Every day, we are building the momentum necessary to cut climate and air pollution. And when we say every day, we mean the weekend, too! Case in point: our co-founder and director, Dominique Browning, joined scores of leaders the world over urging President Biden to take bold climate action in a full-page letter entitled “PRESIDENT BIDEN: YOU CAN BE THE CLIMATE PRESIDENT” in the front section of the Sunday, January 24th, print edition of the New York Times.
OUR MESSAGE FOR BIDEN
In the letter, Dominique proudly joined more than 150 distinguished figures including leading CEOs (Amazon, Ford Motor Company), heads of state, notable climate leaders, and film actors who signed an open letter to President Biden to pledge their support to the new administration’s goals to combat climate change. “You’ve famously said: ‘When I hear the words climate change, I hear jobs.’ We agree,” the open letter says. “While the climate crisis presents incredible challenges, it is also the greatest economic opportunity for innovation, job creation, new businesses, and investment in our communities.” The letter ends with this powerful call to action: “Your commitment to build back better with clean energy jobs and tackling the legacy of environmental injustice is the consequential action that science and our future demands…Our children and grandchildren must see this as the moment the world was saved.” See CNBC’s coverage here.
UNPACKING BIDEN’S CLIMATE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
To discuss President Biden’s sweeping executive orders on climate change, our Senior Advisor Heather McTeer Toney joined Fox News’ NewsNow host Regina Gonzalez. Heather applauded the President’s recognition that “[We] need to take bold, transformative action to get people back to work and deal with the climate crisis.” She also saluted the Administration’s whole-of-government strategy with justice at its core.
GETTING THINGS DONE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Cognizant that her state’s shale gas production has returned to pre-pandemic levels, one of our Pennsylvania field organizers, Vanessa Lynch, penned this letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. On behalf of concerned parents across the state, Vanessa reminds readers that “methane is far more potent in the near term than CO2 and fouls our air alongside volatile organic compounds that are known to be harmful to human health.” She goes on to ask, “Should this concern parents across the commonwealth? Absolutely. Are we calling for immediate action? You bet.” In closing, Vanessa calls on Gov. Tom Wolf to close a loophole that currently would leave over half of methane emissions unchecked, adding, “We simply cannot afford to wait to act on climate. With renewed resolve and commitment, we can, really we must, get this done.”
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, our fantastic allies are raising their voices in support of the state’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). They include: Dr. Robert Sroufe, member of Moms Clean Air Force and professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, who penned this op-ed on the financial and health benefits offered by RGGI; and State Representative Donna Bullock from Philadelphia, who shared how RGGI could and should spur anti-racist environmental policy.
OUR POLICY ADVICE FOR BIDEN
Writing in InkStick Media, our director and co-founder Dominique Browning shared her top three climate policy recommendations for the next four years. Topping the list, Dominique urges Biden to use the power of the Presidency to act on climate: “That means scrupulously prioritizing climate and air quality in every executive order, every bill, and with every nominee put forward.” Secondly, Dominique urges the President to eliminate climate pollution from cars and trucks — the largest US source of climate pollution – by 2040: “The president must move quickly to implement a massive build-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the country. But electric vehicles are just one side of the climate equation; the other is the electricity itself, which must be cleaned up.” And lastly, Dominique calls for comprehensive climate legislation “with strong bipartisan support, that safeguards our children’s health and future, jumpstarts rapid deployment of clean energy sources, delivers on the moral imperative of Justice in Every Breath, and opens the floodgates of new American jobs to support a clean energy economy.”
HOW POOR AIR IMPEDES CHILDREN’S PLAY
For a video about the connection between air pollution and racial justice, NowThis interviewed one of our Nevada field organizers, Cinthia Zermeño Moore, about raising her son in a state ranked worst in the U.S. for air quality. Cinthia opens up about what it’s like to live in a city with frequent poor air-quality days. “I would love for my son to experience things I experienced as a child,” she says. But “our kids are exposed to just more pollution because we are in the central part of the valley, also the hottest part of the valley.” In the Latino community where she lives, Cinthia notes that too many are unjustly left behind.