tv President Biden Delivers Remarks in California on Wildifres CSPAN September 14, 2021 3:24am-3:42am EDT
me, the governor [inaudible] let me know immediately what you need and when, don't wait. supposedly there's a chance because of the work that you are doing to make some significant change. that sounds like hyperbole but to save a generation. it's not a joke. 1.5. we are in deep trouble and it's not like we can go back and start over. so what you are doing matters and i think you will realize that and if you don't, you should.
i just came to say thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] thank you, everybody and again i want to welcome the president to california and thank him once again for focusing his attention is no other previous administration has on addressing the ravages of climate change and in particular here on the
west coast but notably california the challenges of wildfires. california is currently dealing with 15 large active wildfires. so far today 2.25 million acres have burned. remarkably, that is doubled the five-year average, but it's substantially less than we experienced this time last year were over 3 million acres have burned. we are dealing with conditions, consequences of climate change for the likes of which were predicted but a decade or two from today. those challenges are not only vexing but they create opportunities and i know the president will be speaking a lot about those opportunities in the next days and upcoming weeks as he refers to the work he's doing to advance this historic infrastructure package but i want to make a point, mr. president with your
indulgence that despite the president of the united states being here i would stipulate the most powerful force on the planet is not even the president of the united states, its mother nature. as others have said chemistry, biology and physics. she bats last into bats a thousand. we are dealing with extremes like we've never dealt with in our state's history including the most extreme weather in terms of the hottest summer we have ever experienced in california's history between june and august a west coast drought some have referred to as a mega drought that arguably began in 2000. hot is getting hotter, dry is getting drier. on the east coast people are quite literally drowning their cars. atmospheric rivers and consequences of warming sees and more intense tropical storms as well as hurricanes and so i'm hereby the challenges in that
reality but also as i noted optimistic by not only california's compassionate to work through situationally and took the town of grizzly flats 67% contained and now about three quarters contained. the sustainable lives that we have is to address these realities and to lead the conversation anew in this country to change the way we produce and consume energy and continue to lead our nation leading efforts as it relates to growth. the leadership has been challenged in the last four years. but those headwinds now are tailwinds with the biden administration. we are working partners as it relates to issues of climate
change and dealing with the challenges of wildfires. so, mr. president, i'm just honored that you're here. we are all blessed from the 40 million strong, that you took the time to be here. but as i begin, let me and by saying this isn't your first foray into this issue. we held two summits with west coast governors, proactively held with the president's assistance. not only did he show up to make remarks. he stayed until the end of both conversations. i've been around this business long enough to note the distinction between people that are interested in things and people that are committed to solving things. the president of the united states commitment is demonstrable now the third time seeing the impacts of these wildfires for himself. but his commitments he made in june, the commitments he made in july, the promises that he made
to follow up, he delivered on. we had to specifically for things we requested of the president of the united states and all for he delivered on so let me also take this moment not just to thank you for being here at this critical juncture, but thank you for delivering on your promises. thank you for meeting this moment head-on and thank you for leading a conversation anew in this country around resiliency and around painting and optimistic picture as we transition to a low carbon green growth future. with that let me introduce the president of the united states, joe biden. [applause] >> thank you for those comments.
earlier today, we were briefed by the center in boise, idaho. the center is a locational hub for the federal firefighting resources in the region. and we just surveyed some of the damage of the fires here in california, which in less than a month has wiped out over 200,000 structures. homes, precious memories destroyed, air quality degraded, local economies stopped in its tracks, and nearly 200 people in the area forced to live in shelters. everyone in irving, california knows the time of the year, when you can't go outside, when the air will be filled with smoke and the sky will turn an
apocalyptic shade of orange. parents worried about keeping their children safe in a pandemic worry about air quality as well. thus far, the nationwide, over 44,000 wildfires have burned nearly 5,300,000 acres, roughly the size of the state of new jersey. in california, this year more than 2.2 million acres are burned. the dixie fire burned nearly 1 million alone. and we are working closely with governor newsom to make sure california has every resource, every resource available to keep families safe. and the governor has led the state with boys and strong leadership. he's been an innovator on items with long-term solutions and he and i are both optimistic. these fires are blinking code red for the nation gaining
frequency and ferocity. and we know what we have to do. this starts with our firefighters, putting their lives on the line in these dangerous conditions. i will never forget coming to arizona in 2013. to speak at the memorial of the 19 granite mountain hotshots who gave their lives. firefighters are unmatched in their bravery. that's why i took the action i did in june to ensure all federal firefighters earn at least a minimum wage and were working on fundamentally changing the benefits that are available to them. fema has approved 33 fire management assistance grants to help western states pay for the cost of fighting these awful fires. we used the defense production act to address the shortage of fire hoses. because of the pandemic, we found ourselves in a situation where there is a backlog in an
awful lot of things. we restarted the idol production line in oklahoma, bringing back to work and delivering thousands of new fire hoses to the front lines. hard to believe, short on the firehoses. in addition, we cap the department of defense aircraft of the 20 c-130s, the modular firefighting systems and to help the fire suppression, the rc 26 aircraft provide critical imagery from space. they are based in california. and they have now flown over 1,000 missions across the west. 250 active-duty military troops on the ground at dixie fire in
california working alongside firefighters. we are sharing satellite imagery to help detect and monitor fire growth. and the epa is using new technologies to deliver fire, smoke and air quality information directly to people's cell phones. our friends from canada and australia are providing help. and my build back better plan includes billions of dollars for wildfire preparedness, resilience and response, forest management to restore millions of acres and to protect homes and public water sources. this bipartisan bill includes more than $8 billion of increased resilience in wildfires. and add to that the county resolution packages include $14 billion in disaster needs including 9 billion for communities hit by wildfire and
drought. we are not going to leave these people in distress. we know that decades of the forest management decisions have created hazardous conditions across the western forests. we can't ignore the reality that these wildfires are being supercharged by climate change. it isn't about red or blue states. it's about fires, just fires. in the past two weeks, i've been in louisiana, where hurricane ida hit with winds up to 175 miles per hour gusting. new jersey and new york walking down the streets, the main streets, meeting with families and first responders, seeing the destruction of these disasters, dreams crushed, lives interrupted. scientists have been warning us for years that extreme weather is going to get more extreme. we are living it in real time
now. extreme weather cost america last year $99 billion. let me say that again. extreme weather in the united states cost the united states of america a total of 99 billion. and this year, we are unfortunately going to break that record. it's a devastating loss to the economy and for so many communities. we failed to curb pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes and continue to use fossil fuels as we do. we increase the risks that firefighters face. we invest in resilience and it saves up to six dollars down the road when the next fire doesn't spread as widely and those investments also save lives. when i think about climate change, i think about not the
cost, but about good paying jobs that it will create. i also think about the jobs we are losing, due to impacts in the supply change and industries because we haven't acted boldly enough. we have to build back. you heard me say it again 100 times, not just build back but build back better, as one nation. we've got to do it together. we will get through this together, we just have to keep the faith. folks, we have the bipartisan infrastructure bill that's been passed through this bipartisan, and i believe that it will get done with the so-called reconciliation bill that has another several trillion dollars. let me close by saying when people talk about the cost of the build back better proposal beyond infrastructure, the cost may be as much as $3.5 trillion,
to put that in perspective it's out over ten years number one. number two, it's expected the economy will grow to $366 trillion gdp are by that time. less than 1.5% total in terms of deficit. of that total amount. and in addition to that the 90% of it is paid for. so folks, we have to think big. thinking small is a prescription for disaster. we are going to get this done. this nation is going to come together and we are going to beat this climate change. thank you.
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