This Year’s 10 Biggest Fights for Food, Water, and Climate 

Published Jan 10, 2024

Categories

Food SystemClimate and EnergyClean Water

In 2024, we're poised to make progress on some of our most pressing issues. Here's what you need to know.

In 2024, we're poised to make progress on some of our most pressing issues. Here's what you need to know.

Every year since 2005, Food & Water Watch has given its all to protect our food, water, and climate. This year will be no different. From coast to coast; local fights to the courts to the halls of Congress, we’re fighting for the bold action we need to secure a livable future for all. 

With your support and partnership, we’re poised to score some major wins and make significant progress across a whole range of issues. Here are 10 of the biggest fights we’re taking on this year.

Food

1. Seizing the Opportunity for a Fair Farm Bill

As part of last year’s budget negotiations, lawmakers punted the deadline for the 2023 Farm Bill to September 2024. This gives us more time to advocate for change in our country’s most important piece of food legislation. 

In 2024, we’ll continue working with allies to push for Farm Bill policies that put farmers and families before Big Ag corporations. We’re also fighting to support sustainable, smaller-scale farming, break up mega-corporations, and finally ban factory farms. 

2. Making Progress Toward Ending Factory Farms

Alongside our Farm Bill advocacy, we’ll continue pushing for the Farm System Reform Act with our allies in Congress. This bill includes a national moratorium on factory farms and will jumpstart the transition from factory farms to a smaller-scale, sustainable food system. Additionally, we’ll continue our campaigns to stop mega-dairies in Oregon, California, and New Mexico.

3. Protecting Our Water from Dangerous Factory Farm Pollution

Factory farms are one of the U.S.’s biggest sources of water pollution, in part because they’re not regulated under the Clean Water Act. This is unacceptable.

While we continue our legal battle to move the EPA to effectively regulate factory farms, we’re also working in Iowa to pass state legislation that addresses this problem. The Clean Water for Iowa Act would force factory farms to clean up their messes, limit their pollution, and track it publicly.

Water

4. Protecting People from Toxic PFAS

Last year, the EPA released draft rules to regulate toxic PFAS, which have infiltrated much of our lives. In 2024, we’re awaiting the agency’s final rules, and we’ll be at the forefront of the fight for stronger protections that hold polluters accountable.

At the same time, we’re joining allies in Congress to support the PFAS Action Act. This urgently needed legislation will establish the regulations, definitions, and polluter accountability that we need to address this crisis.

5. Ending Our Unacceptable Lead-in-Water Crisis

In December, the EPA proposed new rules to address our country’s lead-in-water crisis. This is welcome progress, but it isn’t enough. The EPA must replace all lead service lines within 10 years without exception or cost for impacted families. It also must lower the action level for lead to no more than 5 parts per billion.

Additionally, the EPA can’t allow PVC or CPVC pipes to replace lead service lines. Communities shouldn’t replace one toxic pipe with another.

This year, we’ll continue advocating for the WATER Act, which sets aside the federal funding needed to help communities comply with new lead and PFAS regulations and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure. No one should be denied access to safe water. 

6. Keeping Water Under Community Control Across the Country

When water supplies and services stay in community hands, they are accountable to the people who need them. People can pass laws to improve water services, create affordability programs, and make water more accessible for all. So this year, defending community control is a top priority for Food & Water Watch. 

In particular, we’re opposing efforts to take over Baltimore’s water system through a regional authority. This could open the doors to privatization and undermine local protections that we and the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition have long worked for. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we will work to protect the public from water privatization threats. 

We’ll also continue opposing the corporate water lobby’s efforts to grab federal funding from public wastewater systems. 

Climate

7. Taking on Corporations’ Bogus Climate Scams

The climate movement is gaining steam, and Big Oil and Gas know it. That’s why they’re pouring resources into projects that make false promises to help the climate and environment.

From dirty factory farm gas, to carbon capture and storage, to hydrogen power, and more, Food & Water Watch is exposing the truth behind industry greenwashing. 

We’re also fighting for policies that will take these scams off the table. In New York, we’re spearheading a campaign to block a proposal for CO2 fracking that would undermine the state’s fracking ban. And, we’re fighting for a national moratorium on carbon pipelines and efforts to end state support for factory farm gas in Maryland, California, and beyond.

8. Protecting Our Climate from Its New Biggest Threat: Liquefied Natural Gas

Despite urgent calls to end fossil fuels, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is exploding with the blessing of the Biden administration. One of the biggest projects on the table is CP2, an LNG export facility in Louisiana. As it awaits approval, Biden has an opportunity to reverse course. This year, we’re calling on him to reject CP2 and all LNG export facilities.

9. Defending Trailblazing Energy Laws at the State Level

This year, several states are considering legislation that promises huge impacts on our climate and energy sector. For example, Californians will face a referendum vote that could repeal a hardwon setback law. This law prevents dangerous drilling operations from getting too close to homes, schools, and hospitals. Ahead of the referendum, we’ll be challenging Big Oil’s massive spending campaign as part of a huge coalition, people-powered effort to keep the law on the books.

On the other side of the country, we’re getting closer to passing the NY HEAT Act, which would stop new gas expansions and put a cap on energy bills for millions of New Yorkers. 

10. Keeping Communities Safe from Dirty Fossil Fuel Projects

As always, Food & Water Watch will continue helping communities defend themselves from dirty energy projects. To name a few, we’re fighting the Maple Project, a pipeline expansion in the Northeast, and the Iroquois Pipeline expansion in New York.

We’re also continuing our work in New Jersey opposing two gas power plants, two pipelines, and an LNG facility. Stopping these projects is essential to prevent more harm to environmental justice communities across the state.

We Can Win With People Who Love Our Planet — Like You!

In 2023, we saw some incredible victories. Food, water, and climate protections are becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, the stakes of inaction or backpedaling grow higher every day. 

But when we have grassroots action and leaders who are committed to our livable future, we pave the way for more progress — for safe communities, just policies, economic fairness, and a healthy environment. 

With your help, we can win on all these fronts. We can pass policy, build support, stop dangerous projects, and support elected officials who help us win these fights. Join us!

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