NEWS & PRESS

“Low-income communities, communities of color, and people with disabilities have long suffered from air pollution caused by vehicle emissions. It’s time for bold leadership. We need mayors and local elected officials to advocate for transportation options that work for the health and needs of every community.”

In July 2020 Urban Mayors Press.

Protesters on both coasts have an idea: calling on Newsom to halt fracking and new drilling, a demand that former Gov. Jerry Brown fended off throughout his environmentally groundbreaking tenure. The dream for environmentalists and scores of elected officials is that Newsom flexes his executive muscle to cut back fossil fuel production — if not an outright extraction ban, then perhaps more stringent requirements that wells be a certain distance from homes and schools (as would have been required by a bill whose death this year was a triumph for both the energy industry and labor).”

In a little over a month, the so-called Green New Deal has won endorsements from more than three dozen sitting or incoming federal lawmakers as Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) makes a high-profile bid to shift debate over climate change toward policy on the scale of the crisis.

On Friday, the effort got a boost from 311 state and local officials. 

Forty-four mayors, 63 county and state legislators and 116 city council members were among the officials from 40 states ― including some top oil and gas producers ― who signed an open letter issuing a sweeping, full-throated call for the phaseout of fossil fuels and adoption of Green New Deal-style climate policies.

As the Green New Deal pioneered by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to gain momentum, the plan to wean the U.S. off of fossil fuels has now found support in more than 300 local and state government officials who called for the initiative in an open letter on Friday.

The letter from environmental nonprofit Elected Officials to Protect America and signed by 311 officials from 40 states pointed to extreme weather phenomena exacerbated by climate change that are already affecting communities across the nation and costing billions to manage in their aftermath—dire issues that are only going to worsen as our planet continues to warm.

In this moment of reckoning for the energy future of America, Elected Officials To Protect New York (EPONY) joins indigenous and front-lines organizers in celebrating recent victories over unjust and exploitative pipelines. With the tide of public opinion now clearly opposed to carbon emissions, andthe oil industry’s devastating reevaluations, EPONY says it’s time for New York state to divest. Hundreds of EPONY officials have already signed a letter that demands immediate divestment from the indefensible and irresponsible investment of taxpayer dollars in the failing fossil fuel industry. The NY legislature is moving to take action.

Read Full Release Here.

It is no secret that our economy has taken a beating due to coronavirus. To help recover from this deepening recession we must adopt a national stimulus plan aimed at building back the economy on the basis of clean energy. There is precedent. President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 proved to be the stimulus plan needed to end the Great Recession. The ARRA package included $90 billion in clean energy investments and tax incentives.  

Elected Officials to Protect America urges  Congress to enact a clean energy stimulus that will create millions of jobs while combating climate change and reclaiming our position as global leader. Using the ARRA as a starting point, Congress needs to add it to ensure America runs on 100 percent clean energy. Many of the  policy recommendations proposed in the recent Congressional Report, Solving the Climate Crisis, that build a clean energy economy which values workers, righting the wrongs of environmental justice, should also be used.

Read Full Release Here.

Racial cleavages are strikingly clear as COVID-19 has underscored our nation’s economic disparities and racial injustices. While the nation takes to the streets in protest of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arubury, and tragically too many others— stimulus spending has conspicuously failed to reflect national sentiment. At least $113 million in Congressional stimulus taxpayer-backed loans meant for small businesses have gone to the fossil fuel industry. As 28.76 percent of firms are owned by minorities in California, minorities have greatly suffered at the hands of fossil fuel corporate greed; too many have been forced to close while oil companies have been granted more land to drill on by the federal government with waived fees. This is unconscionable.

Elected Officials to Protect California (EOPCA) implores Governor Newsom to enact a clean energy stimulus package for California. EOPCA posits that any effective stimulus strategy must subsidize clean energy as a vehicle for righting the wrongs of  environmental injustice, thereby making the state healthier for everyone.

Read Full Release Here.

Amid a global health pandemic, with COVID-19 targeting the respiratory systems of over 200,000 in the state, Californian residents may soon be exposed to compounding respiratory threats from the result of more fracking operations.

During this unprecedented time when Californians are at their most vulnerable, big oil and gas companies have been lobbying Sacramento with greater intensity. Deviously, they have taken advantage of the pandemic to benefit from relaxed governmental regulations and pushed forward new fracking projects. This further endangers the health and wellbeing of thousands of Californians. Governor Gavin Newsom has walked back his promised goals of clean energy by handing out free passes, in the form of new fracking permits.

Read Full Release Here.

In this time of crisis, thousands of Elected Officials to Protect America are mobilized to serve and protect this country by insisting on true justice. We must end the long and despicable history of environmental racism perpetuated by our reliance on fossil fuels, and alleviate the devastating burdens which fall most heavily on communities of color.

From the heart of the city to the suburbs and rural communities, protesters have risen up against the systemic racism made painfully clear by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. But even the very air they breathe as they march in the streets is unequal  Black communities across the nation are exposed to nearly twice the harmful air pollution as their White counterparts, yet they consume less of the goods responsible for its creation.

Read Full Release Here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following today’s introduction of Climate Emergency Declaration resolutions by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, more than 450 mayors, state representatives, and elected officials from 40 states called for a nationwide Climate Emergency Plan to phase out the production and use of fossil fuels and to ramp up renewable energy as part of a green new deal approach to energy and efficiency.

More than 740 jurisdictions in 16 countries have declared a climate emergency. Populations covered by jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency amount to 136 million people.

ALBANY, NY – Hundreds of current and retired elected officials across New York State decried Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s refusal to heed years of expert warnings to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuels. Studies show that the decision has cost New Yorkers at least $25 billion, after adjusting for inflation.

More than 90 state lawmakers joined more than 230 local elected officials in urging the Comptroller to immediately begin phasing out oil, gas, and coal stocks from the Common Retirement Fund. Leading experts recognize that fossil fuels are a terrible investment for our pensioners and our state. 

“In addition to Mayor Walsh and Councilors Driscoll and Greene, more than 220 local elected officials from across New York State have called on state officials to align New York’s investments with its commitment to clean energy.  To protect the communities we serve and the local government employees who depend on the pension fund, we must act quickly. It is inconsistent for the pension system to maintain a financial interest in companies invested heavily in practices that worsen climate change while New York State is committed to policies necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change,” said Gregory Young, Fulton County Supervisor and Coordinator for Elected Officials to Protect New York.

Read full release here.

KATOWICE, POLAND — Reiterating the concerns of constituents across the United States whose health and safety is threatened by fossil fuel production and worsening impacts from climate change, more than 300 mayors, state representatives, and elected officials from 40 states released a letter today calling for a nationwide plan to phase out the production and use of fossil fuels and to ramp up renewable energy as part of a green new deal approach to energy and efficiency.

“Climate change is the most serious threat to the future of humanity, and we have failed to respond with the urgency needed,” said John Marty, State Senator in Minnesota. “It’s time for a strong, consistent, and aggressive response in order to become a 100% fossil fuel-free society.”