WASHINGTON, D.C.– The first climate change hearings of the 116th congress got underway Wednesday. Oregon Congressman Greg Walden spoke at the hearing and referenced the need to minimize massive wildfires in the west.
At the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he chaired just last year, Congressman Walden highlighted Oregon’s own struggles with wildfires as an example of the need to combat climate change.
During his speech, Walden said solutions should be focused on innovation, adaptation and, conservation. He pointed out the need to protect the environment but said it was vital to have more active forest management that would reduce fire fuels – one of the causes of these devastating wildfires.
“Oregonians choke on smoke every summer from wildfires that burn across our poorly managed federal forests, filling our skies with ash and polluting our airsheds with carbon dioxide,” he said.
The congressman also stressed the need to improve America’s energy development – something that would create new jobs and boost the economy.
Last fall, Oregon’s junior senator Jeff Merkley introduced a bill that would thin forests to reduce the severity of wildfires. Senior senator Ron Wyden has also urged Congress to take a bipartisan approach to address climate change to prevent disasters.
Full video of Congressman Walden’s speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnbS0S5Bjk4
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