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Fighting Climate Change with the Green Amendment

President Biden had to cut a deal with the Republicans to get the debt limit extension passed and avoid an economic catastrophe. But in doing so, he agreed to water down his climate change initiative…and that’s causing a lot of concern among environmentalists, including those bent on fighting climate change with the Green Amendment.

Maya K. van Rossum is the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network works throughout the four states of the Delaware River watershed (NY, NJ, PA & DE) and at the national level using advocacy, science and litigation.

During van Rossum's 30 years leading the Network, she and her organization were the lead plaintiffs in a successful case that had the PA Supreme Court breathe legal life into PA's long ignored environmental rights amendment. Now, van Rossum is advancing The Green Amendment movement, seeking to inspire and secure constitutional protection for environmental rights across the nation.

She cautions that the budget deal Biden reached with Republicans in Congress will open the door to further backroom political deals limiting the impact of other environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act.

Van Rossum is author of a book titled “The Green Amendment, The People's Fight For a Clean, Safe & Healthy Environment”.

Meanwhile, she’s just returned from Montana for a groundbreaking climate trial in which the young plaintiffs argued that Montana officials and agencies must be held accountable for exacerbating the climate crisis and thereby violating their constitutional rights. It marked the first constitutional climate trial in U.S. history.

Here are questions covered with Maya in this episode:

First off, let’s talk about that trial in Montana. What’s happening and what are the implications?

Q. Why were you there?

Q. What is a Green Amendment and how does it bring transformational change to environmental protection?Q. Let’s talk about the debt ceiling deal and the fallout from that. You’ve said that it will undermine environmental protection and people’s safety. How is that?

Q. The deal overhauls the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), rewriting this iconic environmental protection law. What’s the problem with that?

Q.The debt deal mandates approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. How is that a problem?

Q. Tell us about your work with the Riverkeepers and what you do?

Q. Let’s talk about your book, The Green Amendment: The People's Fight to Secure a Clean, Safe & Healthy Environment, now in it's 2nd edition.

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