March has been a dangerous and tumultuous month, as Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is causing horrific losses and destruction for people in Ukraine and has unfurled a humanitarian crisis. LCV stands with the people of Ukraine and condemns this unlawful and brutal assault.
The invasion is also causing economic shocks around the world, and in the U.S., fossil fuel interests are exploiting the crisis — and the resulting ban on Russian oil imports — to advocate for more oil and gas drilling at home, while price-gouging at the pump and spreading lies that more drilling will lower their artificially inflated prices.
With your support, LCV has continued to push back against the greed and opportunism of oil and gas companies — highlighting for the media, the public, and leaders that we cannot drill our way out of high gas prices. Doubling down on fossil fuels or opening more U.S. land and water to new leases and permits will not lower gas prices, but it will increase pollution, have devastating health impacts on communities living near extraction sites, and worsen our long-term climate outlook.
The truth is that we must break our dependence on dirty, dangerous and unreliable fossil fuels now. Moving to a clean energy economy will provide greater economic stability, lower energy costs, and protect our national and climate security, while creating a more equitable and sustainable future. This is why LCV continues to advocate for Congress to insulate the nation from volatile fuel prices by swiftly passing crucial legislation that invests in climate action, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice.
LCV commends the many lawmakers, officials, and energy and national security experts speaking out about the need to make transformative investments to reduce fossil fuel demand and protect our country’s security, energy independence, and long-term climate outlook. Read the highlights of what we’re hearing from key elected officials on clean energy independence here and here, and an expert analysis here.
And now, here are your LCV Top 5 items in the ongoing fight for a secure and equitable clean energy future for the month of March:
The day after his State of the Union address highlighting the need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to mitigate climate change, incentivize clean energy, and advance environmental justice, President Biden spoke at the University of Wisconsin’s Superior campus. Coinciding with his visit, LCV ran a digital ad campaign in Superior and surrounding communities urging the president and Congress to finish the job and pass climate investments while there’s still time. WATCH: “Let’s Finish the Job” digital ad.
With gasoline prices now a dominant concern for voters, on March 15, Hart Research Associates released findings from a new, in-depth survey conducted on behalf of LCV and Climate Power. The survey examined what voters believe about the causes of rising gas prices and what they want elected officials to do about it.
After polling a representative national cross section of 1,000 voters, the memo shared key findings, including:
- A large majority of voters (59%) see Putin’s war as a major cause of rising gasoline prices, and 60% blame price gouging by oil companies and decisions by oil producers to limit production.
- 73% say it is very important for the president and Congress to take action to lower the price of gasoline, and the action most broadly supported (by 87% of voters) is cracking down on excessive price increases by oil companies.
- With 61% of voters saying that continued U.S. dependence on oil is a major cause of rising gas prices, the dramatic effect that Putin’s war is having on gas prices has the potential to create a “new inflection point” when Americans recognize that it is essential to reduce reliance on oil not only as an environmental imperative, but also as an economic imperative and a necessity for achieving true energy independence.
One of the survey’s most important takeaways is that, “it is essential for Democrats and clean energy advocates to be on the offensive in addressing voters’ concerns about gas prices—both by fixing blame where it belongs and offering a clear path forward to voters. It would be dangerous and political malpractice to stand on the sidelines and let the other side define this debate.” READ the poll memo here.
Related: On March 17, the New York Times published a story on climate activists flexing political muscle and encouraging Democrats to go on offense on high gas prices, with quotes from LCV Senior Vice President for Campaigns Pete Maysmith. READ it here.
On March 7, the Biden-Harris administration announced continued actions to deliver clean transit, school buses, trucks, and cleaner air to communities across the country. The proposals include strategies for reducing diesel truck pollution, shifting faster to emissions-free electric transit, school buses and delivery trucks, and distributing funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and from regular appropriations for clean, electric buses.
In another win for clean air, the Biden-Harris administration reversed part of Trump’s anti-environmental cars policy and reaffirmed states’ authority to adopt stronger vehicle emissions standards than the federal government. The decision reinstates California’s strict tailpipe emissions standards and restores states’ ability to act under the Clean Air Act and reduce future emissions from cars, trucks, and other vehicles. In the U.S., transportation emissions currently account for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with other new national standards, this decision will prevent billions of tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and is great news for anyone who breathes air.
READ what Former EPA Administrator and LCV Board Chair Carol M. Browner had to say about the EPA strengthening clean car standards here.
Related: On March 11, EPA wrapped up a blockbuster week of actions that will deliver cleaner air to millions of people by proposing a strong rule to cut air (or smog?) pollution from fossil-fueled power plants and industrial facilities across 25 states. The proposal will prevent at least 1,000 premature deaths and one million asthma attacks each year. READ LCV’s full statement here.
On March 17, Chispa, a Latinx community organizing program of LCV, announced a digital video campaign encouraging viewers to get involved in the climate justice movement. The ad, titled “I Fight for Climate Justice,” brings attention to consequences of intentional and institutionalized injustices, as Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately exposed to the effects of climate change.
The digital video campaign highlights the direct relationship between the need for individuals from all walks of life to fight for climate justice as a tenet of defending our democracy. The national ad “I Fight for Climate Justice” is directed at Latinx, Black, and Indigenous communities and specifically targets Chispa affiliate states in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, and Texas. WATCH: “I Fight for Climate Justice”
Related: It’s official! After hiring staff and creating an online presence last year, on March 8, Chispa Texas officially launched from Corpus Christi and celebrated with a virtual launch party. The launch featured Chispa National Director Estefany Carrasco, Chispa Texas Program Director Elida Castillo, and music from local artist Bidi Bidi Banda. Castillo closed the event by saying, “the issues that we face are great but our hearts are bigger. We are resilient people, and we are going to fight for what is best for our families.” Follow Chispa Texas on Twitter here.
Earlier this month, the Biden-Harris administration closed the public comment period on the proposed American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a tool that will play a key role in determining how lands and waters are conserved and restored in our country as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to protect 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030.
Throughout the 60-day comment period, LCV members sent thousands of messages in support of ambitious actions to protect our lands and waters. LCV’s grassroots advocacy efforts are only possible thanks to the support of people like you. Thank you. LEARN more about the Atlas and READ some of the strong messages of support from people across the Conservation Voter Movement here.
Related: Chispa Arizona launched an email campaign calling on the Arizona House of Representatives to protect the 30×30 plan. The plan would permanently protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining as well as preserve habitats in the Great Bend of the Gila. The Arizona House is proposing a bill that would undermine these preservation efforts. To view Chispa Arizona’s Instagram post about this action in English, click here, and in Spanish, here.