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| ||Marc Boom, E2 Federal Legislative Advocate |
When I joined E2 in January, I was impressed with how E2 has helped steer the national conversation on environmental policies toward reasoned, economically sound arguments, and I looked forward to sharing that positive message with decision-makers here in Washington. At the time, I did not anticipate just how vitally important E2’s economic viewpoint would be in the current political climate.
In a year when everyone thought Congress would focus on creating jobs, we have seen the complete opposite: efforts to cut government spending and eliminate environmental and public health protections have emerged with renewed vigor. Out of 770 votes in the House of Representatives this year, 191 (22%) were votes to undermine environmental protections. 27 of those votes were against climate change mitigation, 77 were against Clean Air Act protections, 28 were against Clean Water Act protections, and 47 were against protection of public lands and coastal waters. Furthermore, the House has repeatedly tried to force these provisions into must-pass spending bills in an attempt to push them past the Senate and the President.
Our federal advocacy activities have been in high gear, helping stop almost all of these attacks from succeeding. This year E2 sent out 10 national Action Alert petitions to Congress and the President. Beyond defending against attacks on environmental safeguards, we’ve supported several important policy initiatives at the administrative level, notably issuance of strengthened fuel economy standards and the Mercury Toxics rules, and the Department of Defense’s initiatives in the energy security/energy efficiency arena.
E2’s physical presence in Washington has increased. Our advocacy teams have been in D.C. almost every 60 days, and for the first time our chapters focused on visiting with lawmakers in their state offices as well. E2 has held over 80 meetings with House and Senate legislators and briefed a total of 116 Congress members through House caucuses. E2 has also had 15 meetings with agencies including the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the White House.
E2’s efforts have extended beyond Washington and entered into nationwide discourse. Through op-ed’s, letters, and quotations, E2 has received at least 288 mentions in publications nationwide. E2 launched a nationwide radio tour this fall to discuss the clean energy economy and the need for proactive federal policy, resulting in 22 radio interviews in 17 states reaching an estimated 500,000 listeners; in total, we’ve reached more than 3 million listeners since our first radio tour. Additionally, E2 has teamed up with NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation to produce a weekly clean energy newsletter, which catalogs the ongoing progress of the clean economy and is targeted at members of Congress.
The work of our members has bolstered E2’s reputation in Washington and made us a key part of the herculean defense needed this year – a defense that has been incredibly successful. There is a sports adage that says “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.” I believe that to be the case here. While there will be many challenges in the year to come, if E2 continues to put forth the efforts witnessed this year, I believe we will continue to see more success than defeat.
E2 Federal Legislative Advocate
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