Target: Speaker of the House, John Boehner
Goal: Insist Congress Pass Changes to Wildfire Fighting Funds
Next month President Obama will send his annual budget to Congress for their consideration. News sources report that this year, included in the budget will be a change to funding for the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture for the purpose of fighting wildfires. The new budget would create a fund for the departments to draw from in the event that wildfire fighting and prevention exceeds their annual budgets. This is the method already used by the federal government to fund hurricane and tornado relief.
As drought holds western states firmly in its grasp, this funding could not be more necessary or more timely. Many scientists have demonstrated and proposed a link between climate change and increased risk of wildfires going forward. Even President Obama has acknowledged that in the future, natural disasters could become more frequent and more devastating due to climate change.
Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) have already shown bipartisan cooperation by proposing legislation similar to this portion of the budget. However, with the budget wars in Congress seen in the last few years, this important and seemingly obvious change could become overlooked or even endangered. Although some members of Congress may still question the existence of man-made climate change, they must acknowledge the danger that natural disasters like wildfires pose to citizens and do everything in their power to protect them.
Increased funding for the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to fight wildfires and assist survivors of wildfires is vital and necessary for the protection of citizens of the American west. Call on Speaker of the House John Boehner to encourage a spirit of bi-partisan support when Congress considers the President’s annual budget next month. Insist that he rally members of his party to support constituents at risk for the destruction caused by wildfires, regardless of partisanship, and pass this budget.
Dear John Boehner,
With our climate changing, wildfires may become more frequent and more damaging. According to the New York Times, President Obama’s budget will include a provision for a new fund that the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture may draw from in the event that the costs of fighting wildfires exceeds their budgets. In the years to come, this fund will become more and more necessary to protect citizens living in western states such as California, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming.
I am writing to insist that you rally your party and Congress at large to preserve and increase funding for fighting wildfires when considering the President’s budget next month. At times, we must set aside partisanship in order to do what is right. I hope you will join me in doing just that, and pass a budget that includes these provisions.
[You Name Here]