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This Week In Climate (In)Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – March 31, 2017

Mar 31, 2017

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.

REPORTER NOTEBOOK: Keep Track of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Health, Climate, Air, Water, Energy and Conservation Issues

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“There is no excuse for unsafe drinking water, dirty air, more asthma attacks in kids, and increased extreme weather events that destroy homes and livelihoods. Donald Trump may care more about corporate interests, but the people of this country care about a safe, clean and healthy environment and they will not let him get away with destroying it.”

“Just two months into his administration, Donald Trump has put in place the most anti-environmental Cabinet in our nation’s history, and he is quickly becoming the most anti-environmental president ever. In no way did the elections give him a mandate to attack either bedrock environment protections or recent progress.”

  • LCV’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld, on President Trump’s climate change actions.

LCV IN THE NEWS:

CNN: What Trump’s climate change order accomplishes — and what it doesn’t

NY Daily News: Trump guts Obama-era green energy provisions with executive order

Huffington Post: This State Shows Us What A Future With A Hobbled EPA Could Look Like

USA Today: President Trump’s executive order will undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan rule

Huffington Post: A Majority of Americans Disagree with Donald Trump’s Hard-Line Stances On Climate Change

The Hill: Dem states pledge climate action in face of Trump roll-back

THIS WEEK:

EXECUTIVE ORDER: Trump Reverses Biggest Steps Ever Taken To Combat Climate Change

Donald Trump cares more about big polluters than public health protections for our communities. On the heels of the three hottest years on record, President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that will begin a process to reverse our efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The order directs the EPA to begin gutting the Clean Power Plan, instructs the interior department to end the moratorium on federal coal leasing and repeals several Obama administration directives aimed at reversing our efforts to curb climate change.

GET THE FACTS: Read the New York Times fact check on the executive order here.

BUT, BUT, BUT…THE FIERCE RESPONSE:

  • STATES LEAD: Governors Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York reaffirmed their commitments to the Clean Power Plan, writing, “With or without Washington, we will work with our partners throughout the world to aggressively fight climate change and protect our future.” Additional states including Connecticut, Washington and Oregon are already mobilizing to fight Trump on the state level, and a coalition of Western senators sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday urging Trump to cease his environmental attacks.
  • BIG BUSINESS DEFIES TRUMP: Many billion-dollar corporations pushed back on the executive order. Companies such as General Mills and Gap pledged to continue using sustainable practices and encouraged Trump to follow a more environmentally conscious agenda. And General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt called on other companies to “step up and fill the void” left by the administration, saying he believes Trump’s imagination is at work if he doesn’t believe in climate change science or the Paris Agreement.
  • WHY WE MARCH: LCV President Gene Karpinski called for people to join the People’s Climate March on April 29th in response to the executive order, and he outlined the risk this order poses to U.S. jobs and the economy. For example, overturning the Clean Power Plan abandons climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030. Additionally, halting the review of the federal coal leasing program prevents the government from ensuring taxpayers see their fair share of the return for pillaging our nation’s natural resources.
  • AMERICA FIRST? This latest attack on the historic achievements of the Obama administration leaves the United States ceding ground in the global fight against climate change. In the aftermath of this executive order, China is set to seize the mantle of leadership on the world stage, vowing to stick to their Paris Agreement targets and encouraging others, including the United States, to do the same.
  • OOPS: EPA Tries To Praise Trump, Ends Up Slamming Him: In a news release intended to show the breadth of support for the administration’s latest moves, the first quote on the list didn’t quite do the job. “President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand,” the quote read, mistakenly quoting Senate EPW Ranking Member Tom Carper. Trump and Pruitt, it went on, have “chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come.”

READ THIS: Washington Post: Trump Wants To Rollback Progress Against Climate Change. He’s Going to Fail

AND THIS (Mike Bloomberg op-ed): The New York Times: Climate Progress, With or Without Trump

PUTTING POLLUTERS AHEAD OF PEOPLE, ASAP: Zinke Lifts Federal Coal Moratorium

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wasted no time putting polluters ahead of people, reversing President Obama’s ban on coal-mining leases on federal land.

REALITY CHECK: If We Don’t Invest in Clean Water, We Suffer the Consequences

Consequences totaling $97 million, to be exact. Flint, Michigan is finally receiving money to pay for new, lead-free pipes, fund health care programs for those affected by lead poisoning and continue distributing bottled water to residents who are without clean drinking water. This is a timely reminder for elected officials as to what happens when infrastructure, health and the environment are not considered a priority.

SHOT: CLIMATE CENSORSHIP (Apparently, Words Can Hurt)

The Department of Energy’s climate office reportedly banned the use of the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” and “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication.

CHASER: CLIMATE DENIAL (But, Insecticide Really Can Hurt)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt rejected his own agency’s scientific conclusion that recommended one of the most widely used pesticides be banned from farms nationwide. This insecticide poses significant risks to children and farm workers, including declines in learning and memory capabilities. Pruitt rejected the scientific conclusions of safety experts in his own agency before claiming “we are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.” Something doesn’t add up.