STAY UPDATED: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“No community should have to jeopardize their access to clean water or sacrifice sacred places of cultural and spiritual importance… The Trump administration is off to a horrendous start when it comes to the environment and public health. Rest assured, we will be there to fight them at every step of the way.”
“It’s galling that Scott Pruitt refuses to provide the U.S. Senate with the documents we need to evaluate his ability to lead the EPA … Scott Pruitt is hiding behind a 2-year backlog of his own making & refusing to disclose public information under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act … Scott Pruitt has some audacity to tell [Environmental and Public Works Democrats]—19 separate times—to wait in line for the information we need to review his nomination”
“The core mission of the EPA is to make sure our children have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, and Scott Pruitt is not up to the task. Pruitt’s record speaks for itself: he has protected polluters over families, done the work of campaign donors instead of the public, and spent this decade trying to undermine the very agency he wants to lead.”
SPEED READ: The Trump administration can’t entirely roll back progress on climate change — here’s why (Washington Post)
LCV IN THE NEWS
Huffington Post: Trump’s Pick For Interior Is No Friend of Endangered Species
Bloomberg BNA: Environment May Not Be A Top Priority For Sessions
WEEK IN REVIEW:
THE RESISTANCE: LCV, Environmental Groups and Former EPA Employees Among Those Protesting Pruitt Confirmation
The League of Conservation Voters was one of 15 progressive groups to announce they delivered one million signatures from individuals to Senators urging them to reject Scott Pruitt’s nomination, especially considering his suspected lying under oath and plans for the EPA. These voices joined the 450 current and former EPA employees who, this week, pleaded with Senators urging them to reject Scott Pruitt’s nomination.
SEE YOU IN COURT – Media Watchdog Group Joins Forces With ACLU To Sue Scott Pruitt
With Scott Pruitt yet to respond to four dozen open record requests, including defiantly suggesting U.S. Senators director their requests to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, a coalition of progressive groups have taken to court. The suit, led by the Center for Media and Democracy and the ACLU, seeks the release of over 3,000 emails dating back to January 2015. Given lingering questions over Pruitt’s pay-to-play issues and ties to oil and gas companies, the correspondence is crucial for the Senate to make an informed vote on his confirmation, which is why Senators Schumer, Whitehouse, and Warren issued a statement this week saying, “Until those emails are released, the Senate should not vote on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination.”
HOUSE OF HORRORS: Trump, Pruitt Plan to Gut Enforcement in Dismantling of EPA
The administration is considering cutting the EPA’s Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance (OECA), greatly reducing the agency’s enforcement powers that protect clean air and water. As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt cut the enforcement unit from his office and it was reported this week that none of the 714 press releases sent out during his time in office touted any environmental enforcement or reduction in pollution.
Numbers Don’t Lie: 61 Percent of Americans Oppose Removing Climate Change Regulations
Through approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and using the Congressional Review Act to gut environmental regulations, President Trump and the Republicans who control Congress have moved full steam ahead to dirty our air and pollute our water. But evidence continues to show that this is out of step with the majority of people in the United States. A national poll carried out by Quinnipiac University found that 61 percent of Americans oppose removing climate change regulations and by a 50-40 percent margin, they oppose recommencing construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
The Fight Continues: KXL and DAPL Protesters Bear Sub-Zero Temperatures
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may have moved Tuesday to grant the last permits that Energy Transfer Partners needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline without an environmental study, but the resistance continued. As the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Tribe filed a lawsuit in opposition, protests erupted at both the Standing Rock site and the White House, where LCV was present, as part of the “Last Stand” against the pipeline.
LCV’s Chispa and Latino Groups Unite to Cut Methane Waste and Protect Our Health
Chispa was among five Latino groups to announce the formation of a new initiative to “Cut (Methane) Waste, Protect Our Health.” The campaign’s first effort? Sending letters to Sens. Dean Heller, Catherine Cortez Masto, John McCain, and Jeff Flake to oppose a Congressional Review Act (CRA) attempt to overturn the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. “Our communities, especially communities of color, are concerned about the health effects on us, our climate now and for future generations to come,” said Rudy Zamora, Chispa Nevada Program Director. “We can’t afford to lose our safeguards.”
CAN RENEWABLES CREATE JOBS? The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowin’ In The Wind
Numbers this week revealed that the US wind industry has tripled in capacity since 2008. Now employing 102,000 workers, the industry has been the fastest growing occupation for over a decade. In addition, the National Solar Jobs Census found solar energy companies employed 260,077 people in 2016. That’s 1 out of 50 new jobs created last year that can be attributed to solar energy.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK:
#PollutingPruitt: FULL SENATE VOTE ON SCOTT PRUITT FOR EPA
The Senate is expected to vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to be EPA administrator without having satisfactory answers on pay-to-play, corruption and conflict of interest questions crucial to any informed decision. LCV aggressively opposes this nomination and is urging all Americans to make their voice heard with their Senators. Constituents looking for next steps on how to contact their legislator can find all the information needed here.
Senate Considers Methane Rule Repeal Under the Congressional Review Act
The Republican-led Senate will consider following the House of Representatives and using the radical Congressional Review Act to repeal the BLM Methane Rule. The vote is expected to take place next week. LCV sent a letter to Senators urging them to vote no on the resolution.