Obama Visits New York
to View Superstorm Sandy Damage
November 15, 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama has surveyed some of the hardest-hit areas
of New York, where many residents are struggling to recover from the
effects of the Atlantic superstorm Sandy.
Obama met with storm victims and officials Thursday, on his second trip
to the region of the East Coast where the massive storm came ashore last
The president said administration officials are working on a plan to aid
the rebuilding process. He urged federal, state and local officials to
put "turf battles" aside and work together.
Earlier, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration has
obligated more than $1.5 billion to support storm response and recovery
efforts, and would continue to supply "all available resources" to state
and local officials.
The storm left at least 120 people dead and caused an estimated $50
billion in damage. It also devastated many of the city's seaside
neighborhoods when it made landfall, leaving millions of residents
either homeless or without electricity for up to three weeks amid
bitterly cold temperatures.
Climate change debated
The monster storm, which struck the East Coast just days before the U.S.
presidential election, has revived the political debate about climate
change, which some observers blame for several recent violent weather
events like Sandy.
Download Although he did not make such a connection, Obama told
reporters at the White House Wednesday he had no doubts about climate
change and its effect on the environment.
"What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing
faster than was predicted even 10 years ago," the president noted. "We
do know that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than was predicted
even five years ago. We do know that there have been an extraordinarily
large number of severe weather events here in North America, but also
around the globe. And I am a firm believer that climate change is real,
that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions."
An attempt to pass a so-called "cap-and-trade" bill that would restrict
emissions of carbon dioxide failed in the U.S. Congress during Obama's
first term, but the president vowed to press forward on the issue in his
what I'm going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several
months, is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with
scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what more can we
do to make short-term progress in reducing carbons," he said, adding
that he would then generate national dialog about "what realistically
can we do long term to make sure that this is not something we're
passing on to future generations."
The president pointed to his administration's tightened fuel efficiency
standards on cars and trucks and the increased use of renewable energy
to limit the country's use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
Many scientists say climate change is caused by the release of carbon
dioxide and the burning of fossil fuels, which traps heat in the
atmosphere, causing a so-called "greenhouse" effect.
A number of research groups are proposing the creation of an outright
tax on carbon emissions, which would make people pay more for using