President Obama issued an executive order Friday creating a “Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.”
The group will “advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change,” said the White House.
The task force will include state, local, and tribal leaders from across the country.
Climate change is a major issue for Obama’s political base, and Democrats are likely to stress it in the 2014 congressional elections.
Obama’s efforts to win congressional legislation on climate change have run afoul of Republicans who say that new environmental regulations would slow the economy.
A new poll, however, indicates that Republicans are divided on the topic.
The Pew Research Center reports that “just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61%of non-Tea Party Republicans.
Overall, Pew reported, “two-thirds of Americans (67%) say there is solid evidence that the earth has been getting warmer over the last few decades, a figure that has changed little in the past few years. While partisan differences over climate change remain substantial, Republicans face greater internal divisions over this issue than do Democrats.”
From Obama’s executive order:
“The impacts of climate change — including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise — are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation. …
“Managing these risks requires deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning by the Federal Government, as well as by stakeholders, to facilitate Federal, State, local, tribal, private-sector, and nonprofit-sector efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources; and provide for the continuity of executive department and agency (agency) operations, services, and programs.”