LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nevada on Monday to tour Lake Mead and discuss the Biden Administration’s effort to tackle climate change.
Vice President Harris arrived at Nellis Air Force Base where she was greeted by officials, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Susie Lee, Rep. Steven Horsford, and Col. Kevin Jamieson, Vice Commander, 57th Wing.
The vice president received a briefing on low water levels at the reservoir from officials at the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. National Park Service, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Clark County Parks and Recreation.
Lake Mead provides water to 25 million people in Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico. Yet, last month, due to a climate change-fueled drought, the lake recorded its lowest level ever.
The head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority emphasized that everyone needs to do their part to conserve water. Southern Nevada gets about 90% of its water from the Colorado River.
The water levels at Lake Mead have fallen more than 100 feet in 20 years. The ongoing drought conditions are projected to drop water levels even more in the coming years.
Currently, over 2.7 million Nevadans are living in drought and 95% of the state is in severe to exceptional drought conditions.
In her remarks, the vice president emphasized that water shortages have a ripple effect on farmers, food supply and economy – and that climate change will continue to make extreme weather including droughts and heat more frequent, costly and harmful.
Harris explained why she believes Congress must pass the administration’s Build Back Better plan and the bipartisan Infrastructure deal.
Harris addresses death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell
While on Air Force 2, the vice president made the following statement on the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
Hey guys, it’s going to be very windy out there so I thought I would just take a moment to just talk with you for a second about Secretary Powell. What an extraordinary public servant, American patriot. I last saw him in July, at the dinner — it was a small dinner, that the President hosted for Chancellor Angela Merkel. She had breakfast with me that morning at the residence. And Secretary Powell and I had a chance to catch up.
You know, what an incredible American. He obviously served with dignity, he served with grace. He was the epitome of what it means to be strong, but at the same time, so modest in terms of everything that he did and said, in a way that it was never about him and it’s about the country, and it was about the people who served with him. We talked a bit about the challenges of this moment and as you all know, he was very supportive of the President and the work that we needed to get done.
But I just want to say that also — he is the first Black person, Black man to be Joint Chiefs –Chairman of the Joint Chiefs — to be National Security Advisor, to be Secretary of State. Every step of the way, when he filled those roles, he was by everything that he did and the way he did it, inspiring so many people. And there’s been a lot of conversation about that — how young servicemembers and others not only within the military but in our nation and around the globe, took notice of what his accomplishments meant as a reflection of who we are as a nation.
And I think that’s one of the most important things to take away, which is that he broke so many barriers and those barriers were not easy to break by any stretch. But he did it with dignity, he did it with grace. And because of what he was able to accomplish, it really did elevate our nation n so many ways. So may he rest in peace.
(When asked for a message for Americans who know that he was fully vaccinated for COVID and now remain skeptical about getting the vaccine. Despite the fact that yes, he did have a cancer diagnosis, Harris replied below.)
Well I don’t think that — what happens in terms of his health situation is exactly what the doctors have told us can happen in terms of people who are immunocompromised, people who have pre-existing conditions. I think that today is the day to really reflect on the life of the man and his extraordinary service. And not to politicize the efficacy of vaccines.Vice President Kamala Harris