Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) will continue working with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources to advance the Insular Area Climate Change Act, a landmark legislation that he describes as “critically important.”
In his e-kilili newsletter over the weekend, Sablan said climate change and energy programs in the insular areas were front and center at the committee’s first legislative hearing last Thursday to consider a discussion draft of committee chair Raul M. Grijalva’s (D-Arizona) Insular Area Climate Change Act.
He said insular areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change. “We face increasing air and sea temperatures and the stronger storms that result, rising sea levels, costal erosion, deteriorating coral reefs, and significant public health risks,” Sablan said.
Making matters worse, Sablan said, is that insular areas are over-reliant on fossil fuels and have aging infrastructure systems.
To help address these issues, Sablan said, the committee’s draft legislation funds renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure, sets up new climate research and coral reefs conservation grants, improves weather data collection and forecasting, and waives non-federal cost share requirements.
Sablan said the Climate Change Act would help insular areas become more resilient, reduce carbon emissions, and better prepare them to respond to the effects of a warming climate.