Our environment under attack in Washington DC

The Trump administration, polluters and their allies in Congress have made their intentions clear: use their power and influence to undo decades of bipartisan environmental and public health protections.

He signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, another order designed to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of America’s streams, including 49,123 miles in Pennsylvania, and a third order rolling back the Clean Power Plan, effectively allowing power plants to emit more pollution and adding more soot to the air we breathe and more climate-destabilizing carbon pollution to the planet’s atmosphere.

From attacks to weaken the Clean Water Act, to gutting new initiatives to reduce global warming pollution, to opening up our public lands and pristine wild places for harmful fracking, mining and drilling--there’s so much at risk. This includes:

  • Eliminating Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of streams across the country and nearly 50,000 miles of streams right here in Pennsylvania; 
  • Dismantling the Obama administration’s climate legacy by pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, attacking fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, and rolling back the Clean Power Plan which will effectively allowing power plants to emit more pollution into the air we breathe. 
  • Putting an anti-environmental leader and climate denier, Scott Pruitt, in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and proposing to eviscerate funding for this critical environmental watchdog agency;
  • Fast-tracking the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline;

Pennsylvanians want more, not fewer, safeguards to protect  our environment, public health  and the places we love.

These efforts to dismantle our environmental protections go against the core values shared by millions of Pennsylvanians and Americans.

The vast majority of us believe the health of our children is more valuable than the dollars saved when a company dumps pollution into our air or water. The investment in clean, renewable energy is a no-brainer when it comes to the future of our children and health of the planet. And Pennsylvanians from every political walk of life has enjoyed and recreated in our state parks and forests, and Pennsylvania’s iconic treasures that are part of America’s national park system like Gettysburg and Valley Forge. We embrace the idea that some places so special--some would even say sacred--that we’ve declared them off-limits to development. This legacy of preservation is one of our proudest achievements.

But our environmental values are meaningless if we don’t stand up and defend them when they’re under attack— especially given that polluters and other entrenched special interests want to put their short-term economic interests above the health of the American people and the environment we love.

Our path forward

PennEnvironment is working to mobilize a massive movement of citizens, local elected officials, business leaders, health experts and others who will stand up against this anti-environmental onslaught from  Washington DC.  We will use this to put pressure on Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation and U.S. senators. And PennEnvironment is working with our nationwide network of state affiliates through Environment America to coordinate our efforts and go state-by-state to figure out how to deliver the votes it takes to win in Congress  in order to  protect our health, environment and the places we love.

Now, it's up to us

The leaders and activists of the past saw the result of decades of unchecked pollution in our smog-covered skylines and our toxic rivers. They worked against all odds and, ultimately, their values won the day. Our environmental forbears organized the first Earth Day, supported and passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the torch passes to us.

The children we know and love today can live cleaner, healthier lives in a greener world, but only if we can keep our environmental protections in place and make them stronger. It’s up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | PennEnvironment

House approves public lands bill, permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PRESS STATEMENT ON ACHD ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST U.S. STEEL’S CLAIRTON, IRVIN AND EDGAR THOMPSON PLANTS

Two weeks after announcing their intent to sue U.S. Steel’s Clairton, Irvin, and Edgar Thompson plants for violating the federal Clean Air Act, PennEnvironment and Clean Air Council today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the Allegheny County Health Department that it has issued an administrative enforcement order regarding U.S. Steel’s ongoing failure to operate its desulfurization plant  following a December 24 fire at the Clairton Coke Works.

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News Release | Environment America

University of California, Berkeley, commits to 100% clean energy

The University of California, Berkeley, will transition to 100 percent clean, renewable sources for all of its energy, including heating, transportation and electricity by 2050. This announcement builds on the commitment by the University of California system to purchase all of of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

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News Release | Environment America

U.S. Department of Energy’s proposed repeal of lighting efficiency standards a huge blow to planet’s health

The U.S. Department of Energy is holding a public meeting today on its plan to revoke Obama-era rules that required higher energy efficiency standards for lighting. The regulations, which had been scheduled to take effect in January 2020, would have saved twice as much energy as any other efficiency regulation in history.  The light bulb standard rollback would result in an additional 34 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon dioxide by 2025.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TO PHILLY CITY COUNCIL: WE WILL NOT ENDORSE CANDIDATES WHO VOTE IN SUPPORT OF NEW FOSSIL FUEL PROJECT

[Philadelphia, PA] – As Philadelphia City Council prepares to vote on a controversial fossil fuel project this week, major environmental groups announced that a vote in support of this project will automatically disqualify incumbent councilmembers from receiving the organizations’ endorsements.

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