LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nevada on Monday to tour Lake Mead and discuss the Biden Administration’s effort to tackle climate change.
Vice President Harris arrived at Nellis Air Force Base Monday morning where she was greeted by local officials Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Susie Lee, Rep. Steven Horsford, and Col. Kevin Jamieson, Vice Commander, 57th Wing.
The vice president received a briefing on low water levels at the reservoir from officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. National Park Service, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Clark County Parks and Recreation.
Lake Mead provides water to 25 million people in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico. Yet last month, due to a climate change-fueled drought, the lake recorded its lowest level ever.
The head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority emphasized that everyone needs to do their part to conserve water. Southern Nevada gets about 90% of its water from the Colorado River.
The water levels at Lake Mead have fallen more than 100 feet in 20 years. The ongoing drought conditions are projected to drop water levels even more in the coming years.
Currently, over 2.7 million Nevadans are living in drought and 95% of the state is in severe to exceptional drought conditions.
In her remarks, the vice president emphasized that water shortages have a ripple effect on farmers, food supply, and economy – and that climate change will continue to make extreme weather including droughts and heat more frequent, costly, and harmful.
The vice president explained why she believes Congress must pass the administration’s Build Back Better plan and the bipartisan Infrastructure deal.
Following the vice president’s visit, Gov. Sisolak posted to Twitter, “Thank you, VP for visiting Lake Mead to shine a light on climate change, drought impacts, and the importance of investing in climate-forward solutions. Nevada is committed to doing our part to “build back better” for a sustainable climate-friendly future for all.”
ADDRESSES DEATH OF FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL
While on Air Force 2, the vice president made the following statement on the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
Secretary Colin Powell dedicated his life to defending our nation. As National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State, he was an independent thinker and a barrier breaker who inspired leaders in our military and throughout our nation.
Secretary Powell served our nation with courage, unwavering in his belief in its principles and its promise. The son of immigrants, Secretary Powell rose through the ranks of the United States Army. He was a decorated veteran and a devoted patriot.
I last saw and spoke with Secretary Powell in July, at a dinner honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I was reminded then how he always showed the world the best of who we are. He upheld the highest standards, representing our nation with dignity, grace, and strength.
The legacy that he leaves behind – on America’s national security and on the leaders he mentored – can be seen every day across our nation and the world.
Douglas and I send our deepest condolences to Secretary Powell’s wife, Alma Powell, and their children and grandchildren.Vice President Kamala Harris
When asked for a message for Americans who knew Powell was fully vaccinated for COVID and now remain skeptical about getting the vaccine, despite his cancer diagnosis, the vice president replied:
Well, I don’t think that — what happens in terms of his health situation is exactly what the doctors have told us can happen in terms of people who are immunocompromised, people who have pre-existing conditions. I think that today is the day to really reflect on the life of the man and his extraordinary service. And not to politicize the efficacy of vaccines.Vice President Kamala Harris