Schwarzenegger Unveils Legislative 'Blueprint' to Challenge Trump on Climate
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump's anti-climate polices, helped launch a comprehensive online database today to help local and state lawmakers advance environmental legislation.
"I'm pumped to unveil the Environmental Digital Legislative Handbook today, a resource for legislators around the country to find the blueprints on policies for energy efficiency, reducing pollution, recycling—you name it," Schwarzenegger announced on Facebook.
According to POLITICO, the website contains an extensive collection of legal and legislative research, voting records, and bill language and data to assist legislators in preparing bills on a vast range of environmental issues.
"There's no reason why we shouldn't have a digital legislative handbook—and make it available to people who wanted to create environmental action now—because of the situation with Trump,'' Schwarzenegger told POLITICO. "With his decision on the Paris agreement, it is even more so important to make this information available because it shows the kinds of wonderful things states can do without waiting for the federal government."
"The message to legislators with the project is now 'you have the power to do it yourselves,''' he added. "The reality is each state now goes to work and passes great legislation that helps them ... make great decisions."
"We hope to assist legislators who are interested in advancing smart environmental policies by sharing best practices and actual legislation that is working successfully in a number of states already," the website states. "Governor Schwarzenegger has long insisted that voters aren't interested in Republican air or Democrat air but instead simply want clean air. That belief has guided our thought process when choosing the legislation to include in this database"
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has emerged as a prominent environmentalist and renewable energy proponent. Last month, he threw his weight behind an extension of California's cap-and-trade program signed by his successor, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
During remarks, the former action star criticized Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
"America is fully in the Paris agreement. There's only one man that dropped out," Schwarzenegger said of Trump on Tuesday. "America did not drop out."
In June, Schwarzenegger posted a selfie video with French president Emmanuel Macron, in an apparent jab at Trump's stance on climate change.
The clip shows Schwarzenegger saying the pair talked about "talking about environmental issues and a green future." Macron adds, "We will deliver together to make the planet great again."
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.