By Doug Porter
You wouldn’t know from reading San Diego Mayor Faulconer’s monthly press releases touting his commitment to the environment that he’s opted to remain silent on President Trump’s executive order demolishing his predecessor’s attempts to slow the pace of climate change.
Seventy-five other big city mayors (including Chula Vista), representing 42 million Americans have taken a stand, saying they want no part of what Andrew Steer, the president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, is calling “taking a sledgehammer to U.S. climate action.”
Moreover, unlike the hyperbola about sanctuary cities coming from some quarters, these Mayors are taking action to back up their rhetoric. A group of these mayors have already announced plans for $10 billion worth of electric vehicles in response to Trump’s announcement he was changing vehicle fuel-efficiency standards,
Last week Mayor Faulconer went to Kearny High School for a photo op touting increases in the city’s solar energy capacity. And it’s true. San Diego is ranked first in the nation.
However, the future for solar isn’t so bright under the Trump administration, which has proposed gutting the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), credited with helping to drive the rapid expansion of rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle batteries, LED lighting and more.
And the 30% federal investment tax credit for commercial and residential solar panels is likely doomed, given the President’s position that investments in renewable energy like wind and solar power are “a big mistake.”
The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA) has issued a strongly worded letter condemning administration plans to roll back critically important U.S. climate policies.
Climate change is both the greatest single threat we face, and our greatest economic opportunity for our nation. That is why we affirm our cities’ commitments to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to engage states, businesses and other sectors to join us.
As Mayors, we work with our constituents face-to-face, every day, and they demand that we act on climate to improve quality of life and create economic growth. As public servants and stewards of public funds and infrastructure, we also cannot ignore the costs of inaction. That is why we are also standing up for our constituents and all Americans harmed by climate change, including those most vulnerable among us: coastal residents confronting erosion and sea level rise; young and old alike suffering from worsening air pollution and at risk during heatwaves; mountain residents engulfed by wildfires; farmers struggling at harvest time due to drought; and communities across our nation challenged by extreme weather.
Progressive San Diego and Indivisible chapters have launched a petition drive, urging Mayor Faulconer to join with these other cities in pushing back against the administration’s efforts.
The final paragraph of the petition states:
This is not a time for fickle leadership. Other Mayors around the country are proudly demonstrating their commitment to protect our planet. Where is his leadership and commitment to take meaningful steps to advance our Climate Action Plan? Sign the petition to demand Mayor Faulconer step up and lead on climate change.
I’m not big on petition drives. Mostly I feel they are used to harvest email addresses for fundraising campaigns. But I’ll make an exception when it comes to local issues and I know there’s a chance the elected official at the other end will get the word.
Also, from today’s Washington Post:
A draft budget proposal obtained by The Washington Post details how the Trump administration seeks to cut more than 31 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. The spending plan emphasizes a focus on the EPA’s “core legal requirements,” withdrawing from state and local projects and avoiding any efforts the administration considers to be extraneous within the EPA or other agencies.
Among the cuts, the budget shutters 56 programs and trims staffing by nearly 4,000 jobs.
You Gotta Love Those Deregulated Airlines
I am referring to United Airlines, who called in authorities to removed a 69-year-old physician from an airplane after he refused to given up his (paid for) seat so some employees could be transported.
Thanks to social media, the whole world (200 million mentions in China alone) knows about this screwup.
From USA Today:
Shocking images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight in Chicago are sparking outrage overseas.
Video of the Sunday incident, in which some witnesses said they thought the man was targeted because he was Asian, was posted on China’s microblogging site Weibo. It soon went viral with a reported 210 million views.
The man, who said he was a physician, was yanked from his seat on United Express Flight 3411 headed to Louisville and dragged toward the front of the plane by security officials amid shouts and pleas from fellow passengers.
The corporate response to this incident has been nothing less than horrific. So far I’ve seen the CEO making it seem as though the only proper thing to do is back up his employee’s poor decision making.
— Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) April 10, 2017
asshole editor in Kentucky has now dredged up a ten-year-old story about the victim getting into legal trouble over drugs.
Who gives the slightest shit? Why are unrelated past facts about this private citizen’s life now newsworthy for digging up and publishing? https://t.co/0lEYvGfYaa
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 11, 2017
More social media responses:
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) April 11, 2017
— billypollina (@billypollina) April 11, 2017
— An American Diogenes (@DiogenesOfUSA) April 11, 2017
— Paul Hookem (@PaulHook_em) April 11, 2017
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
Get the Weekly Progressive Calendar delivered to your inbox every Friday. And it’s Free! Subscribe and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.