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No climate, no deal on infrastructure

Delivery to U.S. Congress

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What’s At Stake

The climate crisis is accelerating, and we have less than a decade to dramatically cut our carbon emissions if we hope to preserve a livable planet. Meanwhile, our country is facing the intersecting crises of COVID-19, economic injustice, and racial injustice. We must meet the moment with bold action that matches the scale of these crises. That means transforming our economy to build a pollution-free, 100% clean energy future. Tell your members of Congress it’s time to invest in a sustainable and just future.

For too long we’ve been forced to live with the damage that the fossil fuel industry has created — bad air quality, dirty water, and extreme weather. We must rebuild this country with climate and environmental justice at the core. For example, our transportation system needs an inclusive and robust overhaul. This means not only electrifying our cars, but electrifying and multiplying our bus and train fleets — making sure that everyone has access to convenient, low-cost mobility that doesn’t come at the expense of the climate or the lungs of people in communities that the government has divided with highways.

This is the kind of transformative change we need. As Congress debates a plan to rebuild our infrastructure, we have a chance to begin building a society that’s just and fair, one where clean water, clean air, and a healthy climate are rights and not privileges.

It is urgent that Congress pass a bill that makes the big, bold, and ambitious investments needed to tackle the climate crisis, achieve true environmental justice, and accelerate the transition to clean energy. To meet this moment, to heed the science, and to make good on President Biden’s promises, Congress must act now to deliver on climate, justice, and jobs. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve the climate crisis and advance environmental justice. Please join us in calling on your members of Congress to support the transformative investments we desperately need.

Metro Transit Proterra electric bus demonstration in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area
Eric Wheeler / Metro Transit

Metro Transit Proterra electric bus demonstration in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.