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How to save the planet this November

Scott Pruitt has left the building, but the new EPA acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, is determined to continue his predecessor’s dangerous rollbacks of America’s environmental safeguards. Wheeler said so himself to the Washington Examiner: “Of course we are absolutely implementing Presidents Trump’s agenda.”

Try as he might to undo the nearly five decades of progress we’ve made in cleaning up our air and water, our side has one important structural advantage: Americans are opposed to the Trump administration’s deadly environmental agenda.

Here are three ways you can use that to fight back.

First, exercise your right to petition our elected officials. Even in today’s hyper-partisan, social media-fixated, and cash-drenched political process, there is no more effective tool than personally reaching out to your representatives. Call and write to them. Meet with them whenever possible. Thank them when they do the right thing. And encourage those in your personal and professional circles to do the same. Democracy works best when we work together, stay informed and take action.

Next, it is critical that you become an evangelist for voting this November. In 2016, just 80,000 votes across Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—out of more than 120 million votes cast nationally—tipped the Electoral College toward Trump. And while the energy and enthusiasm we’ve seen since his election give us reason to be optimistic, we must work together to carry this energy through election day.

Since Trump’s election, environmentally-friendly candidates are overperforming expectations by 13% on average. That said, politicians who oppose environmental protections have some historic advantage in midterm elections. Turnout is expected to be highest in solidly blue or red areas rather than in competitive races, and the most consistent midterm voters have reliably been older, whiter and more conservative than the presidential year electorate. We know that younger voters and people of color are more pro-environment, so it is critically important that they turn out in greater numbers this year than past voting performance would indicate.

You may vote regularly, but there are certainly people in your life who don’t. We know that peer-to-peer encouragement is among the most effective turnout techniques—way better than TV ads, social media bombardment and annoying phone calls from people you don’t know. So be on the lookout for some tools and techniques that the Action Fund will be rolling out this fall to allow you to more directly communicate with pro-environment voters in key states and congressional districts. And in the meantime, please encourage your friends, siblings, children, coworkers and others to register to vote NOW and go to the polls with you this November.

Finally, you can help support pro-environment candidates and policies by supporting the work of the NRDC Action Fund, which is a key part of the growing political power of the environmental movement. Together, we can continue that growth so that our environmental laws are protected and eventually strengthened. Dedication to that goal and to using the levers of our democracy are the only ways we can ensure future generations will safely inherit the Earth.

Kevin S. Curtis is the Executive Director of the Action Fund.

NRDC Action Fund endorses Rosen in Nevada Senate race

Washington – The NRDC Action Fund, a national environmental organization, today announced its endorsement of Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) in her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Nevada.

“Jacky Rosen is a proven fighter for clean energy jobs in Nevada, protecting public lands and safeguarding our environment,” said Kevin S. Curtis, executive director of the NRDC Action Fund. “Nevada families and all Americans need more environmental leaders like her in the Senate to stand up to polluters who threaten our health and our kids’ futures.”

“Fighting for Nevada’s clean air and water and the future of our planet is paramount, and that’s why I am so grateful to have the support of the NRDC Action Fund in my campaign for U.S. Senate,” said Rosen. “I was raised to believe it’s our responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it, and in Congress I’ve made it my mission to protect our National Monuments, support Nevada’s clean energy economy, and push for smart solutions to combat climate change. I look forward to continuing to be an advocate for our environment as Nevada’s next Senator.”

Rosen’s pro-environment voting record earned her a 97 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters in 2017. Her opponent, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), earned a score of zero.

Heller has also taken heat from his constituents for his vote to confirm scandal-plagued former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a climate science denier who worked to roll back environmental safeguards and promote fossil fuels over renewable energy projects. Heller even refused to sign on to a bipartisan call for Pruitt to resign, despite more than a dozen federal investigations stemming from charges that he abused his position, wasted taxpayer dollars and punished whistle-blowers.

Montana GOP picks anti-environment Senate nominee

Republican primary voters in Montana last week chose State Auditor Matt Rosendale (R) to challenge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D) this November, setting up a contest between two candidates whose environmental records could not be more different. Tester, a third-generation farmer, is a pragmatic champion for public lands, clean rivers and climate action. Rosendale, by contrast, maintains a dismal voting record on environmental issues.

As a state legislator, Rosendale regularly voted to thwart environmental protections needed to conserve and protect Montana’s natural resources. In 2014, he led a proposal to turn federal lands over to the state to sell off to extractive industries. Rosendale has also voted to weaken the state constitution’s “clean and healthful environment” clause, block public access to some major waterways, and give industrial developers an advantage over public agencies in disputes over their environmental impacts. Rosendale’s attacks on the environment during his time in the legislature were so egregious that he earned scores of 0%, 6%, and 13% on the Montana Conservation Voters’ Scorecard.

Senator Tester’s record indicates a more responsible approach to environmental stewardship and conservation. As a native Montanan and the only working farmer in the US Senate, Tester understands the threats facing the state’s natural resources, and he knows first-hand the lasting impacts we can have on our environment. That’s why he’s taken bold steps to combat the encroachment of Montana’s public lands by introducing the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act and the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. He also spearheaded the passage of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act and the North Fork Protection Act, which bolstered protection of these lands by prohibiting future mining and drilling developments in over 430,000 acres. The bills also added an additional 275,000 acres as a conservation management area which are also protected from certain developments. His pro-environment and pro-public lands votes have earned the two-term senator an impressive 86% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.

Rosendale’s record makes clear he’d be a rubber-stamp for the Trump administration’s anti-environment and anti-public lands agenda on Capitol Hill. Voters who care about a clean environment and unspoiled public lands should ensure Sen. Tester remains in the Senate  to continue fighting for Montana families and Montana values.

NRDC Action Fund endorses Sen. Tim Kaine for re-election

Washington – The NRDC Action Fund, a national environmental organization, today announced its endorsement of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in his campaign for re-election this year.

“Tim Kaine understands that a safe environment, healthy families, and climate action are essential to continued economic growth,” said NRDC Action Fund Executive Director Kevin Curtis. “Throughout his career, he has fought to protect Virginia families from polluted air and water, and he’s been a leader in preparing vulnerable communities like Hampton Roads for rising sea levels caused by climate change.  We are proud to stand with Sen. Kaine as he seeks another term in the Senate.” 

“We have a responsibility to protect our environment and take steps to preserve our planet for future generations,” said Sen. Kaine. “I am honored to receive the NRDC Action Fund’s endorsement for a second term in the U.S. Senate. Given the opportunity to serve I will continue to defend Virginia’s coasts, safeguard our communities from climate change, and cherish the natural beauty of our Commonwealth.”

As a key member of the Senate’s ‘Green Firewall,’ Sen. Kaine is helping block some of the Trump administration’s most extreme environmental agenda items, including its efforts to expose Virginia beaches to harmful offshore drilling. Sen. Kaine is featured on GiveGreen.com, a project of LCV Victory Fund and NextGen America, supported by the NRDC Action Fund PAC. GiveGreen.com is the only website devoted exclusively to raising money for environmental champions running for office. Last cycle, the GiveGreen program raised more than $8.3 million for pro-environment candidates.

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