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Logging mature and old trees threatens U.S. climate goals

Forests

Logging mature and old trees threatens U.S. climate goals

 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday signed a memorandum to clarify the U.S. Forest Service’s direction on climate policy. The memo, "Climate Resilience and Carbon Stewardship of America's National Forests and Grasslands," follows a recent White House executive order highlighting the importance of conserving mature and old-growth forests on federal lands as a climate solution. The memo, which lays out “actions to restore forests, improve resilience, and address the climate crisis”, falls short in meeting the ambition outlined in President Joe Biden’s order on old forests and trees. Secretary Vilsack acknowledges the role that older trees play in absorbing and storing carbon and supporting biodiversity. But he fails to outline a plan for his agency to protect mature and old-growth forests and trees from commercial logging. 

Media Releases  

Environmental, public health groups to Senate: Act on toxic PFAS in drinking water

Clean water

Environmental, public health groups to Senate: Act on toxic PFAS in drinking water

Eighty-two organizations, including Environment America and U.S. PIRG, delivered a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee calling for comprehensive federal legislation to protect Americans’ drinking water from contamination by the toxic class of chemicals known as PFAS. The organizations, which hail from 30 states, asked the EPW Committee to designate all PFAS as hazardous substances, prohibit their use in firefighting foam, and direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue drinking water standards and stop the dumping of PFAS into our nation’s waterways.

Media Releases  

Statement: Rather than a gas tax holiday, US should address oil dependence at its roots

Clean energy

Statement: Rather than a gas tax holiday, US should address oil dependence at its roots

WASHINGTON -- In an effort to alleviate the burden of high gas prices for American consumers, President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a three-month suspension of the federal gas tax. The federal gas tax, at 18.4 cents per gallon, has not been raised since 1993. The average price of gas in the United States was $4.98 per gallon at the beginning of this week, compared to $3.07 per gallon a year ago this time. Suspending the gas tax will require action by Congress. The president also urged states to suspend their gas taxes or provide other relief to consumers.

Media Statements  

Over one hundred environmental and community groups urge U.S. Supreme Court to uphold federal clean water protections

Clean water

Over one hundred environmental and community groups urge U.S. Supreme Court to uphold federal clean water protections

Environmental and community organizations from across the nation Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the longstanding scope of the Clean Water Act and reject industry attempts to eliminate federal clean water protections that have kept families, communities, and rivers and lakes safe from pollution for decades. Environment America and several of its state affiliates are among the 113 groups signed onto the brief filed by Natural Resources Defense Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center, in support of the Environmental Protection Agency in the case, Sackett v. EPA.

Media Releases  

RESOURCE: The 100 most polluting power plants in the U.S.

Fossil fuel pollution

RESOURCE: The 100 most polluting power plants in the U.S.

Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund are releasing a new factsheet ranking America’s dirtiest power plants. Though increased renewable energy generation has led to decreased emissions from the power sector, more than 3,400 fossil-fuel power plants are still contaminating American skies and contributing to climate change.

Media Releases  

Statement: EPA advises stronger limits on levels of toxic PFAS chemicals to protect Americans’ health

Toxic threats

Statement: EPA advises stronger limits on levels of toxic PFAS chemicals to protect Americans’ health

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled on Wednesday new health advisories for four of the most common toxic PFAS chemicals that pollute drinking water nationwide. These official EPA actions “provide technical information to drinking water system operators, as well as federal, state, Tribal, and local officials, on the health effects, analytical methods, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contaminants.” In addition, the EPA announced the first round of funding to help clean up these so-called “forever chemicals” in public water systems. However, the EPA does not have the authority to enforce any PFAS standard associated with the health advisory.

Media Statements  

U.S. Interior Department to phase out sale of single-use plastic products in parks, public lands

Beyond plastic

U.S. Interior Department to phase out sale of single-use plastic products in parks, public lands

WASHINGTON --- Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued an order on Wednesday, World Oceans Day, to phase out single-use plastic products on lands managed by the Department of the Interior by 2032. The order is intended to reduce -- and eventually eliminate -- plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery and disposable plastic bags at national parks and on other public lands.

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