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

NRDC Action Fund, PennEnvironment Identify 11 ‘Dirty Air Villains’

10 Pennsylvania Congressmen and one of our two federal are rated as “Dirty Air Villains” in a new analysis by the NRDC Action Fund published today on the website www.WhoVotesDirty.org and released with PennEnvironment. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Obama Administration Finalizes Historic Clean Cars Standards

Today the Obama administration finalized new clean car standards that will double the fuel efficiency of today’s vehicles by 2025, drastically reducing emissions of carbon pollution and cutting oil use in Pennsylvania and nationwide.  A recent joint analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2030 in Pennsylvania alone, the standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles by 8.4 million metric tons—the equivalent of the annual pollution of 1,285, of today’s vehicles—and save 720 million gallons of fuel. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New Report: Extreme Downpours and Snowstorms Up 52% Percent in Pennsylvania

Ten months after Tropical Storm Lee led to record flooding that devastated the Susquehanna Valley, a new PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center report confirms that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 52 percent more frequently in Pennsylvania since 1948. Based on an analysis of state data from the National Climatic Data Center, the new report found that heavy downpours or snowstorms that used to happen once every 12 months on average in the state now happen every 7.9 months on average.  Moreover, the biggest storms are getting bigger.  The largest annual storms in Pennsylvania now produce 23 percent more precipitation, on average, than they did 65 years ago.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

When It Rains, It Pours

Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Statement on Commonwealth Court’s Act 13 Decision Erika Staaf, PennEnvironment Clean Water Advocate

PennEnvironment applauds today’s decision by a Commonwealth Court panel that overturned some of the most egregious sections of Act 13, Pennsylvania’s recent—and controversial—gas drilling law.

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