The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law 50 years ago by President Nixon to ensure a clean, safe environment. This crucial law acts as a safeguard for our public lands, and current efforts to drastically weaken it will have dire consequences for wild animals and the environment, including wild horses and burros. We must act now to protect America's wild herds and our public lands!
Under the guise of "streamlining" the NEPA, Trump's Department of the Interior has laid plans to essentially "gut" the act with cuts and favoritism to special interests like Big Oil. Commercial enterprises notorious for their pollution and destruction joined together last November to send a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). This letter asked for changes to NEPA which would increase their profits at the expense of wild animals and the environment. Soon afterward, President Trump proposed such changes.
Environmental organizations all over the country are outraged as they see the writing on the wall. These changes will contribute significantly to the climate crisis, and decimate our environment, our public lands, and the animals who live on them. We joined these groups in co-sponsoring one of two National "Protect NEPA Day of Action" events that happened on February 11, 2020.
Many of the planned changes to the act will be disastrous for wild horses and burros. Especially egregious is the expansion of the "categorical exclusions" list, which will allow an agency to declare an action as not warranting a NEPA review. This list of exclusions could include actions from the immensely destructive oil, gas, and logging industries, as well as wild horse and burro roundups, surgical sterilizations, and other management activities.
Many successful lawsuits filed on behalf of wild horses and burros have been won due to existing NEPA regulations. If these proposed changes to the act are made, wild horses will no longer benefit from those protections.
Please ask your two U.S. senators and your one U.S. representative to reject the proposed changes to NEPA which were initiated by polluters and other special interests.
1. Personal contact with Congress is the most effective thing you can do. Please make three simple phone calls to your legislators listed below.
If you do not see the identities and phone numbers of your legislators above, please click on the link below, enter your zip code, and click the federal tab.
When you call, state your name, your town or city, and telephone number. Be courteous. You may wish to say:
Trump is trying to drastically weaken the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act through the White House Council on Environmental Quality. At a time when the effects of climate change are an increasingly significant concern, this act should be strengthened and not weakened. As your constituent, I ask you to use the Constitutional directive of "checks and balances" for the three branches of government to investigate and halt this intentional undermining of the intent of the act. Climate change and our environment must be non-partisan issues!
2. Please send our email (with your personal touch) to your three congresspersons.
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Protect the National Environmental Policy Act!
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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