The White House today will announce a package of federal projects to protect coastal areas and rural power supplies from climate change-related disasters. As The New York Times reports, the initiatives will allocate millions of dollars to state, local, and tribal agencies as part of an effort to boost electricity infrastructure and sharpen disaster-response strategies. The plans are based on recommendations made by a 26-person climate change task force that President Barack Obama established in November under an executive order.
Under one initiative, the Department of Agriculture will dedicate $236.3 million to strengthening electricity-delivery systems in rural areas across eight states, following warnings that severe weather and drought will put extra strain on power companies. An additional $13.1 million will go toward gathering three dimensional mapping data, which will help states craft emergency responses to floods and erosion, while $10 million will be used to help Native American tribes adapt to climate change. Other funds will help rural communities respond to droughts, though officials have not disclosed a precise amount.
Wednesday's announcement marks the latest in a series of moves the Obama administration has taken to combat climate change. Last month, the White House announced plans to reduce US carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030, after a federal report warned that the impacts of climate change are "now unavoidable."