Congress Fights to Protect Environment and Public Health from Climate Change

Senate bill would establish programs to safeguard natural resources and communities


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice (202) 745-5221

Today, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Securing America’s Future and Environment Act (“SAFE Act”) that aims to protect American communities and natural resources from the impacts of climate change. The SAFE Act would maximize government efficiency and reduce costs by requiring integrated planning and cooperation from federal, state, local, and tribal governments to protect, restore, and conserve natural resources so these resources and our coastal communities become more resilient, adapt to, and withstand the ongoing impacts of climate variability.

The following statement is from Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Rebecca Judd:

“At a time when many members of Congress are recklessly and senselessly slashing our environmental protections, it is heartening and encouraging to see that there are champions within the halls of Congress who are willing to fight for our future and the quality of our lives from the effects of climate change, which threatens to be the one of the most significant environmental problems of this century.

“Our natural resources provide significant benefits to the people and economy of this country, including clean drinking water, coastal flood protection, and recreational opportunities. Requiring more efficient planning and leadership from government agencies entrusted with protecting our natural resources will help protect and restore wildlife habitat, vital wetlands, and watersheds that provide clean drinking water to over 180 million Americans.

“With the introduction of this bill, Senators Whitehouse and Baucus are working to ensure that present and future generations of Americans continue to enjoy the benefits of abundant and diverse natural resources, even in the face of a changing climate. Because climate change is already here, we applaud the bill’s requirements for more specific land and resource management planning to help our wildlife and natural places better adapt to a rapidly changing environment. The clock is ticking, and our communities and treasured outdoor heritage cannot afford any more time to waste.”

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.