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Ahead of Trump’s Jupiter Visit, Congresswoman Frankel, Local Elected Leaders Blast Trump’s Destructive Environmental Record

Today, ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Jupiter, local leaders blasted Trump’s disastrous environmental agenda that threatens Florida’s economy, public health, and way of life. Congresswoman Lois Frankel, State Sen. Bobby Powell, SD-30; Vice Mayor of Jupiter Ilan Kaufer; and Ricky Junquera, environmentalist and candidate for HD-118 highlighted Trump’s history of slashing funding for critical environmental agencies and programs, eliminating protections for clean air and water, and prioritizing the interests of private polluters over the public good. 

They also slammed Trump for his previous proposals to open Florida’s waters to offshore drilling and warned that this president cannot be trusted to protect our coastlines given his record of broken promises and his ties to the fossil fuel industry. 

Earlier today, Joe Biden released a statement slamming Donald Trump for his inability to lead on the coronavirus pandemic and his harmful environmental record. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CALL

Congresswoman Lois Frankel, FL-21

“The Trump administration, after less than one full term, has the likelihood of being the most anti-climate, anti-science, anti-environmental executive branch in United States history… This administration has been steadfast in weakening or eliminating major conservation and environmental regulations and programs. 

[…] “We know that Mr. Trump is here to brag about two things: funding of the Everglades and the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act… Let me just make this clear — number one, on funding the Everglades, it is Congress, not the President that passes a budget and the Everglades funding will and has always been bipartisan with members of Congress in this state, long before Mr. Trump… I am on the subcommittee of appropriations that actually passes the budget that funds the Everglades. Here’s the thing, it is fake news for the president to come here and brag about $250 million in funding for the Everglades, which would be a good thing, if in fact, the Senate and the president would get a bill passed. We passed the budget that funds the Everglades in the Democratic controlled House months ago, but we have not seen anything alive and well in the Senate, or with the president prodding the Senate to do anything about it.” 

[…] “As for the Great American Outdoors Act… again, that legislation was passed by Congress despite the president’s proposed budget, which would actually have slashed $581 million to the National Park Service. In fact, the Trump administration has ferociously undermined public land protection, including opening most of the United States coastline to oil and gas drilling, reducing protections for wetlands, and weakening the Endangered Species Act. Earlier this year, Trump proposed cutting discretionary spending on the Land and Water Conservation fund by 97%. 

“He is the only, and I want to stress this, the only president in the United States history to have removed more public lands than he has protected.” 

State Sen. Bobby Powell, SD-30

[…] “To come here, to Palm Beach County, and to claim a record of environmental advocacy and championing environmental issues is not only disingenuous, it’s disrespectful, and it’s downright preposterous. 

“We don’t have time for another four years — we can’t afford this. This administration has continued to do things like disbanding the scientific review panel that advises the EPA about safe levels of pollution. He has gutted the Department of Interior when it comes to saving lands…” 

Ilan Kaufer, Vice Mayor of Jupiter

“For those of you who don’t know anything about our town, we’re a coastal community, who really enjoy seeing nature at every turn. We have a thriving business community while at the same time almost 20% of our town is preserved as parks, natural areas, or green spaces, so it means a lot to our residents to preserve the environment and the wildlife in it.” 

“Here in South Florida we know that climate change is real, we see the effects in Jupiter and across the state every day. It’s blatantly clear that we can’t afford to ignore the impacts of climate change because it matters to our communities and it also matters to our economy. 

[…] Sea level rise threatens coastal lives and property and it also causes our coastal aquifers to become salty and unusable, which impacts drinking water supplies… it’s really unfortunate that this administration has continuously decreased funding to key environmental agencies and programs that research and combat climate change. They’ve continued to roll back important standards to protect public health, reduce pollution, and preserve sensitive environmental areas and wildlife.” 

Ricky Junquera, candidate for HD-118

“If you live in Florida and you report on Florida, you know the issues that offshore drilling presents here in the state. You also know that this president spent the beginning of his presidency outlining an offshore drilling plan that included opening up the waters of [Florida].” 

“…but even if he comes down to Jupiter today and says that he is going to move forward with a ban on offshore drilling, unfortunately, we all know too well that his bans only extend the time period of the election cycle… Once Donald Trump finishes this term, if he is elected to a second term, all bets are off. He’s not running for re-election, he does not hold allegiances within the Republican Party or any party, he only holds business interests. 

“So you all have to ask yourselves, what will this president do and say now, that he’ll look back on November 4th and turn his back on. He knows that he has to walk these talking points back here in the great state of Florida because both Republicans and Democrats agree, including our Governor, that offshore drilling off of our coastline is something that we just can’t go back to. The BP oil spill is still fresh on a lot of the Gulf Coast’s memory and we saw the impact to not just the fishery, but also to our other huge economic engine on the gulf side: our tourism industry. Our tourism industry, our fishing industry are all hurting right now because of this pandemic and this president is not catering or thinking of anyone else but himself and his business interests.”

[…] “There is no way that any of us can believe or trust the president that says one thing and does completely the opposite [if] that benefits himself. So yes, he’ll come down to Jupiter today — he’ll say great, flowery things that he never intends to keep and you know he doesn’t intend to keep them because he should be held accountable to his track record and unfortunately, on environmental issues, his track record is worse than failing.”

[…] “This president is not here thinking about us, he’s thinking about his future and his future with fossil fuels.”

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