To: Interested Parties
From: Pete Maysmith, SVP of Campaigns, LCV Victory Fund
Date: August 21, 2020
Re: What we’re watching for at the Republican National Convention
Ahead of the Republican National Convention, and while wildfires rage in the West, the difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden on climate change and the environment could not be more stark. As LCV Action Fund shared throughout the Democratic National Convention this week, former Vice President Biden and Senator Harris have put climate change and environmental justice front and center in their presidential campaign for the first time in modern political history. Donald Trump, on the other hand, denies science, called climate change a “hoax,” and has rolled back nearly 100 environmental safeguards putting the health and well-being of our communities at risk.
LCV Victory Fund has already invested $14 million in talking to swing voters about Trump’s harmful environmental record and named Donald Trump the “Dirtiest of All Time” on our signature Dirty Dozen list for good reason.
What we’ll be watching for next week:
If Trump’s past comments on the environment are any indication, we can expect to hear him swing wildly from his inaccurate and fear-based attacks on a “radical” environmental agenda to his equally outrageous claims about being responsible for the cleanest air and water — not to mention his occasional extended and false rants about wind power. We can expect that rather than acknowledging and addressing the systemic racism at the root of so much environmental injustice in our country, Trump will instead continue to stoke fear and hatred.
And while the planet is experiencing record-high temperatures once again this summer, it will also be important to see how other candidates speaking at the convention address this crisis, and other critical environmental issues like environmental racism, clean air and water, and the protection of public lands. Will other members of the 2020 Dirty Dozen like Steve Daines, Cory Gardner, John James, Martha McSally and Thom Tillis continue to stand with Trump in the rejection of science and public health in favor of polluters? The four incumbent senators, Daines, Gardner, McSally, and Tillis, have an abysmal combined average lifetime LCV score of 8%. All four have supported policies, including Trump’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan, that put more pollution in the air and make it harder to breathe — and studies have found that increased pollution levels lead to higher COVID-19 death rates. While Michigan businessperson John James has no experience in elected office, he is “all for” the Trump agenda and even suggested that rolling back regulations would help Flint residents suffering from lead-contaminated water.
Will any Republican House candidates in battleground races take heed of the polling that shows voters want their representatives to support pro-environment policies?
Regardless of how these issues are presented during the RNC, this is President Trump’s actual, abhorrent record on the environment:
Trump ignores scientists and experts and it’s putting our families at risk
- 97% of climate scientists, NASA, and the military agree that climate change is a threat to our communities, yet Donald Trump continues to deny climate change and even called it a “hoax.”
- Trump has also repeatedly denied scientific warnings about the threat of coronavirus, even calling it “Democrats’ new hoax.”
- Trump doesn’t believe what scientists and experts say and thinks he knows best instead — and it’s putting the health and well being of our families at extreme risk. The suffering from the coronavirus pandemic shows what happens when science and the experts are ignored, and the institutions we rely on to protect us are undermined.
Trump has gutted the EPA and rolled back key rules protecting our clean air and water
- Trump spent the past four years rolling back over 100 environmental safeguards and weakening federal agencies like EPA, leaving our communities more vulnerable to everything from air pollution to water contamination to extreme weather fueled by climate change.
- The Trump administration gutted popular clean car standards — “the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change.” The new rule will allow cars to emit nearly a billion tons more carbon dioxide.
- Trump is engaged in an all-out assault on our clean water safeguards, including gutting the vital Clean Water Act which will turn our streams into dumping grounds for big polluters and put clean drinking water for tens of millions of people at risk.
Trump opposes protecting our drinking water from cancer-causing PFAS chemicals
- Trump is letting dangerous PFAS chemicals, which are linked to birth defects and cancer, into our drinking water.
- The Trump administration said it would veto legislation to clean up these toxic “forever chemicals.”
- PFAS chemicals are especially prevalent in water near many military bases — and Trump opposed the plans to clean them up.
Trump is making it harder to breathe in the middle of a respiratory health crisis
- In addition to finalizing the roll back of clean car standards in March, the Trump EPA also chose not to strengthen air quality standards for particulate matter early in the pandemic. The proposal will allow unsafe levels of the soot pollution that research shows could increase the risk of dying from COVID-19.
- During the coronavirus pandemic, Trump’s EPA has also undermined the mercury pollution standard, exacerbating air pollution that is linked to permanent damage to the brains of babies and developing fetuses, leading to developmental delays, learning disabilities, and birth defects.
Trump ignoring science, climate change, and pollution is extremely harmful for communities of color
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are disproportionately impacted by climate change and exposed to dangerous toxic pollution — and Trump’s EPA has exacerbated environmental racism knowing this.
- The global pandemic that Trump called a “hoax” is killing members of the Black and Latinx communities at disproportionately high rates and threatening job security and safety at higher rates as well.
- Trump has perpetuated environmental racism during the pandemic in many ways, including gutting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Trump’s changes to the implementation of NEPA undermines communities’ ability to have a voice in major construction projects in their own backyards — especially low-income and communities of color that are often targeted by the fossil fuel industry and other heavy industry.
LCV Victory Fund experts are available for interviews on Trump and anti-environment Republicans’ harmful records throughout the RNC — please stay in touch.
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Paid for by LCV Victory Fund, www.lcvvictoryfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.