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This Week at Interior August 16, 2013


August 16, 2013


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THIS WEEK… AT INTERIOR…

 

SECRETARY JEWELL WAS IN LAS VEGAS THIS WEEK, TO GIVE THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE NATIONAL CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT, SIX POINT OH. THE SECRETARY UNDERSCORED INTERIOR’S COMMITMENT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN TO REDUCE CARBON POLLUTION… MOVE OUR ECONOMY TOWARD CLEAN ENERGY SOURCES… AND BEGIN TO SLOW THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. INTERIOR IS WORKING TO APPROVE 20-THOUSAND MEGAWATTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION ON PUBLIC LANDS BY 2020. IN HER REMARKS THE SECRETARY CITED A RANGE OF INITIATIVES CURRENTLY UNDERWAY IN SIX WESTERN STATES, PROJECTS THAT INCLUDE THE USE OF BOTH SOLAR AND GEOTHERMAL ENERGY… JEWELL SAYS SUCH STATE AND FEDERAL COLLABORATIONS GIVE INTERIOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO CUT CARBON POLLUTION AND ADVANCE CONSERVATION GOALS. 

 

IN NEW YORK CITY THIS WEEK SECRETARY JEWELL JOINED MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DIRECTOR JONATHAN JARVIS, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY SHAUN DONOVAN, AND OTHER LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS… TO TACKLE ANOTHER PART OF THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN. THE SECRETARY ANNOUNCED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW SCIENCE AND RESILIENCE INSTITUTE AT JAMAICA BAY, AND A 100 MILLION DOLLAR COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAM TO BUILD SAFER AND MORE RESILIENT COMMUNITIES.  THE SECRETARY ANNOUNCED THAT THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT HAS SELECTED THE NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION TO ADMINISTER THE GRANT PROGRAM.

 

This is a great laboratory. It’s a laboratory where we saw Hurricane Sandy have a huge impact. We saw green infrastructure like this actually make a big difference in protecting a number of structures. We saw gray infrastructure that didn’t work so well, but we also saw that we are in a time of profound change in the power of the storms that we’re facing…we need to look at different kind of flood maps than we’ve looked at before, and Jamaica Bay is going to be a perfect, perfect place for the whole country to learn about resilience.

 

We gather about nine and a half months after Hurricane Sandy devastated communities across New York City but across this entire region as well. In its wake our nation was forced to face some very simple truths…that climate change is real…that it’s posing new and growing threats to our neighborhoods…and in the future we need to build our communities in a way that addresses these growing challenges. We can’t just build back the way we were. We have to build back better and stronger.

 

We need the very best scientists to help us understand these coastal ecosystems and to apply it on the ground to really assist these communities and the ecology as well.

 

THE NEW INSTITUTE WILL START ON THE CAMPUS OF BROOKLYN COLLEGE… IT WILL HOST VISITING SCIENTISTS, PROVIDE LAB FACILITIES FOR STUDENTS, AND HOST EVENTS TO SHARE RESEARCH FINDINGS.

 

THE PRESIDENT’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN THE SUBJECT THIS WEEK OF A BUSINESS LEADER CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE SECRETARY, HOSTED BY BUSINESS FORWARD. IN THAT CALL THE SECRETARY SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED HOW THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS CAN WORK *TOGETHER* WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT, *AND* THE ECONOMY.

 

We’ve got lots going on at Interior with wind energy, onshore and offshore, with renewables and with conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations and also trying to prepare our landscapes for a changing climate but we know that this cannot be accomplished if it isn’t in the best interest of business and we don’t create the right incentives for business and private citizens to do the right thing for the planet.

 

SECRETARY JEWELL HAS TAPPED FORMER COAST GUARD VICE ADMIRAL BRIAN SALERNO TO BE THE NEW DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT… SALERNO WAS DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR COAST GUARD OPERATIONS, AND PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN RESPONDING TO THE DEEPWATER HORIZON INCIDENT… HE REPLACES OUTGOING DIRECTOR JIM WATSON, WHO IS DUE TO LEAVE THE POST AT THE END OF THE MONTH.

 

SOME NEW IMAGES THIS WEEK, OF SECRETARY JEWELL’S VISIT TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ACADEMY *LAST* WEEK.. THAT’S WHEN NPS ACADEMY STUDENTS AND ALUMNI GATHERED WITH GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK STAFF TO CELEBRATE THE END OF THE STUDENTS’ 12-WEEK INTERNSHIPS. THE SECRETARY HELPED THE STUDENTS CELEBRATE, AND SHARED SOME WORDS ABOUT HER OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE. THE NPS ACADEMY IS NOW IN ITS THIRD YEAR… MORE THAN 170 STUDENTS HAVE TAKEN PART SO FAR.

 

AND AS THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GETS READY TO CELEBRATE ITS 97TH BIRTHDAY, IT’S INVITING *YOU* TO JOIN THE PARTY… ON SUNDAY AUGUST 25TH ADMISSION TO *ALL* NATIONAL PARKS WILL BE *FREE*… DIRECTOR JARVIS SAYS SINCE NATIONAL PARKS BELONG TO ALL AMERICANS, EVERYONE IS INVITED TO TAKE PART IN FESTIVITIES HAPPENING FROM COAST TO COAST. 

 

THAT’S THIS WEEK, AT INTERIOR.