The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday May 19th

Panel discusses what Myron Ebell might do as future head of the EPA

Students discuss the importance of renewable resources and energy in the light of shifting political power.
Buy Photos Students discuss the importance of renewable resources and energy in the light of shifting political power.

On Wednesday the forum “Post-Election: The Environmentalist Response” took place in Murphey Hall to discuss the potential impact of the first hundred days of the Trump presidency on the environment.

Schuyler Cornell, senior and event organizer, said this forum was designed to include issue briefings about what the first 100 days of the presidency would look like, to discuss the Paris Agreement and to talk about funding and regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency.

“So basically I got the idea for this event the days following the election when I was expecting to go into my classes and have professors tell me what was going to happen to the environment, like this thing I’ve been studying for four years, and no one was really providing any insight on that,” she said. “So today we gathered a bunch of information to give you all a sense of what could happen the first 100 days of the presidency and just to see what we should all be worried about.”

Cornell discussed Myron Ebell, Trump’s choice as the new head of the EPA, and what he has done and is planning on achieving. She said the forum gives everyone the opportunity to think about what to expect when Ebell is in charge of EPA, including the Clean Power Act which he has called illegal.

“Based on conversations we’ve had with different professors and different environmental leaders on campus we’ve sort of devolved a framework for an action plan,” she said.

Brady Blackburn, another event organizer said the framework for the actions plans include becoming bipartisan, engaging in social media and engaging in each other.

“While it sometimes it really seems like what we say and do doesn’t have an effect, if enough of us do it, it will,” he said.

Lexi Valenti, vice chairperson of the environmental affairs committee, said she wanted everyone to share their ideas, grievances and concerns and come together as a unit.

“I want to turn our current situation around because it is possible and I care but I’m only one voice,” she said. “We need to join together, be active and to make the change we need numbers. We are the future and our voices matter.”

Blackburn said he wanted to hear from students by allowing them to write on the chalk board about their worries. He said after the briefings there would be a talk on the path the organizers think they see for the environment.

“(I’ve) kind of come to a realization that while our situation sucks it’s also a great opportunity for our generation to really take the reins and change the conversation on environmentalism and on everything else,” he said.


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