LETTER: What strong front line on climate change looks like
Our front line in the battle against climate change got more thinned out when President Trump unveiled last week a draft budget that invests in polluters by slashing the Environmental Protection Agency budget 26.5%.
The agency that should be seeking ways to reduce pollutants like methane and carbon that are warming our planet at an unsustainable rate and holding emitters of these pollutants accountable is instead seeing $376 million taken from air quality improvement efforts and having their staff reduced to its lowest levels in three decades.
Fortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf and the state’s Department of Environmental Protection are offering a counter narrative to Trump's slash (the budget) and burn (the planet) approach. During his recent budget address, Gov. Wolf proposed restoring spending from the general fund for environmental protection at a level it hasn’t been at since 1994-95 and adding additional staff to address critical environmental protection programs, like Air Quality.
Also poised to move soon are his plans to cut methane emissions from the state’s sizable existing gas industry and participate in a regional trading program to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Through these proactive, positive steps, Pennsylvania is seeing firsthand what a strong front line on the battle to tackle climate change should look like. With truly no time to waste, we should all get behind these actions and quickly get them to the finish line.
— Steve Hvozdovich is the Pennsylvania Campaigns director for Clean Water Action.