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Trump Launches Attack on National Monuments

Drilling would threaten some of America’s last polar bears.

Trump Looks to Lift Obama’s Drilling Ban President Trump is attempting to reverse an historic, permanent drilling ban in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans put in place by President Obama. NRDC, along with Earthjustice and other allies, has filed suit to stop the illegal rollback, which would open more than 120 million acres of sensitive ocean habitat to industrial oil development while locking us in to decades of additional climatewrecking pollution.

NRDC in Court to Ban Dangerous Pesticide The Trump Administration, evading a federal court order, has refused to ban a dangerous pesticide linked to learning disabilities in children. NRDC is going back to court to make sure the EPA gets rid of the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos — sprayed on apples, oranges, broccoli, almonds and other food crops — once and for all. NRDC has been building legal pressure on the agency for nearly a decade to get rid of this widely used pesticide. Research shows that children exposed to low levels of chlorpyrifos

The federal government itself concluded there was a 75 percent chance of a major oil spill from oil production in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, home to some of our nation’s last polar bears. Drilling in the Atlantic would threaten fishing and tourism as well as whales and treasured beaches up and down the coast. Taking on such immense risks simply to extend the use of climate-polluting fossil fuels can benefit only fossil fuel companies. The president and his cabinet of billionaires may be keen to sell off our oceans to their industry cronies, but they are still beholden to the law — and that law does not authorize a president to undo the permanent protection of offshore waters. NRDC will make sure that our federal courts have the final say.

early in life have a greater risk of learning disabilities and behavioral problems, including reduced IQ, delays in motor development and ADHD. The damage appears to be lifelong and irreversible. The EPA’s own research has shown that chlorpyrifos residues on fruits and vegetables leads to exposures in children up to 140 times higher than the EPA’s safety limit. “Parents should be able to feed their children fruits and vegetables without having to worry about dangerous chemicals,” says Mae Wu, an NRDC senior attorney. “We’re asking the courts to step in to make sure the Trump EPA protects our kids, not chemical corporations.”

Making good on his vow to champion the fossil fuel and mining industries, President Trump has ordered his Interior Department to conduct a sweeping review of national monuments created over the past two decades. The move marks the first step in an unprecedented attempt to strip monuments of their federal protections and open them up to industrial exploitation. The targeted monuments stretch from Northeast Canyons and Seamounts — the first marine monument in the Atlantic — to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific and include dozens of America’s most spectacular landscapes in between, such as Grand Staircase–Escalante in southern Utah, Arizona’s Grand Canyon–Parashant and Giant Sequoia in California. One monument was targeted for downsizing right off the bat: Bears Ears, which Trump’s order specifically singled out for an “expedited review.” Designated by President Obama, Bears Ears encompasses more than a million acres of dramatic redrock wilderness in southeastern Utah and is sacred to many Native American tribes who fought hard for its national monument status. NRDC is mobilizing Members in opposition to Trump’s attacks on Bears Ears and other treasured wildlands while preparing to challenge the administration’s assault in court. “President Trump doesn’t have the legal authority to abolish monument protections,” says NRDC President Rhea Suh. “We’ll fight any attempt to do so — in the court of public opinion and in our courts of law.”

Giant Sequoia is one of the national monuments under review.

POLAR BEARS © SEPP FRIEDHUBER/ISTOCK; PLANE © ISTOCK; TREES © ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

[Continued from previous page.] to the crisis, despite the fact that the city’s water contained excessive amounts of lead, shows that the system for ensuring safe drinking water for Americans is already pocked with failures and oversights — and that’s without Trump’s disastrous budget cuts. Representing Flint citizens who refused to be silenced when authorities dismissed their concerns, NRDC helped win a court settlement that requires Michigan to spend nearly $100 million to address the water crisis in Flint, including replacing the city’s underground pipes made from lead and galvanized steel. NRDC is fighting alongside residents in other communities as well, particularly in areas such as East Chicago, Indiana, which, like Flint, has already suffered a legacy of environmental degradation at the hands of industrial polluters. “So often what you hear in these communities is ‘This is America — no one should have to fight this hard for something as basic as clean drinking water,’ ” says Guyadeen. “And you know what? They’re absolutely right.”

Nature's Voice Fall 2017  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...