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On the rundown: a new poll has Americans turning thumbs-down on Trump’s hurricane response; changes in the works to North Carolina’s election law; a move to protect Central California wilderness; and making federal buildings “bird friendly”

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Climate Groups to Gov. Baker: Speak Up, Charlie

Climate activists used a giant puppet of Gov. Charlie Baker at a "Speak Up, Charlie" action on Friday,  demanding that Baker do more to stand up against Trump proposals they say harm the environment. (350 Mass)
Climate activists used a giant puppet of Gov. Charlie Baker at a "Speak Up, Charlie" action on Friday, demanding that Baker do more to stand up against Trump proposals they say harm the environment. (350 Mass)
March 20, 2017

BOSTON -- With the Trump budget proposal calling for a 31 percent cut in funding to the EPA, climate activists say states need to stand up for the environment; and they accuse Gov. Charlie Baker of being silent on the issue.

The Trump plan would cut funding for 50 EPA programs including the Clean Power Plan. Boston College professor and author Juliet Schor was among the 180 climate activists at a "Speak Up, Charlie" action on Friday on Boston Common. She said the public needs to hold Baker's feet to the fire and get him to declare whether he is going to side with his fellow Republicans or stand up for the majority of Bay State voters who demand continued progress on curbing climate emissions.

"To let the governor know we are not going to sit by and let him try and take this middle ground between the Trump administration's actions and what the citizenry wants,” Schor said.

During his monthly radio show on WGBH, Gov. Baker focused on what he called "alarming cuts" proposed by Trump to federal research at the National Institutes of Health. Climate activists used a giant Charlie Baker puppet to illustrate his lack of strong statements to protect the environment.

Katherine Anderson, communications director at 350 Massachusetts, said that even before the proposed Trump administration cuts, there was reason to be concerned about Baker's commitment to curbing climate change.

"We have our own requirements to cut carbon in Massachusetts, and Gov. Baker is not on track to meet those,” Anderson said. "By 2020, we are supposed to meet a 25 percent reduction in our emissions, and we are not even on track to meet that short term goal."

Schor said some governors are taking much bolder stands for the environment.

"For example, in California, Jerry Brown has said if the federal government stops collecting satellite data that we need for our climate change research, we're going to launch our own satellite,” she said.

Those attending Friday's action also said they were opposed to Trump's proposals to roll back federal auto efficiency standards. Supporters of the action are using the hashtag #SpeakUpCharlie.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA