Donald Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency is headed by climate denier Myron Ebell. Funded by Marathon Petroleum and Koch Industries, Ebell could kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, and all the land, water, and air protections the EPA provides.
But just before Thanksgiving, Trump announced that he might rethink his views on climate change and might not pull out of the Paris agreement. Our task now is to push him in that direction. Here’s how.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper — or better, a paper in a purple or red state. Here are New Hampshire’s two biggest papers, the Concord Monitor and the Manchester Union Leader. Two sample letters are below — you can choose ideas you want to write your own.
- Call your senators and congressperson. Ask them to speak with moderate Republicans and pull together a bipartisan call to Trump: no climate deniers — keep the EPA and climate work moving forward.
- Call, text, tweet… your family and friends in purple and red states. Ask them to call their congresscritters, write local newspapers, and talk to their friends about saving the climate right now.
By doing these things we can head off the worst and build a mass constituency for climate action in the long term.
Okay, here are the letters. Please rewrite them with your own words and thoughts, and let us know what results you get!
Letter 1: conservative, pro-business appeal
To the editor:
Myron Ebell is leading the Trump administration’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency. His organization’s mission statement is “dispelling the myths of global warming.”
This is bad policy for our economy and our standing in the world.
Climate change is real. It poses a significant and immediate threat to humans everywhere. This has become universal consensus. Russian and Chinese governments are among those who acknowledge climate change, and are committed to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At this point in history, to oppose the scientific consensus on climate change would be a source of national embarrassment. It would erode our standing as a technologically innovative nation, and limit our access to global markets that plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Ebell has also said that the US should back out of the Paris climate agreement. Besides violating international law, this would be catastrophic diplomatically. France has threatened export taxes, and statements from other nations have been equally severe; a rift is forming between us and the rest of the world.
Over 300 U.S. businesses have signed a statement calling on Trump to support the Paris agreement including General Mills, eBay, Intel, and other Fortune 500 companies. China, the heir apparent in the race to develop innovative renewable energy technology, has remained committed despite Ebell’s rhetoric.
Denying climate change is a bad deal for the US. We encourage readers to demand that the US remain committed to the Paris agreement and the global fight against climate change.
Letter 2: Anti-pollution, pro-environment appeal
To the editor:
Decades of environmental progress are being threatened by the Trump administration’s transition team. Myron Ebell, who’s responsible for the future of the Environmental Protection Agency, is funded by mega-polluters like Marathon Energy and the Koch Brothers, and he’s pushed to undo EPA regulations that protect our health every day.
The EPA does crucial work. The EPA enforces laws that keep the food, air and water we consume safe, protects endangered species, and funds scientific discoveries that support business and keep us healthy.
Over its 40+ year history, the EPA has made incredible advances for America. Not long ago, dumping toxic waste into waterways was standard practice. In just 10 years of regulating CFC chemicals, we have slowed the depletion of the ozone layer. When BP spilled 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, experts in science and technology were equipped with the resources needed to clean it up.
This is hard work. Because its mission often runs contrary to short-term business interests, the EPA is constantly subjected forces that seek to impede its ability to do that hard work.
When the EPA is unable to fulfill its mission, the result is injustice. We need only to ask the citizens of Flint, still struggling to find clean water, to know how dire the implications can be.
Myron Ebell, head of the EPA transition team, is not a scientist, and has included repeal of environmental and pollution regulations among his goals. He is an irresponsible steward of our planet, without the scientific expertise Americans expect of someone with his responsibilities.
Regardless of party, we have an obligation to leave this world better than we found it. Americans should demand that our nation remains the right side of history on important issues like climate change and environmental regulation.