Letter to Congress opposing cuts to health and safety agencies

Dear Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree, and Representative Poliquin-

On behalf of ourselves and the 3,000+ other members of the Maine Small Business Coalition, we are writing to request that you oppose attempts at using the FY2018 appropriations process to undermine health and environmental safeguards that protect us from toxic chemicals, contaminated air and water, climate change pollution and its effects and needless accidents.

Americans have a right to clean air, safe drinking water, communities free of toxic pollution and a healthy environment. We expect and deserve a government that keeps us safe, to ensure the air we breathe doesn’t trigger asthma attacks, our tap water doesn’t poison us, and address climate change and its increased threats. And we deserve to accelerate the fast-growing clean energy economy putting millions of Americans to work as we transition away from dirty fossil fuels that make us sick and harm our planet.

All of our businesses – from farms to forestry products, tourism to tax preparation – rely on healthy and safe communities. We need well-funded and staffed federal public service agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure this safety. Yet, all of these agencies, and many more, are currently under attack. Congressional and Administration attempts to gut the budgets of these agencies and attach controversial policy riders that undermine their missions threaten our families, our communities, and our businesses.

Most Maine small business owners understand the importance of clean and healthy communities and work hard to succeed sustainably. It is essential that our communities are healthy places to live so that we can recruit and retain the best employees. The multinational corporations that come to Maine only to extract our economic resources and then send their profits offshore are the only businesses that benefit from these budget cuts and the rest of us pay the cost of their pollution.

We are asking you to stand up for Maine’s small business owners and the communities they support, not the big corporations that choose profit over the health and safety of Maine people. We are asking you to support clean spending bills, free from anti-environmental riders and free from cuts to these life-saving programs. Please protect people, not polluters.

Sincerely, the undersigned.