Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District and a member of the Safe Climate Caucus spoke on the House floor this morning on the need to address climate change. With Hispanic Heritage Month beginning on September 15, Luján highlighted the importance of this issue with the Latino community. During his remarks, Luján also highlighted his opposition to a House Republican plan to make steep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
"Mr. Speaker, it's time for Congress to work together on a commonsense solution to address the impacts of climate change. As we begin Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important for us to recognize the impact climate change is disproportionately having upon minority communities across the country.
"Whether it's farmers and ranchers in my home state of New Mexico struggling through devastating drought conditions, or communities that are being impacted by recent flooding as a result of more severe weather, millions of Americans have been impacted by the effects of climate change.
"Released earlier this year, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found:
* 74 percent of Latinos believe climate change is a serious or very serious problem, a higher level than the 65 percent among all American adults.
* 68 percent of Latinos support the President using his authority to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, including 60 percent of all American adults.
* 69 percent of Latinos agree with the President's statement that "for the sake of our children' and our future, we must do more to combat climate change, compared to 62 percent of all American adults.
"Combating climate change and preserving our land, water, and air is a top priority for many Americans, especially those in minority communities.
"For years, a coalition of stakeholders, including Hispanic farmers and ranchers, tribal communities, conservation groups, hunting and fishing organizations, and local governments came together to lay the foundation that led to President Obama establishing the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument earlier this year.
"This is an example of the type of leadership and advocacy that can make a real difference in addressing climate change and preserving our precious resources. By establishing the Rio Grande del Norte we have created economic certainly for farmers and ranchers, increased recreation and tourism opportunities, and most importantly, protected our land, water and air for future generations."