Peters to Hold Field Summit in East Lansing Examining Rising Costs of Climate Change to Taxpayers

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will convene a field summit on Earth Day to examine the rising costs to taxpayers from extreme weather and climate change at 10:30 AM on Monday, April 22nd in East Lansing, Michigan. The summit, titled “The Cost of Inaction: The Impacts of Climate Change and the Financial Burden on Taxpayers,” will focus on the financial impacts of climate change on our national security, infrastructure, economy and public health. Peters will also announce a report with recommendations to help prevent further costs to taxpayers from the failure to prepare for and address damage from climate change.

“In recent years, communities in Michigan and across the country have seen a rise in extreme weather events driven by climate change that have cost taxpayers nearly half a trillion dollars in cleanup and recovery,” said Senator Peters. “The federal government must take action today to combat and prepare for the effects of climate change so that we can save Michigan taxpayers billions of dollars in the coming years and protect our planet for future generations.”

Michigan communities including Lansing, Houghton and the Detroit metro area have experienced several historic rainfall and severe flooding events in the last five years, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to roads, bridges, property and businesses.

Peters’ field summit follows a recent Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) High Risk List report, which identified a need for the federal government to address the risks associated with climate change in a fiscally responsible way. The report concluded that, “to reduce its fiscal exposure, the federal government needs a cohesive strategic approach with strong leadership and the authority to manage risks across the entire range of related federal activities.” In particular, the report examined the direct costs and impact associated with climate change on national security, public health, infrastructure, small business and more.

Invited Witnesses:

  • Rear Admiral David W. Titley, U.S. Navy (ret.), Professor of Practice in Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University; Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk
  • The Honorable Paul C. Ajegba, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Dr. Lorraine Cameron, Senior Environmental Epidemiologist, Michigan Climate and Health Adaption Program, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan
  • Jim MacInnes, CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa

*Witness list is subject to change

Summit Details: 

Monday, April 22, 2019
10:30 a.m.

Michigan State University Union
Ballroom 2nd Floor
49 Abbot Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

NOTE: Public parking is available in the Michigan State University Garage located on Grand River Ave. Additional public parking is available in the nearby East Lansing parking garages. Directions and maps for the MSU Union are available here