EDITORIAL NOTE: On April 29th, the 100th day of Donald Trump’s administration, the League of Conservation Voters is joining hundreds of thousands of people at the People’s Climate March to send a strong message that we will not stand by as Trump and his Republican allies attack our public health, clean air and water, climate science, and our lands. We stand with the people of this country who overwhelmingly support protections for our health and the environment. For details, visit the event page here.
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REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Resource Page Tracks Trump Administration’s Statements on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues. Here are some of the greatest hits:
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Donald Trump is again showing that his presidency serves the interests of giant oil companies over the health, safety, and future of people across the United States. Removing protections from Arctic and Atlantic waters so Big Oil can drill would put coastal economies and ways of life at risk of a devastating oil spill, while worsening the consequences of climate change. We must make smarter energy choices by further investing in clean energy to leave our kids a planet not damaged beyond repair instead of staking our future in places whose oil wouldn’t reach consumers for decades.”
“The Trump administration is prioritizing drilling, mining and the construction of an immoral and environmentally-destructive border wall over protecting America’s public lands and people’s health. Our country’s public lands should be preserved for all people to enjoy and should not be handed over to corporate polluters. Building a border wall is an affront to our values, our nation’s people, and to our cultural and ecological heritage.”
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Washington Post: Latino political group turning attention from Washington to state capitals
Inside Climate News: “Even for Pruitt, It’s Outrageous”
Mother Jones: Trump Made It a Lot Easier for Oil Companies to Drill in National Parks
E&E News: Leaked BLM ‘priority work’ list sparks green concerns
SHOT: On Fox and Friends, Pruitt Falsely Accuses Obama of Not Pursuing Jobs, Growth, and Environmental Initiatives
In an interview on Thursday, Pruitt stirred controversy by claiming the Obama Administration made the country choose between “jobs, growth and the environment.” With a legacy that boasts the addition of more than 11 million jobs into the job market and historic steps to reduce climate pollution we’re struggling to understand the “choice” that Pruitt means. Pruitt also used the interview as a time to mislead the public on the Paris Climate Agreement, falsely claiming that China and India have no obligations under the agreement until 2030. Note: both countries pledged significant emissions reductions by 2030, meaning they are taking steps now to meet their commitments. In fact, China and India are both investing heavily in renewable energy. Watch the cringe-worthy video here.
CHASER: Pruitt Announces “Back-To-Basics” At Coal Mine Destined to Move to Natural Gas
Scott Pruitt launched the EPA’s “Back-To-Basics” Campaign at a Pennsylvanian Coal Mine on Thursday, promising a return to the past success of the mine. However, the owners of the coal mine are trying to leave the industry for natural gas, an irony that seemed to be lost on Pruitt. Consol Energy, the mine’s parent company, is in the process of pulling out of mining all together—the CEO of the company cites decreasing market demand for coal as the reasoning. Although Pruitt pledged that clean water and air would be preserved, he is taking actions that will dirty our water, air and lands, and many agents at the EPA oppose this “new” agenda.
WHAT GOING BACK TO BASICS LOOKS LIKE:
MEANWHILE, ON THE WEST COAST: Portland to Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050
In an announcement earlier this week, Portland and Multnomah County leaders committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Portland is one of several U.S. cities that is facing climate change head on and making strides to protect the environment. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said he believes that tackling climate change will need to be a collaborative effort and that the government and business must work together to achieve these goals.
ALL WE DO IS WIN: “Run to Win 101” Environment and Women’s Groups Team Up
On April 30th, the day after the People’s Climate March, LCV is partnering with other environmental and women’s organizations to host a campaign and political training summit for women interested in running for elected office. In the wake of the November election results, a historic 10,000 women have sought partner organization EMILY’s List’s help in running for office.
NO MATTER WHAT: Latino Victory Fund Models State Candidate Program Off LCV
Cristobal Alex, president of the Latino Victory Fund, in an interview with the Washington Post cited the League of Conservation Voters as a model for their program to build a deep bench of Latino candidates. This LCV model includes maintaining a PAC that endorses political candidates, but also includes state affiliates that do political or advocacy work. In the interview, Alex said, “Our goal is to help build a bench for Latino candidates from school board to Senate. We have not seen another organization undertake this before.”
NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Environmental Activists Ramp Up Work During Recess
While members of Congress return to their respective districts for the spring recess, climate, labor, and environmental groups are teaming up to turn up the heat against Trump’s environmental executive orders and proposed budget. Organizations such as WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the Natural Resources Defense Fund will be recruiting people to attend their representatives’ town halls and to volunteer at local People’s Climate Marches on April 29. However, not all lawmakers are enthusiastic about meeting with constituents this spring, with GOP Sen. Dean Heller referring to town halls as “one of those boxes you gotta check.”
Departing EPA Staffer Pens Letter to Pruitt
After 25 years with the EPA, Michael Cox announced his resignation, but not without giving Pruitt a warning. Pruitt’s EPA stands to lose approximately 3,200 employees as a result of the Trump budget and regulatory rollbacks. After citing the low staff morale, Cox closed, “If by some miracle you or your staff actually read this note, I can only hope you take a step back and realize that you are the leader of an organization of very hard working, dedicated professionals who believe deeply in their work. America is a world leader in protecting our citizen’s human health and our environment. Do you really want your legacy to be the person who led the rollback and reversal of the amazing gains we have made over the past 40 years?”
WORLD TO TRUMP: Come “Back to the Table” When You Are “Better Informed”
The Trump administration blocked the release of a joint declaration from the G7 nations that was scheduled for Monday, objecting to the reaffirmation of the Paris Agreement among other issues. Trump claimed that additional reviews needed to be conducted before the new administration could officially take a position on the Paris Agreement. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said it was up to other UN leaders to bring the United States “back to the table.” Alluding to the overall uninformed nature of Trump’s administration, Mohammed continued, “We believe that they will do the right thing once they are better informed about it.”
PULITZER FOR THE PLANET: Small Town Iowa Newspaper Advocates for Clean Water, Wins Pulitzer
With just a four person staff, Art Cullen of the Storm Lake Times challenged the Agribusiness Association of Iowa and won a Pulitzer along the way. After gaining local attention for his publications, Cullen said this award serves as necessary validation, “I ain’t anti-farmer, but I am anti-pollution.” Read his Op-Ed here.
Executive Order Watch: Trump to Reverse Offshore Preservation Law
Expected within the coming weeks, Trump will scheme with Secretary Zinke to reverse Obama’sis expected to try to reverse an offshore drilling ban and order the Interior Department to expand drilling that would harm coastal economies, ways of life, and our climate. The ban, spearheaded by both U.S. and Canadian officials, protects hundreds of millions of acres in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean from harmful oil and drilling exploration.