Elected officials write for action  

President Biden sees the climate crisis as a way to unite the world while building our economy with “jobs, jobs, jobs”

Oped by Alex Cornell du Houx, President of Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA), former State Representative (ME), and former Marine combat Veteran.

April 30, 2021

Along with President Joseph Biden’s  commitment to reducing climate pollution by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, the Earth Day Climate Summit confirmed to the world that America is serious about the climate crisis and our committed partnerships. As the world’s largest carbon emitter, having China at the table is an important step to working together for the future of the planet.  Forty world leaders participated in the Summit, which clearly showed that tackling the climate crisis can unite the world and focus leaders on a common peaceful mission. 

President Biden has used his first one hundred days in office to deliver on his promises to prioritize jobs, environmental justice, clean energy investments, and climate solutions. His accomplishments will help tackle the climate crisis and accelerate our transition to a just clean energy economy. 

On Wednesday evening, President Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, making it clear that he means business when talking about climate change. Finally, we have a president who is committed to bold action in combating the climate crisis. Not relying on China to build wind turbines, advanced batteries, and electric cars strengthens our security and highlights the central theme of his agenda – “jobs, jobs, jobs.” More

Earth Day — a day to celebrate the home we all share and to be reminded of our moral responsibility to protect it

April 23, 2021

Oped by U.S. Representative Bobby Scott, who represents Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District and serves as chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Today marks Earth Day, a day to celebrate the home we all share and to be reminded of our moral responsibility to protect it.

This Earth Day, I am encouraged by the promise of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and I am committed to working to achieve it through legislation. The Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-century investment to create millions of good paying jobs and foster economic growth, while ensuring we protect the planet for ourselves and future generations.

Infrastructure in Hampton Roads and across the country has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. Our roads, bridges and water systems are crumbling. Our electric grid is vulnerable to catastrophic outages. Too many lack access to affordable, high-speed Internet, a safe school building and quality housing. The past year has led to job losses, threatened economic security and demonstrated that we have not done enough to help people find new pathways to good paying jobs. Our nation is falling behind and has, for too long, abdicated its responsibility to reduce emissions. The American Jobs Plan will help address all of these challenges. More.

New Jersey needs to sue corporations over emissions from oil and gas

April, 2021

Oped by Caren Fitzpatrick, of Linwood, is an Atlantic County Commissioner and Elected Officials to Protect America New Jersey Leadership Council member

When I heard the devastating stories of people impacted by the winter storm in Texas, I was reminded of New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy. Nine years later, we are still dealing with the consequences. We know firsthand that the path to recovery will be long, and we know that making a state more resilient against extreme weather events is expensive and comes at a massive cost to taxpayers.

Here in Atlantic County, and in other communities along the New Jersey coast, we know too well how vulnerable we are to climate change impacts like increasingly severe storms, rising seas and flooding. Like we saw in Texas with power outages and frozen pipes, these issues are a matter of practicality. Rising sea levels create higher tides and road closures due to flooding, which prevent children from getting to school and working families from getting to their jobs. These impacts — and their associated costs — are even more pronounced in low-income communities and communities of color, like the back bay area of Atlantic City and the Lakes Bay area of Egg Harbor Township. More

Creating a comprehensive town-wide public park and trail system

Oped by former Supervisor Sandra L. Frankel of Monroe County, Brighton, New York.

In the late 1980s, a small group of citizens formed an advocacy group to lobby local government on the need to protect the remaining open space in their mostly developed residential community adjacent to the region’s city.  They named their initiative Save Our Space (SOS). They did this because of environmental concerns and because of the need for healthy recreational outlets.

The Monroe County town of Brighton cradles the southeastern corner of the city of Rochester in upstate, western New York.   This 15.6 square mile, crescent-shaped urban suburb has a diverse population of approximately 36,000 people.  Five school districts serve portions of the town. Local and state roads and federal highways crisscross the town, with commercial districts and light industrial zones located near main highways.  The Supervisor is elected to a two-year term and serves as the CEO of the municipality and as chairperson and voting member of the town board. More.

We need civics back in schools

March 22, 2021

Oped by Rep. Paul Evans (OR) and Sen. Lew Frederick (OR)

We need dedicated civics education in Oregon.

Oregon lawmakers and citizens alike have long taken pride that our politics are done “the Oregon Way.” While there have always been and will be differences of opinion over policies, “the Oregon Way” aspires to respect our differences and still find common causes to solve problems and improve Oregonians’ lives.

These are charged political times, and the idea of bipartisan collaboration towards a shared goal may seem unattainable to some. However, our government and institutions continue to provide the vital framework that allows people to make real progress possible. Ours is a democratic republic of, by, and for the people and when the people engage, our potential is limitless. More.

Climate change doesn’t know borders, it requires global solutions that can start here, at home

March 11, 2021

Oped by Danielle I. A. Adams, Former North Carolina Soil & Water Conservation Supervisor, Elected Officials to Protect America National Leadership Council

Our planet is in peril, people are dying, and we as a nation are not prepared. We were not prepared to face this pandemic and we are not ready to face all of the crises that climate change is going to cause. We are not prepared to deal with the devastating effects of global infectious disease, natural disasters, increased severity of storms, flooding and food insecurity that the climate crisis will cause. We need action on a federal level or the climate crisis will decimate our communities, especially communities of color, in ways few have ever imagined.

I served for 12 years as a Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor in North Carolina and saw firsthand the impact environmental degradation has on communities and the uneven distribution of these struggles. I witnessed the impacts of drought, urban runoff, massive storms, heat island effects, and saw how unprepared we were to deal with these situations. We, as a state, had to adapt to protect people from these disasters. We had to balance the need of local farmers with urban residents. We had to balance real estate development while maintaining the integrity of our existing communities and our land. In a state already plagued by inequalities in access to clean water, healthy food, and quality health care these events emphasized how broken our system is. In a time of crisis those who were the most in need proved to be those that were the furthest from help. More.

A national clean car plan must be passed soon — Tomorrow won’t wait

March 11, 2021

Oped by Jenna Wadsworth, Vice-Chair of the Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, represents 1.2 million people of Wake County, North Carolina.

Affluent Americans are kids in a candy shop, energized by a sugar rush when shopping for electric vehicles with a variety of high-end features to explore. Recently I did a ride-along in a brand new, customized Tesla with a 400-mile range. It was a smooth, quiet ride. The safety features would make anyone swoon. The dashboard display showed if we were approaching a red light and notified us when the stoplight turned green. If we were too close to a curb or another vehicle we were alerted. This model has full self-driving capabilities and can even be summoned to pick you up. Just imagine how this could transform security for transporting children to and from school, enhance accessibility and independence for senior citizens to get to their medical appointments and the grocery store without having to have a caregiver present, as well as prevent exhausted workers who are in danger of falling asleep during their commutes from becoming statistics. In the long-run, the vehicle will hold its value while costing less in repairs and maintenance than a vehicle with a combustion engine. Even better, Plug-in North Carolina estimates that operating costs of an EV such as this one have a price tag that’s 1/3 of running a standard gasoline vehicle over the same mileage range. 

Addressing climate change is a consumer option when purchasing a new vehicle, but let’s imagine a future where it is the only choice. What does that mean for communities like the ones we serve? Transportation currently accounts for nearly 1/3 of our country’s carbon output. More

The tree reforestation success of Brighton, New York

February, 2, 2021

Oped by former Brighton, NY, Supervisor Sandra L. Frankel

Trees have inspired writers across the ages.  William Shakespeare in As You Like it, wrote, “And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stone, and good in everything. I would not change it.” Walt Whitman opined in The Wisdom of Trees and other writings about how trees help us to see reality vs. perception, and about the healing power of nature.

Trees benefit us in so many ways: Trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is necessary for human and animal life. Tree canopies provide shade from the sun, lowering temperatures and providing shelter.  More.

Uncertainty is Governor Newsom’s political chess game that he can’t win

February 2, 2021

Oped by Firebaugh City former mayor & current council-member Felipe Perez

Uncertainty, it’s what humans inherently fear and despise, it’s what investors can’t abide. But uncertainty is Governor Newsom’s political chess game. After two years he’s left many uncertain if he’ll take real action to protect the health and well-being of millions of his people who live in environmental injustices areas. He’s also left oil company executives and lobbyists, the latter, as reported in the LA Times he wined and dined at the French Laundry restaurant, uncertain that he’s totally onboard with them. They question his electric vehicle policy. More

It’s time to speak up to prevent more air pollution in Delano and protect public health

Mayor of Delano, CA, Bryan Osorio

Oped by Mayor of Delano, CA, Bryan Osorio

Breathing clean air is our most basic human need. But the city of Delano has some of the worst air in California, according to a state health screening tool. Air pollution exposes everyone in Delano to health risks. I chose to serve my hometown, as a city councilperson and now as mayor, to fight for social justice for the people in my community. I feel a responsibility to speak up now to defend my community’s right to breathe clean air.

We are at a turning point, and it is time to take a stand. If our Kern County leaders approve a massive oil and gas drilling proposal, being reviewed Feb. 11 by the Planning Commission, their decision will lead to dangerous health implications for all Kern communities. More.