Environmental Policy Brief # 110
Leading Environmental Organizations Went Public with a Letter That Supported the Impeachment of President Trump
Written By: Shannon Q Elliott
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Leaders of America’s most prominent environmental organizations penned a letter to the US House of Representatives in support of House Resolution 24; a second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The letter was authored by The Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Greenpeace US, and the Natural Resources Defense Council who concluded the letter gently reminding our leaders that the “health of our democracy and environment are inextricably linked”
The groups affirm that the letter reflects like-minded members who feel that the politically irresponsible actions of January 6, border on treason. They insist that we must hold public officials accountable for continued misuse of their platform. While it’s true that these organizations have their own agenda for disbarring Trump, the letter is not a reflection of their own fight for environmental justice. Their fight will continue in the courts and challenge the rollback back of over 125 protections. Collaboratively the groups have filed over 259+ lawsuits.
During the Trump Administration, the environmental sector saw last minute language changes to The Endangered Species Act; (ESA) which safeguarded land to conserve threatened species. Now, the federal government can commandeer the land if the benefits to humanity are greater than the retention of species. The changes also included a loss of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl and axed the wolverine off the endangered species list. Additionally, Trump announced the successful installation of 450 miles of protective fencing securing southern points of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. The administration was laser-focused on the completion of the promised border wall and neglected environmental protections leaving the area susceptible to climate change, species diversion, harmful emissions, dwindling water supply, and irreversible landscape changes to the indigenous beauty of these three states.
The letter was not written in a retaliatory or vengeful tone. Organizations such as The Sierra Club et al, harbor brilliant educated minds who can sharply articulate how the past four years have impacted the coexistence of democracy and environment. Ramon Cruz, President of the Sierra Club was the Deputy Director of the state environmental regulatory agency in Puerto Rico and held senior positions at the Environmental Defense Fund, Abigail Dillen, President of Earth justice served as the Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy; Sylvia Baca , Board of Directors for Defenders of Earth wildlife served as deputy assistant secretary at the Department of the Interior (DOI) from 2009 to 2012 and was assistant secretary from 1995 to 2001. These are just a few board members with outstanding credibility, and whose opinions should be revered.
The groups were optimistic that the letter would show habitual evidence that the ex-president was inconsistent, and a danger to the American people. However, as we now know the Senate failed to convict President Trump and the letter from the environmental organizations is still worth publicizing as a catalogue of environmental abuses by the Trump administration that now urgently must be reversed. It is reproduced for our readers below.
United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20510
Re: Environmental Organizations Support H.Res. 24, Impeachment of President Trump
The undersigned environmental groups write today on behalf of our millions of members and supporters to express our support for Congress using immediate and appropriate processes to impeach President Trump for inciting last week’s white supremacist violent insurrection at the United States Capitol.
President Trump remains a clear and present danger to the safety and security of everyone in this country. He encouraged and incited the deadly mob on January 6, and perpetuated the unfounded and harmful claims about the 2020 election that inspired their actions. The riot caused multiple deaths and directly threatened our national security, and the president responded with inaction followed by further defense of the violent behavior.
These actions, and President Trump’s refusal to take any responsibility or adequately disavow the acts of violence and insurrection, raise serious concerns about the harms he may continue to cause during his final days in office. Taking immediate steps to impeach President Trump ensures accountability for his dangerous behavior and sets a critical precedent that efforts to overturn free and fair elections are not tolerated.
In addition, members of Congress who joined in the incitement of violence, or who returned to the ransacked Capitol building hours later and voted to overturn an election based on the same unfounded lies that motivated the mob, must be held accountable for violating their oaths of office.
Holding elected officials accountable and ensuring our elections remain free and fair are essential for the preservation of our democracy. And the health of our democracy and environment are inextricably linked. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to support H.Res. 24, the impeachment of President Trump.
Defenders of Wildlife
Friends of the Earth
US League of Conservation Voters
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Wilderness Society
Union of Concerned Scientists
Join the movement
Final Days of Trump . (2021). https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/11/20/what-to-expect-from-the-final-days-of-the-trump-presidency
Midnight Regulations . (2020, December). https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/06/politics/trump-midnight-regulations-record-rulemaking/index.html
The Trump Administration Rolled Back More Than 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List. (2021). https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks-list.html
Trump Administration May Hurt Wildlife . (2021). https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2021/01/trump-admin-midnight-actions-hurt-wildlife-environment/
Earthjustice : Earthjustice.org
Defenders of Wildlife : https://defenders.org/
National Resources Defense Council: https://www.nrdc.org/
The Sierra Club : https://sierraclub.org