Elected Officials to Protect America is a network of current and former elected officials who care deeply about protecting our planet and people. EOPA is committed to solving the climate crisis, ensuring environmental justice, and protecting our lands, waters and democracy.
We educate through value-based storytelling, train lawmakers and connect elected officials to inspire strong environmental leadership.
EOPA is the only national organization that mobilizes veterans who are lawmakers to work together on climate. Our local and state elected official network is vast with members in 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Across America, communities are facing escalating climate crisis’ emergencies with destructive wildfires, droughts, heat waves, extreme storms, floods, and infectious diseases, causing economic and emotional distress and amplifying the need for emergency action in environmental justice communities.
Elected officials at all levels of government must join together to protect our people and planet nationally and globally. We must enact a National Climate Emergency Plan for the transition to a 100% clean energy economy. EOPA’s work is centered around this goal.
Our goal is to electrify our nation’s transportation system with large-scale public funding and national electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to transition off of a fossil fuel transportation system to one using clean renewable energy. Our work has already built a clean vehicle coalition in New York and New Jersey.
Nationally, we’ve encouraged the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that moves our goal forward. However, we still need to strengthen existing vehicle emission standards, and completely phase in 100% percent zero-emissions vehicles.
Climate Emergency Tour: We will begin a nationwide EV tour on the East Coast covering 8 states and focusing on the need for electric vehicles on our road to a clean energy economy. We will highlight that the EPA’s vehicle standards must be updated and that offshore wind is essential to feed enough electrical power to the grid so we all can eventually drive electric vehicles. Led by veterans who are lawmakers, we will educate, train, and organize officials, media, and the public in 32 cities across the country.
Starting in 2012, we’ve run programs for an equitable transition from a fossil fuel economy to a 100% clean energy economy. With specific initiatives in California and New York, EOPA has successfully worked on divestment issues, safety set-back zones around wells, oil well capping and remediation, an equitable end to fracking, while helping environmental justice communities hardest hit from the devastating toxic fumes from oil production and fossil-fuel extraction. In these states and New Jersey we’ve also worked to build a clean transportation coalition. Our work is ongoing.
Nationally, we’ve achieved encouraging the Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act and IRA for our national security and to position the U.S. firmly on the road to a 100% clean energy economy. But more funds for the DPA should be allocated, hence we are urging the President and Congress to enact a National Climate Emergency Plan and for a Presidential Climate Emergency Declaration to unlock his powers to ensure we hit the U.N. climate goals before it’s too late.
EOPA has a Certificate in Public Leadership in partnership with the University of San Francisco. Students learn about the importance of emotional intelligence in public leadership to cyber security, body language, disinformation, how to film videos, debate climate issues and much more.
The program’s aim is to advance participants’ ability to further the public good while implementing policy solutions. More here.
The Carmen Ramirez EOPA Scholarship: A trailblazing fighter with a huge heart, Carmen Ramirez was an elected official, a selfless public servant, a lifelong advocate for disadvantaged people and our planet, and an incredibly effective organizer and leader who touched the lives of so many people she met. A Ventura County Supervisor and a true hero for her community, Carmen set the standard for courage in public leadership.
Learn about our Carmen Ramirez Scholarship program here.
Offshore wind has the potential to provide more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of electric energy in the United States — at least two times the present generation of the entire U.S. electric grid, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate. The sheer size of the resource illustrates the critical contribution that offshore wind can make toward an energy system powered by 100% clean renewable energy.
Offshore wind has the potential to be the biggest lever that we can pull to reduce our emissions, address the climate crisis, meet our energy needs, and grow our economy simultaneously. It’s poised to become a $1 trillion industry by 2040, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, providing clean renewable energy, and spurring economic growth. EOPA fully supports the responsible buildout of offshore wind for America and sees it as a key component to solving the climate crisis.
EOPA holds summits, has regular press conferences, attends conferences and teaches to bring elected officials together to combat the climate crisis with empathy, vision, science and by enacting laws.
Through visual, value-based storytelling, EOPA investigates the dangers of climate impacts on global water security, as well as solutions open to communities across the globe. We have completed two short documentaries with more in production. Learn more.
Veterans Protecting our environment
Committed to their constitutional oath, our EOPA veterans who are lawmakers protect our nation from the national security dangers of water insecurity and climate change. After years of dedicated service, many veterans have seen the dangers associated with the climate crisis and are working across the aisle to create lasting solutions.
We successfully encouraged Congress to reauthorize and provide financial support for the Land and Water Conservation Act.
Veterans who are elected officials continue to lead many of our efforts.
Equality and Justice
Across our efforts, we promote equity and justice by working with officials elected in communities impacted by dangerous environmental policy decisions. This includes our advocacy campaigns as well as our work with Code Blue, our documentary video arm. We’ve documented stories of farmers whose water rights are usurped by foreign countries as well as the stories of young girls in California with health challenges caused by oil drilling near their homes.
View our environmental justice letter here.
We also work with partners to ensure our value based story telling reaches a large audience.
We, the undersigned elected officials believe it is imperative we take action on the climate crisis because it is a threat multiplier for water security, deadly disease, and environmental racism. It is time to enact a national Climate Emergency Plan that protects all our communities.
As an example of the racial and environmental injustice made worse by the climate crisis, in the predominantly African American community of St. Louis County, Missouri, radioactive and dioxin waste is being spread further by floods; this is exacerbated by climate change. The year preceding the recent Midwestern floods was the wettest on record. Now the community is a cancer and autoimmune disease cluster.
Suffering from almost 20 years of megadrought, the Navajo Nation reached a grim milestone with the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rate in the U.S. At a time when access to clean water and handwashing facilities is a matter of life and death, a third of the Navajo Nation’s population does not have running water.
Globally, 37 acute conflicts, many unresolved, are due to water insecurity. Our intelligence and military community understand the climate emergency as a threat to national security.
These are serious examples of the dangers created by the climate crisis that is driving drought, disease, floods, fires, extreme temperatures, and storms.
These are clear and present dangers, but innovation, resilience, and the American spirit have created many proven existing solutions that can unify and protect us. Despite political inaction and misguided regulations that have held us back, there is hope. For example, California’s first solar thermal desalination plant recently went online; it can even clean agricultural wastewater.
In Maine, clean energy innovators have deployed a revolutionary floating offshore wind turbine. These are just two of the many already working innovations that energize our economy. Clean, renewable energy is already less expensive than using fossil fuels and can generate millions of jobs.
We call on the president and Congress to develop a federal Climate Emergency Plan that can include, but not limited to the following objectives:
- Transition to 100 percent clean energy
- Ensure everyone has access to clean and safe water
- Investment in communities on the frontlines of environmental injustice, including indigenous, communities of color, and economically vulnerable
- Investment in clean, accessible, and affordable transportation systems
- Investment in a smart renewable-energy grid
- Transition to regenerative agriculture
- Phase-out of plastics and toxins that threaten our global oxygen supply
- Prevent foreign entities from unsustainably extracting U.S. water
- Improve building energy efficiency
- Divest, phase out fossil fuels, and invest in new technologies
America must lead the world in protecting everyone from the climate emergency.
To contribute and view details of the Climate Emergency Plan please click here or give us a call at 207-319 4511.