Today Environment America and its state affiliates announced a $7.5 million public education campaign to convince a majority of U.S. senators to stand up for a cleaner, healthier future, and oppose a return to a dirtier, more dangerous past.
With 30+ campaign offices in 22 states and the District of Columbia, the summer-long effort will educate over 1 million Americans face-to-face, over the phone, and online about the need for our senators to stand up for our core environmental and health protections.
“Since the first Earth Day nearly 50 years ago, our air has gotten cleaner, our waterways have become less polluted, and more of our treasured landscapes have been protected. But we're still not close to having the clean and healthy environment we need or deserve and we need to keep moving forward, not backward," said Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America.
Recent research from The Frontier Group and the Environment America Research & Policy Center, as of 2015 (the last year for which data is available) reveals that Americans in nearly every state still breathe polluted air. Too many beautiful and ecologically and culturally sensitive areas are threatened by drilling, mining or other destructive activities, while too many of our waterways are polluted. And of course we have only a brief period of time left to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and other impacts of climate change.
Unfortunately, President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement along with his many proposals that weaken existing climate and clean air safeguards, fail to solve our environmental problems and jeopardize the progress we've already made to reduce pollution. So far this session Congress also has failed to champion clean air and clean water.
"To give our families and future generations a great chance at a healthy and safe environment, we need to stop environmental rollbacks and move quickly and boldly to ensure clean air and water and a livable planet. We need a funded and functioning EPA and we need to strengthen--not weaken--our core environmental, conservation and public health protections," noted Alt.
Environment America's outreach campaign, reaching from Maine to California, is calling senators to be part of a Green Line of Defense, voting to stop any rollbacks of current law and instead push the nation towards 100% renewable energy, fully protected waterways, and increased federal protection of sensitive lands. In addition, the organization’s outreach teams will collect hundreds of thousands of petitions, help generate 10,000 calls to senators, and organize visibility events encouraging each congressional delegation to take strong environmental action.
“We're living in challenging times," added Alt. "On the one hand, special interests, the Trump administration and some in Congress are stuck in old ways of thinking, as if environmental protection was a luxury we couldn’t afford. On the other hand, the science has never been clearer, there's never been as much mobilized public support as there is today for a clean and healthy environment,and the means for achieving it are well within our reach. I'm confident our campaign will help galvanize the public, and make sure people's voices are heard loud and clear. Together, I know we'll find the way to protect the environmental values we share and the places we love. Our families and our future depend on it.”