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from the UU Ministry for Earth: How eliminating the EPA is a social justice issue that affects everyone

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Are you aware of our UU Ministry for Earth? Check them out at uuministryforearth.org.

Recent information from them, thanks to Bruce Langmuir:

 

UU Ministry for Earth – Defend Vital Climate & Environmental Justice Programs

The proposed federal budget includes seriously dangerous budget cuts to environmental justice and climate programs for the EPA, NOAA, and NASA. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the proposal “shows the Trump administration doesn’t hold the same American values for clean air, clean water and healthy land as the vast majority of its citizens… Our health comes before the special interests of multibillion-dollar industries.” (Source: AP, 3/3/17)

Here are some highlights of the budget cuts to the EPA:

The Environmental Justice program budget, which has historically supplied grants to 1,400 frontline communities, would be cut 78%, from $6.7 million to 1.4 million. Mustafa Ali, the director of the program for 24 years, resigned last week, saying “My values and priorities seem to be different than our current leadership and because of that I feel that it’s best if I take my talents elsewhere.”

Funding for restoration work in Puget Sound, the country’s second-largest estuary, would be cut from $28 million to $2 million.

Funding to combat algae blooms, invasive species and other water pollution problems in the Great Lakes, the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes, would be cut from $300 million to $10 million.

Funding for restoration in Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary, would be cut from $73 million to $5 million.

The EPA’s work studying endocrine disruptor chemicals that can interfere with the body’s reproductive and developmental systems would drop from $7.5 million to $445,000.

$9.5 million of EPA funding for state testing of bacteria levels at beaches around the country would be 100% eliminated.

$8.7 million annually for children’s environmental education programs would be cut to $555,000.

(Source & More Info at: OregonLive.com, 3/2/17)

Proposed NOAA budget cuts endanger climate science research and data collection, and coastal resilience programs meant to help coastal communities adapt to the increased risk of extreme weather and sea level rise. “NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget.” (Source: Washington Post, 3/3/17)

COMMIT2RESPOND: Call your congresspersons in the House and Senate, and tell them:

“As a person of faith, I believe we have an obligation to protect the web of life and the human rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. I support the important work of the EPA, NOAA, and NASA, to help us restore ecosystems, study climate change, and support communities…
The Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region invite congregations all over the country to incorporate letter writing into their climate justice advocacy. Volunteers with UUSJ’s Advocacy Corps will deliver your congregation’s letters on Capitol Hill. Visit their website for a toolkit and more information.

For more information, and to share an online version of this call to action, click here. Special thanks to Jan Dash, UU-United Nations Office Climate Portal volunteer editor, for his research and work bringing this call forward.

Thank you,

Aly Tharp
Commit2Respond Executive Team
Programs Coordinator, UU Ministry for Earth & UU Young Adults for Climate Justice