Everywhere in the world, April 22 is Earth Day. The EPA, on its website, describes it this way, “On the first Earth Day in 1970, 22 million Americans celebrated clean air, land and water.” Celebrated? To set the record straight, that first Earth Day was not a celebration at all. It was a massive angry shout at polluters who were destroying our environment and a government that, with no oversight and generous tax breaks, enabled devastation.
In 1970 Americans were slurping leaded gas into massive V8 engines. Our big cars spewed toxic exhaust. Industry belched out smoke and poured sludge into lakes and streams. The air was filled with poison. Strip mining flattened mountains and forests were clear-cut. This was all commonly accepted as the sights and smells of prosperity.
There was little to celebrate on that first Earth Day and millions took to the streets to express their anger. A famous TV ad from 1970 featured a Native American in a polluted and littered landscape and shedding a tear, a tear that today’s EPA would erase from our memory by calling this day a celebration. They “celebrate the earth” while they go, not so quietly, about dismantling the very protections that have done so much good over nearly 50 years.
Like that first Earth Day, this year’s observation will be another angry shout. This time our voices demand that this administration and Congress stop their assault on the earth.
In a little over a year, this administration has eliminated or rolled back nearly 70 protections including freezes on coal leases on public lands, waste dumping, fuel efficiency and emission standards, bird and animal habitat protections, drilling in national parks, off-shore drilling, methane emissions, forest restoration, and much more. Since Elise Stefanik has been in office, she has voted on 109 environmental bills. The League of Conservation Voters rates her votes a lifetime poor 27% pro-environment. In her first year, her rating was an abysmal 9%.
Elise Stefanik is fully on board with returning our landscape to the horrendous condition it was in in 1970. We don’t need to shed tears however, we need to act. Your vote to put me in the House of Representatives will put a voice for the environment back into Congress.