THE HILL: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05) gives Green For All a shout out

BY REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO.)

President Barack Obama revealed the Clean Power Plan to the world in 2015. Obama referred to the proposal as “a moral obligation” and rightfully labeled it "the single most important step that America has ever made in the fight against global climate change.”

Obama’s sentiments were shared by a host of bipartisan congressional leaders, particularly my colleagues on the Safe Climate Caucus. And hundreds of multinational companies supported the plan. But instead of embracing this widespread consensus and building on meaningful progress, the Trump administration would rather jeopardize America’s global leadership and public health by moving backwards.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency, now under the environmentally-insensitive leadership of Scott Pruitt, seeks to undermine our nation’s top scientists and the EPA’s legal obligation by proposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The EPA administrator’s sin is his willfully unconscious hijacking of future generations’ ability to drink unsoiled water and breathe unpolluted air.

We must not let this happen. With the EPA holding listening sessions across the country – one most recently in my district, the 5th District of Missouri – we must use this opportunity to take a stand for the environment and the well-being of our communities. 

In some ways it is irrelevant whether you believe in climate change or the idea that humans are contributing to climate change, because we are all certainly paying for its effects. In the words of Ben Franklin, an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Though a vocal minority have yet to embrace the facts that climate research has found, we must take action to mitigate these growing costs. 

We all have been haunted by the disheartening images from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. And we have seen footage of the damage caused by the devastating wildfires in California. This is all a result of climate change, which is exacerbated by carbon pollution. If we ignore this fact, the frequency and severity of extreme weather will exponentially increase, leaving hardworking taxpayers to foot the bill. And even more tragic will be the loss of life. 

As a parent and grandfather, I cannot help but also think of the environmental consequences that repealing the Clean Power Plan will have on children. At a time when many families are already on the brink, repealing this proposal would lead to more sick kids, higher asthma rates, more expensive hospital visits and thousands of premature deaths. 

And to make matters worse, the public health outcomes as a result of pollution are disproportionately worse for people of color.

America, we have a moral obligation to get this right. 

As proclaimed in the gospel of Matthew, I believe that our country will ultimately be defined by how we treat the least of these. Will the health outcomes of children and the sorrow of displaced families be taken into account in the future of America’s environmental policy? Our global stature starts with correctly answering these questions.

I commend groups like Moms Clean Air Force, Green for All, and others for holding Administrator Pruitt accountable and ensuring that all Americans have a voice in the environmental space. But we must also keep pushing forward. We must stand up, we must fight for future generations, and we must act on climate.

Turning our back on the Clean Power Plan is dangerous. The world is in desperate need of American leadership and innovation, and we cannot afford to ignore or delude our way out of this current crisis.

Cleaver represents Missouri's 5th District. 

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KSHB: Green For All discusses importance of the green economy, Clean Power Plan on Kansas City morning show

They are working to educate on opportunities available with clean energy and how each one of us can help reduce our carbon footprint. Kim Noble and Kerene Taylor, of Green For All advance solutions that bring clean energy, green jobs, and opportunities to the poorest, and most polluted communities in the country. https://www.kshb.com/entertainment/kcl/home-kcl/daily-ways-you-can-be-green-at-home

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KKFI 90.1FM EcoRadio with special guests Kim Noble and Kerene Tayloe

Victoria Cherrie from Nourish KC and Mariah Friend from After the Harvest KC join Craig Lubow to talk about food waste, including free area screenings of the movie "Wasted". Additionally, Kim Noble and Kerene Taylor from Dream Corp USA, a Green For All affiliate, join Richard Mabion.

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Original post on KKFI

 


Happy (Green) Presidents Day

This Presidents Day, we’re taking a moment to celebrate some of the “greenest” Presidents in our nation’s history. You might be surprised to find that half of them are Republican. 

Let’s start with President Richard Nixon (Republican). As president, Richard Nixon passed some of the most important environmental legislation in U.S. history. The focus of his efforts was protecting people from environmental hazards. Nixon passed the Clean Air Act to control air pollution across the country. The law is thought to be one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. He passed the Clean Water Act to control pollutant discharges into U.S. waters. This law protects drinking water sources for more than 117 million Americans from becoming contaminated. He also passed the Endangered Species Act, which of course protects endangered species from going extinct and preserves our food chain.

Nixon is also the one who established the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. The U.S. EPA was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment. To sum it up, Nixon, a Republican, enacted some of the toughest environmental regulations of any president in U.S. history.

Ironically, every one of his landmark achievements is now at risk of being rolled back, eliminated, or defunded by current President Donald Trump, who claims environmental regulations are bad for the economy. Click here to take action. But enough about Trump.

President Jimmy Carter (Democrat) is another president worth our attention. In 1979, Carter became the first president to ever put solar panels on the White House. At the time, the Arab oil embargo had caused a national energy crisis, with oil prices jumping from $3 per barrel to $12 per barrel. Carter called for a campaign to conserve energy across the country and decided to put up 32 solar panels on the White House to set a good example. In his first year as president, he created the Department of Energy, passed the Soil and Water Conservation Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

He also helped to further strengthen the Clean Air Act by setting limits on industrial sources of pollution. A critical component was establishing fines equal to the cost of cleanup for companies that did not comply. Carter understood the American people shouldn’t foot the bill for industry’s pollution (something Democrats and Republicans today should seriously think about).

In early 1980, Carter signed legislation to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to clean up abandoned toxic waste dumps (aka “Superfund sites”). And, he pushed for the passage of the Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which provided special protection to over 100 million acres of land, including national parks, national forests, and wild and scenic rivers. All of these achievements land him on our list of “green” presidents to celebrate.

Next up, President Teddy Roosevelt (Republican). President Roosevelt was considered the first modern environmentalist president. During his presidency, Roosevelt took aggressive actions to preserve the balance of the natural world. He signed at least 50 executive orders protecting natural resources and wildlife. For example, in 1903, plumes for women’s hats were in high demand and that had led to the decimation of shorebird populations. After visiting Pelican Island in Florida to see for himself, Roosevelt created the Pelican Island Bird Reservation.

Through the Forest Reserve Act, he protected 150 million acres of land as public land. This eventually lead to the creation of the U.S. Forest Service. Year after year, he continued his crusade, protecting more land and more species from being devastated.

Roosevelt was an avid hunter and taxidermist, but he understood that if the actions of hunters, miners, and timber cutters weren’t controlled, they could pose a serious threat to entire ecosystems. For Roosevelt, it was about balance, so that everyone who enjoyed and depended upon our natural resources could continue to benefit.

Last but not least is President Barack Obama (Democrat). Now, we should probably mention that Green For All has a special affinity for this president. Inspired by our co-founder Van Jones’s best-selling book The Green Collar Economy, Jones served at the President’s request as special advisor on green jobs.

Many of Obama’s policies helped to jumpstart the green economy and bring it to disadvantaged communities. In 2009, Obama’s stimulus package not only helped the U.S. out of the Great Recession, it also invested billions in clean energy technology. These programs helped to make wind and solar energy more affordable in the last nine years. Obama also helped to fund the Green Jobs Act, which put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work building a more sustainable future.

What some people probably don’t know is that Obama also fought to bring justice to coal miners. He put forth the POWER Plus Plan, which would have deployed $1 billion for workforce and economic development in coal communities feeling the effects of a global transition to a new clean energy economy. His proposal was blocked by the Republican-controlled Congress. But that didn’t stop him. He found a way for his idea to move forward through the POWER Initiative. This initiative began awarding some smaller grants available for economic and workforce development projects in Appalachia and other coal communities across the country.

Obama also played an international leadership role on climate change, signing on to a global agreement to curb climate change known as the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2015, he introduced the Clean Power Plan to address one of the largest sources of the U.S.’s share of climate pollution: power plants. It was the first ever federal rule to limit pollution from power plants. Overall, Obama made protecting the environment a important cornerstone of his presidency.

Take action to defend these presidents’ legacy:
Tell the U.S. EPA to protect Clean Air


Help us spread the message on social media (use #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay):

  • Name two Republican presidents who were "green." Check your answers at greenforall.org/greenpresidentsday #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

  • Who was the first President to put solar panels on the White House? Check your answer at greenforall.org/greenpresidentsday #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

  • Can you name four Presidents who were "green"? Hint: Being green isn’t partisan: greenforall.org/greenpresidentsday #GreenForAll #PresidentsDay

Click here to download Facebook/Instagram graphic.

Click here for Twitter graphic. 

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CITY LAB: The Uneven Gains of Energy Efficiency

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On a rainy day in New Orleans, people file into a beige one-story building on Jefferson Davis Parkway to sign up for the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal grant that helps people keep up with their utility bills. New Orleans has one of the highest energy burdens in the country, meaning that people must dedicate a large portion of their income to their monthly energy bills. This is due in part to it being one of the least energy-efficient cities in the country.

For many city residents, these bills eat up 20 percent of the money they take in, and the weight of the burden can be measured in the length of the line.

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A Refugee No Longer in Flight

A Refugee No Longer in Flight

Vien Truong, the new CEO of the Van Jones-founded Dream Corps, digs in for a fight.

If you want to see Vien Truong get angry, ask her about lead in paint chips.

“My kids play in the playground, in the dirt, and then put [contaminated soil] in their mouths,” says Truong, a longtime activist and resident of Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, where inhabitants have more lead in their blood than the residents of Flint, Michigan. The mother of four-year-old twins, Truong was recently named the CEO of Dream Corps, the nonprofit founded by another well-known environmental fighter, Van Jones. “They’re also at a risk because of a lack of investment in this community,” she continues, “a failed school system, increased job insecurity, and increasing levels of desperation, which lead to increasing levels of crime and violence.” Because of all these problems, she says, people who live in Fruitvale are expected to live eight years less than those in Walnut Creek. “My work my whole life has been to change that.”

 

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Clean Energy Jobs Lobby Day

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Register Here

Oregon has an opportunity to pass a bold law that would cap and price climate pollution. If this bill passes, the largest polluters will finally be made to pay for their pollution. Best of all, proceeds will go toward putting Oregonians to work in the community making clean power like solar available to more people, upgrading homes and businesses to use less energy and save people money, building affordable housing near transit and investing in more transportation options. We're inviting you to join us for a day of action in support of passing Clean Energy Jobs legislation in Oregon.

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Montford Middle School Students in Tallahassee, Florida win Green For All’s KidClimate Art Contest

While Trump attacks clean energy progress, these students envision a more sustainable future.

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HARDWOOD FLOORS MAG: Time for Change Foundation Receives New Hardwood Floor

Bona® in Partnership with the Environmental Media Association Donates Hardwood Floor to Time for Change Foundation’s Sweet Dreams Facility in Collaboration with Green For All

Published January 12, 2018 by Hardwood Floors Magazine.


PRESS RELEASE: Lead in Oakland School Water Still a Problem

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Monday, January 8th, 2017

Contact: Michelle Romero, 408-550-3121
Contact: Larry Brooks, 510-567-6852
Contact: Dr. Vicki Alexander, 510-325-7022
Contact: Jason Pfeifle, 626-221-4925

 

Lead in Oakland School Water Still a Problem, say Parents and Local Groups 
Coalition Calls for Stronger Action to Protect Kids

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Oakland, CA – As kids come back to school today, tests continue to show problems with lead-tainted water at a number of Oakland schools. With the most recent tests, 45 Oakland schools and child development centers have now had at least one water tap that's failed to meet the pediatrician guideline for lead in school drinking water. Parents and local groups are calling for stronger action and a comprehensive policy that will ensure the water at Oakland schools is always safe for kids to drink.

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