Environment vs. Polluters: Don’t Let the EPA Tip the Scales in Pollution’s Favor

Target: Charlotte Bertrand, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Goal: Continue measuring the impact of environmental damage and human health when crafting environmental policies.

As the ethics scandals continue piling up for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, he is continuing to enact damaging and counterintuitive environmental policies largely unchecked and under the radar. The latest affront to the EPA’s mission came when Pruitt announced that the agency would fundamentally change the way it shapes regulatory guidelines. The regulations put in place by the EPA have large implications for both the environment and public health. These include environmental laws that limit pollutants contaminating the air and water.

In the wake of other detrimental decisions regarding deregulations on emissions and asbestos, the EPA is aiming to restructure the cost-benefit analysis model it utilizes in creating its regulations. Currently, these analyses take into account much more than financial numbers. Rather, they also strongly consider hidden costs such as the dangers a substance might pose to a person’s health, or the slow-building destruction it might bring to our lands and our resources. For example, due to its negative effects on the environment, a previous analysis of carbon put its social cost at 36 dollars per ton. Under the new EPA leadership, the cost of this pollutant has plummeted to just five dollars per ton. Cost-benefit analysis has been a centerpiece for crafting such environmentally important policies as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Altering this vital tool will strike a blow to the heart of these important protections.

The EPA has opened this proposed change to input from experts and from the public. Sign this petition to let the leadership know that Americans value the preservation of our environment and our health over corporate profits.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Ms. Bertrand.

The EPA recently devalued the role of public health data in informing EPA policy. And with your asbestos decision, you dismissed the carcinogens lurking in our environment that will impact the health of citizens for decades to come. Now the EPA wants to say once again that the health and well-being of our citizens and of our environment just does not have that much value.

The proposed changes to the agency’s cost-benefit analysis system will benefit only one sector of our population: corporations that crave more deregulation in their unending quest for greater profit. You did not take an oath to work for or service these entities. Your oath is to the environment and the people inhabiting it that have always stood central to the EPA’s true mission.

We the people value wellness. We value our health and the health of our children. And we value the well-being of the world that we will leave to future generations….hopefully in a better way than we found it. This is our cost-benefit analysis, and it should be yours as well.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Environmental Protection Agency

Praise Colorado For Advancing Clean Energy

Target: David L. Eves, President of Xcel Energy

Goal: Praise Xcel energy for pledging their future to clean energy.

Colorado’s biggest energy supplier just announced a huge victory for the clean energy sector, when they detailed a plan to remove 2 coal plants from Southern Colorado. The removal of the plants isn’t all, though, the company plans to replace the plants with the largest clean energy package ever to replace a coal plant. On top of all that, the plan is scheduled to save ratepayers over 200 million dollars.

This news is a huge step for Midwestern states like Colorado, who have relied heavily on fracking and coal plants for far too long. As Colorado pledges themselves for clean energy, neighboring states like Wyoming and New Mexico have reason to follow in their footsteps. Victories like this have a snowball effect and should be congratulated. Sign the petition below to thank the CEO of Xcel for getting the ball rolling.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Eves,

Thank you for embracing the new generations of energetic possibilities. It is not every day that a major utility commits to shifting from coal to renewable energy, but Xcel appears to be doing this with its recently-announced decision to replace two coal plants in Colorado with renewables. Decisions like yours are crucial to implementing a reform to our energy industry.

If every energy manufacturer were like you, we would already be completely energy self sufficient. Thank you for choosing the future and for doing away with our archaic coal plants, one at a time. We thank you for your service to the environment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: PD Tillman

Drain the Swamp of Unethical, Anti-Environment Officials

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Remove an influential official who allegedly gave access to organizations promoting environmentally destructive policies.

The ethics scandal continues for the individuals charged with conserving our environment and our lands. Now, the spotlight of scrutiny is directed toward senior officials in the Department of the Interior, a federal agency that, among other responsibilities, oversees America’s natural resources and federally protected lands. Unfortunately, much like Environmental Protection Agency leadership, it appears that Interior leaders may be making back-room deals with the very entities that threaten its mission.

Media-obtained records have revealed meetings between high-ranking Interior Department advisor Douglas Domenech and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a high-profile conservative lobbying organization believed to be backed by the notorious Koch brothers. This foundation most recently gained scrutiny in the political realm when President Trump appointed one of its fellows, a known climate change denier, to helm the Council for Environmental Quality. Domenech himself is also a former employee of TPPF, where he directed a project that lobbied against the Clean Power Plan.

Domenech claimed his meetings were entirely social, but his released work calendar tells a very different story of intensive discussions that centered around policy initiatives. Every member of the Trump administration allegedly signed a pledge that forbade them from allowing former employers insider access to federal departments or policy initiatives. Domenech, allegedly like many alongside him, has blatantly disregarded his pledge and placed outside interests over the duties he was appointed to carry out with integrity.

Sign this petition to demand President Trump hold this official accountable for violations that could place the environment and its precious resources at imminent risk.

PETTION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

The ethics pledge all members of your administration signed was a valued opportunity to honor your own pledge of “draining the swamp.” Employees are trained and educated on this pledge every year. And yet another employee of your administration stands accused of breaking this pledge… and breaking his vow to the American people.

Douglas Domenech, a powerful official within the Department of the Interior, has openly held several meetings with his former employer, the Texas Public Policy Foundation. More critically, his own documents indicate these meetings focused on present and future Interior Department policy.

This is a blatant violation of Mr. Domenech’s oath of office and a betrayal of the mission he has to look out for the best interest of our federal lands and resources. Although this matter is allegedly being investigated internally, we do not have confidence it will be resolved impartially.

Honor your own pledge to “drain the swamp” by demanding the removal of this man who seemingly cannot and will not keep his word.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steve Baskauf

Stop Trump’s Trade War From Destroying Solar Power in America

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States

Goal: Stop all import taxes on solar panels made outside of the U.S. that are crippling the solar industry.

Solar energy companies are cancelling over 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of new large- scale solar projects in the United States as the result of tariffs placed on imported solar panels by the Trump Administration. While most other countries worldwide are looking to expand their solar projects, these import taxes are a sign that Trump is not interested in developing renewable energy, but would rather cling to obsolete and environmentally-damaging fossil fuels like coal and oil.

Solar energy industry leaders and environmentalists had warned President Trump that his proposed tariffs would kill thousands of American jobs and raise prices on solar energy to the point where it would no longer remain competitive. Especially damaging is the fact that efforts to create U.S. solar panel manufacturing jobs have not been able to keep up with the demand and that most panels are still being made overseas.

We must stop this international trade war that is damaging solar power in the U.S. and expand on efforts to increase solar panel manufacturing domestically. Please sign the below petition calling on Trump to lift the tariffs on imported solar panels.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

I am writing to demand that you stop imposing unnecessary tariffs on imported solar panels. Your trade policy is harmful to both the American economy and the environment, as shown by the over 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of canceled solar projects this year alone. Before these taxes went into effect, solar was posed to become one of the fastest-growing sectors, and could have resulted in thousands of new jobs.

The U.S. cannot afford to hold on to obsolete forms of energy like coal and oil. The world is outpacing us with new advances being made in renewable energy, including solar, at a rapid pace. There will be dire consequences for this country—and potentially the world— unless more is done to expand on solar. That is why I am urging you to lift these tariffs and allow this industry to compete on the global stage for the good of all Americans and for future generations to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation

Do Not Bail Out Dirty Energy

Target: Rick Perry, Secretary of the United States Department of Energy

Goal: Stop intervention into the energy industry on behalf of aging coal-fired power plants.

A leaked memo from the Department of Energy revealed plans by the Trump Administration to force power grid operators to purchase electricity from declining coal-fired power plants in order to prevent their shutdown.

The proposal would use two federal laws, the Defense Production Act of 1950 and the Federal Power Act, to direct electricity grid operators to purchase power from “more reliable” sources that have fuel located on-site, i.e. coal-fired, power plants. These plants are noncompetitive with cleaner, cheaper power plants that use natural gas and renewables, and are facing decommissioning and switchovers to other fuel sources. The leaked memo cites national security issues in encouraging the support of struggling dirty energy plants, however, grid operators and other experts reject the administration’s premise that there are reliability concerns with the current mix of natural gas and renewables for power generation. Instead, the Trump Administration is feeding into public concerns for national security in order to support ailing industries that should be eliminated by attrition in the marketplace.

This is an unacceptable intervention by the government to instill fear and force an agenda of dirty energy. Sign the petition to discourage the Department of Energy from intervening on behalf of aging coal-fired power plants and instead bolster our energy independence using clean, renewable energy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Perry,

The bailout of dirty energy companies under the guise of national defense is despicable. Coal-fired power plants are rightfully being eliminated by attrition because they cannot compete with cheaper, cleaner power such as natural gas and renewables. The energy industry is not experiencing any of the alleged reliability issues used to justify this unprecedented intervention.

This is not an issue of energy security or national defense, but one of politics. America wants cleaner energy, not a federal bailout of coal-fired power plants undergoing decommissioning. Do not collapse under pressure from President Trump to promote an agenda of dirty energy.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rahm Emanuael

Protect America’s Migratory Birds from Extinction

Target: Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior Department

Goal: Reinstate vital protections on migratory birds.

The Trump Administration, which continues to categorically destroy the natural environment of this country, is now attacking migratory birds protected under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one of the nation’s first conservation laws and is vital to protecting our birds that both inhabit and pass through the United States on migration. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke recently announced an end to the law, which is devastating for the birds that had so far been successfully protected.

The law used to state in plain language that any harming, capturing, hunting, or killing of migratory birds is strictly forbidden. Secretary Zinke has changed the language of the law to state that only “intentional acts” are prohibited, leaving huge loopholes for hunters and industrial zones to harm or kill migratory birds without any repercussions. The law is another attempt to decimate our natural landscape and we will not tolerate this any further. Demand Secretary Zinke undo his harm to this law at once.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Zinke,

You recently led the charge in changing The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which until now had protected countless migratory birds in our country. We believe your change to this vital migratory bird law is not only predatory, but malicious in nature. Your reasoning for this change is absolutely unacceptable and we will not stand for destruction of our natural landscape by someone who only seeks to exploit. This rule change is outrageous and you should be held accountable for such a mistake.

We have had enough of the environmental bullying by the Trump Administration and we are seeking to undo all of your damage before it’s too late. We demand that you take the measures to reverse this decision immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: HuzzarTexas Hummingbird

Don’t Hunt Grizzly Bears

Target: Mark Anselmi, President of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

Goal: Reverse decision to allow hunting of grizzly bears.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission unanimously voted to reinstate the hunting of grizzly bears, allowing as many as 22 bears to be killed in the Yellowstone area. The state of Wyoming considers the grizzly bear population to be recovered enough to take the animals off the endangered species list, along with allowing trophy hunting of the precious bears. The Sierra Club issued a statement calling the vote a “misguided proposal” that will undoubtedly reverse 40 years of population restoration efforts.

Populations of grizzlies were restored enough in 2016 that the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared they were ready to be taken off the endangered list, but many conservation groups said the move was premature. In 2017, just a year later, 11% of the grizzlies in Yellowstone died. Sign the petition below to send the message that we can’t afford to lose any more grizzlies.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Anselmi,

The state of Wyoming should be ashamed of how it has treated wildlife on a legislative level. Why is it that the first response to taking an animal off the endangered species is to allow trophy hunting of that same animal? There is no reason we should be opening up hunting season on a recently endangered species.

Grizzly populations are vital to keeping our ecosystem balanced, and without them, Wyoming and the United States wouldn’t have the same wildlife that makes these areas so uniquely important.We need to protect our animals, not hang them from our walls. We implore you to reverse the decision to reinstate hunting of grizzlies.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matthias Breiter

Urge Trump to Retain Ban on Extreme Hunting in Alaska

Target: Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

Goal: Do not lift ban on extreme hunting in Alaska.

The Trump administration is discussing lifting a 2015 ban on aggressive predator control tactics in national preserves in Alaska. If the ban is lifted, extreme hunting tactics, like shooting bear cubs and wolf pups in their dens, will become legalized. The proposal to repeal these rules has received a lot of negative responses from environmental groups.

The changes would affect the National Park Service’s current regulations and would permit controversial sport hunting and trapping techniques on about 20 million acres of Alaskan federal lands. Supporters of lifting the ban claim that allowing these controversial techniques would increase hunting opportunities on national preserve land.

Actions that are currently prohibited but would be allowed if the ban is lifted include luring bears with bait, hunting bears and their cubs using artificial lights, shooting animal young in their dens, using dogs to hunt bears, and shooting caribou that are swimming to escape motorboat traffic.

Sign this petition to urge Donald Trump to protect Alaskan wildlife by keeping the ban on extreme hunting tactics in Alaska.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Trump,

Alaksa is one of the last wild areas that the United States has, and it needs to be protected and preserved. A recent proposal made by your administration would lift a ban on extreme hunting tactics on federal lands in Alaska. This would permit hunters to shoot animal young in their dens and use dogs and artificial lights to hunt bears. To use these cruel and unfair tactics to hunt wild animals for sport is unjust and cruel. I urge you to keep the ban on extreme hunting tactics in Alaska to protect and preserve the animals that call Alaska their home.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa

Snapple: Stop Harming the Environment With Plastic Bottles

Target: Larry D. Young, CEO of the Snapple/Dr. Pepper Group

Goal: Demand Snapple company stop their use of plastic bottles.

In the last year, Snapple has replaced their signature glass bottles with plastic ones. While this may be convenient for consumers who prefer unbreakable bottles, it is the exact opposite for the environment and wild animals. Plastic is one of the leading causes of wildlife deaths and illnesses; microscopic bits of the material find their way into the water and grass from which animals feed, leading to their ingestion of these bits.

Snapple, a company that has often prided itself on being in tune with nature, is contributing to this problem with their switch from ecologically-friendly glass to plastic bottles. Their use of plastic not only goes against their eco-friendly image, but is completely unnecessary. Not only because it harms wildlife, but many consumers in the past have claimed Snapple’s products taste better coming from glass bottles rather than plastic.

There is absolutely no advantage to using plastic bottles over glass bottles, and Snapple must realize this and return to their exclusive use of glass, for the sake of both customer satisfaction and to put a stop to wildlife deaths via plastic ingestion. Sign this petition to demand Snapple stop their use of plastic bottles.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Young,

Your company’s recent replacement of glass bottles is unacceptable. Snapple has always given the image of being in tune with nature and the environment, and plastic bottles go against that image. Not only have consumers claimed to prefer the taste of your product coming from glass bottles, but plastic pollution is one of the leading killers of wildlife. Animals either die of poisoning after ingesting microscopic bits of plastic, or choke on larger pieces carelessly thrown away by consumers.

You must stop your use of plastic bottles entirely. Excessive plastic is not good for wildlife, and nothing is gained from changing the materials used to contain your products. Glass bottles are safer for the environment, preferred by consumers, and plastic is not that much more convenient despite being unbreakable. Please fall in line with your company’s eco-friendly image and reputation, and switch back to glass.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Porchista

End Destructive Logging in America’s South

Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Bring an end to damaging logging practices which are destroying the rare and endangered forests of America’s south.

More forests are being cleared by logging in the American south than by rainforest clearing in South America. In fact, logging in the South is four times more destructive than deforestation in the rainforest. Something must be done to protect America’s forests now.

Forests provide an invaluable benefit to the living beings of America. They provide drinking water, as well as flood control and air purification. However, now the forests are being used for wood pellets. The South is the world’s largest supplier of wood pellets to European nations.

This deforestation is impacting the health of both humans and the natural world. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is on the rise, animals are losing their homes, and a loss of tree cover is leading to erosion and water pollution. Sign the petition to demand the United States Government act to protect what remains of the South’s forests.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pruitt,

Deforestation is more rampant in the American south than in the South American rainforests. In fact, the American south is facing destruction that is four times greater than the rainforests. Logging for wood pellets is destroying tree cover, air quality, and endangered habitats.

You must act now to protect the beauty of America’s southern forests. I demand regulations be enacted to bring harmful and damaging logging to an end.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Walter Baxter