If the first month of the Trump Administration and the new Congress is any indication, we have our work cut out for us defending and advancing policies that are good for our economy and our environment.

From President Trump’s national energy plan that doesn’t even mention clean energy, to Congress’s near-daily attempts to rollback our basic environmental and regulatory protections, just figuring out where to start can seem overwhelming.

Fortunately, E2 starts with a strong voice that now matters more than ever: 

The business voice. Your voice.

Here’s what E2 is doing to amplify your voice in Washington and beyond:

  • We’ve let the White House and every member of Congress know that business people like you don’t want to go backward on clean energy and climate policies. With ally groups, we sent a letter to President Trump from more than 630 businesses urging him not to back out of the Paris climate agreement because of its economic benefits. With our partners at the American Council for Sustainable Business, we reminded the Trump Administration on behalf of thousands of businesses that clean energy policies have created nearly 3 million jobs and are driving economic growth in every state. And as senators were debating Trump’s nomination of oil industry advocate Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, E2 sent a letter urging them to reject Pruitt because he would be bad for both the environment and the clean economy. That letter was signed by more than 570 E2 members and supporters – a record for any E2 action alert letter.
  • In late March, E2 members from across the country will participate in our first Washington advocacy trip of the year to discuss with the Trump Administration and members of Congress the jobs and other economic benefits that come with clean energy and climate policies.  We’re planning a second trip in late April, and more in the months ahead.  See E2 Advocacy Director Grant Carlisle’s report here below.
  • When we can’t meet lawmakers in Washington, we’ll meet them in the states. With our nationwide network of business leaders, we’re setting up meetings with members of Congress in key states like Maine, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere while they’re back home at the end of this month, and in mid-April. Contact Grant at Grant@e2.org to get involved.

We’re also strengthening our voices in other ways. We’re re-enlisting our military and farm members to help reinforce our message. We’re expanding our outreach to big businesses. And through our new E2 Emerging Leaders program, we’re recruiting the people who have the most at stake in the future – young business people and entrepreneurs.  We’ll formally launch the Emerging Leaders program in March; please help us by sharing this web page with your networks.

While E2’s Washington plan is centered on defending our current federal clean energy and climate policies, we’re seeking ways to play some offense too. We’ll tap into the Trump Administration’s focus on infrastructure for instance, to try and advance water system upgrades, water efficiency technology and smart electricity grid improvements.

We know it’s in states, however, where we will make any major progress in the near-term.

Here’s how E2 is working hard outside of Washington:

  • Our E2 Midwest Chapter was integral to several major clean energy wins in recent months. Our business voices helped pass a landmark Future Energy Jobs bill in Illinois; helped convince Ohio’s governor to lift a misguided renewable energy standard freeze, and increase renewable and energy efficiency standards in Michigan. Check out E2 Midwest Advocate Gail Parson’s report for more details.
  • In Colorado, th E2 Rockies chapter released Clean Jobs Colorado report and members met with dozens of state lawmakers over the past few months to set the groundwork for new clean energy legislation.

In the coming months, we’ll be ramping up our state work even more.

E2 New England chapter members are meeting with lawmakers in Massachusetts and beyond to push for continuation and expansion of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). E2 New England is also organizing business voices in Maine for in-state meetings with members of Congress.

In California, we’re building on last year’s success with SB 32, which sets new climate targets for the state, by fighting for legislation this year to extend and expand the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32. In the Pacific Northwest, E2 Oregon members are bringing their business voices to bear to support legislation to create a new cap-and-invest carbon pricing program.

We’re also expanding our work into other states. Last month, for instance, I traveled to Nevada to discuss the economic benefits of clean energy as lawmakers there prepare to consider legislation to advance renewable and energy efficiency standards.

Of course our communications and research work is key to everything we do. See here for recent press coverage of E2’s work, and see here for a complete list of our recent reports, including our first-of-its-kind Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report, which tracks energy efficiency jobs in every state, right down to the legislative and congressional district levels.

We have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead.

But thanks to your continued support, our great E2 staff and our strong connection with NRDC, we are steeled for the fight and we are ready to bring it – in Washington, in the states and beyond.

Photo: E2 DC Delegation in 2015