Combatting Climate Change

Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, and forests are burning. Through the emissions of non-renewable resources such as coal, oil, natural gas, and greenhouse gasses, a suffocating blanket around the earth has been created that retains the sun’s heat. This phenomenon is known as global warming.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the mission of protecting the environment and human health. As explained on www.epa.gov, the EPA works to ensure that Americans have access to clean air, land, and water. The EPA uses scientific information to make decisions on how to reduce environmental risks. In addition, it enforces the federal laws protecting human health and the environment.
On January 10, 2023 the EPA was granted $100 million for two environmental justice grant programs. This money will be put towards community projects that monitor and prevent pollution, support climate resilience and adaptation, and increase infrastructure and workforce development efforts that reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses. The American multinational law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld explains that $30 million will be given to the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program, which supports non-profit organizations that address environmental and public health issues in communities. The EJCPS will work to create relationships between different community organizations. Together, they will strive to achieve their mission in a more efficient manner. The remaining $70 million will be given to the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program. This program aims to create model state activities that result in gaining environmental or public health benefits for communities that are severely impacted by climate change.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a Pollution Prevention program with significant funding to encourage more businesses in different communities to engage in eco-friendly processes that will follow and advance the environmental agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration. This includes using clean energy and investing in pollution reduction. Jennie Romer, EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention, stated, “Pollution prevention is about stopping pollution before it even starts and it can make a big impact in the communities that are disproportionately affected by chemical and other kinds of pollution.” The EPA will make sure to hear from different communities about their environmental concerns. This will give the EPA new input on how to deal with the crisis.
Over all, with intense pollution and increased global temperatures, the EPA is doing all it can to manage environmental threats and mitigate the impacts of negative changes to the climate. But its resources vary with the administration that controls the White House and the political parties controlling Congress. While the Biden-Harris administration makes the health of the environment a priority, there is no guarantee that the next President will place the same value on the health of the climate, and the health of Americans. Today’s Blind Brook seniors will be voters in the next U.S. presidential election and will need to pay attention to where the candidates–whoever they may be–stand on the critical issue of climate health. Our future depends on it!