On February 24, President Trump issued an executive order on “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” imposing a new layer of oversight on federal regulations. The measure is part of the Administration’s project to undermine and dismantle much of the federal regulatory structure, especially the country’s environmental protections. To make the anti-environment point perfectly clear, after signing the order, the President handed his signing pen to Andrew Liveris, Chairman, and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company.
This is just the latest attack.
Since the November election, and the President’s inauguration in January, Congress and the new Administration have called for an unprecedented assault on environmental and public health protections, including a withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the rollback of major environmental regulations, the dismantling of the EPA, and more.
Throughout the country, though, resisting is arising -- #TheResistance, with a # and a capital R. We are rising with it, and we urge you to rise along with us. It’s going to be a struggle, but people and the planet are going to prevail.
While the federal government has great power to worsen our communities’ health and well-being, countervailing forces may have equal or greater power to resist. Especially now, the Ecology Center plays a vitally important role in three unstoppable forces that’ll halt Trump rollbacks.
First, market demand and technological change are moving the private sector toward sustainability – no matter what! For example, no matter what laws President Trump and Mitch McConnell might seek to promote the resurgence of coal industry jobs, utilities won’t want to buy the product. It’s just not price-competitive with natural gas, or even with wind power in most parts of the country. In other industries, too, there are powerful market pressures that are driving companies to produce safer products, cleaner energy, and healthy food.
The Ecology Center is a national leader in market campaigns that lead manufacturers to make safer and less-toxic products. Our Healthy Stuff product testing service provides consumers with information about how to keep their families safe, and we work in partnership with national advocacy campaigns to push major corporations to clean up their product line. In 2016, we helped win commitments from Campbell’s, Del Monte, and Target, to name a few. In addition, we are a regional leader of efforts to advance electric vehicles in the Upper Midwest, and a statewide leader to build major institutional demand for local and sustainably grown food.
Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Mitch McConnell can’t stop the market.
Second, states and local governments are resisting threatened federal environmental rollbacks and adopting their own climate plans and progressive environmental programs. On the climate issue, for instance, this is a global phenomenon, where 167 “sub-national governments” in 33 countries, representing over 1 billion people and $25 trillion in collective GDP, have committed themselves to net-zero climate emissions by 2050.
The Ecology Center is southeast Michigan’s foremost organization devoted to community action for environmental health. In Ann Arbor, we’ve organized a large coalition of supporters in support of one of the Midwest’s most ambitious clean energy agendas. In Detroit, we’ve helped create an innovative food prescription program that’s designed to grow into a citywide service. In Dearborn, we’re promoting environmental literacy among students and teachers in the community’s schools. Our work in southeast Michigan is networked with the work of other community-focused advocates all across the United States.
They can try, but Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt can’t stop cities, counties, and states.
Finally, national NGO’s, federal whistleblowers, state attorneys general, and activists will be fighting the mechanics of legislative and regulatory rollbacks, and they’ll have hundreds of barriers to throw up against the Administration as it tries to implement its campaign promises against the environment. The Ecology Center works in national coalitions on toxic chemicals and climate issues, and we’ll keep you engaged in these efforts as they affect southeast Michigan.
The President and Congress cannot simply snap their fingers and undo nearly 50 years of protections for people’s health and the environment.
Polluters and climate deniers have taken over the Administration but remember: the Presidency is not the only branch of our federal government. The federal government is not America’s only government. And the government is not everything in America.
Consumers, local governments, and citizen action are the last lines of defense against the federal dismantling of the country’s environmental protections. Join #TheResistance now.
Published on February 27, 2017