2100 as a result of climate change. 

 

The points we make in this letter only scratch the surface of the report. We have enclosed a copy of the Assessment so you can familiarize yourself with its contents.

 

We urge you to read this report promptly, and we are confident that you will find its conclusions alarming. Finally, we welcome any serious action you will propose to address the climate crisis as a result.

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