Hearing on 21st Century Water & Power Infrastructure Projects Fails to Acknowledge Climate Change Impacts

Washington, D.C.  – Ahead of today’s first Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee hearing on modernizing our nation’s water and power infrastructure for the 21st Century, Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) pointed out that the Republican hearing memo fails to acknowledge climate change as a growing threat and does not take into account the impacts our changing climate will have on our water infrastructure. In anticipation of the White House’s infrastructure proposal, House Republicans are holding a series of subcommittee hearings in March to address natural resources-related construction projects.

“It is blatantly irresponsible and dangerous to ignore the science and the inevitable impacts climate change has on water infrastructure projects,” said Grijalva. “House Republicans continue to deny climate change and the serious threat it poses to the American West’s water supply. It’s long past time that we get past the phony debates and start investing in new, climate-resilient infrastructure like water reuse and recycling, storm water capture, and water-use efficiency projects. It’s simply unconscionable that every year we lose enough water to supply millions of people simply because we aren’t investing in new technologies to better detect leaks and tap alternative water sources.”

House Republicans are expected to use the infrastructure hearings as an opportunity to trample on bedrock environmental laws, like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act and federal land use planning laws by wrongly blaming construction project delays on federal policies. In fact, a 2012 Congressional Research Service report found that the most likely causes of delay for major infrastructure projects are lack of funding and local and state permitting issues, not NEPA.  

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