October 18 (NWN) – Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nevada on Monday to highlight the climate impact of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better program.
Speaking at Lake Mead, which is rapidly spilling water, Harris said climate change is “a fundamental issue” as she urged lawmakers to pass a massive infrastructure bill and a separate social spending bill that are critical to the president’s agenda.
“When we look at what is happening here, we know that we are talking about this lake, but we are talking about the region and our country,” she said. “The infrastructure deal combined with the Build Back Better Agenda is what we need to do to invest in things like water reuse and what we can do in terms of implementing drought contingency plans. are located and where we are heading if we do not solve these problems urgently. “
Before giving her speech, Harris took a walking tour of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country.
Predictions released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last month showed that Lake Mead water levels have a 12% chance of dropping to less than 1,000 feet in 2022 due to drought in the region. The probability rises to 22% in 2025 and 2026.
Falling water levels could affect 5.8 million homes and businesses that rely on Lake Powell for hydropower, and 25 million people in the West that rely on Hoover Dam on Lake Mead.
“The Build Back Better Program will help us tackle the climate crisis by investing in clean energy and electric vehicles so we can reduce emissions,” Harris said. “And why do we need to cut emissions? Because it is part of what contributes to these arid conditions. ”
In August, the federal government announced a water shortage in the Colorado River Basin, which includes Lake Mead, leading to mandatory cuts in water use in the Southwest for the first time.
Harris called on Congress to “pass these bills,” noting that they contain provisions that can help reduce these impacts of climate change.
“It is imperative that we, as a nation, understand that it is in our hands – in our hands – the ability to actually change the course we are on,” she said.