Rep. Mike Levin Leads California Democratic Congressional Delegation Letter Expressing Opposition to Politically-Motivated Attacks on State

October 8, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) led the California Democratic Congressional delegation in sending a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s series of politically-motivated attacks on the state, which have been made under the false pretense of protecting the state’s air and water. Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA), along with 42 other California Members, joined Rep. Levin in sending the letter.

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest accusations directed at the state demonstrate deep hypocrisy, while continuing the agency’s pattern of undermining bedrock environmental laws,” the Members wrote. “California has a strong bipartisan record of working to reduce pollutants that harm the environment and the health of all Californians… The EPA, on the other hand, has worked to defund key federal environment and public health programs, undermine Clean Water Act protections, weaken fuel economy rules, and revoke California’s waiver to set stronger greenhouse gas emissions standards.

“The actions of your agency do not match your rhetoric. To point the finger at the State of California while intentionally weakening environmental protections is outrageous and runs counter to the goal of ensuring clean air and water for all Americans. It appears that the White House is not interested in using the EPA’s authority to protect public health, but instead weaponizing the agency to target political opponents,” the Members added.

Last month, the Administration threatened to cut federal transportation funding over the state’s implementation of the Clean Air Act, and also questioned the state’s municipal storm water management and waste treatment efforts.

Click here or see below for the full letter:

October 7, 2019

The Honorable Andrew Wheeler

Administrator

Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Wheeler,

We write in strong opposition to your series of politically-motivated attacks on the State of California under the false pretense of protecting our air and water. The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest accusations directed at the state demonstrate deep hypocrisy, while continuing the agency’s pattern of undermining bedrock environmental laws. We urge you to work collaboratively with the State of California to improve air and water quality for our constituents, rather than make idle threats to punish the people and businesses of California.

California has a strong bipartisan record of working to reduce pollutants that harm the environment and the health of all Californians. The state was the first to create emissions standards for automobiles, four years before the enactment of the federal Clean Air Act. State and local governments have shown a commitment to funding important clean water efforts, like Los Angeles County’s recent measure that will raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fund stormwater projects. The EPA, on the other hand, has worked to defund key federal environment and public health programs, undermine Clean Water Act protections, weaken fuel economy rules, and revoke California’s waiver to set stronger greenhouse gas emissions standards.

The actions of your agency do not match your rhetoric. To point the finger at the State of California while intentionally weakening environmental protections is outrageous and runs counter to the goal of ensuring clean air and water for all Americans. It appears that the White House is not interested in using the EPA’s authority to protect public health, but instead weaponizing the agency to target political opponents.

Congress will exercise its full authority to ensure your agency has not acted in an arbitrary fashion. We strongly urge you to rethink your approach to engaging with our state.

Sincerely,

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