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15 Sep 2009: Interior Launches Council
to Monitor and Tackle Climate Change

The U.S. Interior Department has formed a council to monitor the impacts of climate change and to suggest regional strategies for dealing with it, the Obama administration’s first coordinated plan to confront what Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the “signature issues of the 21st century.” Salazar will coordinate monitoring and response by “regional climate change response centers” among Interior’s eight bureaus nationwide, which will in turn work with local groups and other federal agencies. Among other steps, Salazar said, the council will investigate ways to sequester carbon by storing it underground and by absorbing it through forests and rangelands. The Interior Department manages 20 percent of the nation’s land mass and almost 1.7 billion acres of submerged land on the Outer Continental Shelf. A recent U.S. government report concluded that the effects of climate change are already being felt nationwide and outlined the ways in which climate is expected to change in various regions of the country.


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