ADVOCATES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT TEAM
Remember: climate science is not faith-based. Therefore, it does not make sense to say “I believe in climate change”. Climate science methodology uses the same approach that brought us Tylenol and the light bulb. Rigorous scientific method.
Resisting the Trump agenda by serving as community organizers. Organizing includes holding town halls, sending out action items pertaining to efforts to destroy environmental regulations, bridge the gap between organizations who are doing the work every day for a safer environment and Howard County citizens, and inform those citizens about marches, hearings, legislations.
Identify action items – simple and concise descriptions of events and legislations to be added to daily emails as necessary.
Organize town halls, connect citizens with environmental organizations, and notify of upcoming marches – the town hall format is the main tool that we have to bring citizens together to demonstrate resistance. We can also use it to inform citizens about practical environmental citizens.
Proposed actions so far:
- Partnering with the people’s climate march
- Sponsoring a bus to one of the marches
- Holding a town hall with Larry Hogan
- Prepare short fact-sheets – there are several issues that pose a threat to our environment:
- The destruction of important regulations such as the Clean Power Plan
- The destruction of the EPA
- The Maryland fracking ban
- Community Solar
Current Fact Sheets
1. Budget Cuts
Chesapeake Bay Program is to be cut 97% in Trumps budget. NOAA will be cut by 17% but mostly for Coastal Management and 100% cut of the Sea Grant Program. These particular cuts would hit MD District 1 hardest (Eastern Shore, only GOP congressional rep).
These are largely water quality programs, and programs to predict and adjust to climate change. Also a lot of K-12 education, undergraduate education, and graduate education. It will be a big hit to MD public universities that have several faculty positions. It also affects programs to support tourism, and fishing industries. It would affect the provision of grants such as those that were given for Chesapeake Bay Program for a small study on the effects of different types of farm management on nutrient flows to the bay, and that led to programs to improve dairy herd nutrition to decrease nutrient losses. Such a program ultimately delivered education to dairy farmers in MD and other states. Although climate change is certainly a target, also the Chesapeake Bay water quality will be strongly affected.
In terms of the cuts to K-12 and undergraduate education. Currently, we do not have enough American students going into STEM fields to cover the demand for jobs. As a result, in many fields, there are high-paying jobs for students who get undergraduate degrees, and it is hard to find students to get graduate degrees which are directed toward researchers. This dearth is filled with international graduate students and faculty. In one selection committee that one of our members sat on, they had 23 international applications and 1 US applicant. Often, faculty positions can’t be filled at all, but without international applicants, they would have no qualified applicants. Industry has even more problems. The Trump Admin wants to cut visas and green cards by at least 50% and then more. So, our economy will suffer, and research and development will need to be outsourced. The Trump Admin is trying to exasperate the problem from two directions, decrease educational programs to encourage American kids from going into science, and preventing others from coming here. At the same time, in some science fields there will be a lot of unemployment, but you can’t just hire a marine biologist to be a chemical engineer, although there will be some that can cross over.
• Ask MD Governor to stand up for our state and the overweighted burden that we will be taking on. Also, will he be willing to increase funding for the programs cut?
2. Scott Pruitt
1. Pruitt served as the Oklahoma attorney general beginning in 2010. As the state’s top law enforcement official, he has fought against federal environmental regulations, even forming an alliance with other Republican attorney generals and the nation’s top energy producers to oppose President Obama’s regulatory measures (1).
2. He is a climate change contrarian with close ties to the fossil fuel and coal industries. Joining a coalition of other states, Pruitt sued the EPA for its Clean Power Plan aimed at diminishing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector (2). He also united with other attorney generals to sue the agency for its regulations that seek to reduce the emissions of methane from the oil and gas sectors.
3. Pruitt has also served as the president of the Republican Attorney’s General Association, which has heavy ties to the oil and coal industries. Two of the group’s largest donors in 2016 were Koch Industries, which has extensive oil investments, and the coal company Murray Energy.
4. Pruitt differs from President Obama on more than just climate change: he was the first to file a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act in 2013 (3). “Millions of Americans see their health-insurance premiums increase, have their coverage dropped as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and are unable to use the federal exchange,” he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed at the time.
5. Before becoming attorney general, he served as an Oklahoma state senator for eight years. Pruitt became, according to his biography on the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General website, “a leading voice for fiscal responsibility, religious freedom and pro-life issues.” One of his pro-life initiatives included a bill (4) requiring that women seeking abortions receive “informed consent” about the largely debunked connection between abortions and breast cancer.