What’s happening in Washington

The president put someone in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency who has sued that same agency 14 times to weaken clean air, clean water and other environmental protections.

He signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, another order designed to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of America’s streams, including 39,986 miles in Georgia, and a third order rolling back the Clean Power Plan, effectively allowing power plants to emit more pollution and adding more soot to the air we breathe and more climate-destabilizing carbon pollution to the planet’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Congress has passed legislation abolishing new stream water protections from coal mining in Appalachia, voted to make it easier to sell off public lands, and introduced bills to abolish the EPA.

After talking during the campaign about “abolishing” the EPA himself or “leaving just a little bit,” the president proposed a budget that would slash EPA funding by 31 percent. These cuts would virtually eliminate funding for proven programs needed to clean up the nation’s great waterways, from San Francisco Bay to Puget Sound; decimate environmental research and science programs, and effectively take the nation’s environmental cops off the polluter beat.

A “little bit” of environmental protection is not nearly enough—not when it comes to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the people and places we love. 

Most Americans want more, not fewer, protections for the people and places we love

These moves to dismantle our environmental protections violate core values shared by millions of Americans.

The vast majority of us believe the health of our children is more valuable than the dollars saved when a company dumps pollution into our air or water. The future of our children and life on our planet makes the investment in clean, renewable energy a no-brainer for everybody, save perhaps the executives of a few outdated fossil fuel companies. The idea that we’ve found some places so special, some would even say sacred, that we’ve declared them off-limits to development is one of our proudest achievements.

But our environmental values are meaningless if we don’t act on them, and stand up and defend them when they’re under attack— especially given the power of old but entrenched industries that are wed to a status quo that no longer serves our needs, and a worldview that puts their short-term economic interests above the health of the American people and the environment we share.

Our path forward

Our best chance of stopping these attacks will come in the U.S. Senate, where 41 votes will be enough to block most legislation.

Environment Georgia, together with our nationwide network of state affiliates, is urging our senators to stand up and protect our health and the places we love.

And if enough of us speak up, we can win.

Recently, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah filed a bill that would sell off 3.3 million acres of America’s public lands — an area the size of Connecticut. Several days later he withdrew the bill in the face of overwhelming public opposition, including 1,000 people in Montana turning out to a pro-public lands rally and this comment from an National Rifle Association member on Chaffetz’s Facebook page: “Rescind H.R. 621 the sale of public lands! It’s not your land to sell. It’s the people’s land. Many people use it for many purposes.” Hear and respect our voice.”

We can win, but only if we bring together people from all walks of life, from both sides of the political divide, and unite in action to defend the places we love.

Reckless proposals to roll back clean air, clean water and other environmental protections keep coming every week. We need to build support now to protect our health and environment.

Now, it's up to us

The leaders and activists of the past saw the result of decades of unchecked pollution in our smog-covered skylines and our toxic rivers. They worked against all odds and, ultimately, their values won the day. Our environmental forbears organized the first Earth Day, supported and passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the torch passes to us.

The children we know and love today can live cleaner, healthier lives in a greener world, but only if we can keep our environmental protections in place and make them stronger. It’s up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Environment Georgia maps out 50 steps towards carbon-free transportation

Pollution from our nation’s cars, buses, trucks and trains is taking America dangerously off track to meeting climate goals, according to a new report written by Frontier Group and released by  Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center. 50 STEPS TOWARD CARBON-FREE TRANSPORTATION: Rethinking U.S. Transportation Policy to Fight Global Warming concludes that 21st century transportation policy must quickly shift to new priorities, guided by a central goal of curbing climate-altering carbon pollution

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Report | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

50 Steps Toward Carbon-Free Transportation

America’s transportation system has emerged as Climate Enemy #1, with cars, trucks and other vehicles now representing the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, and America producing more transportation carbon pollution per capita than any other major industrialized nation.

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News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Solarize Decatur-DeKalb Launches

The City of Decatur and DeKalb Co. are home to the third Solarize Decatur-DeKalb officially launched last night to a packed room in the City of Decatur Rec Center. The Community Solarize program aims to facilitate major savings by leveraging the power of bulk purchasing. For the next four months businesses, homeowners and municipal buildings will be encouraged to undergo a solar evaluation and hopefully sign a contract to install solar. Pricing is based on a tier system; more participation helps to bring the price down for everyone.

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News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Solarize Athens Ends

 

Athens, GA—June 30th marked the last day for Solarize Athens and after tabulating the results the coalition in charge of Solarize Athens, made up of Environment Georgia, the Georgia Climate Change Coalition, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, and Solar Crowd Source, announced they hit their goal of tripling residential solar in Athens-Clarke County.

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News Release | Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center

Georgia Tech Panel: wind, solar and other clean energy sources could supply all of our power

Atlanta, GA—Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources now make up just about 13 percent of the nation’s electricity supply, but transitioning to 100 percent clean energy in the South is both necessary and feasible, academic experts and clean energy advocates said at a lunch panel held at Georgia Tech on Wednesday.

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