Rep. Donna Edwards at Hearing on Hurricane Sandy: ‘The Elephant in This Room’ Is Climate Change

By Melanie Arter | December 4, 2012 | 5:27pm EST

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.)

( - At a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on FEMA’s preparations for Hurricane Sandy, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed is “climate change.”

“The elephant in this room that needs to be spoken about is the impact of climate change and the increasing intensity of storms and the variedness of the storms, the breadth of a storm like Sandy, and I think that we need to be rebuild and rethink our infrastructure in those terms and that’s something that this Congress and our next Congress ought to address sooner rather than later – things like our power grid in densely populated areas,” she said.

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Edwards stressed the importance of protecting the power grid and bringing it back online as soon as possible, as well as protecting the water and sewer infrastructure.

“What is it that we can do to better protect them, to make sure that we’re able to bring them back online as soon as possible – our water infrastructure, sewer infrastructure that’s located closely to the coastline so that it’s more vulnerable, and of course our transit infrastructure, to know that at least one tunnel in New York that’s brand-new is devastated,” Edwards said.

“And that the tunnels are, the tubes are old, and while the city I think has done an amazing, amazing job in getting things back online and people moving from one place to another, that infrastructure’s really vulnerable, as it’s vulnerable all across this country,” she added.

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