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Local Officials Urging Action on Climate Change

In a press conference hosted by Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, speakers sent a public message to U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), asking him to join U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for legislation on environmental warming.

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans told Flagstaff Business News before the press conference, “Northern Arizona should be a leader in climate change. We all should be concerned about climate change.”

The mayor added that one of the Flagstaff City Council’s goals is to take meaningful action. “Sen. McCain has been clear that we need to address climate change now,” Mayor Evans said before the gathering of about 20 people. “We are urging Senator Flake to join Senator McCain to call on the White House to address climate change, and elected officials from all levels need to sit down and craft common sense solutions to this issue.”

U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) said there is no denying the fact that climate change is taking place. “The fact is, what are we going to do about it as nations of the earth? America has to become a leader in that. We have to work in a reasonable process to make sure that we address these issues not just here in America but worldwide because we all impact one another.”

“I think we’ve taken a step back by getting out of the Paris Accord,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “We’ve dropped out. It is the wrong direction.”

According to the White House, complying with the Paris agreement would cost the U.S. $3 trillion in lost GNP by 2040. The statement was based on a study by NERA Consulting. “By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs – including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs,” detailed the NERA report.

After the press conference, Rep. O’Halleran talked with Flagstaff Business News and explained, “We can’t forget that there is a business community out there that depends on energy and they need to make a profit.” He added that there is a long way to go between the present and future in renewable energy. “In the interim, the federal government needs to play a role to get there. We have to take a universal approach while taking into account how legislation will affect all groups.”

Director of Indigenous Cultural Concepts Louise Benally of Black Mesa also spoke out. Sen. Flake’s office was unavailable for comment. FBN

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