What’s happening in Washington

The president put someone in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency who has sued that same agency 14 times to weaken clean air, clean water and other environmental protections.

He signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, another order designed to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of America’s streams, including 24,832 miles in Maine, and a third order rolling back the Clean Power Plan, effectively allowing power plants to emit more pollution and adding more soot to the air we breathe and more climate-destabilizing carbon pollution to the planet’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Congress has passed legislation abolishing new stream water protections from coal mining in Appalachia, voted to make it easier to sell off public lands, and introduced bills to abolish the EPA.

After talking during the campaign about “abolishing” the EPA himself or “leaving just a little bit,” the president proposed a budget that would slash EPA funding by 31 percent. These cuts would virtually eliminate funding for proven programs needed to clean up the nation’s great waterways, from San Francisco Bay to Puget Sound; decimate environmental research and science programs, and effectively take the nation’s environmental cops off the polluter beat.

A “little bit” of environmental protection is not nearly enough—not when it comes to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the people and places we love. 

Most Americans want more, not fewer, protections for the people and places we love

These moves to dismantle our environmental protections violate core values shared by millions of Americans.

The vast majority of us believe the health of our children is more valuable than the dollars saved when a company dumps pollution into our air or water. The future of our children and life on our planet makes the investment in clean, renewable energy a no-brainer for everybody, save perhaps the executives of a few outdated fossil fuel companies. The idea that we’ve found some places so special, some would even say sacred, that we’ve declared them off-limits to development is one of our proudest achievements.

But our environmental values are meaningless if we don’t act on them, and stand up and defend them when they’re under attack— especially given the power of old but entrenched industries that are wed to a status quo that no longer serves our needs, and a worldview that puts their short-term economic interests above the health of the American people and the environment we share.

Our path forward

Our best chance of stopping these attacks will come in the U.S. Senate, where 41 votes will be enough to block most legislation.

Environment Maine, together with our nationwide network of state affiliates, is urging our senators to stand up and protect our health and the places we love.

And if enough of us speak up, we can win.

Recently, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah filed a bill that would sell off 3.3 million acres of America’s public lands — an area the size of Connecticut. Several days later he withdrew the bill in the face of overwhelming public opposition, including 1,000 people in Montana turning out to a pro-public lands rally and this comment from an National Rifle Association member on Chaffetz’s Facebook page: “Rescind H.R. 621 the sale of public lands! It’s not your land to sell. It’s the people’s land. Many people use it for many purposes.” Hear and respect our voice.”

We can win, but only if we bring together people from all walks of life, from both sides of the political divide, and unite in action to defend the places we love.

Reckless proposals to roll back clean air, clean water and other environmental protections keep coming every week. We need to build support now to protect our health and environment.

Now, it's up to us

The leaders and activists of the past saw the result of decades of unchecked pollution in our smog-covered skylines and our toxic rivers. They worked against all odds and, ultimately, their values won the day. Our environmental forbears organized the first Earth Day, supported and passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the torch passes to us.

The children we know and love today can live cleaner, healthier lives in a greener world, but only if we can keep our environmental protections in place and make them stronger. It’s up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Maine

Trump administration’s replacement to Clean Power Plan sends U.S. in the wrong direction on climate change

The Trump administration announced today its rule to replace the Clean Power Plan, which was put into place in 2015. The Clean Power Plan was set to cut carbon pollution from the electric power sector by 32 percent by 2030 and, so far, we’ve been on track to meet those targets. While even steeper cuts are necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change, this new replacement plan is expected to slow the transition of the power sector to clean, renewable energy.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Environment Maine Testimony in Support of LD 911, LD 1119, and LD 1836 | Carissa Maurin

Monday June 17th, state director Carissa Maurin gave the following testimony on behalf of Enviornment Maine in support of the LD 911: A Bond to Promote Land Conservation, Working Waterfronts, Water Access and Outdoor Recreation, LD 1119: A Bond to Support Investments in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, LD 1836: An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue for Infrastructure, Economic Development, Workforce Development and Energy and Environment Investment.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Maine

Maine puts wildlife over waste (again), bans plastic bags

At the end of April, Maine became the first state in the country to sign a statewide ban on polystyrene foam cups and containers into law. With Gov. Janet Mills signature today, Maine is tackling another common and hazardous forms of single-use plastic: disposable grocery bags. The Pine Tree state is now the third state in the country to ban plastic bags.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment America

Statement: House should adopt three-year phaseout of PFAS in military

The U.S. House Committee on Armed Services approved provisions in the annual defense policy bill early this morning that would phase out the military’s use of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. Right now, Congress has a critical opportunity to stamp out a major threat to our public health. Millions of people across the country are currently drinking water contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals. Eliminating the use of these chemicals is the best way to protect our drinking water from these dangerous substances.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Maine

Gov. Mills disappoints with veto of two bills that would protect locals from the CMP corridor

Today, Governor Mills vetoed LD 1383 and LD 1363, which would have protected local communities from the controversial CMP corridor project. These bills will only be enacted if  two-thirds of the House and Senate vote to override the governor’s veto.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed