THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION(!) –  AUGUST 20, 2021

Mika Hyer, mhyer@lcv.org, 940-783-2230

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“When it comes to the displacement issues here, the added factors, besides the displacement, besides the natural disaster, flood, drought, we also have had to deal with COVID. COVID is still here. So we have three issues: conflict, COVID and climate that we’re dealing with in Afghanistan.

— Caroline Van Buren, Representative to Afghanistan for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in US News interview, “U.N. Refugee Official: Widespread Crisis Across Afghanistan.”

“Whenever there’s a question of where to site a polluting facility, there’s a calculus to that decision. And part of the calculus involves the political power of the communities that are near that property…Anything that causes a devastating harm to people of color is eventually going to happen to everyone.”

— Chandra Taylor, the senior attorney and leader of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Environmental Justice Initiative in New York Times opinion piece by Margaret Renkl, “How to Fight the Poison of Environmental Racism.”

“It’s not necessarily an issue of attracting people of color to the field. It’s, as we showed in the study, more about minimizing exclusion and isolation that pushes people of color out of the field.”

— Bala Chaudhary, an assistant professor of ecology at Dartmouth and co-author of new study, “Students of colour views on racial equity in environmental sustainability,” where a student interviewed for the study stated, “People will talk about the polar bears dying before they talk about brown people breathing in dangerous air.”

———————————————————————————————————————

LCV IN THE NEWS:

NBC: Meet the Press: The reconciliation ad wars have begun
The Guardian: The US public schools redesigning buildings with climate in mind
Paper Boat: Grassroots organizers and a neighborhood of mothers helped this college district procure its first electrical bus

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:

AZ Central (AZ): New climate report wasn’t surprising to Indigenous peoples, who see change up close
Tampa Bay Times (FL): Climate change will make heat even deadlier for outdoor workers, study says
Arizona Republic (AZ): Republicans campaign for tighter voter ID rules as civil rights groups sue over new Ariz. election laws
Florida Phoenix (NV): White House pledges to fight court order on oil and gas leases; activists want more
The Register Citizen (AK): Clean energy projects highlighted in Granholm’s Alaska tour
The Virginian Pilot (VA): Opinion: Federal investment can protect Virginia’s shoreline
The Sacramento Bee (CA): Environmental group targets Atkins
Telemundo Las Vegas (NV): Dale Play: Mega Sequía
Press Herald (ME): Maine Voices: Lawmakers set course for future progress
The Independent (NY): New proposals for high voltage lines under Hudson River to channel renewable power from upstate into NYC
KTFT-NBC (ID): Boise Mayor Lauren McLean will join 5 other mountain west mayors in a discussion about climate and infrastructure needs across the west
WGTQ-ABC (MI): Trevor City Mayor Jim Carruthers joined 4 others from the midwest to discuss need for Congress to deliver a recovery package centering climate, justice, and jobs
CBS6 (NY): Sheehan, other mayors highlight need for climate investments
Colorado Newsline (CO): Colorado proposes rule to curb greenhouse gas pollution from transportation projects
Rome News Tribune (MT): Missoula Mayor Engen participates in forum to discuss climate actions

———————————————————————————————————————

AUGUST ACTIVITY RECAP — MORE THAN $14 MILLION INVESTED: With the House of Representatives set to take a pivotal vote next week on the budget resolution, LCV and Climate Power have built the momentum and enthusiasm to make sure it passes with climate action at its core, with more than $14 million in investments across the country in key districts this first half of August to support members of Congress by making clear that voters want to see significant investments in climate, justice, and jobs. From events with members of Congress, cabinet officials, and other federal and local leaders, to field teams knocking over 110,000 doors in key states, to small business engagement, to town hall advocacy, to art activations, to paid TV and digital ads in key districts, see our summary of the impact we’ve made in the first two(ish) weeks of August HERE.

REINTRODUCING HISTORIC VOTING RIGHTS LEGISLATION: The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act was reintroduced in Congress by Representative Terri Sewell on Tuesday. The bill would restore the critical voter protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 revoked in recent Supreme Court decisions and update language to protect against recent attacks on voting rights in the states. We cannot have a healthy environment without a healthy democracy, and must continue to support bold action to strengthen our democracy and address barriers to the ballot box rooted in racist policies and governance and systemically target historically excluded communities, which are too often communities of color and communities of low wealth.

SEWELL TAKE: Speaking at the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, Representative Terri Sewell stated, “As a native of Selma and the Representative of Alabama’s Civil Rights District I knew there was no place more befitting. Here on the foot of the bridge to get in some good trouble, what John Lewis would call necessary trouble…Fifty-six years ago, brave Foot Soldiers like John Lewis fought, bled, and died on this bridge for our most sacred and fundamental right–the right to vote. I’m proud to be introducing this bill today to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which was gutted by the 2013 Supreme Court decision Shelby v. Holder and ensure that our democracy lives up to its ideals of justice and equality for all.”

CBC TAKE: Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty stated, “Access to the ballot box is under unprecedented threat, 56 years after enactment of the Voting Rights Act. Since last November, we have seen numerous statewide voter suppression laws spring up across America, threatening to silence the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities. As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021. The right to vote is the very foundation of our democracy. Generations of brave, patriotic Americans have fought, marched, and shed blood to safeguard and expand that right. In introducing this legislation, House Democrats are honoring our promises ‘for the people’ to safeguard the right to vote for generations to come.”

🏈FROM THE FIELD🏈: Our team continues its work on the ground, building power and support with climate advocates, business owners, community leaders, students, and those who are seeing the everyday impacts of the climate crisis working towards a clean energy future. Last week, our organizers across the country hit a huge milestone, knocking on 100,000 doors! See photos from last week’s Honk and Wave events, and from this week’s visit to members of Congress to deliver signed placards from businesses who are on board for clean energy jobs! See more in our August recess recap HERE.

TALKING INFRASTRUCTURE AND JUSTICE WITH CEQ CHAIR MALLORY: This week, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory joined Michigan LCV, Senator Gary Peters, Representative Debbie Dingell, National Wildlife Federation Vice President of Environmental Justice Mustafa Santiago Ali, along with environmental, labor, and justice advocates to discuss how bold investments in our nation’s infrastructure can drive Michigan towards a clean energy future while addressing environmental injustices in some of Michigan’s most impacted communities. For too long, we have seen the devastating impacts of crumbling infrastructure on communities of color — and Michigan’s Flint residents know all too well the consequences of a public health crisis on a community. The latest IPCC climate report makes it clear — we can no longer wait to take action on the climate crisis, and we must take action in communities who have been historically excluded. Watch the panel HERE.

CEQ CHAIR TAKE: On making sure that investments are reaching communities who need it the most, CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory stated, “We’re going to keep talking to the agencies, to the communities about what we’re doing and whether it’s working…it’s an important first step, but it is a first step, and we are going to keep on this track.”

STATE SENATOR TAKE: State Senator Stephanie Chang stated, “We’ve got people who are still dealing with the ramifications of having sewage in their basement from flooding in late June and early July. And we know from the recent UN report that it is only going to continue to get worse.”

TALKING INFRASTRUCTURE WITH MAYORS: This week, 19 mayors from across the country joined regional forums hosted by LCV state affiliates for a virtual discussion about the urgent need for Congress to pass a federal economic recovery package that centers climate, justice, and jobs. Local leaders from every corner of the nation are seeing the impacts of the climate crisis on their constituents firsthand, and are seeing the outcomes that come with investing in solutions for a clean energy future. The science in the latest IPCC climate report is clear — we can no longer wait for transformational change, and Congress can no longer wait to make once-in-a-generation investments to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and environmental injustices in communities already suffering the most from extreme weather and pollution. Congress must meet the moment on climate and environmental injustices and move our economy towards a clean energy future.

MISSOULA MAYOR TAKE: Missoula Mayor John Engen stated, “This federal investment is so critical, there are lots of us on the ground who are ready to deploy those resources in ways that will have a lasting and meaningful impact for the residents we serve.” 

MANCHESTER MAYOR TAKE: Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig stated, “Investments in clean transportation are essential to meeting our nation’s climate goals, reducing air pollution, improving public health, and spurring the economy.”

SCRANTON MAYOR TAKE: Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti stated, “We have to have the funds at all levels to make sure we can reach new solutions… We need to build on the past and focus on the future, increase the quality of life, create jobs, and work for climate justice.”

LINCOLN MAYOR TAKE: What’s at stake? The future we hope for when we look into the eyes of our children, the promise of a stronger and more secure and more equitable future, not just for Americans, but for all of humanity.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE WEEK OF ACTION: This week, Chispa and the We Are Home coalition joined forces for an Environmental Justice Week of Action to say loud and clear: We need a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants as part of our environmental justice movement. Climate justice and immigration justice are intertwined; our luchas are connected. The same systemic inequities and institutionalized discrimination that fuels environmental justice also oppress the immigrant community. We cannot truly recover from this pandemic or Build Back Better without a pathway to citizenship for our community. Read last week’s coalition letter calling on Congress to include immigration reform as part of the reconciliation package HERE

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa tweeted, “The #ClimateCrisis is already displacing millions of people. We need basic protections for #ClimateRefugees who are leaving uninhabitable places in search of a safe home. We must provide a #PathWayToCitizenship to protect our families. #WeAreHome.”

COALITION TAKE: Last week, a coalition of 50 organizations led by We are Home and America’s Voice released a statement calling on Congress to include immigration reform as part of the reconciliation package, stating, “To Build Back Better we have to make sure everyone is included, particularly those traditionally left behind. Along with jobs, care, and climate, citizenship for immigrant workers and families is an integral part of the recovery package that Congress must enact this year…The political moment to enact a citizenship measure is now.”

Q&A WITH ENVIRO CHAMPS: Yesterday, members of Congress joined LCV for a Twitter Q&A on environmental justice and infrastructure, where they discussed the need for an infrastructure and budget reconciliation package that invests in climate action and justice, and the benefits that would have for communities across the country. As our country makes the largest investment in infrastructure we’ve seen in decades, we must ensure that Congress centers environmental justice or we will only recreate the disparities that exist in our society today. See more from our thread HERE.

BOOKER TAKE: Senator Cory Booker tweeted, “Low-income & communities of color are more likely to suffer from contaminated water, air pollution & proximity to toxic waste & other legacy pollution. My Environmental Justice Legacy Pollution Cleanup bill invests $200 billion to clean up legacy pollution & should be included.”

ESPAILLAT TAKE: Representative Adriano Espaillat tweeted, “Communities are torn apart by lackluster infrastructure investments – leaving underserved communities displaced, and disproportionately exposed to harmful pollutants. Environmental injustice costs lives, and going big on clean infrastructure is how we level the playing field.”

MERKLEY TAKE: Senator Jeff Merkley tweeted, “Our climate action must be rooted in environmental justice, from planning to implementation. Historically, we’ve failed on this—choking poor communities and communities of color with toxic pollution and creating “heat islands” that amplify the worst heat impacts of climate chaos.”

GRIJALVA TAKE: Representative Raúl Grijalva tweeted, “Addressing systemic environmental racism can improve the lives of every marginalized community. The last seven years have been the hottest on record. As the #ClimateCrisis worsens, so will living conditions in Arizona and many other places.”

BANNING CHLORPYRIFOS: This week, the EPA announced that it will ban the use of the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos on food, reversing a Trump-era decision to continue the use of a toxic chemical linked to neurological issues in children, farm workers and their families. This ban is a huge step on the path to protecting communities from exposure to toxic chemicals that permanently impact some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

OUR TAKE: LCV Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote stated, “Getting this dangerous chemical out of our food is a long overdue victory for the health of children, families, and farmworkers across the country. The Trump administration knew the damaging effects of this chemical but chose to ignore the science in order to appease special interests and corporate profits. It is a relief to once again have an administration and EPA that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of communities, especially communities of color. We applaud Administrator Regan and the EPA for taking this much-needed step and urge them to expand this ban to all uses of this neurotoxic chemical to fully protect every community from its harmful effects.”  

DRILL LEASING RESUMED: This week, the Biden administration announced the Department of Interior will proceed with oil and gas drill leasing as the administration appeals a federal district court’s preliminary injunction on the pause of oil and gas leasing offshore and onshore — concerning for environmental advocates everywhere as we await the Department of the Interior’s report on oil and gas leasing programs. We cannot continue to put polluters over people as the climate crisis continues to be fueled by greenhouse gases, harming communities on the front lines of climate change and pollution the most. 

@INTERIOR TAKE: The Interior Department issued a statement stating, “Together, federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing programs are responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions and growing climate and community impacts. Yet the current programs fail to adequately incorporate consideration of climate impacts into leasing decisions or reflect the social costs of greenhouse gas emissions…Furthermore, past operation of the programs did not adequately reflect the breadth of the Interior Secretary’s stewardship responsibilities, including conserving wildlife habitat, protecting historic and cultural resources, ensuring that public lands are available for multiple uses, protecting marine, coastal, and human environments, meeting trust responsibilities to American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, and providing a fair return to taxpayers.“

@NPS NOMINATED: Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III was nominated this week by the White House to be director of the National Park Service. Sams’ background, Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and his leadership working with Tribal and state governments, in addition to extensive experience working in the conservation management and natural resource fields over the last 25 years makes him a strong nomination to help ensure some of our nation’s most sacred lands are protected and accessible to all communities.

@INTERIOR TAKE: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland stated, “The diverse experience that Chuck brings to the National Park Service will be an incredible asset as we work to conserve and protect our national parks to make them more accessible for everyone. I look forward to working with him to welcome Americans from every corner of our country into our national park system. The outdoors are for everyone, and we have an obligation to protect them for generations to come.”

@DFC NOMINATED: This week, former LCV Board Member, and past Board Chair, Scott Nathan was nominated to lead the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. As the Biden-Harris administration continues to address the climate crisis, Nathan’s nomination is a welcome addition to help lead development initiatives around the world. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Board Chair Carol M. Browner stated, “Scott Nathan will be a fantastic addition to the dream team of climate champions in the Biden administration. With his broad range of successful business, government and non-profit experience, Scott is the perfect choice for this important position helping people around the world, and we urge the Senate to move swiftly to confirm him.”

———————————————————————————————————————

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

VOTING RIGHTS LAWSUIT FILED IN ARIZONA: This week, voting rights advocates including Chispa AZ, Mi Familia Vota, Arizona Coalition for Change, and Living United for Change in Arizona filed a lawsuit in the state’s federal district court, challenging two new voter suppression laws that would harm voters of color and other marginalized Arizonans by removing voters from voting lists and restricting the amount of time allocated to fix mail-in ballot issues. Read the full lawsuit HERE.

CHISPA AZ TAKE: Chispa AZ State Co-Director Vianey Olivarria stated, “At Chispa Arizona, we believe in a reflective democracy that works for all of us. That cannot happen if Arizona leaders punish voters through bills like SB 1485 and SB 1003, which create more barriers to the ballot and disenfranchise Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.”

COALITION TAKE: The plaintiffs wrote, “The laws will have a severe and disproportionate impact on voters of color in Arizona, especially Native American, Latino, and Black voters…It is no coincidence that the Arizona legislature enacted these changes only after an election in which (1) for the first time in recent memory, the presidential candidate preferred by Arizona voters of color won; and (2) voters of color increasingly used early voting—the target of the new laws—to help elect their candidate of choice.”

ART ACTIVATION IN FLORIDA: Chispa Florida hosted a community art activation with Iglesia Jesus de Nazaret and local artist Carlitos X. Díaz with a chalk-by-number installation connecting the need to address environmental injustices, extreme weather and sea level rise in Florida with the stories of the people coming to the region as refugees who are impacted by the climate crisis. This activation comes ahead of the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria — one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history that forced over 200,000 Puerto Ricans to leave their homes and flee to Florida, some temporarily and some permanently — as the island continues to recover.

ART ACTIVATION IN ILLINOIS: Over the weekend, Illinois Environmental Council and LCV teamed up with local artist Nina Tiberi-Sawica from Chalking it Over to host an art activation in front of Between the Lynes bookstore in Woodstock to demand climate justice for Illinois. The piece highlighted environmental injustices, extreme weather and flooding, as well as aging roads, bridges and water infrastructure in the state. View photos from the chalk activation HERE.

IEC TAKE: Illinois Environmental Council posted, “We have no time to lose in addressing the scale of the #ClimateCrisis. Illinoisans like artist Nina are chalking for climate action including bold investments in clean energy jobs, modernizing our infrastructure, and centering environmental justice.”

POWER UP FOR RECESS!⚡: This week we’re continuing LCV and Climate Power’s Climate Action Now: Great American Build nationwide August recess tour, which includes clean energy facility visits, art activations, block parties and community gatherings highlighting the opportunity to take climate action now! In coordination with LCV’s state affiliates and partners, we will hold events during this tour, many of which will include members of Congress in key states and Congressional Districts across the country. As we’ve seen from deadly heat waves and devastating fires over the summer, Congress cannot wait to tackle the climate crisis and invest in a dual-track package for clean energy, justice, and jobs. See our August recess recap HERE.

IN ILLINOIS: This week, Illinois Environmental Council, LCV, and local environmental advocacy organizations attended and hosted town halls with Representatives Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten to discuss how activists can help demand that Congress take climate action for Illinois, and our country.

UNDERWOOD TAKE: Representative Lauren Underwood tweeted, “With the #BuildBackBetter Agenda, we have the opportunity to make long-overdue investments in infrastructure and take action on climate change that will create millions of American jobs, improve the health of our planet, and advance clean energy.”

CASTEN TAKE: Representative Sean Casten stated, “If we squander this moment, we’ll be out of moments. It’s time to leave it all on the field. We’ve got to stop breaking our arms patting ourselves on the back for doing what was politically possible while never once asking what was necessary.”

IN OREGON: This week, Oregon League of Conservation Voters hosted a virtual town hall with Senator Jeff Merkley to discuss climate action on the federal level. As Oregonians continue to see the devastating impacts from wildfires and deadly heat waves, it’s clear that communities in Oregon are already on the front lines of the climate crisis and cannot wait for Congress to take action. Watch the town hall HERE.

MERKLEY TAKE: Senator Merkley stated in a press release on last week’s infrastructure week, “The bipartisan infrastructure deal is a crucial step in the right direction to support the foundations for families to thrive—creating jobs, cleaning up drinking water, making forests more resilient and irrigation more efficient. The budget bill that Democrats passed will finish the job of investing in American families: Among many other things, it will tackle the urgent climate crisis and begin to reverse the housing crisis corroding our communities. I look forward to traveling around the state and connecting with Oregonians on this important progress in helping our state and our nation build back better.”

IN MASSACHUSETTS: White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy joined Representative Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts Conservation Voters, and environmental justice advocates for a roundtable on Monday, highlighting the urgency in addressing the climate crisis and investing in our nation’s infrastructure while delivering on environmental justice.

CLIMATE ADVISOR TAKE: White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy stated, “We have to grab this moment for every opportunity we can.” 

PRESSLEY TAKE: Representative Ayanna Pressley stated, “These injustices did not happen overnight — they are the result of generations of chronic disinvestment and racist policymaking.”

IN MICHIGAN: 

Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Debbie Dingell joined Michigan Conservation Voters and other allied groups for a town hall this week, to talk about how  Michigan can Build Back Better with investments for a clean energy future that will address the climate crisis and environmental injustices faced by Michiganders. 

Michigan Conservation Voters held another town hall with Representative Haley Stevens and environmental justice and labor advocates, including BlueGreen Alliance, Michigan Solar Solutions, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58, to discuss the once-in-a-generation investments that can transform Michigan’s infrastructure and create clean energy jobs while tackling climate change and addressing pollution. Watch the town hall HERE.

STEVENS TAKE: Representative Haley Stevens stated, “We are building a more sustainable future in our automotive industry, through the modernizing of our grid, and also addressing our legacy challenges. We want to make the investments to make sure our roads are safe, our bridges are safe, our dams are secure — and we also need to do this for our sustainable future.” 

MCV TAKE: Michigan LCV Federal Government Affairs Director stated, “It’s absolutely critical that Congress invests in climate, clean energy, justice, and jobs at the scale that science demands. I believe that we will start to treat the climate crisis like the crisis that it is and truly Build Back Better.”

IN MINNESOTA: Representative Angie Craig joined Conservation Minnesota and labor, environmental, and climate justice advocates to highlight how Building Back Better can strengthen families in Minnesota through good paying jobs, updating critical infrastructure, and addressing environmental injustices — while building a clean energy future. Watch the event HERE

CRAIG TAKE: Representative Angie Craig tweeted, “We must immediately pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will grow our economy, support workers & jumpstart manufacturing.”

IN NEVADA: Last week, Nevada Conservation League joined an in-person meeting with Representative Susie Lee, Asian Community Development Council, One APIA Nevada, and Asian and Pacific Islander leaders to discuss how critical infrastructure investments are needed for a better climate and clean energy future for all of our communities.

LEE TAKE: Representative Susie Lee tweeted, “Thank you @ACDCNV & @OneAPIANevada for sitting down to talk about infrastructure & how we can deliver environmental justice for every Nevadan. We are so fortunate to have your voices here in #NV03 & I’m looking forward to continuing to work together for Nevada’s APIA communities.”

ACDC TAKE: Asian Community Development Council tweeted, “As we work towards a more sustainable future it is important to hear from youth and community leaders alike.”

IN NEVADA: This week, Nevada Conservation League and Chispa Nevada hosted a virtual discussion with Representative Steven Horsford and environmental, labor, and justice organizations about ensuring access to investments and pathways to economic development for communities of color and low-income communities in federal infrastructure legislation. Speakers also discussed how communities of color, especially  Indigenous communities, can and should be considered when building a clean energy future. Watch the discussion here.

HORSFORD TAKE: Representative Steven Horsford stated, “As the House of Representatives works to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, building back better for Nevada is my top priority. This legislation presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our workers and the environment, and we must make sure that every community has a voice in our progress. During today’s roundtable, I was glad to hear from constituents and local leaders about how Congress can make progress to support working families and stop climate change. I’m grateful to the Nevada Conservation League for hosting this discussion, and I look forward to ongoing discussions about jobs and justice throughout the Silver State.”

CHISPA NV TAKE: Chispa Nevada Program Director Rudy Zamora stated, “We need to be able to clean our air in order to have less asthma attacks, less time we need to take off of work…We got a fraction of [the federal investments] the White House and the administration considers to be the right amount in order to start this transition for our communities. Black, Latinx, Indigenous communities are always affected by dirty air — these [federal investments] are small steps that we can take at the federal level to transition things like our school buses to ensure that our kids suffer from less asthma attacks and are able to attend class more regularly, and their parents can continue to pay the good paying jobs coming out of this infrastructure bill.”

NCL TAKE: Nevada Conservation League Organizing Manager Andrew Sierra stated, “With record-breaking heat waves, devastating wildfires, air pollution, and drought sweeping across Nevada, it is clear we have no time to lose in taking climate action at the scale that science and justice require. The bipartisan infrastructure package is Congress’ chance to go bolder to make transformative investments that protect our communities from further climate devastation, rebuild our neighborhoods with resilient infrastructure, and restore our economy with good-paying clean energy jobs right here at home.”

IN NORTH CAROLINA: This week, North Carolina LCV hosted an event with Congresswoman Kathy Manning, NC State AFL-CIO, Jouley, the nation’s first electric school bus, and local labor and climate leaders to discuss how bold federal investments in electric vehicles and North Carolina’s clean energy economy can fuel jobs and protect air quality. Watch the discussion HERE.

MANNING TAKE: Representative Kathy Manning stated, “Inaction is not an answer,” said Congresswoman Manning. “These green solutions will help prevent climate change, and are creating good-paying union jobs across the country and right here in the Sixth District. I support President Biden’s commitment to electric vehicle infrastructure, including the Clean Buses for Kids campaign.”

NCLCV TAKE: Dan Crawford, NCLCV Director of Governmental Relations stated, “What Thomas Built and the UAW are doing here is a perfect example of the family-sustaining jobs being created to power our planet-sustaining future.”

IN VIRGINIA: Virginia Conservation Voters hosted an event in Virginia yesterday with Governor Ralph Northam, Representative Abigail Spanberger, Virginia State Senator Jennifer McClellan, Virginia State Senator Ghazala Hashmi, and environmental, labor, and justice advocates to highlight how federal investments in infrastructure, such as clean buses, can help power the economy and create good paying jobs for Virginians.

SPANBERGER TAKE: Representative Abigail Spanberger tweeted, “The clean electric bus we saw today is just one of the many technologies that is helping to power new jobs for Virginians and move us into our clean energy future. Virginia is number-one for business, and these are common sense investments for our economy.”

NORTHAM TAKE: Yesterday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to fund transitioning school buses from diesel to cleaner fuels, tweeting, “Investing in clean transportation helps us all breathe cleaner air. Today, we announced 83 brand new electric and propane school buses to 19 school divisions across the Commonwealth. Let’s keep building a clean economy, Virginia.”

📢VOICES AROUND THE NATION📢: Across the country, environmental, labor, and justice advocates wrote opinion pieces weighing in on environmental injustice, extreme weather, and the impacts of the climate crisis on communities.

IN MARYLAND: Kim Coble, Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, wrote a letter to the editor urging the Ocean City Council to support wind turbines. Ocean City’s receding shorelines are a grim illustration of the climate crisis, and a sign of the urgency to transition to clean energy to combat it.

MARYLAND LCV TAKE: “When it comes to wind energy, the choice facing the Ocean City Council is not between turbines or no turbines. The true choice is whether these officials will astutely prepare for the undeniable reality of climate change or hide their heads in the quickly eroding sands.”

IN NEVADA: Members of the Nevada Conservation League and the Nevada Chapter of Mormon Women for Ethical Government, Paulette Stauffer Henriod and Lisa Wise Shumway, wrote an opinion piece emphasizing the importance of bipartisanship in passing environmental policy. They highlighted SB 448, which recently passed with bipartisan support. This legislation increases access to green energy and reduces the need for importing energy from other states. Reducing emissions and air pollution must be a priority regardless of party affiliation, and members of the Nevada state legislature are taking steps to meet these goals.

NEVADA CONSERVATION LEAGUE TAKE: “Each Nevadan, regardless of party affiliation or where they live, deserves clean air and access to inexpensive and reliable energy. The Legislature just took some necessary steps in that direction. Let’s make sure they, and we, as informed and concerned citizens, continue this conversation to meet our economic and environmental goals together.”

IN NEW JERSEY: Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, wrote an opinion piece urging New Jersey members of Congress to include the creation of the Civilian Climate Corps as part of President Biden’s infrastructure package. Such a program would create accessible, good paying jobs for young people in conservation and green-energy fields and play an integral role in transitioning to a clean energy future.

NJLCV TAKE: “The new Civilian Climate Corps would operate from the same model, connecting young people to job opportunities in growing conservation and green energy-related fields through an apprenticeship approach modeled after the building trades unions. Young people from across our state would have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in outdoor-focused careers dedicated to restoring wetlands, addressing the problem of invasive species, and mitigating the impacts of flooding and increasingly severe storms brought about by climate change.”

IN VIRGINIA: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Board Member, Rebecca Rubin, wrote an opinion piece calling on Congress to pass bold climate legislation, and detailing impacts Virginians are already experiencing from the climate crisis. Virginia is well positioned to tackle this issue and now needs Congress to pass legislation to allow critical investments in clean energy.

VIRGINIA LCV TAKE: “Given the enormity and urgency of the climate crisis, environmental injustice and economic inequality, the reconciliation agreement must serve as the floor — not the ceiling — for transformational investments in U.S. clean energy, jobs and justice.”

COMING UP:

August 28: March on Washington
September 28: National Voter Registration Day

Related Actions


Related Articles