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At Tahoe Summit, Officials Praise Federal Spending Bills as ‘Game Changer’ for Lake Conservation | Carson City Nevada News

Officials gathered on the shores of Sand Harbor State Park on Tuesday for the 26th annual Lake Tahoe Summit described legislation passed since last year’s event as a major step forward in the fight to keep the lake blue and cope with climate change.

The summit’s keynote speaker, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, said she was excited about the expansion of clean energy opportunities and lower emissions discussed in the Climate Reduction Act. inflation that President Joe Biden signed on the same day.

The administration’s goal, by 2030, is to reduce emissions to 40 percent below 2005 emission levels. The bill supports investment in solar and wind manufacturing in the United States and an extensive power grid to support clean energy systems.

“It’s a complete game-changer,” McCarthy told summit attendees, who included elected officials from Nevada and California, as well as scientists and community organizers.

The administration’s goal, by 2030, is to reduce emissions to 40 percent below 2005 emission levels. The bill supports investment in solar and wind manufacturing in the United States and an extensive power grid to support clean energy systems.

“It’s a complete game-changer,” McCarthy told summit attendees, who included elected officials from Nevada and California, as well as scientists and community organizers.

The law, which also aims to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and imposes a minimum tax of 15% on companies that make more than $1 billion in revenue a year, in addition to spending more than $300 billion on the energy and climate reform, was one of many discussed government efforts to improve climate change.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who hosted the summit this year, spoke about her involvement in the bipartisan infrastructure law signed into law in November that will provide $17 million for the Tahoe Restoration Act. This legislation, which dates back to 2000, would have expired in two years had it not been renewed last year and provides funding for environmental conservation projects such as efforts to prevent invasive species from entering the lake, preventing forest fires and reducing storm water pollution.

Gov. Steve Sisolak also pondered the effect the Cut Inflation Act might have on Nevada’s water supply.

“With the aggressive climate investments being made and enabled by the ERI, we have the tools to drive us forward,” Sisolak said in a speech. “This includes $4 billion and resources to help states like Nevada and California that rely on the Colorado River incorporate permanent water-saving measures in the Southwest.”

Despite the sparkling Lake Tahoe as the backdrop to the event, water in the southern part of the state was a priority for attendees.

Federal water managers announced a plan Tuesday morning to cut water allocations in Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, though Southern Nevada Water Authority chief executive John Entsminger criticized the plans. other Colorado River water users for not doing enough to respond to the 23-year drought. and forced the cuts.

Later, in an interview with The Nevada IndependentSisolak said now is the time to work with states that share Colorado River water.

“We’re going to make sure it’s done fairly – that everyone has a fair chance and that’s what we’re going to continue to do with our other states,” Sisolak said.

Organizers honored Dr. Charles Goldman with the Lake Tahoe Award for his work in limnology, the study of lakes. Goldman began his work monitoring the clarity of Lake Tahoe in the 1950s, becoming known as “the godfather of limnology.” Due to its monitoring beginning over 60 years ago, Lake Tahoe’s clarity has been one of the most well documented and led to the formation of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

In his acceptance speech, Goldman discussed the dangers of warming lakes, particularly as they contribute to algal blooms and the spread of invasive species. He also expressed his gratitude for the award.

“I’m almost in tears,” Goldman said The Nevada Independent in an interview after the event.

Although wildfire smoke did not envelope the event like last year, the threat of catastrophic fires was not far from the minds of summit speakers, many of whom thanked fire crews .

Jennifer Eberlein, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester for the Forest Service, noted the development of the region’s first sawmill in decades. The Washoe Tribe’s Washoe Development Corporation is working with Tahoe Forest Products on a sawmill near Carson City to help reduce hazardous fuel that can cause wildfires in Tahoe’s forests.

Washoe Tribe President Serrell Smokey encouraged collaborative work to preserve Lake Tahoe.

“I hope we all continue to work together to protect the sacred waters, the lands, the lakes that have given us life for all these years. And we wouldn’t be here without our lake,” he said. .

This story was used with permission from The Nevada Independent. Go here for updates to this story and others.