SUCCESSFUL WHITE HOUSE MEETING IN CARMEL IS ‘ONLY THE BEGINNING’

A successful White House roundtable discussion on climate change was held in December of 2013 at the Monon Community Center. This was a first step in a lengthy effort by members of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliency to listen, learn, and then communicate the concerns of local communities to federal officials.

“This is only the beginning. As we head into the new year, I will be keeping the topic of climate change and the impact it is having on our cities and towns front and center at the national level,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who is a member of the Task Force and also serves as co-chair of the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force and Advisory Board of Directors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The roundtable discussion was a gathering of more than two-dozen experts from a variety of fields, an audience of more than 100 local and regional leaders, all gathered to share ideas and convey concerns for a panel that was led by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Mayor Brainard.

“I was encouraged to hear many heartfelt and thoughtful remarks from our distinguished panel of experts who came to us from a variety of professions – higher education, agriculture, business, law, energy, local government, statewide advocacy groups and those who work closely on environmental issues,” said Brainard. “This panel enjoyed a rare opportunity to speak directly to the President’s top advisor on the environment and climate change. President Obama’s administration has shown it is dedicated to working with state and local governments to find practical solutions to problems associated with climate change – some of which will come in the future, some of which we are already seeing.”

The event was the first of its kind outside of Washington, D.C. for the Task Force. The White House chose Carmel in recognition of the city’s many efforts to instill a sense of environmental stewardship alongside the responsibility of fostering an economy that creates jobs and improves the quality of life for all citizens.

“The kind of input we got from the panel was very helpful, very usable. The federal government needs to work in partnership with communities across the country to ensure we are prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change. The President has said we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. We can do both, and Carmel is a great example of a community that has done this,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Specific priorities discussed during the roundtable included agriculture, water resources, resiliency and vulnerability of energy systems, electrical grids and the impact of extreme weather events. The plan is for the Task Force to continue to gather and share information across the country that can help form federal policies and federal grant making rules in such a way as to help local communities deal with the impact of climate change.

“I want to praise Mayor Brainard and the citizens of Carmel, Indiana for making so many great things happen in this community. This is a fine example of thinking globally and acting locally. This panel was outstanding. We will take all these good ideas back to Washington and put them to use. What we heard today is going to inform what we do at the federal level,” said David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mayor Brainard, one of only four Republicans on the 26-member Task Force, has earned a reputation nationally as a smart growth advocate. As Mayor of Carmel, he has led the way in the installation of more time-saving and gas-saving roundabouts than any city in America, one of many measures the city has taken.

The Mayor plans to use his seat on the Task Force to continue sharing his ideas on environmental stewardship combined with creating jobs and improving the quality of life. He will also continue to advocate for sensible federal policies and programs that not only combat global warming but also protect cities and the economy from too much government overreach.

More information on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the White House Council on Environmental Quality can be found at:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq
http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/resilience/...


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