Trump’s GOP accelerates assault on the environment

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Photo: Gage Skidmore

If the selection of climate denier Donald Trump as their standard-bearer wasn’t an obvious enough clue, Republican leaders this week dropped any pretense that they care about environmental protection. Rather, they appear to be adopting the entire agenda of big polluters.

In the span of just a few days GOP congressional leaders loaded up appropriations bills with absurd anti-environment amendments, and the party’s convention platform committee adopted language calling coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels, “clean” energy. (Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up.)

Among the gems House Republicans are trying to ram through before they leave Washington for a long summer break? Big cuts in funding for EPA enforcement of clean air and clean water standards, repealing limits on carbon pollution from power plants and scores of other policy riders seeking to undo the Obama administration’s environmental progress. In fact, the appropriations bill for the Interior department is so laden with anti-environment junk the White House declared it dead on arrival.

“The bill underfunds core Department of the Interior programs as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s operating budget, which supports nationwide protection of human health, and vital air, water and land resources,” the White House said in a statement, adding, “Furthermore, the legislation includes numerous highly unacceptable provisions that have no place in funding legislation. These provisions threaten to undermine the most basic protections for America’s unique natural treasures and the people and wildlife that rely on them, as well as the ability of States and communities to address climate change and protect a resource that is essential to America’s health—clean water.”

If there’s a bright side to all this, it’s that the GOP is showing American voters what they’ll do if Donald Trump wins. Without a presidential veto to block these attacks on clean air and clean water, Republicans will be free to turn the clock back on nearly 50 years of environmental progress and give polluters free reign.

Americans are increasingly concerned about the growing impacts of climate change, and they believe the U.S. should lead efforts to avoid the worst damage. They want strong environmental standards that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. They prefer clean energy development over reliance on the dirty fossil fuels of the past.

Republicans are betting voters won’t notice their party not only doesn’t share these values, it’s working against them.

 

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Reuters/Brian Snyder

President Obama campaigns with Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Obama and Hillary campaign on climate – Obama and Clinton took to North Carolina and hit Trump for his absurd and dangerous positions on climate change. (Grist)

The #climate election – Americans are deeply concerned about climate change, but they fear it’s not playing a prominent enough role in the 2016 election conversation. (The Guardian)

Science organizations take on Congress – 31 scientific groups push back against climate denial in Congress and tell lawmakers to “to reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change.” (InsideClimate News)

Beyond the Flint water crisis Over 18 million Americans are drinking potentially contaminated tap water due to widespread failures in the testing, monitoring, and enforcement of federal drinking water standards, signaling a nationwide crisis. (NRDC)

Trump’s real estate isn’t safe from climate change – Donald Trump’s Palm Beach properties will suffer the effects of climate change despite him turning  a blind eye to the issue. (The Guardian)

Climate denial doesn’t win elections – A new poll tells us voters across party lines would be less likely to support climate-denying political candidates. (E&E)

California’s clean energy economy – California is America’s leader in clean energy and if it were a nation, it would rank in world’s top five in energy productivity, electricity from renewable sources, and reductions in carbon intensity. (Los Angeles Times)

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Map showing lead rule violations by people served. | Source: NRDC

Map showing lead rule violations by people served. | Source: NRDC

Water violations go beyond Flint – Eighteen million Americans are living in communities where the water systems violate federal lead rules. (CNN)

The 2016 DNC platform is strong on climate – Former EPA head Carol Browner calls Democratic platform draft on climate change the “boldest climate vision ever to appear in our party’s platform.” (Politico)

Republicans for climate action Despite the GOP’s climate-denying frontrunner Donald Trump, about half of Republicans believe the climate is changing and want the federal government to take action. (Morning Consult)

Virginia is moving to act on climate – Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order to reduce carbon emissions in Virginia, telling agencies to find ways to decrease carbon emissions. (AP)

Solar energy on the rise – For first time in history, more solar systems came online than natural gas power plants in the US, marking the beginning of solar’s most prosperous decade ever. (The Guardian)

North American leaders make climate action a priority – President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau set a goal to up the percent of electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2025. (New York Times)

Trumps energy plan is bad for climate and the economy – Trump would accelerate climate changes threatening Americans and the American economy with his energy plan. (The Conversation)

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California closing

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, California’s soon-to-be-closed last power plant | Photo by: Pacific Gas and Electric

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

The Trump threat – Republicans are worried Donald Trump is tilting the closest Senate races away from the GOP during a cycle when the election map already had them playing defense. (Politico)

California pushes for further commitment to climate change Governor Jerry Brown announced he wants to extend California’s climate law beyond 2020. (LA Times)

Bringing down the House energy bill – Environmental groups are urging the U.S. Senate not to work with the House after “controversial and problematic provisions” were added to the energy bill. (The Hill)

Trading nuclear for clean energy – With the closing of California’s last nuclear plant, wind and solar energy are on the rise, cutting emissions and costs. (The Hill)

L.A.’s heatwave threatens communities of color – L.A.’s current heatwave means dirty diesel fuel will burn in communities of color without the residents’ say so. (Grist)

Kerry’s Arctic climate message – After visiting the warming Arctic, Secretary of State John Kerry says more needs to be done to combat climate change. (Washington Post)

Teaching climate change –  Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is pushing for a climate curriculum for people of all ages as we reach the first anniversary of the Pope’s vital message on climate action. (The Hill)

Wildfires in the West – Western states such as California and Utah are feeling the effects of global warming as wildfire seasons increase in length. (ThinkProgress)

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Paul Ryan announces proposals that seek to find common ground with Donald Trump. Photo: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Paul Ryan announces proposals that seek to find common ground with Donald Trump. Photo: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

#NeverTrump Will stark differences on the issue of climate change between the candidates unify the electorate against Trump? (The Hill)

Paul Ryan vs. the planet – House Speaker Paul Ryan released a plan to roll back Obama’s signature reforms including the Clean Power Plan. Ryan’s plan is an attempt to find common ground between the GOP and the country’s Climate-Denier-in-Chief, Donald Trump. (Washington Post)

How Clinton won California — With last-minute endorsements, including from the NRDC Action Fund, Hillary won the California primary by a 13-point margin. (Washington Post)

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Obama air pollution rule, again – In a big win for the Obama administration (and American families), the Supreme Court refused to hear yet another request from states to overturn the EPA’s 2012 mercury rule. (The Hill)

Transportation is now America’s biggest climate problem – For the first time in over 35 years, America’s cars, trucks, and planes emit more carbon dioxide than its power plants do. (Vox)

The world nears peak fossil fuels for electricity – As renewable energy becomes cheaper and cheaper, global demand for fossil fuel electricity production will continue to fall. What happens when our cars go electric, too? (Bloomberg)