Ahead Of Tahoe Summit, Reid Calls For Climate Change Consensus

Aug 23, 2016

Sen. Harry Reid speaks with reporters at his Reno office on Aug. 23, 2016.
Credit Julia Ritchey

With the 20th anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Summit around the corner, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says more will have to be done to protect the lake from climate change. 

Reid says he's proud of his work to preserve Lake Tahoe and bring more awareness to pollution issues through the Lake Tahoe Summit, which he helped spearhead 20 years ago.

The first summit prompted the Tahoe Restoration Act that funded programs to improve clarity. That funding has run out and the act is now up for renewal.

"Because it's an ongoing process, we can't think 20 years is taking care of all the problems — it hasn't — but it sure set the tone for what needs to be done in the future," says Reid.

He says seeing the recent flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in the West shows global warming is real and should be treated as such by elected officials on both sides of the aisle.

"It's not a partisan issue," he says. "So I hope that others will continue with [those efforts.]"

The senate minority leader spoke to reporters for almost an hour on Tuesday at his Reno office, touching on his environmental efforts, the presidential election and partisan gridlock in Congress.

The Tahoe Summit this year, being held August 31, will feature a host of high ranking officials, including President Obama. Nevada-based rock band The Killers will play a concert. 

"At the 20th summit, I didn't want a bunch of speeches like we always do," Reid says. "I wanted it to be a celebration of this great piece of nature."

Reid says once he retires, he expects California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to lead bi-partisan efforts to keep Tahoe blue.