As Trump Travels to Minnesota and Wisconsin to Tout Record, New Report Spotlights Trump Administration’s Attacks on Workers, the Environment, and Jobs

Ahead of President Trump’s rallies in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the BlueGreen Alliance today released Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment, an interactive report exploring the real world impacts of the Trump administration’s actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response.

“This report illustrates the many ways that Donald Trump is failing American workers, endangering the environment and our communities, and putting lives at risk,” BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh said. “Families and communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and all around our nation have suffered the consequences of the president’s decisions. This report focuses on the impacts of some of the most egregious actions by the administration on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response, as a comprehensive look at the negative impacts of this administration on the nation would fill the Library of Congress.”

The report found the Trump administration rolled back numerous policies designed to protect workers, communities, and the environment. Under the false premise that these actions would create jobs, President Trump dismantled worker safety regulations, starved the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of staff and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of power, and stepped away from environmental policies that keep the nation’s air and water clean. The report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

The report further explores the impact of the Trump administration on communities of color. The group urged the Trump administration to reverse these actions.

“President Trump’s claims to be pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-environment are demonstrably false, as made clear by his actions over the course of the last three-and-a-half years,” Walsh said. “This president has put countless lives at risk in communities across the nation, he’s failed to protect workers during a massive global health crisis, he’s ceded tens of thousands of jobs to other countries, and he’s allowed for more pollution to be dumped into our air and water. It’s no wonder Trump is running around the country talking about America needing a ‘comeback,’ as every American is living with the consequences of his actions over the last three years.”

Click below to view the report.

Misled

Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment

 This report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

There is no doubt the negative impacts of this presidency on working families will be studied in great detail in the years to come. For the purposes of this report, the impacts of some of the most egregious actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response will be reviewed. This report sheds light on the Trump administration’s actions that have negatively impacted working families, communities, and workplaces.

Click below to view the report.

Misled

EPA’s Methane Decision Endangers Jobs, Worker Health, and the Environment

The decision damages both the environment and the economy, as the BlueGreen Alliance’s report, Plugging the Leaks, showed full deployment of existing practices and technologies at new and modified oil and gas facilities could reduce methane emissions in the United States and create 50,000 jobs over the next ten years in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing.

Following that announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“At a time when America needs hope and jobs, the Trump administration again has made a decision that dashes our hope and costs us jobs. Methane leaks also expose workers to dangerous carcinogens and have an outsized contribution to making climate change worse.

“Donald Trump is throwing away 50,000 good-paying jobs manufacturing and installing the technology needed to stop leaks that are wasteful and unnecessary. Trump would rather let more methane leak into the air than create good jobs conserving it.”

BlueGreen Alliance Comments on Proposal to Rollback Methane Standards in the Oil and Natural Gas Sector for New, Reconstructed, or Modified Sources

Methane must be directly regulated. The original methane standards—Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources—finalized by the EPA in August 2016, would protect workers and local communities, address climate change, and create jobs by driving deployment of cost-effective, available technology and practices to reduce methane leaks. The 2016 standards included common-sense measures to reduce methane emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified sources in the oil and natural gas sector. Weakening the 2016 rule is the wrong move—it would stifle job creation and innovation, waste resources, and endanger workers.

Testimony of Michael Williams to the House Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship

In his testimony, Williams spoke about how small businesses are critical to our economy, and a major expansion of clean energy is vital if we are going to succeed in the fight against climate change. It’s time we brought this thinking together, and in doing so we must strive to do it right and lift up American workers.

He concluded with, “growing the clean economy—if done right—is a significant opportunity to ensure a more equitable society, increase U.S. global competitiveness, support and grow small businesses, and create quality, good-paying, union jobs across the country.”

Rolling Back Methane Regulation is a Leap in the Wrong Direction

By: Logan Mossbarger

Now more than ever—as we see year after year break temperature records—we must protect and enact smart policies and regulations that work to keep pollutants like methane out of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, as the administration pursues its dangerous deregulatory agenda, we are seeing common sense thrown out the window. A prime example of this is the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to eliminate federal regulation of methane leaks in the oil and gas industry—allowing them to emit unlimited amounts methane. Deregulation of methane is bad for business, public health and safety, and the environment.

Deregulation of methane emissions steps us in the wrong direction for a cleaner future. Methane is the second most emitted greenhouse gas, and has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. The oil and gas industry is the largest emitter of methane in the United States.

Not only will the EPA’s proposal cost the industry even more money on top of the billions that they already lose due to the leaks, those emissions also present serious health risks from exposure to dangerous chemicals to workers and local communities. That’s because methane leaks contain toxic air pollutants, like the carcinogen benzene. These chemicals can cause health problems, such as asthma and respiratory problems, neurological problems, water and air contamination, and more.

Methane leaks are an environmental disaster. However, the mitigation of methane can be an economic opportunity. All it takes is common-sense ideas and the cost-effective technologies and practices that we already have today to significantly reduce methane emissions. The BlueGreen Alliance research has found that taking action to reduce methane in the oil and gas sector could create and sustain an estimated 50,000 jobs in the United States over the next decade in a variety of sectors—including manufacturing.

Unfortunately, without strong, sensible standards, we lose potential job creation and valuable innovation that can be used to continue to grow and improve the methane mitigation industry. Deregulation doesn’t create good jobs; it stops us from creating them.

The methane rollback wouldn’t just be a step in the wrong direction, but a leap. It would hurt everyone involved from workers to communities to the oil and gas industry itself. This proposal would eliminate potential job creation and innovation that would not only help the oil and gas industry but the economy as a whole. It would impose bigger health risks on workers and communities and, in the end, allow for dangerous amounts of methane to be released into the atmosphere.

New and innovative solutions are needed to achieve a more sustainable and clean future, not more deregulation.

Trump Administration Throws Common Sense Out the Window with Methane Rule Rollback

The BlueGreen Alliance’s report, Plugging the Leaks, showed full deployment of existing practices and technologies at new and modified oil and gas facilities could reduce methane emissions in the United States and create 50,000 jobs over the next ten years in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing.

The BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“In the latest attack on workers, public health, and common sense, the Trump administration’s EPA is gutting methane standards that are working right now to address the climate crisis and protect the health of workers and communities around oil and gas operations, while also helping to create jobs in the methane mitigation industry.

“No one benefits from methane leaks. The Trump administration’s plan throws common sense out the window, putting workers and communities at risk and costing us good-paying jobs in communities around the country.”

State Labor, Environmental Leaders Announce BlueGreen Alliance State Chapter in Colorado

“We’re excited to be coming together to fight for good, safe jobs and to tackle climate change and other pressing environmental challenges,” said Dennis Dougherty, executive director of the Colorado AFL-CIO. “We’re focused on finding common sense solutions that create good-paying, union jobs in communities all around our state in ways that protect our environment.”

“We know that a clean environment, a strong economy, and good-paying jobs can and must go hand-in-hand,” said Kelly Nordini, executive director of Conservation Colorado. “We will stand together with our allies in the labor movement to move our state forward to a cleaner economy that supports working families.”

The leaders said their immediate focus would be on building consensus and supporting policies that will grow clean energy jobs and projects across the state, as well as limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants in order to leave a healthy, livable climate for future generations.

“We feel it is our job, as the union, to use every avenue possible to advocate for our members,” said Eppie Martinez the business manager/financial secretary of IBEW Local Union 111. “What better way is there to vocalize and advance our ideas regarding any transition for our members than to actually be a part of this evolving industry? I believe that if both sides work together, we can create new jobs in the energy sector that sustain families and their communities while ultimately protecting the environment. We realize that we are far stronger together than we can ever be separately, and we all share many of the same common values. We want to be good stewards of the environment, as well as make sure that we have safe, healthy workplaces and communities and good-paying jobs that will support working families and their communites.”

“Coloradans are feeling the effects of climate change today, in the form of drought, wildfires, and poor air quality—but we also know that we can fight climate change while creating good jobs and a healthy economy,” said Erin Overturf, deputy director of the Clean Energy Program at Western Resource Advocates. “Together with our partners in the labor movement, we will work to reduce carbon pollution within our state, while building a strong and fair economy for all Coloradans.”

The members of the newly founded chapter include:

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Colorado
  • Colorado AFL-CIO
  • Colorado Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Colorado Education Association\
  • Colorado State Council of Electrical Workers
  • Conservation Colorado
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 7
  • IBEW Locals 12, 68, 111, 113, 667, 969
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105
  • Sierra Club
  • International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 9
  • SMART Transportation Division
  • United Association (UA) Local 208
  • United Steelworkers District (USW) 12
  • Western Resources Advocates (WRA)

“Colorado is a state that we feel we can really make a difference in when it comes to policies and investments to tackle climate change in ways that create good-paying jobs,” said JB Tengco, west coast director for the BlueGreen Alliance. “We look forward to working on the ground here to build a better future for us all.”

STATEMENT: Proposed Weakening of EPA Methane Rule Endangers Workers, Wastes Resources, and Increases Pollution

The BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Kim Glas in response to the announcement:

“We know reducing methane waste protects our environment, reduces energy waste, and safeguards workers and communities exposed to dangerous emissions—like the carcinogen benzene. Taking action to reduce these emissions is also an opportunity to create and sustain jobs around the country. In fact, an estimated 50,000 jobs could be created in the United States over the next decade in a variety of sectors—including manufacturing—by adopting leak-reducing technologies and practices like those required by these standards.

“Weakening this rule is the wrong move—it will stifle job creation and innovation, waste resources, and endanger workers.

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds Governor Wolf’s Action to Reduce Methane Emissions in State

In a 2016 report, the BlueGreen Alliance found plugging methane leaks at oil and gas operations would create and sustain good jobs. After Gov. Wolf’s announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Pennsylvania Regional Program Manager Khari Mosley:

“Stopping these preventable leaks in the oil and gas industry is just common sense. Methane is a potent driver of climate change and the chemicals that accompany these leaks put workers at risk. Reducing methane emissions will create quality jobs, protect workers and the communities around these operations, and help address climate change.

“We thank Governor Wolf for leading on reducing methane emissions from our state’s oil and gas operations.”

RELEASE: Labor, Environmental Leaders Support Reasonable Best Practices for Onshore Oil and Gas Program on Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 28, 2017) In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sent today, the BlueGreen Alliance expressed support for keeping policies establishing reasonable and successful best practices for critical aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) onshore oil and gas program contained in IM 2010-117. The group said the policies, which are being reconsidered by the BLM, ensure responsible production and transparent and fair leasing decisions when it comes to oil and gas development on U.S. public lands.

“Working families deeply care about the natural environment,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard, co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We need to act responsibly and with deliberation when it comes to leasing and drilling decisions. Our members working in the oil and gas sector see that common-sense practices will protect our public lands for generations to come.”

“Our public lands are enjoyed every day to hunt, fish, hike, camp, and more, and how we manage them is a concern for every American,” said National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O’Mara. “We can have responsible energy development on public lands as well as healthy fish and wildlife populations, but it requires thoughtful, comprehensive planning and public participation in land-use decisions.”

“The practices currently in use are working well and should be kept as-is,” said Utility Workers Union of American National President D. Michael Langford. “They have resulted in more informed leasing decisions that reflect the conditions on the ground. We shouldn’t backtrack on them.”

The current policy formally recognized that, because “there is no presumed preference for oil and gas development over other uses” under federal law, “leasing of oil and gas resources may not be consistent with protection of other important resources and values, including units of the National Park System; national wildlife refuges; other specially designated areas; wildlife; and cultural, historic, and paleontological values.”

This policy statement provides the BLM with the appropriate legal framework for evaluating oil and gas proposals, in particular because as recently as 2009, many staff members “believed they were required by law to give greater deference to mineral leasing proposals than to the protection of other land uses.”

“Union members and conservationists alike understand that our public lands are a national treasure that should be treated with respect and utilized wisely,” said Kim Glas, the BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director. “We support these reasonable best practices for the BLM’s onshore oil and gas program and urge the Trump administration to keep them in place. Rolling these policies back would destroy an established system that not only is working, but benefitting our economy and environment.”

Letter to Interior Secretary Zinke in Support of Maintaining Best Practices that Ensure Responsible Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sent today, the BlueGreen Alliance expressed support for keeping policies establishing reasonable and successful best practices for critical aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) onshore oil and gas program contained in IM 2010-117. The group said the policies, which are being reconsidered by the BLM, ensure responsible production and transparent and fair leasing decisions when it comes to oil and gas development on U.S. public lands.