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Latest Press Release

March 28, 2017

Trump’s Executive Order Repeals Environmental Protections; Hurts People He Claims He Wants to Help

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2017
Contact: Sharon Singh, sharon.singh@peoplesclimate.org ; 202.499.9565; @spksingh


March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on April 29 to Resist Attacks and Bring Solutions to Elected Leaders

Washington, DC — In response to Trump administration’s latest executive order that begins to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and environmental protections, the Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) is demonstrating itself as a massive and wide-reaching movement in opposition to this dangerous step that puts people and the planet at grave risk. The PCM is a broad-based ground-breaking coalition of hundreds of faith-based, labor unions, indigenous, civil rights and environmental justice groups based around the country working together to build bold solutions that tackle climate change, rooted in economic and racial justice.

Invalidating the Clean Power Plan will undo hard-won protections that allow the EPA to meet its legal requirements to regulate pollutants, including carbon dioxide and more.

“This action, by an administration that favors corporate profits over clean air and water, puts our country, our communities and our people at great risk. It also sends a dangerous message to the world that the United States does not care about climate change or protecting frontline communities,” said Paul Getsos, National Coordinator, PCM.

This move, along with past comments and actions illustrates the Trump administration’s continued commitment to undermining any progress in addressing environmental and economic justice. The CPP is a critical component in curbing climate change and an important step in transitioning to a clean energy economy that creates family sustaining jobs in a variety of growing industries.

To combat these continued attacks on climate action and protecting front-line communities, the PCM is gearing up for a mass mobilization to March for Climate, Jobs and Justice, on April 29. Tens of thousands of people have already signed up to converge in Washington, DC to push the Trump administration and Congress to do their jobs – protect our planet, our communities and transition to a renewable energy future.


The following is a list quotes from the March for Climate, Justice and Jobs partners:

Elizabeth Yeampierre, UPROSE, executive director said:
“The EPA’s rollback of basic environmental rules demonstrates that when it comes to the health of our children, our communities, and our climate, this is an administration of lawlessness and disorder. For frontline communities, those of us impacted first and worst by the extraction economy, this means an escalation of public health crises, from asthma to cancer. It means an utter disregard for those of us most vulnerable to climate disasters. It means a  world of volatility and exploitation for our children and grandchildren. As a member of the climate justice movement, we stand defiant in the face of these orders and are prepared to hold the line. We will meet these violent policies with a deeper commitment to a Just Transition away from fossil fuels, toward renewable energy, local resiliency, and a regenerative economy worthy of leaving our children.”

Kari Fulton, Environmental Justice Community Organizer, Empower DC said:
“A rollback on environmental regulations hits our communities first and worst. Low-income communities in the Nation’s Capitol oftentimes live near polluting industries like trash transfer stations, concrete yards and major highways. DC is also a federal district that relies heavily on budget approval from the federal government to help regulate these industries and to protect our health. Cuts to regulations just means increases in health burdens like Asthma, Cancer, COPD and more. Sometimes Big Energy and Polluters say they are offering jobs but we don’t see these jobs. People from Maryland and Virginia are working these polluting jobs then driving back home away from our communities.”

Vien Truong, National Director, Green For All, said:
“We fought long and hard to make the Clean Power Plan a reality. By cutting carbon pollution from power plants, it aims to spark innovation, drive investment and energy efficiency to create jobs and save families money. Most importantly, it has the potential to address power plant pollution in the communities most vulnerable to asthma and other health impacts,” Vien Truong, director of Green For All. “It’s clear that Trump is determined to protect the fossil fuel industry, no matter the cost. Green For All will continue to stand with frontlines families and our most vulnerable to enact policies that create jobs and cut carbon pollution to protect the health of our kids.”

Lydia D. Avila, Executive Director, the Power Shift Network, said:
“Trump’s plan for America is dangerously shortsighted. These regulations were meant to protect our future and young people will fight tooth and nail against these roll backs. They are only one action out of many from the Trump Administration that are hurting marginalized communities. Young people will continue fighting for a just and equitable future for all.”  

Adrienne L. Hollis, Director of Federal Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, said:
“Today’s devastating rollback of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) will severely impact vulnerable populations nationwide. Withdrawing the protections offered by the CPP leaves frontline communities vulnerable to environmental onslaughts caused by climate change. Not only that, but communities of color and/or those of low socio-economic status are more impacted by the air pollution surrounding power plants. Living near power plants causes increased respiratory illnesses, including asthma and COPD, and increased cancer rates. The Clean Power Plan was and is not only an opportunity to curb the impacts of climate change, but to reduce decades of environmental health inequity.”

Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, said:
“The Trump administration continues to demonstrate their value of profit over people, of corporations over the environment, and of greed over a sustainable future. We know that the impacts of climate change fall most directly on Indigenous people and communities of color.  These frontline communities are leading movements around the world toward Just Transition and sustainable energy. Pruitt and this administration are trying to drag us back to dirty coal, an industry that not only destroyed land and water and burned the planet, but also plummeted deeply in global markets.  Now is the time to build an economy for our future, not tie ourselves to the dying past.”

Rae Breaux, Lead Climate Justice Organizer, People’s Action Institute, said:
“These direct threats are a direct threat to low-income communities, and low-income communities of color. President Trump has made it clear that he will fast-track profits for corporations before he invests in the needs of the American people.  We need a United States that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of its people so we can thrive as a nation. Now is the time to come together and build an economy where investments are made to benefit workers, communities of color, women, and low-income folks, not the fossil fuel industry.”

Rev Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, said:
“Communities of color, low income communities, and indigenous communities stand to benefit from the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. If it is rescinded it will have significant public health impacts on our most vulnerable communities. Fossil fuels and the carbon that it burns are directly linked to climate change and environmental pollution. The fossil fuel industry knows this and uses climate deniers, like Scott Pruitt, to obscure the truth in the same fashion that the tobacco industry, pesticides and others like them have done to get every last dollar of profit while hurting people as well as the land, air, and water. Backed by campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, it’s clear that Pruitt and the Trump Administration’s primary interest is in that of protecting the fossil fuel industry, which cannot be trusted to tell us the truth.”

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network, said:
“President Donald Trump tearing apart the CPP is an act of aggression and violence against the sacredness of Mother Earth and Father Sky. Our indigenous prophecies and teachings tell us that Life as we know it is in danger. The atmosphere and the environment cannot absorb anymore concentration of greenhouse gases. As Indigenous Peoples, we still understand our responsibility as guardians and the need to take action as defenders of the Earth. Indigenous peoples will not stand idle as we tell the world the Earth is the source of life to be protected, not merely a resource to be exploited and abused.”

Luisa Blue, Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union, said:
“Working people from coast-to-coast are already feeling the devastating health impacts of toxic air and water caused by corporate polluters who for too long have gone unchecked. By undoing the Clean Power Plan, President Trump is reverting our communities to unhealthy and unsafe living conditions to benefit corporations over our communities. We can have a vibrant economy and vibrant communities with clean air and water.”

Patrick Carolan, Franciscan Action Network Executive Director, said:
“Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si that our sisters and brothers in the Global South are most affected by the giant polluters in the first world. We have a moral responsibility to care for our neighbors, across the street and across the world. By eliminating the Clean Power Plan the administration is showing that they value profits over human beings, many of whom are suffering now from our selfish decisions.”

Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate President, said:
“These actions are an assault on American values and they endanger the health, safety and prosperity of every American. Trump is deliberately destroying programs that create jobs and safeguards that protect our air and water, all for the sake of allowing corporate polluters to profit at our expense. In the face of attacks like these, we will continue stand strong for our values and for a better future for every American.”

Gretchen Dahlkemper, Moms Clean Air Force National Field Director, said:
“As moms and dads, we are working together to protect what we love most: our children. President Trump says he wants to protect clean air and clean water, but his pending executive order to roll back public health protections achieved under the Clean Power Plan tells us otherwise. Overturning the Plan – the most significant step that our country has ever taken to address the urgent crisis of climate change — could trigger up to 3,600 premature deaths, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed work and school days annually by 2030. Make no mistake: these measures will harm real lives and impose an incalculable cost on our economy and our moral leadership in the world. As moms and dads, we say: not on our watch.”

Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson Co-Founder/ Co-Director and Climate Justice Alliance Member, said:
“This is nothing short of a declaration of war against humanity and all complex life. The question is what are we going to do about it? How do we strengthen the climate justice movement in this era, under these circumstances?”

Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice President, said:
“Champagne corks are popping in the board rooms of big corporate polluters as they celebrate this ill-disguised fossil fuel industry wish-list of an executive order, which will wreak havoc on efforts to tackle climate change and protect our communities. At a moment when we desperately need to expand climate solutions, President Trump is trying to block the rise of clean energy to benefit fossil fuel billionaires who are already lining their pockets with massive taxpayer subsidies.”

Kierán Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director, said:
“Trump just took his war against our climate to a terrifying new level. Reducing power-plant pollution is mandated by the Clean Air Act, and Trump can’t undo science and law with the stroke of a pen. We’ll fight in court to defend this critical effort to protect our planet from global warming.”

Daniel Abdullah, Alliance for Climate Education 16 year-old Fellow, said:
“Trump’s actions in combatting the CPP and removing necessary regulation on carbon emissions show that he has no concern for the implications of climate change on future generations. By denying proven scientific fact, he is putting our futures at risk. It is our responsibility to make our presence known, our voices heard, and hold him accountable for the harm he is causing to our health, and our future. “

Christopher Ramirez, Conservation Voters New Mexico Juntos Director, said:
“The Clean Power Plan would have positively impacted clean air for Latina/o/x communities like where I live in Albuquerque’s South Valley. In addition to reducing carbon pollution from coal and natural gas burning power plants in Northwest New Mexico, the Clean Power Plan would have shifted control of energy decisions and sourcing to local communities with energy sovereignty. Latina/o/c families want clean air and renewable energy including have the choice for their energy be theirs. The CPP would also mean investment in renewable energy and good and green jobs for Latina/o/x and other families in New Mexico. Juntos and the neighborhoods we organize with will continue to push for clean air, renewable energy, just transition and engagement of environmental justice communities at all levels of decision making processes.”

Angela Anderson, Union of Concerned Scientists Climate and Energy Program Director, said:
“The Trump administration’s actions to rescind the Clean Power Plan without proposing a robust alternative are dangerously irresponsible and completely at odds with the urgent need to address climate change—and it defies the ruling of the Supreme Court which found that the EPA was responsible for regulating carbon. Climate impacts—including worsening flooding due to sea level rise and heavy precipitation, droughts, wildfires and heat waves—are already having a costly effect on Americans. Instead of acting at the behest of fossil fuel interests, our nation’s leaders must instead prioritize Americans’ health and security.”

Aura Vasquez, Director of Climate Justice, Center for Popular Democracy, said:
“Hearing the EPA administrator deny that CO2 is the primary contributor to global warming is nothing short of an atrocity. This basic fact is at the heart of all of our efforts to stop the devastation of climate change. Denying the science of this reality will impact millions of people on the front lines of a dangerously changing climate, especially low-income communities and communities of color. More than ever, we need to take to the streets at the People’s Climate March in April 29 and show the impacts of carbon pollution on our communities and our health – and by doing so, demonstrate the real threat of  climate change.”

Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance, said:
“We honor the hard work of those in our movement who have fought over  generations to provide institutional safety guards to frontline communities suffering from systemic environmental racism, an extractive economy, and business as usual.  The Our Power Plan, our commitment to real solutions derived from Indigenous Sovereignty,  Energy Democracy, and an overall Just Transition to a regenerative economy have historically guided our recommendations to improve these institutions, tools, and agreements.  Moving forward CJA members would benefit from having these tools, such as the CPP, improved not gutted to best address the needs of environmental justice and climate justice frontline communities.”

Rhea Suh, Natural Resources Defense Council President, said:
“The Clean Power Plan is the strongest measure we’ve taken to protect future generations from the growing dangers of climate change. It would cut the climate-disrupting fossil fuel pollution from the power plants that account for 40 percent of the nation’s carbon footprint. By promoting efficiency, the plan would save our families money on their power bills. It would spur job growth. And it would help prepare our workers for success in the global clean energy boom projected to draw more than $7 trillion in investment over the coming 25 years. If he’s serious about creating more good-paying middle class jobs, why would Trump want to kill that plan?”

Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, said:
“Trump’s attack on climate action, clean energy, and the Clean Power Plan could cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. The safeguards Donald Trump is trying to throw out protect all families in America by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other toxic pollutants like mercury, smog, and sulfur dioxide — but unfortunately Trump would clearly rather pad the fossil fuel industry’s profits. Even Trump can’t stop the booming clean energy economy, as people all over the country have organized to help push coal to its lowest level in history and cities like Salt Lake City, Utah and Georgetown, Texas are committing to 100 percent clean energy. Trump can’t reverse the Clean Power Plan or our clean energy progress with the stroke of a pen, because we will fight him in the courts, in the streets on April 29 and beyond, and at the state and local level everywhere across the country.”

Mike Tidwell, Executive Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said:
“Donald Trump wants to take us back to the dark ages. Instead of moving this country forward to a clean energy economy that would create good, sustaining jobs, his actions will poison our communities and keep our communities reliant on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels while also abandoning our position as climate leaders on the international stage. But we can promise the Trump administration this: Every attack on climate progress will bring a new wave of resistance. We will not back down.”

May Boeve, 350.org, Executive Director, said:
“This all-out attack on our climate and communities will be met with historic resistance. Trump is once again propping up the reckless fossil fuel industry while slashing any protections that put people before profits. As concern about global warming reaches a three-decade record high, there’s overwhelming support from the American people for climate action. On April 29th, we’re taking our vision and our resistance to Washington for the Peoples Climate March with people from every corner of the country who are ready to keep fighting for our future.”

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters, said:
“On the heels of the three hottest years on record, President Trump is reversing the biggest steps our country has taken to fighting climate change. Rolling back these public health protections shows Trump cares more about big polluters than the well-being of our communities. There is no excuse for unsafe drinking water, dirty air, more asthma attacks in kids, and increased extreme weather events that destroy homes and livelihoods. Donald Trump may care more about corporate interests, but the people of this country care about a safe, clean and healthy environment and they will not let him get away with destroying it. This is why LCV is sponsoring the fight for climate, justice and a clean energy economy on April 29 at the Peoples Climate March in Washington, DC.”


Background and History: The People’s Climate Movement grew out of the largest climate march in U.S. history in New York in September of 2014, creating a groundbreaking coalition of climate and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups working to build bold solutions to tackle the climate crisis, rooted in economic and racial justice.

With a 100 days of action culminating in mass mobilization on April 29, the 100th day of the Trump presidency, this coalition will leverage their power once again to resist the Trump administration and corporate interests’ efforts to thwart or reverse progress towards a more just America.

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For more information on the April 29 Peoples Climate Mobilization, visit peoplesclimate.org
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