A War on the Environment Begins: Fight for a Future With Clean Air and Water…Resist Republican Efforts to Gut the EPA and NOAA

We all need clean air to breath and clean water to drink. Global climate change will have disastrous impacts on future generations. Since its formation in the 1970s, the EPA has been at the forefront of insuring these basic needs for us, our children and generations to come; as well as working to reduce our global climate footprint. The EPA and the leading climate research agencies are under full-scale assault by Trumps executive orders, the proposed Budget and the new EPA Director.

President Trump has issued executive orders allowing coal mine wastes to be dumped into waterways and eliminating requirements for increasing gas mileage for American cars far into the future. These were two of the most important and wide ranging environmental actions of the Obama administration. Efforts are underway to roll back Obama administration limits on emissions from coal fired power plants. 

President Trump’s budget puts the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the leading climate research agencies on the chopping block in order to offset a massive $54 billion increase in military funding. The EPA accounts for .2 % of federal spending, with a budget of $8.2 billion. The proposed reduction of EPA’s 15,000 workforce to 12,000, a level not seen since the mid-1980s, eliminates 1 in 5 of the agency’s workers and countless important environmental protection programs. The U.S. Global Change Research Program will be gutted.  Reductions at NOAA will cut programs that monitor and research weather and climate change. Cuts amounting to a quarter or more of the program budgets will devastate our climate knowledge. 

Programs on the chopping block include climate protection, environmental justice, research funding, and energy efficiency initiatives. The largest cuts at the EPA strike hardest at those least able to advocate for their health and environmental quality. During the campaign Trump criticized EPA's failure to protect drinking water in Flint, but grants for lead cleanup will be cut 30%.  Money to enforce current anti-pollution laws, as well as clean up programs like those reclaiming brownfields industrial sites will be slashed. Grants to Native tribes to control pollution and secure clean water will be cut, as will the Environmental Justice program that helps communities of color develop solutions to local environmental and public health problems and a program that enables minority-owned businesses to secure EPA supplies and services. Overseeing all these programs is the new Director of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, who is an ardent opponent of clean air and water laws.

Act Now for Bi-partisan Support of Clean Air and Water and Basic Environmental Protections! 

  1. Call BOTH of your Senators AND your Representative –Ask that they oppose these reckless cuts to the EPA and NOAA. Insist that they protect our air and water for future generations. Reaffirm your support for aggressive efforts to reduce harmful emissions that cause global climate change. Find your Representatives’ phone numbers here and see our updated recommendations on How to Make a Political Phone Call
  2. Call the White House and let them know you oppose gutting the EPA and support clean air and water for future generations. And/or call your governor and ask that she/he support EPA efforts in your state.
  3. Decide how you will contribute to slowing down climate change. We need the government to act AND we need to make changes in the carbon footprint of every household. Here are some suggestions.

The Hard Ask: When talking to your Representatives, ask how he/she will specifically stand up for the EPA and oppose any retreat on addressing global climate change.