(LAS VEGAS) – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01), Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, and Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts joined clean energy advocates from across Nevada for a press conference calling on Congress to address the increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events plaguing Nevada by supporting the ambitious climate and clean energy investments included in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA).
Nevada Conservation League sponsored this event as part of a $10 million grassroots campaign organized by the Climate Action Campaign and conducted throughout August and September in 12 states to demand ambitious investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and climate solutions.
“During the 20th century, Las Vegas grew from a gambling town in the desert to a world-class city for business, vacation, entertainment, and culture,” said Congresswoman Titus. “As that growth continues, climate change and extreme weather are a threat to the lives and livelihoods of our communities. That’s why I’m fighting in Washington for the Build Back Better Act to meet the urgency of this moment. I am hopeful that all of my colleagues in Congress will join me in fighting for a budget that both protects Nevada’s future growth and lays the foundation for new clean energy jobs in Las Vegas.”
Speakers thanked Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, along with Congresswoman Susie Lee (NV-03), for supporting bold climate investments and urged them to continue leading on clean energy growth by supporting the BBBA, which will make investments to cut pollution, create jobs, address environmental injustice, and tackle the climate crisis.
“Anyone who has lived in Nevada recognizes how serious the threat of climate change is to our families and children, with people across the state being threatened by heat waves, wildfires, and pollution,” said Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro. “But confronting it also gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to foster new industries, create high-quality jobs, and stimulate economic growth in Las Vegas. We are counting on Congresswoman Lee, Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen, and all of our leaders to step up and commit to a budget with an aggressive commitment to clean infrastructure.”
Nearly one in three Americans live in a county hit by an extreme weather event in the past three months. Climate change is making extreme weather events like wildfires and heat waves in Nevada more dangerous. By 2050, the typical number of heat wave days in Nevada is projected to increase from 15 to nearly 55 days a year. Additionally, leisure and hospitality is the largest economic sector in Nevada, and climate change is expected to cause growing losses to Nevada infrastructure and property, impeding the rate of economic growth over this century.
“Climate change is not some distant threat, but a clear and present danger to our state,” said State Assemblyman Howard Watts. “Heat waves, droughts, and wildfires set record after record, and we cannot afford to sit idly by without confronting this crisis. We need Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act to make big, bold, and immediate investments in our clean energy future, help us deal with extreme weather, and put people to work.”
“Climate change is a particular burden to some of the most politically disenfranchised workers in our economy, and these workers will lose more and more days of work to extreme heat,” said Kristy Dahl, Senior Climate Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The science on this subject is clear, and outdoor workers are on track to lose billions of dollars in lost earnings every year by the middle of the century. Our leaders in Congress need to look at the numbers and listen to the science, and join us in calling for a budget with robust support of action on climate and major investments in clean infrastructure.”
These investments are popular. 71% of the public supports making the investments in climate, justice, and jobs that President Biden promised, including building new renewable energy projects, reducing pollution, and improving energy efficiency in homes, schools, and childcare centers.
“Whether we’re putting it in terms of the acute dangers posed by heat, drought, and fire, or the environmental risk of pollution posed by our traditional vehicle pollution, the status quo is not just an environmental threat, but a public health crisis as well,” said Linda Stout, a “SuperMom” volunteer with Moms Clean Air Force Nevada. “It’s time for Congress to step up and get bold on climate to protect our children and the climate that they will inherit from us.”
“Climate change is already disrupting families and burdening communities across Nevada,” said Andrew Sierra, Organizing Manager at Nevada Conservation League. “These burdens often fall heaviest on some of our most vulnerable communities — older Nevadans, lower-income families, and communities of color around the state. Our leaders need to understand that climate is an issue of justice as well, and deliver on the Build Back Better Act to go big on clean infrastructure and invest in a healthy and prosperous future for all Nevadans.”
A recording of the press conference can be found HERE.