A new Quinnipiac poll has come out that says 61 percent of Americans disapprove how Donald Trump is handling the environment. This shows it is not enough to simply support environmental laws like in the past, we need to really fight back because it works. Trump plans to cut the EPA budget by 31 percent, which will cause states to loose 45 percent in funding. New Jersey will be more affected by Trump’s rollbacks than other states because we have assumption of federal programs to protect our air and water. As a result, our state will loose around $85 million from DEP operations, but it could be more. We could see the DEP have to cut staff who are responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act, leaving a huge hole in our budget. With Trump’s cuts, our air and water will be threatened with more pollution. At the same time, Trump has rolled back protections to combat climate change, which will put more people and property at risk. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:
“61 percent of Americans think that President Trump is doing a bad job on the environment. This shows just supporting the environment is not enough; we have to fight back against Trump’s attacks like we have been doing. The more who people who stand up against Trump’s anti-environmental agenda, the more chance we can win. That is why it is important we build a mass movement of people who support the clean air, clean water, and action on climate change. Instead of repealing the law that created the EPA, Trump is working to dismantle the agency by going after the budget. Trump is going after environmental programs by cutting the budget by 31 percent and getting rid of thousands of staff. His cuts will mean that there will not enough personnel to make sure our water is safe to drink, our land is clean, our air is breathable, and New Jersey’s 118 Superfund Sites are cleaned-up. By cutting enforcement, Trump will create a polluters holiday because there will be no one to sure to make sure they aren’t violating the law. This is an outrageous attempt to protect corporate polluters instead of our health and climate.”
“Just signing on to letters and re-affirming our commitment to the environment is not enough. We need to stand up to Trump’s attack on the environment. Without standing up to Trump and opposing all of his rollbacks, it is like a solider standing on Normandy Beach on D-Day being shot out by Germans saying he supports World Peace; but the problem is he has to fight the Germans first. What President Trump is doing is reckless especially to a state like New Jersey that has been so devastated by air pollution and climate change. By increasing our dependence on fossil fuels and stopping action on climate change, Trump is doing is denying people who live along the coast a future because his actions will increase flooding and sea level rise. Instead of protecting people and property, Trump is a climate-denier because he is in lock step with the fossil fools in Washington. This is not a reality show, for the people of New Jersey this is real.”
“In order to get money for open space and wildlife grants, some groups will support offshore drilling and dirty fuels because it will give them money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. What they don’t want to understand is that Trump has initiated war on public lands by opening up our land for mining, coasts for drilling, and parks for fracking. Some groups will ask for more funding for wildlife grants, but they won’t oppose Trump’s attack on open space or endangered species. This goes along with Trump’s green cover by giving the National Parks Service $70,000 from his Presidential paycheck. We don’t buy Trump’s gimmicks and we don’t buy Trump’s agenda.”
“To fight back against Trump, we must target our representatives in Congress like Congressman Lance, Congressman Frelinghuysen, Congressman Smith, and Congressman LoBiondo to stand up against Trump’s rollbacks. We need to do this with the same kind of vigor and diligence that people who helped stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act did. This is not about sending a letter, it is about fighting and demonstrating on the streets against Trump’s attacks. We need to get as many people out there as we did with the Women’s March. We must work together to defend clean air, clean water and action on climate change. It will be up to us to protect our planet from Trump’s rollbacks. We fought 45 years ago for Congress to create the EPA and now we will fight all over again to stop the President from dismantling it."