Media Center

scuba Mar-a-Lago

Mar 05, 2019

California endured mudslides, snow, and flash floods in February — requiring many Orange County residents to evacuate their homes. After years of warnings, climate change has arrived in full force.

We can’t afford to delay action any longer, much less deny it altogether.

In February alone, the extreme weather in Orange County caused $13 million in property damage. On top of the $11 million in damage in January, and a crippling fire season statewide.

The damage has led the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Governor Gavin Newsom to declare an emergency. The declaration allows the impacted cities and associated agencies to begin repairing infrastructure with matching federal and state funds — but this is entirely unsustainable.

Meanwhile, back at (soon-to-be-underwater Mar-a-Lago), Donald Trump announces he is going to convene a committee to study whether climate change is a national security threat — but he’s appointing a climate skeptic to head it up.

Americans already know it’s the biggest national security threat. Even the U.S. Department of Defense identifies climate change as a national security threat.

In Orange County, we convened a group of community leaders to discuss the impact of climate change. A conference room packed with stakeholders ranging from activists to business leaders, all brainstorming solutions to the climate crisis.

I shared concerns about the dangerous precedent set by Donald Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency — that it could give a president the authority to abuse their power by circumventing the Constitution to unlawfully steal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers.

In our district, that’s $160 million we need to fight fires and extreme weather, to protect Californians from the fallout of our failures to address climate change.

Climate change has arrived in California, and across the globe.

Right now, I’m working in Congress on legislation to protect coastal communities. And I assure you: I will continue to fight like hell to preserve and rehabilitate our environment, and safeguard our community from reckless abuses of power.