Derek Kilmer Addresses Climate Issue Behind Fire That McMorris Rodgers Avoids
Earlier this week, we noted that, although U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers has, in a rather nasty political turn, engaged in acts of public mourning the death of firefighters battling the record-breaking wildfires raging across the American West, at the same time that she blocks any attempt to do anything about the trend of climate change that is driving an increase in the frequency and severity of those fires.
The good news is that another U.S. Representative from the state of Washington has picked up the slack from McMorris Rodgers. Representative Derek Kilmer, in an address to the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, spoke forcefully on the link between climate change and increased wildfires. “It is a fact that our climate is changing,” he said. “We just had one of the driest springs and summers in more than a century that led to trees and vegetation becoming kindling for the massive fires that we have seen. The largest wildfire in our State’s history hit central Washington, forcing thousands to flee and putting firefighters in harm’s way. We have a wildfire that continues to smolder in Olympic National Park, a rain forest. From Washington to California, brave emergency responders have spent this summer on the front lines, battling flames, with no signs of abating. I believe it is time we pay attention to these warning signs. If we want a better future for our kids, if we want to protect the communities in which we live, then we need to confront the threats of climate change.”
Congressman Kilmer isn’t just making speeches. He’s following through with legislation to address the many challenges being caused by climate change. Among this legislation is H.R. 4732, the Ocean Acidification Innovation Act. The bill establishes competitions to spur innovations in programs that will alleviate suffering in coastal communities impacted by ocean acidification, a consequence of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Representative McMorris Rodgers should take note. Bills like H.R. 4732 show what it means for a leader to serve the needs of constituents. Wouldn’t you know it – McMorris Rodgers has refused to support the bill.