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Brian Sandoval is a Climate Change Denier

Gov. Brian Sandoval
Nevada

"Asked if he believes humans are the main drivers of global warming, Sandoval told RCP in an interview last week, 'I’m not qualified to answer that question.' He added, 'Let me tell you what we’ve done, without getting to whether it’s human-caused or whatever that may be.'”

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What climate change means for Nevada

  • In the summer of 2004, the Waterfall Fire tore across Nevada and required more than $6.3 million in public assistance for recovery.
  • Severe winter storms and flooding in 2008 resulted in a major disaster declaration for Nevada. An estimated 259 residences were impacted, and the state required more than $3 million in individual and public assistance for recovery efforts.
  • In 2010, water levels in Lake Mead were at their lowest in more than 40 years because of decreasing Colorado River runoff. As the water level drops, increasingly severe and prolonged droughts could jeopardize the lake’s ability to meet downstream municipal and agricultural needs.
  • In Nevada, there were more than 2,700 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of close to $31,000 for each stay.
  • Temperatures in the Southwest are increasing more quickly than in other regions of the United States as a result of climate change. These increases can have important impacts on human health, particularly in cities, where 90 percent of the region’s population lives. Decreases in air quality during heat waves, for example, can worsen the effects of respiratory illnesses and heart disease; high temperatures also increase the risk of heat stress. Even small increases in temperature can dry soils and vegetation, increasing the risk of wildfires. In 2012, wildfires burned 9.2 million acres across eight states, reducing air quality, damaging property and costing more than $1 billion. Water resources, already over-tapped in many areas, will become even scarcer as a result of increased evaporation and snowmelt caused by higher temperatures, affecting agriculture, hydroelectric power plants, and water availability in growing cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas. This will also reduce groundwater recharge, which, combined with heavy groundwater pumping, will lower water tables and limit water availability and make it harder to support the Southwest region’s cities and agricultural production. Although water scarcity will increase, the Southwest will also see increased frequency and altered timing of flooding because of increased intensity of rainfalls when they do occur, leading to increased risks to people, natural resources, and infrastructure.