Members of a White House task force to address climate change met in Des Moines Wednesday following previous gatherings in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. The group is composed of federal officials, eight governors, and various local and tribal leaders.
Co-chair Mike Boots, who leads the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the task force will be submitting new recommendations to the President in the fall — outlining how best to work with local governments in combatting climate change. “There are a number of steps we’re taking at the federal level in partnership with states, local governments, and the private sector to tackle that, including expanding our investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, but also addressing carbon pollution that comes from a number of sources across the country,” Boots said.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said climate change is already affecting farmers in the Midwest. “The men and women in agriculture have already shown us they’re good stewards of the land and water. More and more sustainable agriculture, no-till agriculture…we want to make sure we don’t have so much fertilizer that it gets into our water and gets into the Mississippi River,” Quinn said. He said that contributes to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
Federal officials said they’re developing better emergency communications with local governments and are working on an initiative for scientific data related to climate change to be available to the public. The group met at the World Food Prize Building in downtown Des Moines. Task force discussions were closed to the public, but members addressed the media at a press conference.