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Top 10 Policy Fights that EDF Is Watching In 2019

Take action to contact your lawmakers! Let them know if you want less pollution and more environmental solutions.

by Environmental Defense Fund | Updated on 2.12.19

This article has been authored by the Environmental Defense Fund. Just take action above to contact your lawmakers, and let them know which of the following environmental policy battles is most important to you.



1. Wheeler confirmation hearing is imminent

Over the next few weeks, President Trump is expected to formally nominate Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, to officially lead the Environmental Protection Agency. This will likely trigger a Senate confirmation hearing for January or February. Will the Senate endorse Wheeler’s continuing attacks on environmental safeguards, or challenge the nominee?


2. The new Congress tackles climate change

There’s no question: Climate discussions in Washington are heating up. Will the new majority in the House of Representatives develop climate legislation? How will lawmakers address climate in any infrastructure bill? What movement will we see to advance clean energy?


3. Mercury and air toxics rule could be undone

Just before the New Year, Wheeler unleashed an attack against federal mercury and air toxics protections, which limit poisonous pollution such as mercury, chromium, lead and acid gas from the nation’s coal plants. Will the EPA move ahead with this dangerous move, and in spite of industry and bipartisan support for the protections?


4. States push forward on climate change

Across the country, red and blue states have been stepping up to deal with climate change. Will there be surprises? Which governors take the lead on climate action, and how will the Trump administration react?


5. Methane pollution rules remain in jeopardy

Days before the 2018 Christmas holidays, Wheeler faced an outpouring of opposition from health experts, moms, attorneys general and others concerned with his proposal to weaken EPA methane rules. Will Wheeler finalize this unpopular weakening of a common-sense rule? Will he move forward with an even more severe attempt to gut regulations of this dangerous climate pollutant?


6. Clean car standards face uncertain future

The Trump administration has proposed to roll back clean car standards – a step that would massively increase climate pollution and cost Americans hard-earned money at the gas pump. Will the administration finalize this oil industry-backed rollback in 2019? Or will they listen to sound science and keep the strong standards in place?


7. Push to censor science may reappear

Wheeler may revive a widely discredited attempt to limit how much science the EPA can use when assessing environmental safeguards that are key to protecting human health. The effects of his action could include looser restrictions on air pollution and deadly chemicals in our drinking water, wood products, and paint and paint strippers.


8. Toxic chemicals continue to hit the market

Industry lobbyists and conflicted political appointees controlling the EPA spent much of 2018 diligently working to undermine our new chemical safety law, and to keep toxic chemicals in use. In 2019 there will be even more such chemicals allowed onto the market without adequate review, along with new attacks against the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act.


9. New lead rule coming down the pipe

In another move just before the holidays, the Trump administration released a deeply disappointing federal “Lead Action Plan.” As the administration touts its efforts to tackle lead exposure, will Wheeler follow through with his promise to release the long-delayed revision of the Lead & Copper Rule this spring and new lead dust standards in June. Will they actually offer better protections?


10. The 2020 campaign trail heats up

Last but certainly not least, the 2020 campaign is heating up with polling showing that climate change is becoming a priority for more voters. We expect some presidential candidates could make climate change central to their platforms. If so, 2019 will bring renewed hope for Americans who care about the future of our planet, and for nations everywhere.

Environmental Defense Fund

Written by Environmental Defense Fund

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(44)
  • Tyler
    02/09/2019
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    Andrew Wheeler should not lead the EPA.

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  • Doug
    02/09/2019
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    I’m your constituent. Do us, and your grandchildren a favor, and don’t support Andrew Wheeler for EPA chief. We don’t need someone who doesn’t believe in scientific facts steering the ship on environmental policy—especially given his coal industry point of view. This shouldn’t be a partisan battle. It’s just common sense.

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  • Lavonia
    02/09/2019
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    Not Wheeler. Your constituents are concerned and do care

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  • Merry
    02/09/2019
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    Our planet needs all protections possible!!! Thanks to you Donald Trump and his administration is determined to destroy everything we have protected for at least 50 yrs!!! Shame on you for permitting the water to be polluted legally again!!! For pesticides to being used freely again on our seeds, crops & earth!!! Shame on you for not fight harder for land protection from drilling... Is there nothing except money power & charades for the American Idiots like me to hope for???

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  • Glowurm
    last Sunday
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    It should be illegal to hire people to head an agency that they have been critical of. If they have been known to lobby against, or object to the tenets of agencies we hold dear, they should be prohibited from even being considered. Whitaker and Wheeler are prime examples. Let’s not forget Zinke, Pruitt, Mnuchin, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and way too many others. This needs to stop. Especially when it comes to the Justice Dept. and the EPA. Dealing with climate change is beyond serious. Mercury, methane, lead and air toxin rules need to stay in place. So do clean car standards. We must not censor the science from those who are respected experts. Toxic chemicals need to continue to be banned. Banking regulations should not be relaxed or removed. The President should not be campaigning on our time and dime! He spends so little time on his duties as it is! A sitting President should be banned from campaigning until, at least, three months before an election. He gets enough coverage, daily, as it is. As you blind fools should be able to see from the above, the orange pig and his ilk care nothing about the air we breathe; the water we drink; the poisons they allow to be fed to the animals we eat; the spraying of dangerous chemicals on our fruits and vegetables; the pollution from oil and coal; protections from banks; earthquakes from fracking - just to name a few. All to increase the bottom line of their corporate donors and themselves. There is no mention of education, healthcare, infrastructure, humane immigration, etc. That’s the pig and Repugnants for you.

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  • SneakyPete
    last Sunday
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    The Environmental Defense Fund Comes Out For Climate Control Again. We’re seeing, as expected, the Environmental Defense Fund comes out supporting the Democratic Party Climate Control agenda. 1. Wheeler confirmation hearing is imminent. (75%(+/-12%) - (Probable) Will the Senate endorse Wheeler’s continuing attacks on environmental safeguards, or challenge the nominee? 2. The new Congress tackles climate discussions in Washington are heating up. (30%(+/-10%) - (Probably Not) However, it’s very doubtful, in my option regardless on how hard that they attempt, will the new majority in the House of Representatives develop new climate legislation, prior to the 2020 Presidential election. 3. Mercury and air toxics rule could be undone. 75%(+/-12%) - (Probable) I suspect that the EPA move ahead with this dangerous move,in spite of industry and bipartisan support for the protections? 4. States push forward on climate change. (50%(+/-10%) - (Chance/Even) Across the country, red and blue states have been stepping up to deal with climate change. Will there be surprises? Which governors take the lead on climate action, and how will the Trump administration react? 5. Methane pollution rules remain in jeopardy. 30%(+/-10%). It’s my opinion that Wheeler will not finalize this unpopular weakening othe Methane pollution rules and will not move forward with an even more severe attempt to gut regulations of this dangerous climate pollutant 6. Clean car standards face uncertain future. 75%(+/-12%) - (Probable) I’m in agreement with the Trump administration proposal to roll back clean car standards – a step that would massively increase climate pollution and cost Americans hard-earned money at the gas pump. I’m also of the opinion, based on Democratic opposition, that the administration will not finalize this oil industry-backed rollback in 2019? 7. Push to censor science may reappear. 30%(+/-10%) - (Probably Not) Wheeler may revive a widely discredited attempt to limit how much science the EPA can use when assessing environmental safeguards that are key to protecting human health. The effects of his action could include looser restrictions on air pollution and deadly chemicals in our drinking water, wood products, and paint and paint strippers. 8. Toxic chemicals continue to hit the market. 75%(+/-12%) - (Probable) I’m in strong opposition to Industry lobbyists and conflicted political appointees controlling the EPA spent much of 2018 diligently working to undermine our new chemical safety law, and to keep toxic chemicals in use. In 2019 there will be even more such chemicals allowed onto the market without adequate review, along with new attacks against the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act. 9. New lead rule coming down the pipe. 30%(+/-10%) - (Probably Not) The Trump administration released a deeply disappointing federal “Lead Action Plan.” As the administration touts its efforts to tackle lead exposure, I’m of the opinion that Wheeler will not follow through with his promise to release the long-delayed revision of the Lead & Copper Rule this spring and new lead dust standards in June. 10. The 2020 campaign trail heats up. 100% - CERTAIN Last but certainly not least, the 2020 campaign is heating up with biased  polling showing that climate change is becoming a priority for more voters. There will most certainly be most Democratic presidential candidates making climate change central to their platforms. As such, as we see here in the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) dissertation, the environmentalist agenda is to advise all to take the action in contacting lawmakers, and let them know which of the above environmental policy battles which is or is not most important to you. It’s their (EDF) fervent desire to be using, along with the Democrats, in using the political “Climate Issue’’ to bring renewed hope for Democrats to regain hold of the White House and Congress. The EDF and Democrats are, as we seen in past elections, using their “Scare Tactics” to get folks to sadly vote in the Democratic sides of the ballot. SneakyPete.......... 🤔🙅‍♂️🙅🏼‍♀️🤔. 2*10*19..........

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  • JTJ
    02/09/2019
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    "Take action to contact your lawmakers! Let them know if you want less pollution and more environmental solutions." Really Countable? To those of us that have the ability of reason, you prove on a daily basis to be left wing activist hacks with zero credibility. It's a shame what you have reduced this great platform to.

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  • Glowurm
    last Monday
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    A former coal lobbyist should NEVER be allowed to lead the EPA. It is called the Environmental PROTECTION Agency, NOT the Environmental DESTRUCTION Agency! How could ANYONE think this is okay? Like-minded people should be the leaders. Never should someone who lobbied against, and hoped to destroy, the agency be appointed to lead it! It just goes to show you how unethical our leaders have become. When will this train crash stop? I don’t know how much more we can take!!!

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  • HAILEYComet
    02/09/2019
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    NO Andrew Wheeler

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  • Joanne
    last Sunday
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    I want less pollution and more restrictions on everything/ anything affecting our environment, the future environment of my grandchildren. I want their air, water, wildlife, sea life, land and food (animals, fish and plant) protected. The Green New Deal is a good beginning.

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  • Ken
    last Sunday
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    In most of these areas our country is being forceably moved in the direction of dirty water, dirty, and dirty politics. Trumps MAGA should actually be called MAWA(MAKE AMERICA White again). None of these ploys unite our country. It only creates infighting and division. This is not a Trump screwup. This is done in order for the few to lay waste the little the rest of us have. I think most of us can see through this disaster in the making. We need a better plan than the one currently being implemented by our disaster in chief.

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  • Craig
    last Sunday
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    Back President Trump he is the only person working for America.Build the wall. Tree huggers need to buy electric cars and pickup their trash quite putting it in ocean.

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  • Sharon
    last Sunday
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    Andrew Wheeler is unfit for the position he is nominated to fill on ethical grounds. This man has spent years in advocating for the coal industry. It is unlikely that he will be able to assume an entirely objective stance. Please do not support this nomination. Please do support legislation to counteract the human activities driving climate change, to protect our public lands, and to reverse the damage to biodiversity. You are stewards of our public lands, much like the executor of an estate, and should be honoring your responsibility to protect the land that has been set aside for appreciation by people now and in the future. Please stop the giveaway, leasing, or otherwise exploiting and damaging of our natural inheritance on shore and in our waters. Please support the development of sustainable/renewable green energy resources, farming technology, transportation, and other solutions to our deteriorating climate. Please stop the weakening of rules related to toxic chemicals and gasses such as mercury and methane. Please stop censoring science for political, financial or other self-interested reasons. Censorship is the tool of autocrats and oligarchs. It has no place in a democracy when it comes to science and health-related research.

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  • Delmar
    last Sunday
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    I will not stand for dirty air or nasty water! The EPA is there and they need to do their jobs! Wheeler doesn’t need to be in there destroying our waterways and polluting our rivers and creeks! We need to stop corporations from dumping hazardous chemicals in them! Think of your grand children and children

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  • Jeanne
    02/09/2019
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    Wheeler must not be in charge of the EPA. He’s not competent to be in charge of anything. Lock him up!

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  • D.
    last Sunday
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    If the new Congress can tackle climate change, they can tackle EPA standards, implement new pollution standards, implement stricter safety standards where public safety is at risk as well as rolling out reasonable requirements and restrictions of any appointed positions filled by the president. I would hope one of those reasonable requirements/restrictions would be not to allow anyone appointed who works or worked for any corporation/business that seeks the deregulation/dismantling/defunding of said office of appointment. This should be seen as a conflict of interest to the office and The American People.

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  • Cndrla
    last Monday
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    Why do Republicans want to destroy humanity? Why will Republicans not fight to save Americans? Why do Republicans deny climate change? Answer is simply, Because Republicans are in bed with the fossil fuel companies whom they accept dark money from. Plain and simple, Republicans put money and party above the common good. Republicans are willing to destroy everything Including HUMANITY! Your disgraceful! I look forward to Trump taking you all down with him. We will fight you all the way on this. You will not win. In the end it’s the GOP who will become extinct🖕

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  • NoHedges
    last Sunday
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    How much of his salary will Putin be paying? Because that is who Andrew will be working for. In fact, why not just send Andrew for some on the job training on those little Russian islands off the coast of Alaska. You know, the ones having issues with polar bear migration.

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  • Darby
    02/09/2019
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    We can not allow Wheeler to head the EPA! I’m a constitutional Republican who believes in climate change but not global warming. I believe we need someone who will protect our environment. I believe we need to keep our environment health for many years to come so that my future nieces and nephews, children, and grand children can live in a safe and healthy Earth.

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  • Peter
    last Monday
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    defend the planet

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