USA - U.S. House Working on Sea Level Rise Threats to Guam, CNMI

The House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee is focusing on addressing global warming and the threat of the resulting sea level rise on Guam, the CNMI and other U.S. territories and freely associated states.

"I’m gathering feedback from local government officials, organizations and communities to refine this legislation before officially introducing it because the threat is serious and we have to get this right the first time,” said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat and committee chair.

“Millions of people are depending on Congress to take the threats to Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the Virgin Islands seriously and not leave them behind," said Grijalva, who is seeking comment from local officials and citizens on his discussion draft on the bills, available at

CNMI Delegate Gregorio "Kilili" Sablan also serves on the Resources Committee. He is its vice chair for insular affairs and a member of its Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee.

As written, the legislation would include:

  • Creation within the Department of Energy of an Office of Insular Area Energy Policy and Programs to direct energy management, planning, delivery, and conservation programs in the U.S. territories.  
  • The establishment within the Office of Insular Area Energy Policy and Programs of an Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program to provide funding allocations to reduce energy demand in the U.S. territories.

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