Biden to Talk Climate in Southwest Amid Stretch of Record High Temperatures

July 31, 2023

President Biden is planning to travel to Arizona, New Mexico and Utah next week to talk about his Administration’s efforts to combat climate change. 

The President’s appearances come amid a summer of record high temperatures across the U.S, Europe and China. 

July has been the hottest month on record in the history of planet Earth, and Arizona’s capital city of Phoenix by Monday had seen its 31st consecutive day of temperatures at or exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius).

According to an assessment by a conglomerate of scientists in the World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA), the simultaneous extreme heat waves that have roiled across various parts of the planet this month would not have been possible but for climate change impacted by the burning of fossil fuels.

Last week, Biden introduced new measures to combat climate change. They include the Labor Department issuing the “first-ever Hazard Alert for heat” and ramping up enforcement of heat-safety violations; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) investing $7 million into improving weather forecasts; The Department of the Interior expanding water shortage enhancements out West; and the investment of “billions of dollars” through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to communities to make buildings more energy efficient as well as opening more cooling centers to keep residents safe.

The funding for the new climate initiatives will come from the Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed into law this past August and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Biden signed in 2021.

Biden is expected to discuss these initiatives as well as his push for more clean energy manufacturing during his southwestern visits. 

As part of touting the climate initiative, other officials in the Biden Administration are expected to fan out across the country over the next several weeks as well. Vice President Harris is set to travel to Wisconsin this week with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to talk about broadband infrastructure investments while Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to visit Oregon to highlight wildfire defense grants. 

Further, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is set to go to Illinois and Texas, while Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona plans to travel to Maryland to talk about career and technical education programs.

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