Champs Respond to Anti-Environmental Executive Order

Apr 17, 2017

By Darien Davis, Congressional Champions Project Assistant for the League of Conservation Voters

As the Trump administration tries to unravel all of the progress our country has made to combat climate change, our champions in Congress are standing up and fighting back.

President Trump recently signed a sweeping executive order with devastating climate impacts. In particular, it starts the process to scrap the Clean Power Plan – the biggest step we’ve ever taken to reduce carbon pollution; reverses the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management’s efforts to reduce methane pollution, lifts the Moratorium on Federal Coal Leasing, and more.

Fortunately, our clean energy and climate champions in Congress are fighting back against Trump’s destructive plans. Just after the order was signed, members of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee responded by immediately holding an emergency press conference.

Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware), the Ranking Member on the committee kicked things off ] by setting the record straight on Trump’s supposed job creation assertion, “Let’s be perfectly clear: This executive order will not bring back jobs.”

He’s right— today, more people work in the U.S. solar industry than in oil, coal and gas combined. Transitioning to clean energy will create jobs, grow our economy, and protect our health and climate.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) did not hesitate to call out the Trump administration’s ties to special interest polluters.  He explained how the executive order puts the profits of polluters over our public health, saying,

“The most voracious and malign special interest in American politics – the fossil fuel industry – has captured the Trump administration, installed its top henchmen at the EPA, and gone to work trying to unwind any environmental and public health safeguard that gets in the way of its profits.”

Later that evening, Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) went on MSNBC to discuss what exactly the executive order means for our health.

Several members in the House of Representatives put pen to paper to stand up to Trump’s actions. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-03) wrote an opinion piece making the economic case against weakening climate laws, arguing that ignoring climate change comes with a huge financial cost.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) also highlighted the pure hypocrisy of this executive order, writing that “The President of the United States thinks he has tricked America into believing he is concerned about energy independence. Instead, what this executive action has shown, is his utter disregard for our environment and the environment that will be left to future generations.”

Several members of Congress took to Twitter to denounce Trump’s destructive executive action, pointing out how they would destroy the critical tools that we use to fight climate change. Congressman Don McEachin (VA-04), Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), and Congressman Ben Ray Luján (NM-03) argued that the anti-environmental order would jeopardize the safety of our planet for future generations.

Our members of Congress are leading the resistance by introducing legislation to block this executive action and protect our environment. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and over 30 of his Senate colleagues introduced a bill to completely rescind the anti-climate executive order.

Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), Congressman Charlie Crist (FL-13), and Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) introduced their own version of the legislation, aptly named the “Congressional Leadership in Mitigating Administration Threats to the Earth” or CLIMATE Act.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) has also led this bold effort by reintroducing his “Keep It In The Ground Act” which advances the development of clean energy instead of dirty fossil fuels.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) has worked tirelessly to raise the fact that climate change is  a serious national security threat – the Pentagon even identified it as a “threat multiplier.” He also, along with eleven other Democratic senators, sent a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission demanding they reinstate a transparency rule for the oil and gas industry.  This was in response to Trump and Congressional Republicans eliminating an anti-corruption rule which now makes it nearly impossible to track billions of dollars worth of corruption and tax evasion in the oil and gas industry.

The stakes to protect our health and environment have never been higher, and it’s time to join these members of Congress in the fight to resist Trump. Take action by joining the People’s Climate Movement to demand that our leaders #ActOnClimate. Learn more here: