This post was inspired and sponsored by Clean Air Moms Action. All thoughts and opinions, as per usual, are my own.
My kids missed school on Monday and Tuesday because of a massive wind storm that came through the state of Maine on Sunday evening. We were expecting some rain and wind. We didn’t expect the “unprecedented” storm that forced its way through the state. It was reported that two-thirds of the state was without power on Monday evening.
I was lucky. My property didn’t sustain any damage and we only lost power for 24 hours. I have natural gas and so was able to take a hot shower even without electricity. My water wasn’t affected, and my boyfriend brought over a generator so we could keep the refrigerator running enough and didn’t lose any food. We grilled dinner outside and played cards by the light of our camping lantern.
My town was hit pretty hard, even postponing Halloween until Friday. As I write this post, there are still many people without electricity and linesman from all over the Northeast working around the clock to clear the down lines and restore power. (Though I was ready to use the generator to create a smoking cauldron in my garage so I could pass out candy in a witch costume. Wind Shmind.)
One of my friends still without power shared with me how she filled two buckets of water from a nearby stream and walked it back to her house and how very thankful she was to be strong enough to do it. Storms like this make me think about issues like climate change and access to clean water and food security and all sorts of things that are affected by how we treat the environment. How often do we take for granted the simple things we have access to like electricity, food, water, even basic transportation from our cars or the ability to send our children to school?
Here’s another thing to think about. We rely on our government to ensure so much is safe – the food we eat, the air we breathe, even the toys our children play with. Have you ever stopped to look at what’s in your children’s Halloween makeup? If your child’s school was built before 1980, is it free from asbestos? What would happen to our air and water quality if there were no safeguards against pollution?
Two pieces of legislation, the Regulatory Accountability Act and the REINS Act, are moving through Congress and we can’t ignore them. They gut crucial federal safety protections we rely on to ensure that what surrounds us isn’t putting us in danger or making us sick. These are direct threats to public health that will have broad, overreaching consequences. It will also make it nearly impossible for agencies to implement and enforce commonsense safety laws that have broad public support.
The REINS Act would require Congressional approval of rules, effectively giving either branch of Congress or powerful lobbying groups, a “pocket veto” on safeguards. The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would create hurdles to rulemaking similar to the one that kept America from banning asbestos.
The RAA has already passed the House and the REINS Act was recently placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar. This is not good news. But you can take action. Clean Air Moms Action has a super easy click to email tool that allows you to email your members of Congress and tell them to protect our kids and communities by voting no on the RAA and REINS Acts. All you have to do is click on this link, fill in your basic contact info and Clean Air Moms Action will sent a message for you. It took me about two minutes to complete. It’s the least we can do for our kids and for each other.
Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got to practice my cackling for “Halloween” on Friday.