On Tuesday, President Donald Trump issued a freeze on all new grants and contracts awarded to states through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This decision will cut off financial support for states wanting to clean up air and water pollution.
Jobs in California could also take a hit as grants and contracts given to communities for clean-up efforts create thousands of remediation jobs in the region.
Lastly, redevelopment can’t move forward for commercial or residential property unless brownfield and superfund sites—like former gas stations and coal mines—are treated properly.
Cutting the state’s access to these funds will be most damaging for communities that have long been polluted and are often home to low-income families and people of color.
Last year, the Western United States received nearly $1.1 billion in investment from the EPA to clean up lands and protect communities.
California received nearly $400 million in investment funds in 2017.
Trump also signed a series of executive memorandums to revive construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines—two major projects halted by the Obama administration after months of resistance from Indigenous and environmental activists.
On Tuesday, Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan denounced the actions of the Trump administration and called on CalPERS to immediately divest all its funds from companies involved in the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).
CalPERS manages the state retirement fund for public employees in California.
“The people of California must not collude in this racism, nor in the destruction of land, water, and environmental sustainability. I call on CalPERS to immediately act to fully divest from any involvement in DAPL,” Kaplan wrote in a letter to CalPERS.
“The pipeline proposal not only threatens the health of the planet and the safety of the drinking water, it also represents a horrifying example of environmental racism,” she said.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee also condemned Trump’s executive action, which threatens to poison the drinking water for thousands of people and violates the treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
“The American people decisively rejected both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline. President Trump’s executive orders are a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our planet and its inhabitants,” Lee said in a press release.
“At every turn, President Trump has shown his allegiance is with billionaires and Big Oil, not working families. We must resist this dangerous agenda and fight for the future of our planet.”