For all of us who care about the environment and recognize the urgency of the climate crisis, the presidential election result (assuming the current vote counts hold up) is a welcome relief – especially amid the ongoing stresses of an unrelenting pandemic, hobbling economic hardship, and an overdue racial reckoning.
We all deserve to take a moment and celebrate that. But even as we see the core values of our democracy vindicated after relentless voter suppression efforts, now is not the time to grow complacent. We cannot lose sight of the fact that the pandemic rages on, at its worst in Black and brown communities most exposed to pollution. And, our country has only just begun the crucial work of reconciling with the racist policies that have led to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic, police violence, and economic inequality on our most vulnerable communities.
We may have a friendlier administration in Washington, but that only means that we must push even harder for progress – on justice, on climate, and on public health.
Remember: Even when we’ve had a more progressive president in office, climate, justice, and environmental issues have been afterthoughts. Leadership at the state and local levels has been the essential catalyst for better policy in Washington and healthier communities here at home. For decades, Beltway Democrats and Republicans alike ignored the “forever chemicals” poisoning our tap water. They did nothing to stem the flood of plastic waste swamping our communities and fouling our oceans. And they mostly dragged their feet as the climate crisis worsened.
With the U.S. Senate still closely divided, it could take years for Washington to be functional again. But that cannot stop us in New England as we forge better solutions to the pressing challenges that have defied federal agencies. And in the past four years, we have done just that – delivering stringent drinking water protections, new solutions to the plastics glut, and nation-leading climate laws throughout New England, all while fighting the Trump administration’s draconian rollbacks.
- While Trump backed out of the Paris Climate agreement, CLF helped enact and enforce three of the toughest climate laws in the nation while also holding Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell accountable for their climate deceit;
- While Trump sought to prop up dirty coal plants and kill renewable energy, CLF sued and shuttered coal and fracked gas plants in New England and jump-started the transition to a clean energy future;
- While Trump tried to weaken protections under the federal Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, CLF went to court to protect kids from dirty diesel exhaust and to save Cape Cod bays from untreated sewage;
- While Trump silenced the scientists and shackled the agencies trying to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, CLF wins in federal court created hope for this iconic New England species.
At CLF, we know how to fight, and we know how to get things done. With your support, we’ll keep doing exactly that. And we will never consider our mission complete until we have achieved a truly healthy and thriving New England – for all.