Working for smart, nonpartisan policy

US Congress

EDF worked with both Republicans and Democrats to win support for legislation to restore the Gulf Coast after the BP oil disaster.


We have always worked hard to be a trusted force for environmental progress, on both sides of the aisle.

Strong partnerships with both Democrats and Republicans have been critical to meeting our goals. 

Today, our policy experts continue to work closely with Congressional staff and leaders from both parties. We advise them on topics ranging from behavior and energy savings to toxic mercury emitted from coal plants.

We also work closely with state legislatures. For example, in 2006, we co-sponsored and helped pass California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the first of its kind in the U.S. We supported the landmark law as it came under attack through a ballot initiative in 2010 and lawsuits in 2011. And we are now working to make sure that it gets put into action effectively in 2012 and beyond.

2000s: Working with the Obama and Bush administrations

  • 2012-2014: Clean Power Plan — Working with EDF, the Obama administration proposes the first nationwide limits on carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants.

  • 2011: Restoring the Gulf Coast — EDF works with both Republicans and Democrats to win support for legislation to restore the Gulf Coast after the BP oil disaster.

  • 2010: Helping fishermen fish smartly — EDF achieves a critical win in the fight to end overfishing when the Obama administration requires every U.S. commercial fishery to consider adopting catch share management.

  • 2010: Encouraging more efficient cars and trucks — Following calls from EDF and others for tighter fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, the Obama administration strengthens the fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks.  

  • 2009: Cutting pollution from ships — Working closely with officials from the Obama administration, EDF wins preliminary approval for an "emission control area" extending 230 miles off the U.S. coast.

  • 2009: Saving wildlife in the Pacific — At EDF's urging, President George W. Bush sets aside for protection a vast area of the central Pacific Ocean, including nine distinct tropical coral islands and their surrounding waters.

  • 2004: Making diesel engines cleaner — The George W. Bush administration, after working closely with EDF, issues final rules to slash emissions from new diesel tractors, construction equipment and other non-road engines.

1990s: Working with the Clinton and Bush administrations

  • 2000: Preserving an ocean ecosystem — President Clinton, at EDF's urging, creates the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, comprising 70% of the nation's coral reefs.

  • 1999: Helping landowners save endangered species — Under President Clinton, the federal government adopts a program EDF pioneered called "Safe Harbor."

  • 1997: Curbing urban smog — Under President Bill Clinton, EPA embraces EDF's plan for a broad regional approach to curbing the nitrogen emissions that contribute to urban smog.

  • 1990: Passing the Clean Air Act — EDF works closely with the administration of President George H.W. Bush on the Clean Air Act of 1990, which addresses the growing problem of acid rain.

1970s—1980s: Working with the Reagan and Carter administrations

  • 1977: Making children's clothing safer — The Carter administration, in response to an EDF campaign, curbs the use of the hazardous flame retardant TRIS in children's sleepwear.

  • 1987: Saving the ozone layer — EDF, working with the Reagan administration, helps design the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to phase-out CFCs, chemicals destroying the Earth's ozone layer.

  • 1988: Encouraging recycling — President Ronald Reagan's EPA endorses EDF’s public service recycling campaign, launched under the slogan, "If You're Not Recycling, You're Throwing It All Away."

Advancing smart policies requires smart politics.

EDF’s Strategic Partners help widen support on both sides of the aisle.

Elizabeth Thompson Elizabeth Thompson President, EDF Action