Safeguards Talking Points
What’s At Stake
President Trump, corporate polluters and their allies in Congress have launched an unprecedented array of attacks on the health and environmental safeguards that currently protect us from toxic chemicals, contaminated drinking water and climate change pollution. They’re trying to pass a devastating new budget for the federal government that would slash the EPA’s budget by 31%, crippling the ability of our nation’s most important environmental guardian to enforce these common-sense, life-saving safeguards and make it easier for corporate polluters to block new health and safety standards and to dodge responsibility for the environmental damage they cause.
Our vital safeguards are under attack as corporate lobbyists, the Trump administration and President Trump's allies in Congress try to use the budget process to weaken or even eliminate them.
What We Want
Target: U.S. Congress
Message: Senators/Representative, I urge you to vote NO on any FY18 budget proposal that attempts to drastically cut the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other key federal agencies, hampering their ability to enforce laws safeguarding America’s air, water, climate and public health, and weakening environmental protections that keep us and our loved ones safe and healthy.
1. Slashing the EPA's budget will be dangerous to our health and the well-being of our children. We can’t afford to return to an era when mercury, smog, lead, hazardous wastes, acid rain, sulfur dioxides, radon and pesticides galore went unchecked and unregulated. Since its creation in 1970, the EPA has proven to be a health-protection agency extraordinaire, providing us with clean air, water and lands. We must not turn back on the progress we’ve achieved.
2. The U.S. has a long-standing fabric of health and safety standards that protect us and our loved ones from harm every day. The cribs our babies sleep in, the cars we drive our kids to school in, the places we work, the air we breathe, the water we drink…pretty much everything that touches our daily lives is safer because we’ve empowered our government to create and enforce safeguards that protect our health, safety and welfare. Now these safeguards are under attack.
3. No one should be bedridden with an illness caused by contaminated fruit from the supermarket or risk cancer from exposure to known carcinogens like asbestos. No one should die a slow, painful death from salmonella-contaminated peanut butter, and nobody's children should face developmental disabilities from lead-tainted drinking water. But if President Trump and corporate polluters succeed in their efforts to roll back critical health, environment and safety protections, we’ll all be in danger.
4. The proposed FY18 federal budget would dramatically weaken enforcement of the safeguards that give us the peace of mind we expect in America.
5. The proposed FY18 federal budget was designed by corporate lobbyists to hamper the government’s ability to enforce common-sense environmental protections that prevent industry from polluting our air, water, and food, harming our health and safety in the process. It would hamper common-sense federal rules, like energy efficiency standards, that save Americans money and protect the environment.
6. Big businesses and special interests value their own profits more than our well-being. They rail against “burdensome red tape” with little or no regard for the economic costs for all of us that would result from rolling back the safeguards they oppose.
7. Environment, health and safety safeguards provide substantial benefits. Ten safeguards created between 2009 and 2014 will save more than 10,000 lives and prevent 300,000 cases of illness and injury each year. These safeguards also have financial benefits, producing as much as $863 billion in benefits over the past decade for a cost of just $57 billion, according to a 2014 report by the White House Office of Management and Budget. In other words: the benefits of public protections are 15 times greater than the costs.
8. President Obama’s Clean Water Rule guaranteed protections for water bodies like these. Now President Trump and congressional Republicans want to revoke the rule, once again jeopardizing drinking water supplies for more than one-third of Americans, making it easier to destroy flood-preventing wetlands, and undermining safeguards for water bodies that people use for swimming, fishing and boating.
9. Congressional Republicans are joining President Trump in jeopardizing one of the fastest-growing areas of our economy -- clean energy. Today more than 3 million Americans go to work in clean energy jobs, good paying middle-class jobs that can’t be outsourced or shipped overseas. This clean energy economy is set to attract more than $7 trillion in investment over the next 25 years.
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