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Jeff Merkley

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Petitioning U.S. Senate, John Barrasso, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jeff Sessions, Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Dan Sullivan, Tom Carper, Ben Cardin, Bernie ...

Demand A Strong EPA For Our Bays

Let’s not trash the EPA. Reject Scott Pruitt as its new chief. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently boycotted the vote for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This comes as widespread, bipartisan concerns are being raised about Pruitt's record of challenging the core mission of the agency he’s been asked to lead. Many question Pruitt’s future commitment to protect public health, enforce the law, and hold corporations accountable to maintain healthy water, air, and land in their business practices. Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of regulated industries more than a dozen times in an attempt to weaken regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations form the bedrock of our work at Heal the Bay and our sister organizations across the nation. They are hard-fought gains that were direct responses to past disasters. We cannot go back. A silenced, weakened EPA is a threat to our Bays. The U.S. Senate will vote on the appointment of Pruitt as EPA chief in the coming hours amid growing concerns about a broad directive from the new administration to censor EPA research, indefinitely. As a trusted ocean and watershed advocate, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 30 years, we have seen first-hand how the EPA and its partner organizations can improve public health for Angelenos through environmental policies and regulations. A weakened EPA means turning back the clock on our critical programs in Greater Los Angeles that monitor beach water quality, prevent unsafe consumption of locally caught fish, protect our dwindling wetlands, and keep our streams and watersheds healthy to buffer communities from climate change. Scott Pruitt won’t do it. Our vital work is far from over. Sea level rise poses a real and immediate threat to many U.S. cities that are unprepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need strong EPA leadership and funding now more than ever. These issues affect us all.  Sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination for EPA chief. Tell our elected officials to maintain strong EPA funding for programs that affect our Bays nationwide. Call your local senators directly in the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard.  

Heal the Bay
94,224 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, John Barrasso, Tom Carper, James Inhofe, Shelley Capito, John Boozman, Roger Wicker, Deb Fischer, Jerry Moran, Mike Roun...

Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding

Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people. The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data.  Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several targeted programs, including the national estuary program – long-term management planning to improve water quality and living conditions for 28 critical estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with top universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your State Senators, Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business and community.

Heal the Bay
75,787 supporters