While Congress has had trouble getting major legislation passed, Trump’s agencies have been successful at weakening protections on our environment. What can we do about that, when we don’t vote for the people who run these agencies? Trump’s agencies can rewrite regulations without Congress signing off, to let polluters off the hook and add big loopholes. And that’s exactly what they are doing.
First, a quick explainer: Congress makes the laws, but many of them require agencies to figure out how to meet the law. Agencies define the rules and who needs to follow them, and package this into a regulation. The agencies are also responsible for keeping their regulations updated against new threats (ex: taking into account a new pollution source like fracking).
The good news is that Trump’s regulations can be reversed by a future administration, as long as Congress doesn’t change the laws themselves. This is one place we come in. We need to make sure Congress doesn’t weaken environmental laws under Trump’s watch.
While some terrible environmental bills have passed the House, we expect most future environmental attacks in Congress will be hidden. They’ll lurk in spending bills, as riders on unrelated bills, and even in the upcoming infrastructure proposal. And then there’s Trump’s budget wishlist which slashes EPA funding by 1/3, eliminates over 50 EPA programs and does other terrible things outlined here.
We will be calling our Members of Congress at various critical points in time and reminding them: ZERO policy riders that weaken environmental laws in an infrastructure bill or other must-pass legislation like the budget.
We can also defend the environment by submitting comments to the agencies as they try to water down the protections that keep our air and water clean. Learn key tips on how to do that.
Mark your calendars for our August all-group meeting!
Sunday Aug 20th
Noe Valley Library
Stand Up SF actions:
- Call Senators Feinstein and Harris and urge them to reject S.951, the Regulatory Accountability Act, which changes long-standing rules on how federal agencies regulate everything from food safety to toxic chemicals to equipment failure at nuclear power plants—things that keep us all safe. Among a host of other terrible things, this bill would require agencies across the board to adopt regulations that are cheapest for corporations, rather than ones that maximize benefits to the American public. (more background & scripts)
- Research has linked chlorpyrifos to nervous system damage, autism, ADHD, and lower IQs in young children whose mothers were exposed during pregnancy. S.1624, the Protect Children, Farmers, and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017 would BAN chlorpyrifos, overriding EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to cancel the scheduled ban of the toxic pesticide. Call Sen Feinstein and ask her to support this bill.
- The House is pushing a bill that would give greater control of California’s water to the Trump administration. The bill would prevent California from using new scientific data to manage our water supply, and would set us back decades, rolling back our progress in solving our water issues. It would bypass California’s water laws, flout the Endangered Species Act, and disregard some of our most critical environmental reviews. Sign Sen Feinstein’s petition to stop this bill.
Actions with other groups:
- Mon 8/14, 6:30-8:30pm: Showing Up for Racial Justice SF general meeting. SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. Learn more and sign up.
- Tue 8/15, noon: MoveOn is hosting a Resistance Recess Speak-Out at Sen. Feinstein’s office, with invited Senate staff. Open mic to share your personal stories, questions, demands and concerns. Bring cards and letters to
Senator Feinstein that will be hand-delivered to staff. Get creative with signs. Musicians are encouraged to come. This is part of a National Action! Sign up.