White House Officials Visit Utah to Discuss Climate Change

(KCPW News) Late last year, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was appointed to President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The task force was formed to advise the White House on ways the federal government can assist communities across the country on climate change-related issues.

On Friday, representatives from the Obama Administration were in Utah to hear the particular climate concerns of local officials, business leaders, and experts.

White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley listened in at the round-table discussion. Agnew said it was good to see how projects such as the Sugar House streetcar could benefit the community.

“We had an excellent discussion,” Agnew said. “We learned a lot about how this community is approaching this issue and asked for specific recommendations about how the federal government can be a better partner. And it was instructive for me today to see some of the projects that the federal government has been involved in as a partner with Salt Lake City and with this region.”

Mayor Becker participated in the meeting. Perhaps the two biggest topics at the meeting were watershed issues and air quality. The mayor felt that the discussion was lively and helpful.

“Actually, we heard a lot of things around the table. This is not a bashful community, fortunately, and certainly the whole dialogue was very civil and, I think, very constructive,” Becker said.

Mayor Becker added that this meeting was a great start to a necessary partnership with the federal government on addressing the issue of climate change.