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Environment America Federal Agenda

Goal: Win positive action at the federal level on clean water and air, conservation, global warming and clean energy.

Environment America is the national network of 29 state environmental groups.

The state of our natural world depends in part on the decisions being made by elected and appointed officials in Washington, D.C. These decisions should be guided by common sense, sound science and the environmental values that so many Americans share. When they’re not, the quality of our air and water declines, open spaces are lost, wildlife disappear, our health suffers and our climate grows more chaotic.

So whenever decisions that affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places we love are being made in Washington, our national lobbying team is there to speak and act on your behalf and on behalf of the environment we all share.

  • <h4>OUR PUBLIC LANDS</h4><h5>We’re working to protect our national monuments and other special places from oil and gas drilling, logging, mining and commercial fishing.</h5><div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>Mike Peters via</em>
  • <h4>CLEAN ENERGY</h4><h5>We’re calling for the expansion and extension of clean energy tax credits.</h5><div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>WestBoundary Photography Chris Gill</em>
  • <h4>OUR WATER</h4><h5>We’re standing up for the promise of the Clean Water Act by working with the Biden administration to repeal the Dirty Water Rule.</h5> <div><a style="padding: 8px 15px 10px 10px; font-family: 'open_sansbold' !important; color: #fff; border: none; border-radius: 5px; background-color: #FF0000;" href="">TAKE ACTION</a></div><em>Nicholas Thomas</em>
We’re calling for action on three fronts

Environment America is monitoring the decisions being made on these issues, working to influence these decisions, and reporting back to our members and the public on whether our elected officials acted for or against the environment. Our litigation team is also continuing to pursue the lawsuits we’ve filed to block Trump-era rollbacks of our environmental protections.

We’re working to win positive action at the federal level on three fronts:


We live in a world of incredible material abundance, but we’re running short on nature. To protect the wild places we love, we’re working to:

Home to denning polar bears, caribou and migratory birds from all 50 states, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is one of the last truly wild places left on Earth. In 2017, the Trump administration opened the Arctic Refuge up to oil and gas drilling, which would harm the wildlife there and further threaten our climate.

We’re calling on President Biden to halt plans for drilling via executive action, and we’re urging Congress to undo the mandate that requires oil lease sales in the refuge and give this rugged landscape the permanent protection it deserves. Take action.

From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, 15 American presidents have protected some of our country’s most beautiful places as national monuments. But the previous administration shrank the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and allowed commercial fishing within the boundaries of the Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument.

We’re calling on President Biden to reestablish the boundaries and protections for all three monuments. Take action.

Home to trees older than America, the Tongass National Forest in Alaska is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. After the Trump administration moved to open wild areas within this ancient forest to logging, we filed suit to stop it.

In December 2020, Environment America joined Earthjustice, NRDC, Indigenous tribes and small businesses in suing the Trump administration to vacate a rule that exempted the Tongass from the protections of the 2001 Roadless Rule. If our lawsuit is successful, those protections will be restored.

Learn more about our Conservation Program.

Clean Energy

In a greener, healthier world, we would rely only on sources of energy that are clean and renewable, and that leave less environmental damage in their wake. To harness energy from the wind and the sun, we’re focusing on these campaigns:

Our goal is a future powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and the sooner we get there, the sooner we’ll reap the benefits of cleaner air, cleaner water and a more stable climate. Federal tax credits have been one of our best mechanisms for supporting renewable energy, but many of these credits will expire in the next year or two.

We’re calling on Congress to update and extend a suite of clean energy tax incentives through 2030 to keep renewable energy growing in America. Take action.

America’s offshore wind resources are vast and have the technical potential to meet our current electricity needs more than twice over. But as of 2021, there are only two offshore wind projects in the United States. One key obstacle is the federal permitting process for new projects, which is lengthy and subject to delays.

We’re calling on the Biden administration to cut the red tape on offshore wind permitting to minimize delays and prioritize timely, responsible development of wind energy. Take action.

Eliminating senseless energy waste creates big savings — for our planet, our climate and our health. As an added bonus, it even results in lower energy bills.

In November 2019, Environment America filed suit against the Trump administration after it created a loophole in energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs. The lawsuit is ongoing, and if successful, we can close the loophole and make our lightbulbs more efficient.

Learn more about our Clean, Green & Renewable Energy Program.

Clean Water

Decades ago, some people thought polluted rivers and streams were the price we had to pay for progress. That’s not the world we live in anymore, nor is it the future our children deserve. We’re focusing on two priority campaigns to clean and protect our water:

All of America’s waterways should be safe for swimming and other recreation. Yet every year, billions of gallons of sewage and runoff pollution flow into our rivers, bays and beaches, putting our health and wildlife at risk. We can prevent this pollution by restoring nature’s ability to absorb stormwater and by fixing failing treatment plants.

We're urging Congress to dramatically increase water infrastructure funding so we can end sewage overflows and make all our waterways safe for swimming. Take action.

From America's mighty rivers to its majestic lakes and bays, our waterways depend on wetlands and streams to keep them healthy and clean. Yet the Trump administration’s Dirty Water Rule stripped away Clean Water Act protections from more than half of our nation's wetlands — as well as streams that help provide drinking water to millions of people.

We're calling on the Biden administration to repeal the Dirty Water Rule and restore protections to all of America's waterways. Take action.

In April 2020, Environment America also sued the Trump administration to vacate the Dirty Water Rule. Our lawsuit is ongoing, and if successful, it would restore protections under the Clean Water Act to many water bodies.

Learn more about our Clean Water & Air Program.

Sergey Uryadnikov via
More actions we can take for our environment


  • Get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set strong, health-based standards on ozone.
  • Get the EPA to set strong, health-based standards on mercury.
  • Get the EPA to set strong, health-based soot and particulate matter standards.


  • Get the Department of Energy to set strong appliance efficiency standards.
  • Get the Biden administration to expand clean energy leases on federal lands.


  • Get the EPA to issue a strong Lead and Copper Rule.
  • Get the EPA to issue tough new standards to reduce water pollution from agribusiness processing plants.
  • Get Congress to set clean water standards for agriculture.
  • Remove and replace all lead service lines.
  • Keep PFAS out of our rivers.


  • Support a 21st-century version of the New Deal to create a Civilian Conservation Corps, putting Americans to work restoring parks, wetlands and more.
  • Get the EPA to ban neonicotinoid pesticides and support better management of bee and pollinator habitat on federal lands.
  • Get Congress to pass the bipartisan Wildlife Corridors Act.
  • Get Congress or the U.S. Forest Service to support a bill or enact a rule to keep roadless national forests wild.
  • Get Congress to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
  • Get Congress to pass the SAVE Right Whales Act, and urge the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the strongest possible protections for North Atlantic right whales.
  • Support a national goal of conserving 30 percent of our land and ocean by 2030.
  • Support adding the monarch butterfly to the endangered species list.
  • Oppose weakening the Antiquities Act.
  • Oppose a proposed mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.
  • Oppose the proposed Pebble Mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay.
  • Support the declaration of new national marine sanctuaries via Congress or executive action.
  • Oppose weakening the Endangered Species Act.
  • End new oil and gas leasing in the Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico.


  • Get the EPA to enact an updated version of the Clean Power Plan.
  • Get Congress to pass a bill to put solar and battery backup on every fire station in the country.
  • Support ending subsidies for the oil, gas and coal industries.
  • Support electrifying vehicles and buses and promoting walking, biking and public transit.
  • Support enacting an updated version of the Obama administration’s Clean Car standards.
  • Support restoring the Obama administration’s methane pollution limits.
  • Support closing loopholes for the fracking industry in our nation’s environmental laws.
Joshua Resnick via
New opportunities to protect our environment

We believe a greener, healthier future is possible. President Biden has promised strong action on the environment and he can take the initiative on a set of issues on which he has executive authority. In Congress, we have a number of environmental champions — but also many senators and representatives who oppose federal environmental action. There are also many more who could be swayed by the right facts, persuasive arguments and public opinion. And we’ve already made progress in the courts in defense of our clean air, clean water, clean energy and public lands.

Environment America is not only in Washington. Our network of 29 state environmental groups gives us a broader perspective on the issues and a broader array of voices — including those of our state staff, our state members and our allies in multiple state coalitions — to the decision-making tables in D.C.

With a new administration, we have new opportunities to advance the cause of environmental protection in our country. And with a closely divided Congress, we must be vigilant and vocal in our advocacy.

Sign up to stay informed and active on the environmental issues being decided by your elected officials in Washington.


When decisions that affect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places we love are being made in Washington, D.C., Environment America is there to speak and act on your behalf and on behalf of the environment we all share. To stay informed and active, sign up for our email list, follow us on Facebook or connect with us on Twitter.