RENO — While President Joe Biden was preparing to sign the Inflation Reduction Act in Washington, Democrats from California and Nevada touted its climate-focused provisions from the shores of Lake Tahoe during an annual environmental summit Tuesday.
While Sen. Jacky Rosen, who hosted the 26th Annual Tahoe Summit, described the event as “a forum to talk about solutions” for protecting Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area, the remarks on the landmark bill took center stage.
“I cannot think of a better time for us to be signing this Inflation Reduction Act. We have made incredible progress since the first Tahoe Summit 26 years ago, but we still have so much to do to protect places and communities like the one around us,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said during the event at Sand Harbor Nevada State Park
Gov. Steve Sisolak said the bill would give the state “tools” necessary for combating climate change seen in the state.
“We’re excited to see the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden will sign in just a few minutes we hope,” Sisolak said during his remarks. “We will see climate change firsthand here at Lake Tahoe and everywhere in our state. With the aggressive climate-forward investments that are being made, that are made possible by the IRA, we have the tools to move us forward.”
The Nevada Democrats were joined by U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla from California, who called the legislation “bold.”
“The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. I couldn’t be more excited to be here just days after Congress has passed and on the verge of President Biden signing into law the Inflation Reduction Act, the single largest investment to address the climate crisis ever,” Padilla said. “The legislation is big. The legislation is bold, and I believe it builds on the climate leadership demonstrated by the state of California.”
The event’s keynote speaker, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, focused nearly the entirety of her remarks on the bill, calling it “an absolute game changer.”
“Celebrate it. Get excited about it. Get hopeful again. Tell your children about it, because it’s all about them, not just about us. This translates into 10 times larger reductions than any law we have ever passed before,” she said.
The sweeping legislation, which Biden signed into law Tuesday afternoon, commits $375 billion over the next decade to fight climate change, includes measures to lower prescription drug prices for Medicare recipients and provides tax credits for clean energy sources, among other measures.
Speakers also discussed the threat of wildfires to the lake and its surrounding area.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., joined by the only other Republican lawmaker onstage, Rep. Mark Amodei, described the threat of wildfires to the lake as a “forest management problem.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom attended the event but was seated in the crowd and did not speak. Other notable officials in the crowd included Lt. Gov. Lisa Cano Burkhead, state Assembly members Robin Titus, R-Wellington, Sarah Peters, D-Reno, Lisa Krasner, R-Reno, Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, and former Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is president of the University of Nevada, Reno.