GOP Party on Environmental Issues
Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.
Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.
War On The EPA: Republican Bills Would Erase Decades Of Protection
10/9/11 Lucia Graves – HuffingtonPost
WASHINGTON — America’s environmental protections are under a sweeping, concerted assault in Congress that could effectively roll back the federal government’s ability to safeguard air and water more than 100 years, Democrats and advocates say.
The headlines have not been dramatic, and the individual attacks on relatively obscure rules seldom generate much attention beyond those who are most intently focused on environmental regulation.
But taken together, the separate moves — led by House Republicans — add up to a stunning campaign against governmental regulatory authority that is now surprisingly close to succeeding.
In just the year since the GOP took control of the House, there have been at least 159 votes held against environmental protections — including 83 targeting the Environmental Protection Agency — on the House floor alone, according to a list compiled by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Republicans have made an assault on all environmental issues,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee. “This is, without doubt, the most anti-environmental Congress in history.”
For the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/09/epa-republican-war-defund_n_1000664.html
President Obama came into office with climate change as one of his major issues. At international talks in Copenhagen, he pledged to reduce U.S. emissions by 17 percent over 2005 levels by the year 2020. At that meeting and since, he pressed to get more aggressive action out of China, India and the world’s other biggest carbon dioxide emitters.
But the president’s plans didn’t make it past strong Republican opposition in Congress. So instead, he has settled for actions the president can take without congressional action.
IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR ENVIRONMENT VOTE IN DEMOCRATS INTO CONGRESS !!!
Sierra Club Statement On the Romney-Ryan Energy Plan
August 23, 2012 sierraclub
Washington, DC – Today, in New Mexico, Mitt Romney released details about his energy plan. Romney’s plan rehashes the reckless Big Oil and Big Coal priorities he has pushed for months, ending numerous public health safeguards, shredding the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, throwing open public lands and offshore areas to drilling and mining, and killing tens of thousands of American clean energy jobs.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune Released the Following Statement in Response:
“Mitt Romney has devised an energy insecurity plan that would make us even more dependent upon oil, coal, and gas companies while ignoring climate disruption, economic growth, and the health and well-being of the American people.
Does anyone really think that the winning economy of the 21st century can be built on 19th century fossil fuel technology? Romney’s plan is an anchor to the past. The future America deserves is one in which energy doesn’t cost lives, and no one has to choose between a good job and good health.
America needs a bold, innovative plan for our energy future that acknowledges reality. We need a plan that produces energy domestically, puts people to work, and makes us truly energy independent – but one that also stabilizes our climate, and keeps our air and water clean.
We have solutions that won’t keep us chained to fossil fuels, and they’re already working. Greenhouse gas emissions are down to their lowest level in 20 years. We’re using less oil, new vehicle standards will double efficiency and slash carbon pollution. U.S. wind power has doubled over the last four years, and solar has grown by a factor of five. This is where we need to go as a nation. We can’t afford to turn back.”
The Kochs’ quest
10/13/2012 09:11:44 PM PDT By Bill Wilson and Roy Wenzl – The Wichita Eagle
WICHITA, Kan. — In January 2009, just days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Charles and David Koch met in their company headquarters in Wichita with their longtime political strategist, Rich Fink.
The country was headed toward bankruptcy, they agreed. Fink told them bluntly that Obama’s administration represented the worst of what Charles and David fear most: a bloated, regulation-heavy, free-spending government that could plunge the country into another deep recession. That day, Fink advised two of the richest men in the nation that it would be the fight of their lives to stop the government spending spree and to change the course of the country, starting with the 2012 election.
“If we are going to do this, we should do it right or not at all,” Fink, 61, recalled telling the brothers. “But if we don’t do it right or if we don’t do it at all, we will be insignificant and we will just waste a lot of time and I would rather play golf.
“And if we do it right, then it is going to get very, very ugly.”
Three and a half years later, Obama accused the Koch brothers of engineering “a corporate takeover of our democracy.”
The brothers’ political spending and the network of conservative political organizations and think tanks they fund have sparked protests. The condemnations and criticism prompted Charles Koch to break his silence about politics. In his most extensive interview in 15 years, Charles Koch talked about why he wants to defeat Obama and elect members of Congress who will stop what he calls catastrophic overspending.
Government recklessness threatens the country and his business, he said.
The Kochs say the price for their involvement has been high: Death threats, cyberattacks on their business, hundreds of news stories criticizing them, calls for boycotts of the company’s consumer goods, and what the brothers see as ongoing and public attacks from the Obama administration.
The Kochs aren’t finished. Win or lose in November, they plan to start a new fight. They are organizing dozens of business and grass roots groups to build support for eliminating all corporate and agricultural subsidies.
Agriculture in the United States
Agriculture is a major industry in the United States and the country is a net exporter of food. As of the last census of agriculture in 2007, there were 2.2 million farms, covering an area of 922 million acres (373 million hectares), an average of 418 acres (170 hectares) per farm.
Major U.S. agricultural products:
2. Cattle meat
3. Cow’s milk
4. Chicken meat
6. Pig meat
8. Cotton lint
9. Hen eggs
10. Turkey meat
20. Sugar beets
Ending agricultural subsidies would mean that American businesses would have to raise their prices and USA farmers would not be able to compete with cheap and inferior and unsafe imports.
* American diary farms would be impacted
* American vegetable and fruit farms would would be impacted
* American grain farms for human would be impacted
* American pork, beef and chicken farms would be impacted
* American nut farms would be impacted
* American fiber producers (cotton, wool, wood etc) would be impacted
* American gasoline would be impacted
There are many more that industries that would impacted.
40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act
October 17, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Every person deserves clean water – it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy. We have made great progress in reducing pollution during the past 40 years. But many challenges remain and we must work together to protect clean water for our families and future generations. Everyone has an impact on the water and we are all responsible for making a difference.
Our rivers, streams and lakes provide not only drinking water but a place for recreation and critical avenues for economic development and growth in our cities and towns. When our waters become unhealthy and polluted — or we are cut off from local waterways by poorly placed roads, highways and industrial infrastructure — we cannot take full advantage of the economic, environmental and social assets that our waters provide. President Obama believes that all Americans deserve access to clean rivers, streams and lakes, and that a community’s economy and health benefit from such access. He also believes that it is our job as the federal government to support communities as they develop visions for growth, development and use of natural resources, while coordinating federal investments so that we are getting the most out of every dollar.
Learn more about The Clean Water Act: http://water.epa.gov/action/cleanwater40/cwa101.cfm
The Obama Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe, water we drink, and land that supports and sustains us. From restoring ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades, to reducing mercury pollution from power plants, we are bringing together Federal agencies to tackle America’s greatest environmental challenges.
Recovery Act Investments in our Environment
The Recovery Act included unprecedented funding for programs and projects that will protect the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior alone oversee nearly $11 billion in Recovery Act funding for projects that vary from green job training to marine habitat restoration to water quality improvements. These investments are supporting technological advances in science and health and improving environmental protection and infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits for Americans.
Protecting Our Oceans
President Obama has established the first comprehensive National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes. America’s oceans and coastal regions support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy. The National Ocean Policy helps us prioritize our efforts and resources to address the most critical issues facing our oceans and establishes a comprehensive, collaborative, regionally based planning process to ensure healthy ocean and coastal resources for the many communities and economies that rely on and enjoy them.
Supporting Land Conservation
When he signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, President Obama marked the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in more than a generation, designating more than 2 million acres of federal wilderness, thousands of miles of trails, and protecting more than 1,000 miles of rivers. The President also used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, as a national monument, protecting a site of historic significance for slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military.
President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to work with the American people to develop a community-based conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century. Through this initiative, the Administration is opening up access to millions of acres for recreation, making historic investments in restoring critical landscapes, and supporting an outdoor economy that includes approximately 9 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic activity.
Prioritizing Clean Water
The Administration is taking comprehensive action to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and that support farming, recreation, tourism and economic growth. We have issued draft Federal guidance to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act nationwide; launched innovative partnerships and programs to improve water quality and water efficiency; and created initiatives to revitalize communities and economies by restoring rivers and critical watersheds. The Administration has also proposed to modernize the guidelines that govern Federal water resource planning, calling for water resources projects based on sound science, improved transparency, and consideration of the variety of community benefits of projects.
Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Mountaintop Coal Mining
Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Army Corps of Engineers on June 11, 2009, Federal agencies are taking action to minimize adverse environmental and health impacts of mountaintop coal mining.
Reducing Air Pollution
Curbing Vehicle Pollution
The Obama Administration is aggressively working to reduce pollution in the air we breathe. We have proposed historic fuel economy standards that will double the fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks by 2025, saving consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump and eliminating 6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. The Administration has also finalized the first-ever national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans, and buses built in 2014-2018, which are projected to save more than 500 million barrels of oil and an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs.
Cleaning up Toxic Air Pollution
The Administration established the first-ever national limits for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants, which will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms each year. This rule follows a series of EPA actions to reduce emissions from power plants and other large emitters, including a rule to cut soot and smog-forming pollution from power plants that create health problems downwind, and rules to limit mercury and other pollution for the largest sources of industrial air pollution, such as cement plants, industrial boilers, and waste incinerators.
Restoring our Treasured Great Ecosystems
Working Toward Environmental Justice
The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that communities overburdened by pollution – particularly minority, low-income and indigenous communities – have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. After more than a decade of inaction, the Administration reconvened the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group and engaged more than 100 environmental justice leaders at a White House forum. Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally committing to environmental justice, and released strategies for integrating environmental justice into federal decision-making and programs in areas such as transportation, labor, health services, housing and others.
Supporting Sustainable Communities
The Administration created the historic Partnership for Sustainable Communities to break down traditional silos among the Federal agencies for housing, transportation, and environmental protection. Through 2011, this partnership announced more than $1.7 billion in funding to support resilient economies, healthy environments and quality of life in more than 550 communities and regions across the country.
Modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act
The Administration is modernizing and reinvigorating the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to help ensure transparency, public engagement and accountability in Federal decisions about actions that may affect the quality of the environment. This includes an initiative to improve the quality and efficiency of Federal environmental reviews to protect the health of communities, support a strong American economy, and engage Americans in decisions that will impact their environment.
Reducing Global Emissions of Mercury
The United States played a leading role in crafting an agreement among more than 140 nations to negotiate a legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions globally, which is scheduled to be finalized in 2013. The Administration’s actions to reduce toxic mercury pollution in the U.S. – including establishing the first-ever mercury standards for power plants — give the U.S. additional credibility to lead in this global effort to improve public health.
Environmental Organizations Endorse President Obama’s Re-Election: