Panorama – EOPA says elected officials should take aggressive action to reduce fossil fuel use
Elected Officials to Protect America, EOPA, an organization of thousands of elected officials, honors Senator Nelson on Earth Day. He has proven that environmental legislative proposals with the support of a broad coalition of engaged citizens can become law more frequently than working in silos.
He helped President Kennedy embark on a nationwide tour for conservation and the environment. Along with President Johnson, he advanced civil rights legislation and led the war on poverty. Nelson viewed these battles as an integral part of his environmental agenda.
Sen Nelson said, “The environment is all of America and its problems. They are rats in the ghetto. He is a starving child in a land of wealth. It is an accommodation not worthy of the name; uninhabitable neighborhoods.
“Sen. Nelson understood that the only way to achieve environmental justice is to achieve justice in the franchise. He knew that economic prosperity and environmental protection can and must go hand in hand. He believed that united, there is nothing America cannot achieve. EOPA is humbled and guided by its environmental leadership,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, former Maine State Representative, Marine Veteran and Chairman of Elected to Protect America and Co-Founder.
“Like Senator Nelson, President Biden sees the urgency of protecting our planet for all humanity. His climate bill before the Senate combines concrete actions to mitigate climate change and advance environmental justice – while paving the way for well-paying union jobs. EOPA urges the passage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to avoid a worsening climate crisis and give workers lifetime opportunities in a clean energy economy.
Nelson’s Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and catapulted an “Environmental Decade” of law reform. The Clean Water Act, National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Federal Pesticides Act, Clean Air Act, Environmental Education Act, National Hiking Trails and National Scenic Trails Acts, and the creation of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Then, in 1987, the world made a commitment to repair the ozone layer when 197 countries came together and agreed to stop using CFCs and similar ozone-depleting chemicals by signing the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. the 99% removal of ozone depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air conditioners and other products resulted. More than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions were prevented from reaching the atmosphere between 1990 and 2010. To date, more than 98% of ozone-depleting substances have been eliminated worldwide. A team of scientists discovered that since 2000 the hole in the ozone layer has shrunk by 4 million square kilometers – an area larger than India.
In recognition of the impact of Earth Day, Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by Bill Clinton.
“Senator Gaylord Nelson’s environmental legacy should continue to inspire us to take action to protect the natural resources of our state and our country. As the founder of Earth Day, Senator Nelson worried about how “to get the nation to wake up and pay attention to the single most important challenge facing the human species on the planet.” It was an oil spill, and the way people came together to clean it up inspired him to create Earth Day,” said Katrina Shankland, WI State Representative and EOPA Board Member.
“As sea levels rise and the climate crisis worsens because the atmosphere is beleaguered by fossil fuel emissions, humanity needs more aggressive actions to combat this clear and present danger. Nine million people die every year from breathing in the toxic particulates that fossil fuel companies In a time when autocrats have gotten rich from oil and gas, the IPCC report found nations are not doing enough to mitigate the ‘climate emergency,’ EOPA said in a press release.
“The U.S. Senate has a $550 billion federal climate bill before it that it could pass now. It would be the biggest clean energy investment in U.S. history and help us grow our clean energy economy by creating millions of jobs, including over 556,000 manufacturing jobs and over 312,000 construction jobs annually.Originally under the blocked Build Back Better Act Act, climate investments have been apportioned and approved by House Democrats as a separate budget reconciliation bill in an effort to expedite passage,” EOPA states.
“Sen. Nelson galvanized the environmental movement into action. America is known for leading efforts that change the world, like President Reagan did in focusing on uniting the world to ban CFCs. The President Biden has brought together leaders of the free world to oppose Putin’s illegal war. His bill before the US Senate, once passed, will encourage other nations to accelerate their clean energy plans,” said Dominic Frongillo, executive director and co-founder of Elected Officials to Protect America, former board member and deputy supervisor of Caroline, New York. “Our Senate must act now to pass the biggest climate bill in our history that will create millions of good, family-supporting jobs.
President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to mandate the mining and processing of electric vehicle batteries and energy storage facilities. Polysilicon, which is needed for solar panels, next-generation batteries and computer chips, could be added to the DPA’s list of critical materials.
“Ultimately, the DPA should be relied upon to increase the production of alternative energy systems. Current energy production policies and practices in the United States favor profit over people and the planet. The public asks lawmakers to take action to change this paradigm,” said Christian Brock, CEO of Chosen To Protect America, Air Force veteran, California. “We should move forward with climate plans in the Senate and make our nation’s biggest investment in a clean energy transition that brings environmental justice to communities that have been neglected by systemic racism for too long.”
A Pew Research Center survey of 10,237 American adults conducted from January 24-30, 2022 found that 69% of American adults prioritize the development of alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, over to the expansion of oil, coal and natural gas production.
Recent vote found that 87% of voters think lawmakers should take action against oil and gas company profiteers, while 80% agree that a one-off tax on big oil companies would be beneficial to prevent companies from inflating prices.
A EOPA letter, that nearly 500 legislators signed, supports a clean energy plan and calls for the Defense Production Act to be invoked.