White House pledges $1 billion to prepare for climate change

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled a $1 billion fund in his 2015 budget to help communities across the United States prepare for the impact of climate change.

The fund, announced in Fresno, California, is part of Obama's pledge to speed federal assistance to the most populous U.S. state.

California is attempting to cope with its worst drought in recorded history, which is threatening its critical agriculture industry, energy production and other industries.

The fund is part of a broader approach to deal with climate change that Obama outlined in his Climate Action Plan in June 2013.

While certain elements of that plan can be carried out through executive action, the fund requires Congressional approval, which makes its future uncertain.

"Given the saliency of the issues in communities across the political spectrum, it seems likely to create some momentum for action in Congress, although obviously that is very hard to say in the current environment," said Billy Pizer, associate professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

Republicans and some Democrats in coal reliant states have bitterly opposed previous attempts to pass legislation that would put a mandatory limit on carbon emissions. Some have tried to pass legislation that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions.

The proposal will be formally introduced when Obama unveils his fiscal 2015 budget in March.

It will help communities deal with extreme weather events, such as floods, drought, heat waves, and wildfires, according to the White House. Such disasters include Superstorm Sandy in 2012; the April 2011 tornado outbreak in Southern, Midwestern, and Northeastern United States; and California wildfires in October 2007.

Funds would be used to research how to better prepare for climate change-related effects like rising sea levels and extreme temperatures and encourage local initiatives. Other investments would include "breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure" such as building sea walls and more resilient electricity delivery systems to protect vulnerable cities and towns.

The concept of the fund is based on a recommendation made in December 2012 by the think tank Center for American Progress (CAP).

CAP founder John Podesta is a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Podesta returned to the White House in December as a senior adviser to Obama.

"Every dollar spent on resilience will save federal taxpayers $4 in lower disaster recovery costs," Daniel Weiss, CAP's director of climate strategy, said on Friday, citing a study by the organization. "Now it's up to Congress to make this essential preparedness fund into a reality."

CAP's proposal, called the community resilience fund, would direct the president to appoint a bipartisan panel to design the fund and recommend ways to pay for it.

Nancy Sutley, the director of the White House's Council for Environmental Quality, said on Friday that Obama will use the California drought to highlight the importance of the climate resilience issue.

"This continues to demonstrate the continuing need to focus on resiliency, on reducing risks and vulnerabilities in light of the changing climate," said Sutley, whose last day at the CEQ was Friday. Sutley plans to return to her home state of California this month.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Aluminum Grain Trailers

Maurer Manufacturing offers a complete line of high quality aluminum grain trailers. Manufactured in Spencer, Iowa, Maurer aluminum grain trailers ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form