While the current administration is in office we’re posting small, concrete things you can do to help make things better, every Friday. (And, when it’s urgent, on other days too.) Got a suggestion for an Action Item? E-mail us!
This morning, news broke that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been instructed to freeze all current contracts and grants. The contracts used by the EPA provide a multitude of benefits to Americans, from funding waste cleanup to monitoring drinking water quality. The EPA also funds a wide array of research projects that allow them to make science-based decisions on environmental regulations.
This extensive spending freeze has interrupted and endangered millions of dollars in scientific research — jeopardizing data that could influence the health of current and future generations and the people who devote their careers to collecting and sharing it.
Importantly, as one of the pillars of federal science funding, the EPA provides an example of what could happen at any moment to other funding bodies. Without warning or oversight, the President can halt the progress of science.
Do you care about science funding? Do you care about basing public policy on sound science? Then now is the time to contact those who represent you in Washington. Here are some specific EPA points you can mention:
- If you’re a scientist, let your representative know! You may be directly influenced by these decisions or have several colleagues who are devastated by this news.
- Make it personal! Here is a great tool for knowing exactly how the EPA is benefitting your district:
Find out amount & purpose of EPA grants awarded in your congressional district. Then call your Rep to tell them… https://t.co/raymwg9NoV— Emilio M. Bruna (@BrunaLab) January 24, 2017
- Encourage your colleagues! The EPA freeze sets a precedent for all federal science funding.
- You can point towards some of the EPA’s biggest accomplishments, like eliminating the harmful effects of DDT or reducing child exposure to lead pollution.
As a reminder, calling the local office of a Member of Congress is effective even if you think you already know the Member’s position. If they’re on the wrong side, it’s good for them to hear directly from constituents who disagree. If they’re on the right side, it still helps them to know you think this is a priority and they have your support to take action.