BlueGreen Alliance Reaction to the President’s Proposed Budget

Following the release of President Obama’s proposed budget, which includes a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund,” leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statements.

March 3, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (March 4, 2014) – Following the release of President Obama’s proposed budget, which includes a $1 billion “Climate Resilience Fund,” leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statements:

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club – “Communities suffering the effects of climate disruption should not have to suffer alone. Hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather undercut economic growth and our ability to ensure clean air and water. Factoring in climate resilience as we combat climate disruption isn’t optional. We applaud the president for the attention he has brought to this important issue and for this first step to dedicate federal resources in his budget.”

Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers – “We need to start investing in ways that help communities protect themselves from the impacts of climate change, like extreme weather. Doing so now will create jobs that will save money and lives in the future.”

Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation – “With this budget, President Obama is delivering on his commitment to combat climate change and increase our nation’s resiliency against rising sea levels, stronger storms, and deeper droughts. Nature-based safeguards against climate threats, such as restoring coastal wetlands, are imperative to lessen the risks to wildlife, public safety and coastal communities across the United States.”

D. Michael Langford, National President, Utility Workers Union of America – “Today, we are faced with critical issues relating to aging infrastructure that threaten both our future economic security and our quality of life. The impacts of a changing climate and severe weather events are exacerbating the problem. The time for climate resilient infrastructure investment is now. We have an opportunity to mitigate the impacts of climate change while supporting existing middle class jobs and creating new ones—this is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.”

Kathleen Rest, Executive Director, Union of Concerned Scientists – “Communities across the country are already paying a high price in dealing with the impacts of climate change—in both human and economic terms. We applaud President Obama for taking this step to prioritize and direct resources to advance research on climate change impacts; help communities prepare for them; and invest in the technologies and resilient infrastructure that our communities need in order to adapt. There are real costs to climate change, including significant costs of inaction. Even though some in Congress continue to deny the reality of climate change and stall meaningful action, we can’t stand by while communities deal with it on their own. We have an obligation to our children and to the planet we call home. It’s time to invest in both a low carbon economy and in climate-resilient communities and infrastructure.”

David Foster, Executive Director, BlueGreen Alliance – “If we’re not careful, leaky water valves, crumbling roads, and a worse environment not prepared for the impacts of climate change will be the unfortunate legacy we leave for the next generation. Charting a better economic future means we have to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century and create good, family-sustaining jobs along the way. We need a well-funded and coordinated approach to help us prepare and adapt to climate change impacts. The president’s fund is a first step in this, but more resources must be brought to bear if we are to seriously address this vital issue.”