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Daily Action: Tell Trump's EPA To Stop Denying Climate Change


CONTACT:
EPA comment page: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190

Sample comment (please do not cut and paste):
"I live in southern California, where we finally seemed to break a seven-year drought this winter. The farmers are fighting the government over water rights, and even the temporary thrill of seeing the hillsides turn green (for the first time in years) is quickly replaced by the knowledge that a particularly intense wildfire season is coming. Climate change is real, and it's happening here! Our government must not turn science into corporate spin so that the fossil-fuel companies can wring one last dime out of a dying planet."


BACKGROUND
Under orders from President Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency -- now led by notorious EPA opponent Scott Pruitt -- has begun a process of scouring its books for regulations it can eliminate. Doing so would threaten four decades of improvements to our air and water, and would exacerbate the threats we face from climate change -- all in the name of improving corporate bottom lines.

As part of its process, the EPA has issued a request for public comment and created the web page linked above. This comment period, which continues through May 15, offers an opportunity to defend the EPA's work from its own current administrators. The most effective comments will not be quick, snarky, or too similar to others (no cutting and pasting, please). They will be those that offer our personal perspectives on the importance of clean air and water, toxic cleanups, etc. -- tied to facts that express gratitude for the EPA's extraordinary successes through the years, and argue for its importance in ensuring a healthy environment in the years to come.

Commenters are not limited to a single submission! Today we encourage you to post as many times as possible on issues surrounding chemicals, pesticides, toxic-waste cleanups, and other such concerns; later this week we'll focus on climate change. The following are points of argument that you might recast in your own words:

  • The work of the EPA is vital to the health and well-being of life on the planet and human beings, and provides a major economic boost to world societies and the US. Its studies, regulations, and mitigation procedures make us a healthier, more productive and economically efficient society. We need the EPA to have more resources, not have them cut by the Trump Administration.
     
  • Since its inception in 1970, the EPA has:
    • cleaned pollution from numerous rivers
    • kept toxins out of drinking water and household products
    • removed CFCs from aerosols
    • saved numerous birds from extinction, including the Bald Eagle, by banning DDT
    • cut brain damage-causing lead from gasoline
    • cleaned up toxic waste sites around the nation
    • improved the quality of the air we breathe.
      Source: http://ehso.com/ehshome/epa-accomplishments.htm

      If we roll back EPA protections, we risk going back to times like these:
  • Cuyahoga River in Ohio catching fire in 1969  
  • Excessive levels of phosphorus in Lake Erie causing massive die-offs, leading to the slogan “Lake Erie is Dead”  
  • Major problems with acid rain; under the Clean Air Act's regulations, since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976.
  • The Bald Eagle was threatened with extinction until Rachel Carson’s research led to to the banning of DDT
  • Ozone levels in the atmosphere, heightened due to the proliferation of chlorofluorocarbons, were expected to cause massive increases in skin cancer rates. Thanks to an international effort to phase out CFCs, the ozone hole is now all but closed.

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE

The Clean Power Plan, developed under the Obama administration and now being eliminated under Trump, was set to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants by 32 percent within 25 years, relative to 2005 levels.  In addition, it would reduce the pollutants that contribute to smog and soot by 25 percent, and the reduction would lead to net climate and health benefits of an estimated $25 billion to $45 billion per year by 2030. That includes the avoidance of 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks among children, and 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths. EPA projected that the plan would save the average American family $85 per year in energy bills in 2030, and it would save enough energy to power 30 million homes and save consumers $155 billion from 2020–2030. The plan would create 30 percent more renewable energy generation in 2030, and help to lower the costs of renewable energy. It also would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to the NRDC. Source: EPA, "FACT SHEET: Clean Power Plan Benefits."

Fuel Economy. The fleet of American cars continues to improve in fuel economy. Why? People tend to buy more fuel-efficient cars when gas prices are higher. Additionally, in 2007 Congress tightened fuel economy standards for cars. The result is that consumers now have more options for fuel-efficient cars than ever before.  The EPA needs to continue regulating the fuel economy of our fleet. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/12/13/cars-in-the-u-s-are-more-fuel-efficient-than-ever-heres-how-it-happened/?utm_term=.f400c6690641

Fuel Economy, continued. Today, EPA regulations mandate that passenger cars get an average of 36 miles per gallon. This regulation has resulted in an average increase of 10 mpg for passenger cars over the last 10 years. The new standard would require that passenger cars average 54 mpg by 2025. This would reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, reduce smog in dense cities, and drive innovation in the automobile industry.  Source: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-autos-20170315-story.html

Energy Star. When it's time to buy a new appliance, the Energy Star program helps us know how energy-efficient it is, and how it will affect electricity bills. Manufacturers voluntarily apply to the EPA for the ability to use the Energy Star label, and customers know that if they buy an appliance with the label, they will save money.  The program is a fantastic example of a voluntary consumer-manufacturer partnership that really works. Source: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/noah-horowitz/energy-star-delivers-big-america-why-put-it-risk

Global Warming. The EPA regulates greenhouse gasses, and needs to continue to do so. Unfortunately, both Trump and his EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, are climate-change deniers. Nevertheless, greenhouse-gas regulation is of critical importance. Here in Southern California, climate change-related issues include the lengthening wildfire season, severe droughts, and more frequent and intense heat waves. Source: http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/science-and-impacts/global-warming-impacts