By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director
Those of us who spend our days thinking about protecting public health and the environment took pause yesterday to reflect on the debt we owe to Russell Train, who died yesterday. Mr. Train was a pioneer in the development of the federal government’s role in natural resource conservation and public health protection. He was instrumental in passage of landmark environmental laws like the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, was the first head of the White House’s environmental policy office the Council on Environmental Quality and the second Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like just over 40 years ago when these fundamental laws and institutions were just ideas.
Forty years ago, Clean Water Action was just an idea too. We are celebrating our 40th birthday as an organization and will be recognizing our founder David Zwick and other heroes at an event tomorrow.
When I think about our own organizational history, and about Russell Train’s career, it’s disturbing to realize that today EPA is constantly under fire from forces who want to block the Agency’s efforts to curb water and air pollution and who think we have to trade public health protection for economic well-being. Russell Train, a man who truly lived up to the meaning of the word “conservative,” felt differently, and we think the American people do too.
Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the”Stop the War on Coal Act” (H.R. 3409) a ghastly package of attacks on important and overdue policies to restrict pollution from mountaintop removal coal mining, burning coal and disposing of coal ash waste. The U.S. House has already voted over 300 times since January 2011 to block health and environmental protections. We will do everything we can to oppose this latest attack on clean water and healthy people, but we will also be celebrating 40 years of work to stand up for clean water and thinking about the pioneers – people like Russell Train – who set the stage for the progress we have made so far.
Help us in this fight by contacting your Congressman and urging him or her to oppose H.R. 3409, which is an attack on commonsense policies! You can take action here.
Posted on September 19, 2012 | Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off