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Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly newsletter about FCNL’s environmental work, ways to engage members of Congress, and stories that impact our work.

President Trump Strips Protections from the Tongass National Forest

On Oct. 30, President Trump officially lifted roadless restrictions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, paving the way for logging and development of more than 9.3 million acres of forest, including old growth forest. This decision was made despite overwhelming opposition; 96% of the public comments submitted opposed lifting the protections, and the five cooperating Alaska Native tribal nations withdrew from the process after their input was ignored.

Opening the door for logging in one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests is a shortsighted, ill-considered move that further endangers the climate and ignores the will of the people, the majority of whom believe climate change is a serious threat.

Climate Change and the Elections

On Oct. 22, for the first time ever, climate change was included as a featured issue in a presidential debate. This increased focus on climate change corresponds with an increased desire among voters to address the issue. A recent poll from Politico found that 79% of voters, including 89% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans, support increasing the use of renewable energy. Additionally, 69% of voters, including 55% of Republicans, said they would support transitioning the United States away from using fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Votes are still being counted in the presidential and congressional elections. As we wait for the democratic process to unfold, we affirm our commitment to working with the next Congress and the next president to address the climate crisis.

In 2020, there are 15 senators in the Climate Solutions Caucus

News and Updates

U.S. Officially Exits Paris Climate Agreement
On Nov. 4, the United States officially exited the Paris climate accord. The Trump administration’s abandonment of the agreement undermines a key pillar of international cooperation against climate change and reduces the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of the climate crisis. FCNL joined interfaith partners in condemning the move.

Future for Offshore Wind on East Coast
Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina announced a new partnership to “cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce.” It is estimated the project will generate up to 86,000 jobs in the next decade, and Gov. Ralph Northam (VA) says it will be a key component in achieving 100% clean energy and addressing the climate crisis.

Constituent Spotlight
During a call with her congressman this month, one of our constituents was able to ask a question about climate change. “Not only did I get a good answer from [my representative], but I also got to make the point in the chat about the economic devastation that global warming is already causing. The other thing I realized is that you don’t need to be an expert to question a candidate. You just need to be passionate about the importance of your issue.”

Thank you to all who have reached out to candidates and lawmakers this fall to set the stage for the 117th Congress!


Mariah Shriner

Mariah Shriner

Program Assistant, Sustainable Energy & Environment
Mariah Shriner serves as the program assistant for the sustainable energy and environment team. Mariah lobbies members of Congress, advocating for bipartisan responses to climate change and support for climate justice.

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