Congresswomen and Environmental Groups Urge Congress to Pass the OFF Act to Combat Climate Change
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) joined Food & Water Watch, first responders, non-profit organizations and local government officials to urge Congress to pass H.R. 3671, the OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act) to transition the U.S. to a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2035.
"Our country cannot passively standby while we watch the climate crisis devastate our planet and the livelihoods of working families across the country and the world," said Gabbard, who introduced the bill. "It is our obligation to protect the most vulnerable in our society, to protect our planet, to grow the economy and rebuild America's infrastructure with a stable, domestic clean energy economy."
Gabbard's bill prioritizes the health and wellbeing of the country and the future of the planet by tackling the climate change crisis head on and building on the progress of states like Hawaii.
OFF Act Is a #Climate Game Changer https://t.co/WcElNuFu7k @foodandwater @TulsiGabbard @WenonahHauter— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1504793362.0
The OFF Act sets an ambitious timeline to end America's reliance on fossil fuels and avert the catastrophic effects of climate change that have exacerbated natural disasters like the recent hurricanes that devastated Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and deadly wildfires in California.
Without urgent action, climate change will continue to intensify and accelerate the pace of extreme weather events that devastate coastal and low-lying communities causing widespread unemployment, wage stagnation and deadly health problems, which disproportionately affect low-income, minority, Native Hawaiian and Native American families.
This legislation protects the country's most vulnerable populations from the harmful effects of carbon emissions and toxic chemicals that pollute America's air, land and waterways by strengthening civil rights protections, creating clean energy jobs, and prioritizing the safety and security of the planet above profits for major corporations and the fossil fuels industry.
"We cannot afford any more delays or half-measures in this climate crisis. It's time for bold action to address this emergency and save our planet, before it's too late," said Lee. "This bill is a critical roadmap for climate justice in Congress at the moment we need it the most."
Passing the OFF Act will increase America's global competitiveness by creating domestic clean technologies, jobs and training programs. In addition, this legislation will improve the health and wellbeing of the American people and our planet from toxic pollutants, asthma and respiratory illnesses, and environmental degradation.
"Our dependence on fossil fuels has created a public health crisis. In my district, children exposed to smoke and chemicals from oil and gas drilling operations are wearing asthma inhalers around their necks. It's heartbreaking to see," said Barragán. "This bill is about moving America forward and embracing the energy sources of the future. Getting off fossil fuels and moving to 100 percent renewable energy will help end this public health crisis and can create millions of good jobs."
The OFF Act has been cosponsored by 14 Members of Congress and has been endorsed by nearly four hundred clean energy, climate change and environmental justice organizations.
"The science is clear," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "In order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of deepening climate chaos, we must break our foolish dependence on fossil fuels, and we must do it now. Fortunately, we have a solution. The OFF Act is the key to a livable future for all of us, and we are mobilizing from coast to coast to make it the law of the land."
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>