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EPA's largest union endorses Biden for president

A union representing thousands of Environmental Protection Agency employees endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election on Tuesday. Photo by Chris Kleponis /UPI
A union representing thousands of Environmental Protection Agency employees endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election on Tuesday. Photo by Chris Kleponis /UPI | License Photo

June 19 (UPI) -- A union representing thousands of Environmental Protection Agency employees has issued an historic endorsement of President Joe Biden for re-election, praising the incumbent for his strong record fighting climate change while warning a second term of Donald Trump would be "catastrophic."

"AFGE Council 238 is proud to issue its first-ever political endorsement to President Joe Biden, a leader who supports and values the work of federal employees who are working tirelessly to face the climate emergency," the union's president, Marie Owens Powell, said Tuesday in a statement.

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"President Biden's commitment to combating the climate crisis is what the country, and the planet, needs. We cannot risk having a president who denies climate change, attacks science and curtails efforts to find solutions to protect our communities from disaster."

The endorsement comes amid a tight race between Biden and Trump, his Republican challenger.

The union said its members overwhelmingly voted to endorse Biden as they are on the frontlines of the fight against climate change, with Powell stating that he "has shown up for us" during his first term in the White House.

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The union cited its new contract as proof, stating it contains a groundbreaking scientific integrity article, which protects employees from retribution for reporting scientific misconduct.

The contract states the aim of the article is to prevent "inappropriate interference in scientific work," as the Trump administration faced several allegations of doing just that during its tenure.

In its endorsement of Biden, the union chastised Trump, describing him as having attacked science and gutting the EPA when at the country's helm, while warning that he promises to do the same and more if re-elected.

"Donald Trump's dangerous rhetoric around climate change, and his comments signaling his intent to gut environmental agencies, tells us that a second term would be catastrophic," Powell said.

"We cannot roll back the clock and risk any of the crucial progress we have made toward combating climate change, nor can we allow another all-out assault on science."

In 2019, Biden ran on a platform that sought to put fighting climate change at the forefront, and one of his accomplishes in the White House has been the passing of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which has been characterized as the United States' largest climate investment.

The union said it will soon be launching a campaign to mobilize its members to help get others to vote for Biden.

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"Our members know we are at a crucial moment for our planet, and that the outcome of this election will have serious consequences. We vow to do all we can to make sure a champion of the environment and workers is leading the way for the next four years," Powell said.

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