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ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA to Repeal the Clean Power Plan


October 11, 2017
The NRDC & Climate Hawks & Food & Water Watch & The Baltimore Sun

Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is formally proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, America's best hope for fighting climate change. In lock step with the fossil fuel industry, Trump and Scott Pruitt are doing everything they can to turn back the clock on our energy future.

https://act.nrdc.org/letter/clean-power-plan-171010

ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA to Repeal the Clean Power Plan
Rhea Suh / Natural Resources Defense Council

(October 10, 2017) – BREAKING NEWS: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is formally proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, America's best hope for fighting climate change.

This is one of the Trump administration's most dramatic, most despicable, and most dangerous moves yet. I cannot emphasize enough how urgent it is that we stand together and fight.

NRDC's legal team will lead the charge in federal court to save the Clean Power Plan. But first, Trump's EPA is required to solicit input from the public -- which means our first line of defense is you.

Put in place two years ago, the Clean Power Plan is our nation's first-ever initiative to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants -- one of America's largest sources of climate pollution -- and spur clean energy development on a massive scale.

Losing the Clean Power Plan would mean losing our best chance at stopping the madness we're witnessing as climate change wreaks havoc on us and the natural world around us. Millions of us are bearing the brunt of monster-sized hurricanes fueled by our overheated atmosphere and oceans, 500-year flood events that occur nearly every year, rising sea levels, and record-setting heat waves.

The Clean Power Plan was adopted after millions of Americans weighed in with public comments supporting it.

The Trump administration cannot dismantle the plan without first accepting official public comments on the proposed rollback -- so this is our best chance to generate enough public opposition to force Trump's EPA to reconsider its blatant assault on our environment.

It's no secret that coal companies, power companies, and other big polluters have been on an all-out drive to kill the Clean Power Plan. And Trump and Pruitt are once again ready to do their bidding.

We've seen the Trump administration side with big polluters when it vowed to withdraw from the historic Paris climate agreement and started pushing to open wild places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil companies. We saw it when they attacked common-sense clean water protections. And we're seeing it now. Enough is enough.

We won the Clean Power Plan once, and we're ready to do whatever it takes to defend it -- in Washington, in court, and in communities across the country. But more than ever, we need you with us. Will you add your voice now?

What happens the next few critical days and weeks may very well determine the fate of our natural world, the air we breathe, and the climate we depend on.

ACTION: Will you help us get 100,000 messages of opposition to Pruitt and his climate-denying allies IMMEDIATELY? Send your official public comment now: Tell Trump's EPA that you support the Clean Power Plan! Please send your message right away.

Thank you for your support.

Rhea Suh is the President of the NRDC.



Pruitt Repeals the Clean Power Plan
R. L. Miller / Climate Hawks

(October 10, 2017) --Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should be in jail.

In California, 13 people have been confirmed killed by wildfires sweeping through Sonoma and Napa Counties in the past 24 hours. Over 150 people are missing. Entire communities have been burned to the ground.

In response, Pruitt traveled to a town called Hazard (in case the irony isn't thick enough) to announce he's repealing President Obama's signature domestic climate-pollution regulations, the Clean Power Plan.

While too many in our media, our politics, or even other environmental organizations won't connect the dots, we at Climate Hawks Vote will tell the truth -- climate polluters are killing our fellow Americans for personal profit.

Help us stand up for the millions of Americans who need our help fighting against criminal climate polluters.

These storms and floods and fires are the consequence of decades of deliberate pollution of our climate system by the fossil-fuel industry. The Clean Power Plan was the first national set of regulations to limit climate pollution from coal-powered electric utilities. Now those same polluters are running our government and stripping our ability to fight back.

Over a million Puerto Ricans still lack drinking water, and nearly 3 million lack electricity. Millions more in Texas and Florida are struggling to rebuild. And all across the country, neighbors are helping neighbors contend with floods, storms, drought, oil spills, toxic water. Meanwhile, Trump's lackeys are taking decisive action to make everything worse.

At Climate Hawks Vote, we will hold accountable the criminals in the Trump regime and in the Exxon- and Koch-fueled Congress who deny the existence of climate change and seek to prop up the fossil fuel industry. And we will work together to elect climate champions to build the 100% renewable economy we all deserve.

Fellow members of Climate Hawks Vote in California have been letting us know how they're doing -- including three people who wrote in harrowing stories of late-night evacuations and then having to learn that their homes were burned to the ground.

Here are some of the messages:
Paul: "Monday morning I woke up at 4am and smelled smoke. I looked outside and saw the glow of the flames down the North end of our block. An emergency vehicle was parked out front with a bullhorn saying evacuate now! It was so smokey and there was no power.

By the light of my phone, I woke my wife Kira and my son and we grabbed a couple of things, our phones, a laptop, and my guitar, and we got in our cars and left with just the clothes we were wearing. Our whole neighborhood burned to the ground. We lost everything, but thankfully my family are all safe. This whole thing is like a crazy bad dream."

Donna: "I've been living with my eldest daughter and family in Santa Rosa, CA. Unfortunately our home burned to the ground. We barely got out with the clothes on our backs. We did save our three dogs. We were evacuated to a center that treated us very well, thanks to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Currently we are with grandsons in laws. Now on to trying to rebuild our lives! In my case that is 80 years of memorabilia gone up in smoke! But, everyone is safe and that is most important!"

Steven: "I've lost everything. At 10:10pm, I was outside working in my garage (the temperature had increased between 6-10). At 11, house was getting smoke on the inside. 1am made the call to evacuate. Depart driveway just after 2am, my fence was on fire before I could exit my street. There are no houses left in sight."

Sophie: "Last night was very nerve wracking, they were closing roads & mandatory evacuations 5 miles from me in two different directions. I ran an errand this morning, a lady was there saying she and her husband were in their house, watching the fire encroach, but they were spared.

Things look much better by the light of day; the wind has stopped blowing, & it was a chilly, moist/foggy morning. The air quality is horrible, and there has been the incessant smell of smoke in the house for the last 24hrs. My thoughts are with our amazing and dedicated firefighters, and those poor people who have lost their homes."

John: "We chose to evacuate our home In Santa Rosa because of the instability of the fires. Areas were destroyed east, south and north of us. We are now heading home hoping to find our power on. We need Congress to do its best in stopping Trump, Pruitt and Zinke from destroying our environment and our health."


Trump's Scrapping of the Clean Power Plan
Is a Shameful Giveaway to Profit-Driven Polluters

Wenonah Hauter / Food & Water Watch

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 9, 2017) -- "By itself, the Clean Power Plan wasn't enough to ensure climate stability, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. Trump's decision to scrap the plan is a shameful giveaway to profit-driven polluters at the expense of our immediate public health and the livable future of our planet.

"In lock step with the fossil fuel industry, Trump and Scott Pruitt are doing everything they can to turn back the clock on our energy future. Instead of ending the Clean Power Plan, we need to strengthen it, making its goals more ambitious and the means of achieving them more robust. Instead of pushing more fracked natural gas -- and the climate-busting methane emissions that come with it -- we need a swift transition to truly clean energy.

As Trump deepens his foolish defense of dirty fossil fuels, we need Congress to step up and act by passing meaningful climate legislation, such as Representative Tulsi Gabbard's Off Fossil Fuels Act, which would require a full shift to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035."

Wenonah Hauter is the Executive Director of Food & Water Watch


Clean Power Plan & OFF Act Updates
Thomas Meyer / Food & Water Action

(October 10, 2017) -- As we expected, Trump's EPA intends to roll back the Clean Power Plan. Obviously this is step backwards and a big handout to the fossil fuel industry, but we know the CPP wasn't strong enough to begin with. That's why we're all supporting the OFF Act and pushing for 100% renewable energy!

The CPP announcement could serve as motivation for members of Congress to step up on climate, and sponsoring the OFF Act is the strongest action they can take. Please join us in reaching out to your Representative's or Hill offices you work with about the bill.

A few things to help with this:
* The House is on recess next week, which is a great opportunity for in-district meetings or actions. If you're planning something, add it to the Off Fossil Fuels map and we'll help promote it.

* All our materials on the OFF Act are up-to-date in the Activist Toolkit, including the sign-on letter with close to 400 groups.

* Rep. Jamie Raskin co-authored a great op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in support of the bill along with Delegate Shane Robinson who is sponsoring similar legislation in the Maryland legislature. [See op-ed below -- EAW.]

Sample tweets:
* "Great op-ed from @RepRaskin on the #OffFossilFuels Act and moving to 100% clean energy! https://goo.gl/vg3skP"

* "While @POTUS & @EPAScottPruitt roll back #CleanPowerPlan, members of Congress should demand 100% clean energy & sponsor #OffFossilFuels Act!"

Let us know if you have thoughts or questions, and as always, thanks for standing with us!

Thomas Meyer is a Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch/Food & Water Action


Change Political Climate to Address the Environment
Jamie Raskin and Shane Robinson / The Baltimore Sun

(October 8, 2017) -- The arrival of record-shattering hurricanes, forest fires in the West the size of Maryland, and collapsing glaciers makes something clear to anyone not in a state of ideological denial: Humanity is in a fight for its survival, and if we have any hope of saving ourselves from endless climate disasters, we must radically change the political climate first.

An attentive America will treat the catastrophes named Harvey, Irma and Maria not as lurid TV spectacles but as wake-up calls for civilization. Climate change and its calamities are causing terrible human suffering from Texas, which broke the record for rainfall in a single day, to Puerto Rico, which is facing a calamitous public health and safety crisis.

With no time left to debate the delusional dogmas of climate denialism, we must develop policies to break quickly and permanently from the carbon economy and invest in renewable energy and a far more resilient national infrastructure.

It's not too late to save a decent existence for our children and grandchildren on planet earth. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change states that global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius is likely to trigger numerous ecological "tipping points" that would irreversibly escalate climate crisis and devastate our traditional way of life.

But if we stay below an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius, we can avoid climate apocalypse, and those of us living in coastal states might avoid the terrible fate of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Harvey and Irma, whose victims were pounded by strong winds for days.

But environmental salvation requires strong political action. We need to accomplish something like a political miracle to restrain climate rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The environmental advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, with which we're collaborating, argues that transitioning to 100 percent clean energy within the next two decades is absolutely essential, and the group has the science to back it up.

This means all hands on deck. In Maryland we have special and urgent incentives to act. A proud maritime state with 3,190 miles of Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastline, we are seeing major coastal erosion, and many of our towns and cities are experiencing dramatic and dangerous flash flooding.

A recent study on the impact of rising sea levels caused by global warming found that Maryland will soon endure "chronic inundation" of our communities, a threat of devastation worse than that faced by any other state in the union but Louisiana.

As only the third state to ban fracking, Maryland has already made a name for itself in the world's climate struggle, and we have a chance to be an environmental leader for all America by planning a move to 100 percent clean energy by 2035. We can't waste time aiming for anything less sweeping than the goal of getting off the deadly fossil fuels addiction completely.

That will be the substance of state-level legislation coming in January. On the national level too, we are fighting for similar legislation already introduced by Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, to transition the entire country to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

The OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (HR 3671), also known as the "OFF Act" is the most ambitious piece of climate legislation ever introduced in Congress.

It would place a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects and move the US energy and transportation systems to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, recognizing that the bulk of emissions reductions must come quickly in the next 10 years. It would also provide for a just transition for afflicted communities and all those people working honorably in the fossil fuel industry.

Along the way, the OFF Act would focus on protecting vulnerable low-income communities by creating opportunities for well-paying, union jobs in new sectors like solar and wind. It would also require that the rest of the country follow Maryland's lead in banning fracking, thus protecting public health and environmental integrity.

These visionary bills may seem to set an unrealistic goal, but, when you think about it, continuing on the current course of climate-altering carbon emissions is what is really proving every day to be an unrealistic energy strategy and a lethal peril to human civilization.

Jamie Raskin (Twitter: @RepRaskin) is a Democrat representing Maryland in the US House of Representatives. Shane Robinson (shane.robinson@house.state.md.us) is a Democrat and member of the Maryalnd House of Delegates.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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