Policy: Cultivating nonpartisan solutions
The best environmental solutions come from having everyone pitch in, regardless of their political views.
That’s why EDF has long sustained a tradition of supporting bipartisan policy, an approach that dates back decades. For example, in the 1980s we collaborated with the Reagan administration to phase out chemicals that were destroying the ozone layer, known as CFCs.
Case study: Delta restoration
Problem: Money for restoration was desperately needed after the 2010 BP oil spill extensively damaged the already-suffering Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Delta.
Solution: EDF and our partners worked to convince lawmakers of the importance of the RESTORE Act, a bill that directed a portion of the funds from oil spill penalties to restore vanishing Delta wetlands and create jobs. We used science to show how major players—including unlikely partners such as the oil and gas, construction and shipping industries—stood to benefit from restoration.
Outcome: The RESTORE Act passed with strong support from both parties.
“EDF played a critical role in bridging the differences between the parties and winning bipartisan support,” said William K. Reilly, Co-chair, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
A powerful ally: EDF Action
One of our chief allies in securing nonpartisan policy is EDF Action, our advocacy action partner. EDF Action is free to do things that EDF can’t, including unlimited lobbying of Congress. It does this by raising dollars that are not tax deductible.
“Our strategy is even more essential now that the White House and Congress are controlled by different parties,” explains EDF Action President Elizabeth Thompson.
“Lawmakers listen to their supporters, and many in both parties want action on the environment.” See their campaigns.
Chemical safety reform
The main chemical safety law on the books today—the nearly 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)—provides almost no protection to the public from thousands of chemicals we encounter every day in household products and materials.
EDF’s experts have spent years making the case for reform through groundbreaking reports and policy analysis. This persistent effort helped build momentum for the Senate passing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
If the reforms laid out in the Lautenberg Act remain intact as Congress conferences on the bill, it will give EPA the tools necessary to better ensure the safety of chemicals and significantly strengthen health protections for American families.
Ending the climate logjam
EDF does constructive, thoughtful, hard work, and that gains respect—and results.The Hon. George P. Shultz Former U.S. Secretary of State
Instead of the same old arguments about climate change, we’re highlighting the innovative and cost-effective benefits of taking climate action, such as giving families the power to choose clean energy and spurring design competitions to develop inexpensive methane gas detectors for industry.
“We want to rally the public to bring about that change,” says Jeremy Symons, EDF’s Senior Director of Climate Policy. “We believe we can close the gap between where Congress is and where the public is.”
Signs indicate this may be happening, points out EDF’s Keith Gaby, as young voters clamor for climate action, and politicians are increasingly wary of ignoring the reality of climate science.
“The shift in the political landscape is clear,” he says.