REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Republican leaders should abandon this extreme approach and work in a bipartisan fashion to pass a clean budget that invests in thriving communities instead of attacking the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the lands we cherish.”
“With his history of putting industry profits ahead of American families, his hostility toward basic environmental protections, and his attempts to undermine climate science, it is clear that Rosen will trade in our health and safety in order to protect corporate interests, especially when it comes to the clean car standards.”
LCV IN THE NEWS:
CBS Baltimore: President’s Proposed Budget Set to Shut Down Chesapeake Bay Clean Up
E&E News: Booker, Pallone protest Trump outside N.J. lab
E&E News: Groups decry ‘poison pill’ riders on bill to avert shutdown
BREAKING: Senate Republicans Go “Nuclear” To Confirm Neil Gorsuch
Senate Republicans altered the rules of the Senate to confirm Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. LCV urged the Senate to oppose his nomination, particularly given his support for polluters, corporations, and the most powerful, all at the expense of public health and the public interest. On Thursday, LCV joined the progressive community in protesting Gorsuch at the Capitol.
WHY THIS MATTERS: SCOTUS To Consider Clean Water Rule Case
As Gorsuch heads to the bench, the Supreme Court announced this week that it will not pause a key Clean Water Rule case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense. The White House had asked the court to hold the case as it pursues its agenda of dirtying air and water for the benefit of big polluters.
RIGGED BUDGETS & POISON PILLS: LCV Warns Republicans to Abandon Extreme Approach
LCV SVP for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld cautioned that it would be “wildly irresponsible” for Republican leadership to cause a government shutdown to benefit Big Oil and corporate polluters. Sittenfeld joined representatives from the broader progressive movement to criticize the administration’s rigged budget plans and warn Republicans off ideological policy riders when passing funding bills. Buried in appropriations bills are “poison pill” riders, which are anti-environmental measures that would block badly needed water protections and stop action on climate change, among other things.
DRIP, DRIP, DRIP: EPA Memo Provides More Clarity on Cuts in EPA Budget…It’s Not Good
While President Trump insists that he still wants “clean air and water,” his budget shows his true intentions. A 64 page EPA budget memo, posted last Friday, outlined that seven of the ten programs receiving the largest cuts are programs that enforce and create clean water protections. In addition, the intel shows that the Great Lakes Restoration program is eliminated from the president’s budget altogether.
SHOT: Trump Cuts Program That Jeopardizes Kids’ Brains and Nervous Systems
The budget memo also revealed the administration believes protecting children from lead poisoning is too frivolous a use of federal funds. The plan would eliminate programs that focus on training workers in the safe removal of lead-based paint and educating the public about its risks, which will make it harder for the EPA to address this environmental hazard.
CHASER: Science Advisory Board and General Science Funding Gets Axed
Not content with decreasing funding research, Trump’s budget also targets the team responsible for advising and reviewing EPA’s studies. Comprised of 47 outside advisors, the Advising Board will suffer an 84 percent cut.
IN DENIAL: Trump Ignores Climate Change and Paris Agreement in Chinese Talks
President Trump continued to avoid discussing climate change this week in his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That the world’s two largest polluters met in Mar-a-Lago, an estate likely to go underwater if climate change is not curbed, was not lost in the narrative. When asked whether the two leaders would discuss meeting their obligations under the Paris agreement, a White House spokesperson dodged the question, changing the conversation to North Korea.
STATES LEAD: Coast-to-Coast The Fight Against Clean Power Plan Rollback Continues
New York led a coalition of states across the country—including California, Illinois and Virginia—in joining a legal coalition to stand up to President Trump’s environmental policies. Seventeen states filed a legal challenge Wednesday, targeting efforts to roll back environmental protections, specifically the Clean Power Plan.
CLEAN AIR: Chispa Arizona Launches Clean Buses for Healthy Niños
Seeking to protect the health of over 300,000 Arizona children, Chispa Arizona launched Clean Buses for Healthy Niños to call on Gov. Doug Ducey to put the health of Arizona youth and communities first. “Arizona children and the communities where these polluting buses pass have been breathing VW’s toxic pollutants for almost 10 years,” said Masavi Perea, Chispa Arizona Program Director, “it’s time for Arizona’s governor to act.”
LEGALLY DUBIOUS EXECUTIVE ORDER WATCH: Atlantic, Arctic Drilling Next At Risk in Trump Push
Reports this week suggest the administration’s next gift for big polluters is around the corner. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday that the administration is preparing a legally dubious order to expand offshore oil drilling by attempting to roll back historic protections of virtually the entire Arctic Ocean and important parts of the Atlantic Ocean, which were put in place by the Obama administration. There is no provision in law allowing a president to undo permanent protections from offshore drilling, and no president has ever attempted to take such an action. LCV will fight any efforts targeting these protections tooth and nail. Protecting the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from drilling is a critical part in the fight against climate change and in ensuring a transition to clean energy sources.
ALT-REALITY: Fact Checking Trump’s Claim He’s Won Environmental Awards – Again
During a town hall on Tuesday, President Trump claimed yet again to be an environmental savant who has won “many, many awards.” Chelsea Henderson, a former GOP adviser and current conservation consultant, found evidence of just one environmental prize, awarded to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, from the Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation. Alas, this was short lived—the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection cited the course for environmental violations four years later.
As lawmakers head back to their states after breaking the Senate, LCV will be out in their districts holding them accountable for actions in Washington. Expect town halls and events to be flooded with activists, putting Republicans on notice that President Trump’s rigged budget and Republican plans for anti-environmental policy riders will not be acceptable when funding our government.
COMING SOON: 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.