The mission of Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands is to keep our public lands out of the hands of developers and corporate interests, and to protect watersheds and groundwater thereby keeping the land vibrant for future generations.
Launched in September 2018, Elected Officials to Elected Officials to Protect America’s Public Lands organized 80 bipartisan lawmakers, who are veterans from all 50 states, to sign a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF had been stalled in Congress for a year. We earned coverage in Politico and our members wrote 21 opeds educating people why it’s important to protect America’s Lands with LWCF. In January of 2019, the reauthorization of LWCF happened. In 2020, LWCF became fully funded in perpetuity within the Great American Outdoors Act and is now the law of the land. This success has led us to organize our Emergency Bus Tour with these lawmakers who are veterans.
Our national bus tour will be led by EOPA lawmakers who are veterans. We will raise awareness of climate disasters and solutions, while we call for federal legislation that creates a National Climate Emergency Plan to address the escalating climate crisis.
The bus tour will educate, train, and organize lawmakers, media, and the public in 16 states, and stop in at least 32 cities sign on letter calling for a Climate Emergency Plan will support the tour, as well as state and local declarations.
At each stop, we will engage local frontline partners, educate lawmakers, media, community leaders, and the public through visual value-based storytelling that includes videos on climate dangers and solutions. We will conduct values-based communications training, and hold a press conference.
The climate crisis is primarily caused by our use and production of fossil fuels, which each lead to environmental degradation as well as catastrophic and chronic health conditions. Air pollution, water contamination, gas and oil leaks, explosions and other dangers are constant threats to frontline communities. These neighborhoods, towns, and cities are disproportionately low-income communities and communities of color which only exacerbates pervasive social inequalities.
Fossil fuel companies knew about the damage their product causes for half a century, yet spent billions of dollars to hamstring society’s response. Decades of denial, misinformation, and lobbying from the fossil fuel industry has prevented society from transitioning from fossil fuels, at the cost of people’s lives.
For example, a modest fee on fossil fuel production would generate billions of dollars to support workers and communities in the transition to 100% clean energy, creating good, family-sustaining jobs and stimulating our economies.