ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Clean Air and Climate Conservation
October 30, 2017
Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Rhea Suh / The NRDC & Adam Federman / The Nation
Millions of families are still struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to ash by wildfires that have raged across the American west. Yet President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt just officially proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan, our country's best hope for reversing the worst impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, a leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation.
ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Clean Air and Low-cost Transportation
Robert Weissman / Public Citizen
(October 25, 2017) -- The Dirty Energy lobby likes to say that dealing with climate change will drain consumers' bank accounts.
That's a lie.
Here's proof: Clean car standards issued by the Obama administration and formally supported by Ford will slice carbon emissions and save consumers billions in fuel bills. But Ford and the rest of the auto industry are now working with the Trump administration to undo the biggest federal climate policy on the books -- at your expense.
Clean car standards issued by the Obama administration and formally supported by Ford will slice carbon emissions and save consumers billions in fuel bills. But Ford and the rest of the auto industry are now working with the Trump administration to undo the biggest federal climate policy on the books -- at your expense.
That's why we are launching a new campaign. With other consumer and environmental groups, we're going to send a clear message to Ford: Keep your promise and support clean car standards. Go forward, not backward.
Just two days after the 2016 election, Ford's lobbyists called on the Trump transition team to alter the standards. They've already succeeded in getting Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to reopen a review of the protections.
On the chopping block are fuel cost savings that amount to thousands of dollars for each individual consumer. By applying direct pressure on Ford and other auto companies, we can protect our planet and our pocketbooks.
ACTION: Join us, and send a message to Ford: Rolling back the clean car standards is unacceptable.
Sign our petition now.
Thanks to the clean car standards, Americans like me are saving money at the pump, breathing cleaner air and starting to ratchet down emissions from the single largest source of carbon pollution in this country.
In 2012, you committed to meet and uphold these standards. And your chairman Bill Ford has championed the company's commitment to tackle climate change for future generations.
That's why I am disturbed to see you and other automakers working with the Trump administration to undo these critical safeguards.
Ford can't claim to be a responsible company while it lobbies to drive us backward.
Please drop any efforts to delay, weaken or block the clean car standards. Seize the opportunity. Go forward, not backward!
Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen
Copyright 2017 Public Citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009
Save the Clean Power Plan
Stop the Trump/Pruitt Assault on Climate Action
Rhea Suh / The Natural Resources Defense Committee
(October 25, 2017) -- Millions of families are still struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to ash by wildfires that have raged across the American west. Yet President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt just officially proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan, our country's best hope for reversing the worst impacts of climate change.
It's outrageous, it's short-sighted, and it's a blatant handout to Trump's fossil fuel industry allies at the expense of the air we breathe and our families' health -- all while driving us closer to the brink of climate catastrophe.
NRDC is fully prepared to fight this unconscionable move tooth and nail, in and out of court. You've already sent your official comment to the EPA demanding that the Trump administration reverse course and save the Clean Power Plan. Today, I hope I can count on you to stand with us at this critical moment once again.
Help us defend our environment and escalate our massive, nationwide outcry against the Trump administration's outrageous scheme. NRDC activists -- including you -- have already flooded the EPA with over 100,000 messages in staunch support of the plan. Thank you for speaking out.
You'll also be helping us prepare to fight in court to block Trump's destructive repealfor as long as it takes to win . . . arm major media outlets with the true facts about the Clean Power Plan . . . and build an aggressive campaign to pressure state and local leaders, from governors and state legislators to city council members and ordinary citizens, to follow through with tough action on climate where Trump and his oil-loving cronies won't.
But we simply can't fight and win on all these fronts without generous support today.
The Clean Power Plan would reduce harmful emissions from power plants -- one of the single largest sources of dangerous carbon pollution in the US -- and bolster the fast-growing clean energy economy. It's our best shot at mitigating the impacts of climate change that are all around us, from massive hurricanes and historic floods to tragic wildfires and record-breaking heat waves. We must do everything we can to defend it.
ACTION: Help save the Clean Power Plan: Donate to support NRDC and help fuel the fights ahead -- so we can be ready to take on the Trump administration whenever and wherever the next threats arise. Sign here.
None of our victories for the environment would be possible without your support. Thank you for standing with us at this urgent moment for our climate and our future.
Rhea Suh is president of the NRDC.
The mission of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Donations will be used to fight the Trump administration's attacks on the Clean Power Plan and for other campaigns that allow NRDC to protect the environment in the most effective way possible.
Exclusive: The Interior Department
Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan
Adam Federman / The Nation
WASHINGTON (October 25, 2017) -- In the next five years, millions of acres of America's public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development, with little thought for environmental consequences.
That's according to a leaked draft, obtained by The Nation, of the Department of the Interior's strategic vision: It states that the DOI is committed to achieving "American energy dominance" through the exploitation of "vast amounts" of untapped energy reserves on public lands.
Alarmingly, the policy blueprint -- a 50-page document -- does not once mention climate change or climate science. That's a clear departure from current policy: The previous plan, covering 2014–18, referred to climate change 46 times and explicitly stated that the department was committed to improving resilience in those communities most directly affected by global warming.
Interior's new strategic plan fits within a broader effort by the Trump administration to marginalize climate-science research. (DOI did not respond to questions about the draft.)
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency abruptly withdrew two of its scientists and a contractor from a conference in Rhode Island, where they were due to address the impacts of climate change on coastal waters. EPA websites have also been scrubbed of most references to climate change.
At Interior and the Department of Energy, scientists have been discouraged from referring to climate change in grant proposals or press releases. Earlier this month Joel Clement, a top policy adviser and climate scientist at DOI, resigned after being transferred to an accounting position, where he was assigned to collect royalties from the oil and gas industry.
Clement, who had spoken out about the impacts of climate change on Native American communities in Alaska, alleges that his reassignment was politically motivated.
Understanding the threat of climate change had been an integral part of the Interior Department's mission, said Elizabeth Klein, who served as associate deputy secretary at Interior from 2012 to 2017 and was involved in drafting the earlier strategic plan. That document sought to address a number of the risks associated with climate change, including drought, sea-level rise, and severe flooding.
One section referred specifically to the need for more research on erosion along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, which are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes.
To completely ignore climate risks, Klein said, is an abdication of Interior's responsibility as a manager and steward of the nation's public lands. "It's yet another example of an unfortunate regression," she said.
While disregarding climate change, the 2018–2022 strategic plan places a premium on facilitating oil and gas development. It calls for speeding up the processing of parcels nominated for oil and gas leasing on public lands. It establishes an Executive Committee for Expedited Permitting to facilitate on- and -offshore leasing, and aims to reduce the time it takes to green-light energy projects on Native land by 50 percent.
The department is also seeking to speed up the application process for drilling permits, even though industry is currently sitting on thousands of approved permits.
"It is bewildering that the agency would prioritize approving more permits -- at the inevitable expense of your environmental responsibilities -- when companies have plenty and appear to be simply stockpiling them," wrote Representative Raúl Grijalva, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in an April letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management.
Not surprisingly, one of the DOI's key performance indicators for the next five years will be the number of acres of public lands made available for oil and natural-gas leasing. Interior's role in promoting renewable-energy development largely goes unmentioned. The new plan also has little to say about conservation, a word mentioned 74 times in the previous strategy blueprint and only 25 times in the new version.
Instead of the protection of landscapes and ecosystems, the new report emphasizes Interior's role in policing the US-Mexico border. The department manages nearly half of the southern border region, the report notes, as well as the third-largest number of law-enforcement officers in the executive branch. It intends to deploy them "to decrease illegal immigration and marijuana smuggling on DOI managed public lands."
In his resignation letter, Clement pointed to the fact that Americans are increasingly confronting the realities of climate change in their daily lives, whether it's families fleeing the devastation of a hurricane, businesses in coastal communities forced to relocate because of rising sea levels and coastal erosion, or farmers grappling with "floods of biblical proportions."
"If the Trump administration continues to try to silence experts in science, health and other fields," Clement warned, "many more Americans, and the natural ecosystems upon which they depend, will be put at risk."
Adam Federman is a reporting fellow with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. He is the author of Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray.
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