Defend Our Environment

Credit: Scott McGuire/Shutterstock

The Trump administration is moving to slash the protections and programs that keep industries from polluting our air and water, threatening our health, degrading our public lands, and accelerating global warming. We can defend our environment, but only if we can unite all Americans, from across the country, from all walks of life, to stand together.

Most Americans want more, not fewer, protections for the people and places we love.

Yet if those in Washington, D.C., continue to dismantle our best environmental protections, Californians will be left with dirtier air to breathe, dirtier water to drink and swim in, a more rapidly changing climate, and more degraded public lands. 

President Trump has ordered the rollback of the Clean Power Plan, the strongest action we’ve ever taken to limit climate changing power plant pollution in the United States. He announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, breaking our commitment to the world to lead the fight against climate change.

He also signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, and another to rollback Clean Car Standards. Left unchecked, these action will lead to more pollution in our skies, triggering asthma attack in our children and further destabilizing our climate.

After promising during his campaign to “abolish” the EPA himself or “leave just a little bit,” President Trump proposed a federal budget that would slash EPA funding by 31 percent. These cuts would virtually eliminate funding for proven programs needed to clean up the nation’s great waterways, from Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound; decimate environmental research and science programs; and effectively take the nation’s environmental cops off the polluter beat.

The administration has also moved to roll back the Clean Water Rule, eliminating Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of our nation’s streams, which help provide drinking water for one in three Americans. And the president signed executive orders to open up parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans to offshore drilling, to roll back protections for America’s public lands, and to review 27 of our national monuments, including Giant Sequoia, to determine if they should opened up to mining, drilling or logging.

 Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

A “little bit” of environmental protection is not nearly enough

Not when it comes to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the people and places we love. Not when millions of Americans share the core values that the Trump administration is violating. 

The vast majority of us believe the health of our children is more valuable than the dollars saved when a company dumps pollution into our air or water. The future of our children and life on our planet makes the investment in clean, renewable energy a no-brainer for everybody, save perhaps the executives of a few outdated fossil fuel companies. The idea that we’ve found some places so special, some would even say sacred, that we’ve declared them off-limits to development is one of our proudest achievements.

But our environmental values are meaningless if we don’t act on them, and stand up and defend them when they’re under attack — especially given the power of old but entrenched industries that are wed to a status quo that no longer serves our needs, and a worldview that puts their short-term economic interests above the health of the American people and the environment we share. 

Credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

 

Uniting Americans to defend our environment

The leaders and activists of the past saw the result of decades of unchecked pollution in our smog-covered skylines and our toxic rivers. They worked against all odds and, ultimately, their values won the day. Our environmental forebears organized the first Earth Day, supported and passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the torch passes to us.

If we bring together people from all walks of life, from both sides of the political divide, and unite in action to defend the places we love, we can show the Trump administration that reckless proposals to roll back clean air, clean water and other environmental protections will not be tolerated.

The children we know and love today can live cleaner, healthier lives in a greener world, but only if we can keep our environmental protections in place and make them stronger. It’s up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

2.4 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into California’s Waterways

Industrial facilities dumped 2.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals into California’s waterways statewide in 2012, making California’s waterways the 26th worst in the nation according to a new report by Environment California Research & Policy Center.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Wasting our Waterways

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment California

Over 200 State Legislators Call on President Obama for Continued Action to Protect America’s Public Lands

Washington, DC -- In anticipation of National Parks Week coming up next week, 28 state legislators from California released a letter today thanking President Obama for protecting public lands here in California. They join more than 200 state legislators from around the country calling on President Obama to continue to fulfill his State of the Union promise and use his authority to protect America’s public lands.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Golden Gate National Recreation Area and California’s National Parks are Underfunded, Under Threat

As Congress approaches another deadline on the federal budget, a new Environment California Research & Policy Center analysis entitled Death by a Thousand Cuts exposes the challenges facing California’s National Parks as a result of mounting funding cuts to the National Park Service.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Greening the Bottom Line in Century City

In Los Angeles’s Century City, being green pays off. Standing at the base of the landmark skyscrapers known as Century Plaza Towers on the city’s westside, environmentalists joined with the Los Angeles Business Council Institute, prominent business leaders and elected officials to put a spotlight on how California businesses and property owners are embracing clean energy solutions and saving money.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed