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Detroit Leaders Laud Local Action, Condemn Federal Inaction, On Climate Change and Pollution

i Jun 5th No Comments by

June 5, 2017

Erin Knott, (269) 910-6909


(Detroit, MI) — Today, Detroit climate advocates were joined by others to criticize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for failing to protect Detroit families from dirty air and dirty water.

In a press conference hosted by Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ), speakers condemned the Trump Administration’s plan to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and gut the EPA’s budget and staffing, which would hurt the agency and its mission to protect Michiganders from dangerous pollution.

Video of the press conference is available here.

“According to the recently released 2017 CAPHE Public Health Action Plan, 2 to 3 Detroit metro residents die every day from illnesses attributable to poor air quality. We cannot stand by and do nothing when the federal government drops the ball,” said Michigan State Representative Stephanie Chang.

President Trump continues to deny the danger of climate change and ignores the demonstrated harms of air and water pollution. Lives are at stake, especially for the 1 million Michiganders who suffer from asthma and for low-income and disadvantaged communities, which are disproportionally impacted by pollution and climate change.

“Local power is now all important, given that the federal front is abdicating its environmental responsibilities,” said Guy O. Williams, President & CEO, DWEJ. “Fortunately, this is an election year for Detroit. The Trump Administration may be short-sighted when it comes to clean air and water, our environment, our health. But we can’t be. And we won’t be.”

Speakers also noted that Pruitt, who sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma attorney general, is hostile to public health protections and is cozy with fossil fuel companies, having taken nearly $350,000 in campaign contributions from the polluting industry.

“President Trump proposed a dirty budget to rig the system in favor of polluters at the expense of our air and water. Slashing the EPA’s budget by 31 percent is unacceptable. This budget is setting us on a path towards disastrous public health consequences and we need more leaders like Senator Peters to stand up to them,” said Keith Fusinski, Chief Steward VP for Professional Unit, AFGE Local 704.

The event concluded with speakers pledging to hold President Trump and his allies accountable for any attempts to roll back climate action.