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July 14, 2011

House Appropriations Committee ELIMINATES All Enviro Ed Funding at EPA

Just yesterday we learned that the House Appropriations Committee eliminated all federal funding (just shy of $10m last year) for the Office of Environmental Education at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and we need your help to make sure this program does not go away permanently!

This is devastating news for anyone in the environmental education community that has received an EPA environmental education grant over the last 20 years, or participated in the Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) or participated in the National Environmental Education Foundation’s many initiatives. All of the National Environmental Education Act (NEEA) initiatives have helped to advance environmental knowledge and understanding. To eliminate programs like these would be a huge step backwards and environmental education nationwide.

As we forge ahead as a nation in competing in the 21st Century global clean energy economy, NEEA initiatives are more critical than ever in supporting green careers, life-long education and environmental stewardship. The U.S. cannot lead from the back and currently we are falling behind in subjects integral to our success in producing an environmentally educated workforce that is equipped in handling the environmentally-based economic concerns of tomorrow.

You can help today by contacting your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives; tell your Rep to vote NO on the FY 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act when it comes to a vote on the House Floor (which may be as soon as next week). Below are some talking points to help you with your calls.

The buck does not stop when the House passes their bill! The cuts to environmental education won’t take effect until the Senate passes their bill and the President signs it into law, so there is still time to make your voices heard and make sure the House proposal is not accepted by the Senate or the President.

Instructions for Calling Your Representative:

·Go to the U.S. House of Representatives website and find your Representative and his or her phone number.

·Make the call and ask for the “legislative assistant” that handles ENVIRONMENT issues.

·(Always leave a voice message if you don’t get the staffer, be sure to hit the key points)

·If you get the staffer, simply share who you are, that you’re a constituent and that you want them to vote “NO” on the FY 2012 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act when it comes to a vote on the House Floor because it eliminates funding for EPA’s Office of Environmental Education. You might explain how you, your organization and the Representatives other constituents have benefited from the programs the Office of EE supports or explain how the successful, highly-leveraged environmental education programs at EPA are critical for preparing Americans for the clean energy economy and addressing mounting environmental challenges.

Thanks for your time and for taking action to save EPA’s Office of Environmental Education!

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