Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

8 Ways GOP Leadership Plans to Trash the Planet

Climate
8 Ways GOP Leadership Plans to Trash the Planet

Concerns about the economy and heath care may have dominated the midterms, but the election results have unleashed a major threat to our children's health and the environment. The Senate is now in the control of a handful of GOP leaders who promise to trash clean air and water, and allow unlimited climate change pollution.

This pro-polluter agenda is not what the majority of Americans want. Poll after poll shows strong support for environmental protection. An ABC/Washington Post survey, for instance, found that 7 in 10 Americans view climate change as a serious problem and support federal action to reduce carbon pollution. Candidates who led on climate issues in Congress or the campaign trail won in Michigan, New Hampshire and Maine.

Yet incoming Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner ignore these views. They have laid out a plan that would threaten our children's health and hamstring our ability to protect future generations from climate change.

We can prevent this onslaught if we raise our voices and hold lawmakers accountable.

I know because we've done it before. We did it when we broke former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's Contract on America. We did it when we prevented more than 500 anti-environmental votes in the House from creating rollbacks to environmental law over the past four years. And we will do it again.

Now is the time to act, before the GOP's pro-polluter plan takes hold. It would halt progress on environmental protections and strip away long-standing safeguards. This is a radical effort to dismantle bedrock laws that have stood firm for decades. And in pursuit of this agenda, Republican leaders have threatened to push America to the brink of another government shutdown.

Here's some of what GOP leaders have said they would do to America:

  1. Block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from limiting dangerous carbon pollution from power plants—the most important step we can take to curb climate-changing carbon pollution.
  2. Stop an EPA proposal to restore protections to streams and wetlands that feed into the drinking water supplies of 117 million Americans.
  3. Prevent the EPA from even proposing new safeguards for smog-causing ozone; scientists have found current standards are too lax, forcing people to breathe air that is unhealthy and even fatal for children and adults with asthma and other lung problems.
  4. Take away the ability of scientists and experts to set health and environmental standards and give politicians the power to decide what is safe for our families using the so-called REINS Act—a law that would require Congressional approval for every new standard and gut our nation's time-tested method of review.

There are many more: forcing approval of the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline, opening our coastal waters and the Arctic Refuge to risky oil drilling, blocking federal efforts to protect drinking water from oil and gas “fracking" activity, and opening our national forests to loggers, to name just a few.

These extreme actions would put people and places at risk. They would also endanger an entire system of environmental protection that generations of Americans have relied upon.

Over the past four decades, our nation's laws have made our air safer to breathe and our water cleaner to drink. Many of these laws were passed with broad bipartisan support and signed by Republican presidents. By calling for a radical overhaul of this tradition, current GOP leaders reveal how out of step they are with Americans. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is willing to work with Republicans who want to move forward on environmental protection, but so far leaders are only taking extreme positions, calling for rollbacks and promoting climate denial.

Republican leader Newt Gingrich overreached in a similar way with his Contract on America. NRDC helped stop him from gutting environmental safeguards, because we mobilized people to raise their voices. We will do the same with the McConnell-Boehner Contract with America. We will call on lawmakers to protect our children's health and shield future generations from climate change.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Fracking Bans Pass in Denton, Texas, Two California Counties and One Ohio Town

Watch Americans Share #IVoted on Twitter

Watch Colbert's 'Mid-Portant' Election Roundup

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch