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 61,200 miles in Oregon, 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planet makes the investment in clean, renewable energy a no-brainer for everybody, save perhaps the executives of a few outdated fossil fuel companies.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 Oregon, 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 Oregon

Bend Could Lead Central Oregon in Reducing Plastic Pollution

Today, Bend citizens and local businesses came together to call on the Bend City Council to ban plastic bags. The event, hosted by citizen-based environmental advocacy organization Environment Oregon, is part of their effort to keep plastic bags out of the Pacific and Oregon waterways by banning the bag. So far, more than 49 businesses, including Patagonia, are signed on in support of a city bag ban, while more than 400 citizens have signed petitions. Other local supporters include the Juniper Group chapter of the Sierra Club and world famous climber and Bend resident, Ben Moon.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Oregon

More than 500 citizens and 100 businesses call on Ashland City Council to ban the bag

A campaign to protect the Pacific Ocean and its wildlife by banning plastic bags from Ashland kicks off today with a free screening of the film ‘Bag It,’ hosted by the citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization Environment Oregon. Rogue Riverkeeper, Jackson County Master Recyclers, nearly 100 businesses, as well as the Northwest Grocery Association have all joined Environment Oregon to ban the bag in Ashland. More than 500 citizens have also signed petitions in support of the ban.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Oregon

President Obama’s Climate Plan a Clear Victory for Oregon, Future Generations

Today, President Obama announced a climate plan that will set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, advance energy efficiency and increase the nation’s commitment to renewable energy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, record drought in many states, and the largest wildfires in Oregon in over a century, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by Environment Oregon and many others.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Oregon

Pres. Obama to Unveil Plan to Address Climate Change

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, record drought in many states, and the largest wildfires Oregon has seen in over a century, Pres. Obama has announced he will unveil a climate action plan on Tuesday designed to cut the carbon pollution fueling global warming and advance clean energy solutions. Environment Oregon and many other organizations applauded the announcement. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Oregon

Environment Oregon Calls for Lasting Parks Protections on National Trails Day

Today, on National Trails Day, Environment Oregon called on Oregon leaders to keep beloved parks, like Crater Lake, open and protected from development and pollution.  This call comes on the heels of major cuts to our national parks over the past few years and as Congress considers slashing park budgets even deeper this summer.  National Trails Day is celebrated by thousands of nature-lovers nationwide, who spend the first Saturday in June hiking their favorite trails and enjoying our local and national parks.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed