Celebrate Earth Day: Protect and strengthen the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

As Earth Day approaches (April 22), it is ironic to remember that it was under the Nixon administration that the Environment Protection Agency was created, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed. Of course, the Republican Party of the early 1970s bears little resemblance to the Republican Party of today.

Four decades after the creation of the EPA, the Republican Party now seeks every opportunity to undermine (no pun intended) the agency’s regulatory authority in order to further the economic interests of the industries that fund their election campaigns. The latest attack comes in the form of the Vitter-Bishop bill just introduced in Congress (H.R. 1287 & S. 706).

In the words of The Wilderness Society Senior Policy Advisor David Alberswerth, “This legislation puts the foxes in charge of the henhouse. Under this bill, the oil and gas industry would essentially run the Interior Department’s offshore oil and gas program and the BLM’s oil shale program. It also mandates the destruction of the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, eviscerates the Endangered Species Act, allows polluters to continue dumping greenhouse gases and endangering the public without any EPA oversight under the Clean Air Act, and restricts the right of Americans to use the federal courts to enforce environmental laws.”

Please contact your WA legislators and ask them to vigorously and publicly oppose this assault on our right to breathable air and drinkable water. While you’re at it, ask them to step up to co-sponsor the anti-fracking bills H.R. 1084 and S. 587. Kudos to Adam Smith for being the first (and so far only) Washington legislator to get out in front of this important legislation. Watch the video to see why hydraulic fracturing, like mountaintop removal, is an extraction method that must be stopped.

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