THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – March 10, 2017

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.

REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on CNBC’s Squawk Box, March 9, 2017

“Scott Pruitt’s denial of climate science ignores the EPA’s own findings under both Democrats and Republicans. His refusal to acknowledge carbon dioxide as a major contributor to climate change puts all of us in danger. His pattern of misleading Congress and the public, while parroting polluter industry talking points as he attempts to roll back critical environmental and public health safeguards, is beyond the pale.”

  • LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld on Scott Pruitt’s latest climate denial

“There are only two explanations for Mr. Pruitt’s outrageous comment: either our nation’s chief environmental officer is unaware of basic, scientific facts, or he is intent upon misleading the public. Carbon dioxide is one of the most potent and abundant greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, and it is the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities. Those are the facts; they are not up for debate.”

  • Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Ranking Member Tom Carper on Scott Pruitt’s recent claim on carbon dioxide

“As our nation’s indigenous communities and their supporters converge on Washington, LCV stands as allies in the fight for justice. This gathering transcends people, borders and lands to calls on the Trump administration, and those in positions of power, to respect the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters to protect all they hold sacred from big polluters and invasive energy projects which put access to clean air, water and land in jeopardy.

We thank the indigenous communities for fighting for Mother Earth.”

  • League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski on Native Nations March

LCV IN THE NEWS
New York Daily News: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming
The Hill: Dems push Trump to keep Obama-era car emissions standards
E&E News: Greens to Trump: Target climate change, not immigrants
E&E News: Former EPA aide hopes to become energy, enviro policy player

WEEK IN REVIEW

Pruitt Claims CO2 is NOT A Major Contributor To Climate Change.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt denied the science of climate change this week. When asked about what role carbon dioxide plays in climate change, Pruitt stated: “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” Government agencies, including the EPA that Pruitt leads, all assert the validity of climate science, including rising levels of carbon dioxide as the main culprit, as do studies from Brookings, Yale, Harvard, Center For American Progress, Aspen Institute, and Berkeley just to name a few.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS COVER: To Hell With Science! EPA Head Says… CO2 NO EVIL

LCV Highlights Government Agencies Disputing Pruitt’s Climate Denial

  • EPA FACT CHECK: “Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change.”
  • NOAA FACT CHECK: A large body of evidence supports the conclusion that human activity is the primary driver of recent warming. This evidence has accumulated over several decades, and from hundreds of studies.
  • NASA FACT CHECK: “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”

WHAT HIS PREDECESSOR IS SAYING: Gina McCarthy Blasts Pruitt
“An all-out attack on environmental protection,” is Gina McCarthy’s response to the administration’s plans to gut the EPA budget, rollback the Clean Power Plan and regulations that govern auto-emissions standards. Criticizing Trump’s politicization of the EPA, McCarthy reminded viewers that the agency has been bipartisan for over 40 years. “I don’t know why they’ve decided that our core values no longer include clean air and clean water… it’s executive orders that are threatening the safety of our drinking water for 117 million Americans,” McCarthy stated on MSNBC.

TALKING POINTS: Former EPA Spokeswoman on Talking Climate in The Trump Era

BUDGET CRISIS: EPA Loses Environmental Justice Leader, as White House Readies to Dismantle Decades-Long Program
Environmental justice champion and 24-year leader of the EPA Environmental Justice Program Mustafa Ali resigned this week, unable to serve in an administration committed to harming vulnerable communities. In his resignation letter, Ali urged Scott Pruitt to think twice before cutting EPA funding for programs that help disadvantaged areas. LCV President Gene Karpinski stated the cuts make the message clear: Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt “intend to place the heaviest burden on low income and communities of color to deal with pollution and polluters on their own.”

UNITED STATES OF EXXON: White House Copies Oil Company Release Almost Word-For-Word
The administration and oil industry sang from the same hymn book this week, with the White House praising a four-year old jobs initiative from ExxonMobil in strikingly similar terms.

Within an hour both the White House and Exxon published almost identical press releases.

LCV Join Sens. Markey, Carper, Merkley to Protest Auto-Emissions Standards Rollback
In response to expected rollbacks, LCV joined Senate environmental champions to call out the administration’s efforts to loosen restrictions on vehicle emissions. The Senators were among 12 Senate leaders who sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt asking him to reconsider rolling back auto-emissions standards put in place by the Obama administration. The standards benefit consumers, saving them billions of dollars at the pump and reduce our carbon pollution. “Rolling back these commonsense, highly successful and overwhelmingly popular clean car standards are beyond disgraceful,” said LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld.

Stacking the Deck and Filling the Swamp: Pruitt Fills EPA With Climate Change Skeptics
The New York Times reported that Scott Pruitt continues to fill his agency with known climate science deniers, including former and current Washington State Senators Don Benton and Douglas Ericksen. The moves are part of a concerted effort to build an agency led by individuals with beliefs completely at odds with its purpose and staff.

SHOT: House Science Committee Passes Bills Designed to Slow The EPA Down
The committee passed two bills this week hampering the EPA’s ability to conduct science independently. Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) went on record stating that these bills are clear attempts at slowing the EPA down.

CHASER: The Creeping, Quiet Gaslighting of The EPA

“Keep Public Lands in Public Hands” – Nearly 3,000 Turn Out for Idaho Rally
LCV’s Idaho state league, Conservation Voters for Idaho, is part of Idahoans for Public Lands, which organized a rally in Boise on March 4 to demonstrate support for public lands and opposition to them being sold-offThe nearly 3,000 person rally came on the heels of major pro-public lands rallies held in MT and NM earlier this year, which coupled with direct pressure on Rep. Chaffetz, caused Chaffetz to “withdraw” his lands sell-off bill earlier this year.

NEXT WEEK

ON WATCH: Clean Power Plan, Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing, Auto-Emissions Standards to be Rolled Back
President Trump’s biggest attack on fighting climate change to date is still to come. It is expected that executive orders rolling back the Clean Power Plan and the moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands will come next week – in addition to an EPA-DOT announcement rescinding emissions standards for the auto-industry.

SKINNY BUDGET: More Detail on Gutting of EPA, NOAA Budget to Come Next Week
The administration is set to release topline “skinny budget” numbers that will shed more light on the content of the alleged 25% cut to the EPA budget and 17% cut to NOAA.

IN APRIL: The fight for climate, justice and a clean energy economy continues April 29 at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC. For March details, visit the event page, here. LCV joined the Peoples Climate Movement as an official sponsor in November 2016.

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