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Environment America's Federal Agenda

Goal: Win positive action at the federal level on clean water and air, conservation, global warming and clean energy.

Environment America is the national network of 29 state environmental groups.

The fate of our natural world depends on countless decisions, including those being made in Washington, D.C. In his 2020 campaign, President Biden promised to restore common sense and sound science to our country's environmental policies. Our D.C.-based lobbying team works to build the public and political support necessary to once again put our federal government to work improving the quality of our air and water, preserving America's open spaces and wildlife, and embracing the clean energy future that can sustain a livable climate for our children and grandchildren.

  • <h4>OUR PUBLIC LANDS</h4><h5>We’re working to protect our national monuments and other special places from oil and gas drilling, logging, mining and commercial fishing.</h5><div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=42201">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>Mike Peters via Shutterstock.com</em>
  • <h4>CLEAN ENERGY & GLOBAL WARMING</h4><h5>We’re calling for the expansion and extension of clean energy tax credits.</h5><div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=42202">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>WestBoundary Photography Chris Gill</em>
  • <h4>OUR WATER</h4><h5>We’re standing up for the promise of the Clean Water Act by working with the Biden administration to repeal the Dirty Water Rule.</h5> <div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=42205">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>Nicholas Thomas</em>
We’re calling for action on three fronts

Environment America is monitoring the decisions being made on these issues, working to influence these decisions, and reporting back to our members and the public on whether our elected officials acted for or against the environment. Our litigation team is also continuing to pursue the lawsuits we’ve filed to block Trump-era rollbacks of our environmental protections.

We’re working to win positive action at the federal level on three fronts:

Conservation

We live in a world of incredible material abundance, but we’re running short on nature. To protect the wild places we love, we’re working to:

PROTECT THE ARCTIC
Home to denning polar bears, caribou and migratory birds from all 50 states, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is one of the last truly wild places left on Earth. In 2017, the Trump administration opened the Arctic Refuge up to oil and gas drilling, which would harm the wildlife there and further threaten our climate.

President Biden has paused new lease sales. Now, we’re urging Congress to undo the mandate that requires oil lease sales in the refuge and give this rugged landscape the permanent protection it deserves. Take action.

VICTORY: PROTECT OUR NATIONAL MONUMENTS
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, 15 American presidents have protected some of our country’s most beautiful places as national monuments. But the previous administration shrank the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and allowed commercial fishing within the boundaries of the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument.

In a victory for nature, President Biden restored protections for all three monuments on October 8, 2021. Read more.

PROTECT THE TONGASS
Home to trees older than America, the Tongass National Forest in Alaska is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. After the Trump administration moved to open wild areas within this ancient forest to logging, we filed suit to stop it.

In December 2020, Environment America joined Earthjustice, NRDC, Indigenous tribes and small businesses in suing the Trump administration to vacate a rule that exempted the Tongass from the protections of the 2001 Roadless Rule. In 2021, the Biden administration announced they will restore protections to the Tongass. 

Learn more about our Conservation Program.

Clean Energy & Global Warming

In a greener, healthier world, we would rely only on sources of energy that are clean and renewable, and that leave less environmental damage in their wake. To harness energy from the wind and the sun, and to tackle the largest sources of global warming pollution, we’re focusing on these campaigns:

CLEAN ENERGY TAX CREDITS
Our goal is a future powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and the sooner we get there, the sooner we’ll reap the benefits of cleaner air, cleaner water and a more stable climate. Federal tax credits have been one of our best mechanisms for supporting renewable energy, but many of these credits will expire in the next year or two.

We’re calling on Congress to update and extend a suite of clean energy tax incentives through 2030 to keep renewable energy growing in America. Take action.

GO BIG ON OFFSHORE WIND
America’s offshore wind resources are vast and have the technical potential to meet our current electricity needs more than twice over. But at the beginning of 2021, there were only two offshore wind projects in the United States. One key obstacle is the federal permitting process for new projects, which is lengthy and subject to delays.

We’re calling on the Biden administration to cut the red tape on offshore wind permitting to minimize delays and prioritize timely, responsible development of wind energy. Take action.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Eliminating senseless energy waste creates big savings — for our planet, our climate and our health. As an added bonus, it even results in lower energy bills.

In November 2019, Environment America filed suit against the Trump administration after it created a loophole in energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The lawsuit is ongoing, and if successful, we can close the loophole and make our lightbulbs more efficient.

Learn more about our Clean, Green & Renewable Energy Program.

DESTINATION: ZERO CARBON
Transportation is now America’s number one source of global warming pollution. We simply can't solve global warming without changing how we get around. To achieve a zero-carbon transportation future, we're urging Congress and the Biden administration to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations; electrify buses; expand transit; and help communities make their streets safe for walking and biking. Learn more about our Destination: Zero Carbon campaign.

Clean Water

Decades ago, some people thought polluted rivers and streams were the price we had to pay for progress. That’s not the world we live in anymore, nor is it the future our children deserve. We’re focusing on two priority campaigns to clean and protect our water:

SAFE FOR SWIMMING
All of America’s waterways should be safe for swimming and other recreation. Yet every year, billions of gallons of sewage and runoff pollution flow into our rivers, bays and beaches, putting our health and wildlife at risk. We can prevent this pollution by restoring nature’s ability to absorb stormwater and by fixing failing treatment plants.

We're urging Congress to dramatically increase water infrastructure funding so we can end sewage overflows and make all our waterways safe for swimming. Take action.

CLEAN WATER FOR AMERICA
From America's mighty rivers to its majestic lakes and bays, our waterways depend on wetlands and streams to keep them healthy and clean. Yet the Trump administration’s Dirty Water Rule stripped away Clean Water Act protections from more than half of our nation's wetlands — as well as streams that help provide drinking water to millions of people.

We're calling on the Biden administration to repeal the Dirty Water Rule and restore protections to all of America's waterways. Take action.

In April 2020, Environment America also sued the Trump administration to vacate the Dirty Water Rule. Our lawsuit is ongoing, and if successful, it would restore protections under the Clean Water Act to many water bodies.

Learn more about our Clean Water & Air Program.

Sergey Uryadnikov via Shutterstock.com
More actions we can take for our environment

Our national lobbying team is also pursuing these actions for conservation, clean energy, global warming solutions, clean air and clean water. And, we're reporting back to our members and the public on whether decisionmakers are doing right by our environment.

Joshua Resnick via Shutterstock.com
New opportunities to protect our environment

We believe a greener, healthier future is possible. 

With a new administration, we have new opportunities to advance the cause of environmental protection in our country. And with a closely divided Congress, we must be vigilant and vocal in our advocacy.

Environment America is not only in Washington. Our network of 29 state environmental groups gives us a broader perspective on the issues and a broader array of voices — including those of our state staff, our state members and our allies in multiple state coalitions — to the decision-making tables in D.C.

STAY UP TO DATE ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

When decisions that affect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places we love are being made in Washington, D.C., Environment America is there to speak and act on your behalf and on behalf of the environment we all share. To stay informed and active, sign up for our email list, follow us on Facebook or connect with us on Twitter.