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Video



Message to Interior Staff on Climate Change


June 26, 2013


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Transcript

Hi everybody. It's great to be out here on a nice, warm, sunny day. Just like it was yesterday, when the president announced a very bold and exciting action plan, that we all need to embrace to make a difference when it comes to climate change.

 

We have a moral obligation to act, to make this planet better for future generations, and I can't tell you how privileged I feel, and I hope you join me in this, in being a part of the Department of the Interior. Because we are in a position where we can make a difference.

 

We have a bird's eye view to what's happening to this planet. We see melting glaciers in Glacier National Park, we see a thawing out of the Arctic. We see the impact of devastating storms on the gulf coast, we see wildfires, we are experiencing droughts. But we are working together to be part of that solution.

 

When President Obama took office, he challenged us to come up with permitting for 10 gigawatts of renewable energy. You know what? We've beaten that goal. He challenged us again yesterday to double down on that, and to go to 20 gigawatts by 2020, and you know what? We're going to beat that goal as well.

 

The other thing that is so important for us to convey is how mother nature knows how to deal with some of these crises. When you look at the impact of Hurricane Sandy, you see barrier islands and natural spaces that absorb some of the challenges that those regions had, and mitigated the effect of the hurricane. We know mangrove swamps in the gulf coast are really critical to mitigating the impact of hurricanes.

 

We can be part of the solution, by bringing mother nature's solution to climate change to the fore, as we work collectively with states, federal government, and local governments to address the issues that are in front of us.

 

The other great resource we have is the US Geological Survey, and the scientists that are within our bureaus. Just a few hours ago, we released the first ever study the USGS did on carbon sequestration, that helps us figure out, how do we re-inject, potentially, carbon? What is the capacity of the reservoirs to hold that?

 

We are in a great position to act. The President has laid out a bold plan. I want you to join me in being part of the solution. Not only in what we can do at work, but what we can do in our daily lives, so that we can take action ourselves to mitigate climate change, and to leave a planet that's going to be better for our children, and our grandchildren, than it even is today.

 

Thanks for being part of this great team, I look forward to working with you on solutions to climate change, and listening to your creative ideas. It's great to be part of the Interior, thanks.