Long have politicians wrongly blamed environmental regulation for economic troubles. For example, the current GOP accuses the Clean Power Plan and other regulations for the downturn of the coal industry, when any industry specialist or economist will tell you that fracking and the cheap price of natural gas is the biggest reason for coal’s decline.
Trump’s administration has turned up the volume of egregious attacks on common-sense environmental protections. Two new bills in Congress, (HR 637 and HR 861) threaten to dismantle major functions of the EPA or eliminate the EPA entirely. Trump himself is considering dramatic budget cuts to the agency of as much as 25% to cut key programs that address climate change, limit toxic air and water pollution and save lives. These cuts would have huge impacts on families, especially in low-income communities that already bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harm than more affluent communities. We must protect the EPA’s ability to carry out its mission to protect the environment and human health by opposing HR 637, HR 861 and Trump’s budget cuts.
What is HR 637?
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), a known climate denier, introduced HR 637 (the “Stopping EPA Overreach Act”) with 84 House Republican co-sponsors. The number is now well over 100. This bill seeks to strike the very words “greenhouse gases” from the Clean Air Act. It would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating “carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfer hexafluoride” emissions—in other words, factories would have free license to pollute the air with these substances. HR 637 would be a devastating strike against the Kigali Accord and other international efforts to fight climate change.
What is HR 861?
Sponsor Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced this bill to abolish the EPA and allow state and local governments to take over its role protecting the environment. This bill would terminate the Environmental Protection Agency effective on December 31, 2018. Its legislative text is one sentence long. This bill was introduced on February 10th and currently has six Republican co-sponsors.
CALL TO ACTION
- Contact your U.S. congressperson to voice your opposition to these damaging bills and to budget cuts for the EPA. Be sure to mention that you are a constituent. If you get voice mail, be sure to leave your name and address so your call gets counted. Not sure who is your congressperson? Click here.
- Sign this petition to oppose EPA budget cuts and this petition to tell Congress to protect the EPA by opposing HR 861 and stopping EPA budget cuts, both trending now on our Petitions, Petitions! page.
Rep. Rob Bishop (UT01) – D.C. (202) 225-0453, UT (801) 625-0107
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT02) – D.C. (202) 225-9730, UT (801) 364-5550
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT03) – D.C. (202) 225-7751, UT (801) 851-2500
Rep. Mia Love (UT04) – D.C. (202) 225-3011, UT (801) 996-8729
About the EPA
Since its founding in 1970 by the executive order of Richard Nixon, the EPA has been responsible not only for clean water and clean air legislation, but also for federal environmental regulation and enforcement, scientific research, public education, sustainability studies and economic productivity assessments related to protecting both environmental health and human health in the arenas of natural resources, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry and international trade. Some of its important responsibilities include regulating pesticides in agriculture and in our food, nuclear waste storage and disposal, and toxic waste disposal in all industries from pharmaceutical to construction to auto repair to dry cleaning to aviation to dentistry — all of which have major implications for human health.