A broad coalition of groups across New York are calling on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to draw a line in the sand against any Republican efforts to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Shortly after taking office, Donald Trump proposed demolishing the EPA with an astonishing 31 percent budget cut. That was never likely to happen, but Republicans in Congress came up with their own version, pushing a plan through the House Appropriations Committee that calls for a reduction of over $500 million, which amounts to a 7 percent cut.
We can’t let that happen. So as the action on the federal budget moves to the Senate, we mobilized outside of Schumer’s Manhattan office to deliver over 13,000 petitions telling him that protection of our air and water is not up for negotation. The petitions were collected by dozens of Food & Water Watch volunteers, along with our allies at Friends of the Earth.
We let Schumer know that there would be immediate impacts of any budget cuts in New York, especially in communities that have suffered with air and water pollution, and those that are vulnerable to sea level rise. And the intensifying climate crisis underscores the need for robust programs to save energy and promote renewable energy, which will be difficult with a severely diminished EPA.
“Right now, the Gowanus Canal and Onondaga Lake are coming back to life because of the EPA,” said Caitlin O’Brien, environmental health associate at Environmental Advocates of New York, a leader in the New York Campaign to Save the EPA. “New Yorkers need our congressional delegation to save the EPA from unprecedented attacks from this president and industry-allies in Congress.”
The groups are committed to keeping up the pressure on New York’s lawmakers to protect public health, clean water, and a livable climate.
The Campaign to Save the EPA event was co-sponsored by Environmental Advocates of New York, Riverkeeper, NYPIRG, the Sierra Club, New York Indivisible, Three Parks Independent Democrats, New York Interfaith Power & Light, Gas Free Seneca, Community Free Democrats, United Thru Action, 350NYC, Democracy for New York City, Natural Resources Defense Council, NYC Democratic Socialists of America, Friends of the Earth, New York Communities for Change, Jewish Climate Action Network, NYC Friends of Clearwater, NYPAN Enviro Committee, Grassroots Environmental Education, Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, Brooklyn Movement Center, Morningside Heights - West Harlem Sanitation Coalition, United for Action, the Fifth Avenue Committee, the New York State Nurses Association, and Indivisible We Stand UWS.