Beating back 4 years of bad policy and moving climate action forward

SELC’s role will be more important than ever as we tackle the hard and critical work ahead

Director of Regulatory Policy Brenda Mallory weighs in on SELC's role during a Biden/Harris administration. 

The Southern Environmental Law Center has taken the lead on challenging some of the Trump administration’s most egregious assaults on environmental protections—many of which have an outsized impact on the South. SELC has fought hard to stop the worst of these environmental rollbacks, and our organization working with our partners was able to delay the most destructive damage from taking place. But now, with a new administration poised to take office, there is a tremendous need to rebuild environmental protections and reinforce them to ensure all our communities get the full protection of the law.

“Over the past four years, we have witnessed an unprecedented assault on bedrock environmental protections that have been in place since the Nixon administration,” says Jeff Gleason, executive director of SELC. “We can repair the damage of the past four years, but it will take hard work and focus. SELC is ready for this work, but we can’t do it without your support.”

SELC has led the charge to defend longstanding environmental protections as the Trump administration worked to gut these proven safeguards. While the courts were a backstop against the worst of these environmental attacks, the administration was still able to do a massive amount of harm to important environmental protections and the agencies that enforce them. 

One thing is for sure: this is an opportunity to begin to reconcile and rectify numerous errors of the past and move toward a better, more sustainable, and more compassionate future.”

—Nat Mund, Director of Federal Affairs

Now, SELC will lead the charge in undoing the damage done—restoring the laws that guarantee clean air and clean water, and transforming our energy systems as we face a critical moment for our climate future.

“You can’t just walk in on day one and undo the Trump rollbacks,” said Brenda Mallory, SELC’s Regulatory Director Policy Director. “Undoing the actions of a previous administration takes time and a lot of effort. That’s why organizations, like SELC, will be critical to this rebuilding process.”

Our country faces unprecedented challenges to restore our economy and national unity, but we can do this together. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to join forces and build a fairer, cleaner environmental future for our region and our country.

As a nation, we spent time largely treading water for the last four years when we urgently needed to move forward. The new administration presents a renewed opportunity to get back on track with real solutions to address environmental challenges and to move forward for a better future. As we move ahead, we’ll be keeping our eye on top priorities:

  • taking on climate change and its impacts across our region;
  • amplifying the experiences and voices of communities suffering environmental injustices; and
  • defending the basic right to clean air and clean water.

On these issues and more, we’ll be using our experience on the front lines to lead the conversation about how we can best unwind the damage of the past four years.

“These are unprecedented times, and Trump attacks on the environment have been almost more than we could have ever imagined,” says Nat Mund, Director of Federal Affairs. “But one thing is for sure: this is an opportunity to begin to reconcile and rectify numerous errors of the past and move toward a better, more sustainable, and more compassionate future.”

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