Climate Change Task Force Meets at White House as Snowstorm Shutters Federal Offices in DC

By Barbara Hollingsworth | December 10, 2013 | 5:17 PM EST

The White House (AP photo)

( --  A winter storm warning from the National Weather Service was enough to close down the federal government’s offices in Washington Tuesday.

But neither snow nor sleet  could keep members of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience from their appointed round at the White House.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted a photo of Tuesday’s first meeting of the task force, which was created by an executive order of President Obama on November 1st as part of his Climate Action Plan. (See Climate Action Plan.pdf)

The meeting was also attended by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn – right after Chicago posted its lowest subzero overnight temperature since 1995 and one day after the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth in East Antarctica.

The task force’s mission is to “advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with extreme weather, sea level rise, and other impacts of climate change.”

“I am pleased at the opportunity to serve, with my fellow governors and other leaders from across the country,” Inslee said on November 4th after he was one of eight governors, seven of them Democrats, appointed to the task force by President Obama.

“While we undertake actions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving these dangerous climate shifts, we must as a state and nation better prepare our communities and our infrastructure to face these accelerating impacts.”