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.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Is there anyone Donald Trump hasn’t managed to offend today? This speech marked an appalling conclusion to a dirty energy week. If President Trump wanted the United States to be truly ‘energy dominant,’ he’d invest in clean energy innovation instead of slashing renewable energy research. He’d have us lead on climate change, instead of retreating from leadership on the world stage by withdrawing the Paris climate agreement. But voters are paying close attention, and it’s no wonder only a quarter of people support his radical anti-environmental policies. They know he has no interest in creating clean energy jobs, investing in energy efficient solutions, or tackling climate change. Without a doubt Trump’s dirty energy week was a failure, with only vague policies that would benefit corporate polluters, while putting our natural heritage, our families’ health and our economic well-being at risk.”
-LCV’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld in response to Donald Trump’s “Energy Week” speech
“Gov. LePage and President Trump’s dirty energy policy protects big polluters at the expense of Mainers who want to take charge of their energy decisions and generate homegrown, renewable solar power… Instead of investing in solar energy to create jobs, lower electricity bills and protect the health of hardworking families, the Trump-LePage agenda puts corporations above all else.”
-Beth Ahearn, political director of Maine Conservation Voters, on Gov. LePage’s history of vetoing popular and bipartisan solar energy legislation
“…This rollback of drinking water safeguards would allow big polluters to dump waste into the drinking water of 117 million people… The public will not stand idly by while Trump and his cronies try to decimate safeguards for our environment and our health, and LCV and our members are ready to fight to ensure everyone has access to clean water.”
-League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski on the Trump Administration’s proposed rollback of the Clean Water Rule
LCV IN THE NEWS:
USA Today: Trump: U.S. will be ‘energy dominant’
The Hill: Overnight Energy: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule
Huffington Post: For a guy who doesn’t ‘pick winners,’ Ryan Zinke sure loves fossil fuels
Think Progress: Trump’s road to ‘energy dominance’ excludes clean energy
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
LCV’s state affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
New Jersey Spotlight (NJ): ‘Greens’ see red over budget plan, raids on pollution settlements
Dredge Wire (MI): Environmental cuts could hobble pure Michigan
Concord Monitor (NH): Concord city council approves $61.81 million budget
NEW POLL: 56 PERCENT OF VOTERS DISAPPROVE OF PARIS DECISION; VOTERS PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO TRUMP ASSAULT ON ENVIRONMENT: A new poll this week revealed that Americans are paying close attention to Trump’s assault on climate and environmental protections, and 50 percent have an unfavorable view of Trump’s environmental policies. The poll, released by the League of Conservation Voters this week, also showed that voters are less favorable towards Members of Congress who support Trump’s environment agenda. And a 56% majority disapprove of his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
TRUMP’S DIRTY ENERGY WEEK. SAD! This week, the White House made a paltry attempt to distract from their typical attacks on the environment with some “positive” messaging — enter “Energy Week.” Unfortunately for the administration, the plan fell flat and Trump’s energy policy proposals were met with rebuke from environmental experts and activists alike. The week only offered vague policies that would benefit corporate polluters and special interests and do nothing to move us towards a clean energy economy.
E&E: PRUITT WILL LAUNCH PROGRAM TO ‘CRITIQUE’ CLIMATE SCIENCE: Climatewire broke news this morning of Scott Pruitt’s plan to launch a “red team, blue team” review of climate science despite an overwhelming and long-standing international scientific consensus. This is possibly the first step toward challenging the landmark endangerment finding that requires the EPA to regulate carbon pollution
TRUMP & PRUITT WORK TO ROLLBACK CLEAN WATER PROTECTIONS: On Wednesday, the administration launched yet another attack on environmental safeguards. Scott Pruitt released a proposal to rescind the Clean Water Rule, which protects drinking water for 117 million people. The change would mean that many bodies of water currently regulated by the federal government would no longer be protected, including many streams and rivers. The rollback of drinking water safeguards is shameful, and the administration will be held accountable for once again placing the interests of corporate polluters ahead of our health.
Late on Thursday, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) led a group of over 70 Representatives on a letter to Pruitt requesting that the paltry 30 day comment period on the decision be extended to a minimum of 90 days to insure that concerned and affected parties are able to weigh in.
SILENCING SCIENTISTS: Emails revealed this week that EPA’s Chief of Staff pressured the top scientist on the agency’s Board of Scientific Advisors to change her testimony to Congress and pushed her to stick to the agency’s talking points when responding to questions. The administration has made it clear up to this point that they don’t value the role of scientists, but urging an EPA employee to alter testimony brings the administration to an entirely new low.
FILLING THE SWAMP: PRUITT REPLACING SCIENTISTS WITH LOBBYISTS: It’s already been reported that Scott Pruitt has been pushing scientists out of the EPA. At the end of August, 38 members of the Board of Scientific Counselors will be leaving, and this past April, 9 of the 18 scientific experts on the Board were also notified that their contracts are not being renewed. But this week, it was reported that Pruitt is working to fill the vacancies at the EPA with industry representatives from the oil, gas and coal industries. Once again, the Trump administration has shown its eagerness to put polluters over people and cater to special interests rather than American communities.
SWAMP SIREN: If that isn’t enough evidence that Pruitt is in the pocket of industry, news surfaced this week that Priutt met privately with the CEO of Dow Chemical before deciding to reverse the agency’s push to ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide. The agency had been considering a petition to ban the chemical, after health studies showed it can cause significant harm on children’s brains.
STUDY LINKS POLLUTION TO EARLY DEATHS: As the Administration is working to dismantle air quality regulations, a new study from Harvard University suggests that air pollution causes early death in the United States, even at levels well below the limits set by the EPA. The study linked two main smog pollutants to an increased risk of premature death. The scientists found that reducing fine particle pollution by one microgram per cubic meter would save roughly 12,000 lives each year, and that lowering ozone pollution by 1 part per billion could save another 1,900. Fine particle pollution is linked to cardiovascular disease, while ozone pollution contributes to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
July 10th is the deadline to submit public comments in support of our public lands and national monuments. Here is the full list of monuments under review by the US Department of the Interior.