A dear friend of mine heads a great initiative called Change Starts at Home which encourages women to take simple actions to make positive economic, environmental and social change. WIth everything in the news these days, I’ve been thinking about just how important that message is today.
It’s no secret that the GOP has launched an all out attack on women’s rights in a way that I had not seen in my adult life. While their actions are appalling, I have to say there’s one positive here: these attacks have reminded me that even our seemingly solid victories can be challenges and we must always be ready to fight for what’s right.
Most of us have actively fought to bring women’s rights to countries where we’ve seen women’s rights violated, but these attacks have reminded us that change must—in fact—also start here at home.
Sadly, when it comes to the environment, a critical recently hard earned victory also proved fleeting this week when President Obama announced that the administration would move forward quickly with a new pipeline infrastructure to take oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. Part of that infrastructure will be the southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The Keystone battle has been hard fought and as recently as March 8th seemed to be on the right track with a Senate defeat of three dirty air amendments including one that would have forced the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline for tar sands oil. WIth this decision, we're once again at risk.
President Obama's decision leaves us once again reliant on fossil fuels and puts the climate of our planet again at risk for our children and grandchildren. These actions don’t set a good precedent. Again, if we want a healthy planet, we must start here at home.
The President still has much he can do to help protect our health and the environment and one such decision is looming. In the very near future, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose standards that limit carbon pollution from new power plants. We need EPA to protect our health from dangerous air pollution and that’s what these standards—along with related standards EPA needs to issue to reduce carbon pollution from existing plants—will do.
As with these other battles, we must all be ready to stand up and claim our rights. Let’s make our voices heard and start demanding that positive change start here at home.