WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis, will participate in a hearing titled “The Fight to Save Winter: Pro Athletes for Climate Action” on Thursday, September 12 at 11:30 a.m. ET/9:30 a.m. MT. The special committee will hear from professional athletes and learn how climate change impacts popular winter sports and outdoor recreation, in turn threatening jobs and harming the tourism industry.
Snow sports tourism, which contributes $20 billion annually to the U.S. economy, will have to contend with shorter seasons and reduced snow cover. The industry is already feeling the impacts: the Fourth National Climate Assessment found, “Increasing air temperatures have substantially reduced the fraction of winter precipitation falling as snow, particularly over the western United States,” and recent research suggests the U.S. snow season has shortened by 34 days since the 1980s.
Roughly 20 million people participate in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling in the United States annually. Climate change will reduce participation in those sports and thereby threaten the roughly 190,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages generated by the winter tourism industry.
In addition to Heinrich, members of the committee include U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).
Mike Richter, President of Brightcore Energy; Hall of Fame goaltender for the New York Rangers
Jeremy Jones, Founder of Protect Our Winters; professional snowboarder
Caroline Gleich, Professional ski mountaineer and adventurer
Tommy Caldwell, Professional climber
Thursday, September 12, 2019
11:30 a.m. ET
Witness testimony and a live video of the hearing will be available at www.democrats.senate.gov/climate.