This is the third post in the "Call Your Rep" series... If you're reading this, and you have a US Senator or House Representative who is not voting the way you want them to vote, it's time to act: Call your representative!
This post contains background, facts and talking points, and a call to action for your phone call. For more details on how to make this call, read the introductory post here, which includes information about why I started this series, how to find your representative's phone number, how to call your representative to have the most impact, a sample call script, and how to be notified of new posts.
Background (why I chose this topic for today's Call Your Rep)
On March 15, 2017, 17 Republican House members introduced a resolution calling for the U.S. to practice "conservative environmental stewardship". The resolution is filled with common sense ideas, such as basing policy on science and facts. Yet, it does not enjoy the sponsorship of all of our representatives. Also, Congress has recently been using the "Congressional Review Act" to repeal environmental regulations.
Update, 28 March: There are two new bills before Congress related to this topic. See below for more.
Topic ("I want to speak to someone about...")
The environment and the EPA.
Talking Points and Facts ("Here are some thoughts...")
The House resolution on Conservative Environmental Stewardship, introduced around March 15, contains many good, common-sense ideas that will result in good policy:
- We need to protect the environment that we all live in, and preserve it for future generations.
- We need to base our policy decisions on science and facts.
- It is a fact that storms and extreme weather have a large adverse effect on people, plants, and animals (including agricultural plants and animals).
- It is a fact that pollution has many health effects and economic impacts.
- The Defense department has concluded that climate change impacts worldwide political stability.
- Therefore, we need to take action to mitigate climate change and pollution.
In contrast, the so-called "HONEST" act and the "Science Advisory Board Reform Act" would make it more difficult for the EPA to use public health studies and consult independent scientists when making their policies, while making it easier for the EPA to use biased, corporate-funded studies in their decisions.
Some additional facts and thoughts:
- In 2016, there were 15 climate and weather events recognized by NOAA (US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) that each exceeded one billion dollars in damage to the US economy.
- The overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that humans are the major driving force behind climate change, and that climate change is contributing to the frequency and severity of these extreme climate and weather events.
- Reducing air pollution, such as particulates in the air and ground-level ozone, decreases the incidence of asthma, heart disease, and other ailments, and increases longevity and quality of life for everyone. Our clean air regulations help ensure that everyone has clean air to breathe.
- Life itself depends on having clean, unpolluted drinking water. Our clean water regulations help protect this vital resource from both chemical and biological contamination.
Call To Action ("I am asking _____ to ______")
- Support the House resolution on conservative environmental stewardship.
- Stop using the Congressional Review Act to repeal recent regulations that protect our drinking water, the air that we breathe, and other aspects of our environment.
- Vote against both the HONEST act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act.
References (where I got this information)
- Press release on the resolution
- Text of the resolution
- NOAA page on large-impact 2016 climate events
- Union of Concerned Scientists fact page on Global Warming
- World Health Organization fact sheet on air pollution and health
- Union of Concerned Scientists press release on the HONEST act and Science Advisory Board Reform Act