U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

02/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/26/2021 16:08

Livestream Next Week: Hearing on Insular Area Climate Change Act on Thursday, March 4


Livestream Next Week: Hearing on Insular Area Climate Change Act on Thursday, March 4

Washington, D.C. - The Natural Resources Committee is holding one livestreamed event next week.

Thursday, March 4

The full Committee, led by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), will hold a legislative hearing to consider a discussion draft of the Insular Area Climate Change Act.

U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States - also known as U.S.-affiliated Insular Areas - are at the front lines of the climate change crisis. In recent years, some territories have experienced major natural disasters stemming from climate change, including Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Typhoon Yutu in 2018.

These areas face sea level rise, coastal erosion, temperature increases, and droughts, just as the rest of the United States, and struggle with unequal access to federal programs, an over-reliance on petroleum, and out-of-date infrastructure that often does not meet hazard mitigation codes.

Among other measures, Chair Grijalva's Insular Area Climate Change Act of 2021 discussion draft:

  • creates an Interagency Task Force to identify ways to provide greater access to climate change-related federal programs to U.S. Territories;
  • establishes an Office of Insular Area Energy Policy and Programs within the Department of Energy to centralize and expand federal energy programs in Insular Areas; and
  • creates multiple grant programs to invest in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure in Insular Areas.

The discussion draft also cancels repayments of federal loans and waives non-federal cost share requirements for Insular Areas, which for decades have dealt with limited financial resources.

Witnesses include:

  • Ms. Ada Monzón - Member, Puerto Rico Climate Change Committee
  • Mr. Jean-Pierre L. Oriol - Commissioner - USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources
  • Mr. Rafael A. Machargo Maldonado - Secretary, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources
  • Ms. Zena Grecni - Sustained Climate Assessment Specialist, East-West Center
  • Dr. Austin Shelton - Director, University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability

When: 12:00 p.m. Eastern time

Watch Live: http://bit.ly/3uA0DUs (Facebook) or https://youtu.be/XsGCFtEiWkM (YouTube)

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile

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