Defend Our Environment

Credit: Dean Fikar/Shutterstock

The Trump administration is moving to slash the protections and programs that keep industries from polluting our air and water, threatening our health, degrading our public lands, and accelerating global warming. We can defend our environment, but only if we can unite all Americans, from across the country, from all walks of life, to stand together.

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

Yet if those in Washington, D.C., continue to dismantle our best environmental protections, Texans will be left with dirtier air to breathe, dirtier water to drink and swim in, a more rapidly changing climate, and more degraded public lands. 

President Trump has ordered the rollback of the Clean Power Plan, the strongest action we’ve ever taken to limit climate changing power plant pollution in the United States. He announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, breaking our commitment to the world to lead the fight against climate change.

He also signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, and another to rollback Clean Car Standards. Left unchecked, these action will lead to more pollution in our skies, triggering asthma attack in our children and further destabilizing our climate.

After promising during his campaign to “abolish” the EPA himself or “leave just a little bit,” President Trump proposed a federal 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 Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound; decimate environmental research and science programs; and effectively take the nation’s environmental cops off the polluter beat.

The administration has also moved to roll back the Clean Water Rule, eliminating Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of our nation’s streams, which help provide drinking water for one in three Americans. And the president signed executive orders to open up parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans to offshore drilling, to roll back protections for America’s public lands, and to review 27 of our national monuments to determine if they should opened up to mining, drilling or logging.

 Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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. Not when millions of Americans share the core values that the Trump administration is violating. 

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. 

Credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr 

Uniting Americans to defend our environment

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 forebears 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.

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, we can show the Trump administration that reckless proposals to roll back clean air, clean water and other environmental protections will not be tolerated.

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

Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Businesses Join Effort to Defend Clean Water Rule from Lawsuit

With clean water protections under attack in the courts, 234 business leaders from 33 states joined Environment America Research & Policy Center in amicus briefs supporting the Clean Water Rule.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Tyson among top water polluters in Texas

HOUSTON – Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat and poultry producers, generates the most animal manure of major companies surveyed nationwide, a new report said today. The Environment Texas Research & Policy Center study documented pollution from Tyson and four other major agriculture conglomerates, responsible for 44 percent of the pork, chicken, and beef produced in the U.S.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Corporate Agribusiness and the Fouling of America’s Waterways

Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides. Today’s agribusiness practices – from the  concentration of thousands of animals and their waste in small feedlots to the massive planting of chemical-intensive crops such as corn – make water pollution from agribusiness both much more likely and much more dangerous.

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News Release | Environment Texas

State approves new 50 year water plan

"The last drought exposed the huge amount of water waste in the Texas economy, from leaking water mains and irrigation systems to profligate water use in industry. This new water plan recognizes the powerful role that conservation and ending water waste plays in meeting our water needs. While there are still too many environmentally harmful and unnecessary projects included, the 2017 state water plan is a big improvement over the last plan and gives me hope that Texas is on the path to a water-efficient future that keeps our economy humming while protecting the waterways which make our state great."

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News Release | Environment Texas

Texas breakdown: 68 million pounds of pollution released during industrial malfunctions and maintenance last year

AUSTIN-- More than 68 million pounds of mostly illegal air pollution poured from 679 facilities in Texas during 3,421 incidents of breakdowns and maintenance in 2015, according to a new report based on state records.

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