THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – JULY 8, 2022

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, Twitter, and Instagram.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“This Fourth of July, we’re reminded that not every American is free to enjoy clean air, safe water, and a healthy environment. But with bold action and support for renewables and clean energy, we free ourselves and our communities from Big Polluters.”

— Climate Reality Project said in a tweet on the Fourth of July.

“Climate change is no longer just about the future that we’re trying to protect for our children or our grandchildren; it’s about the reality we’re living with now. That’s why it’s more urgent now than ever before that Congress pass [the President’s] climate and clean energy investments.”

— Former President Barack Obama said regarding last week’s Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA.

“Holding any new offshore oil and gas lease sales over the next five years is a lose-lose for Americans. It will do nothing to help lower prices at the pump, and it will make our emissions goals virtually impossible to achieve. Our public lands and waters are already responsible for nearly a quarter of the country’s carbon pollution each year. Adding any new lease sales to that equation while the climate crisis is unfolding all around us is nonsensical.”

— Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said of the Interior Department’s offshore leasing program proposal released on July 1.

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SCOTUS RALLY FOR CLIMATE ACTION: On Wednesday, LCV joined Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, and other allies for a rally on Capitol Hill hosted by the Climate Action Campaign demanding Congress finally pass a bold reconciliation climate bill investing in justice, jobs and clean energy. The pressure on Congress to pass a bill is even stronger after the Supreme Court’s recent egregious decision in West Virginia v. EPA. Watch a full video of the rally and speakers here.

OUR TAKE: Federal Advocacy Campaigns Director Leah Donahey said during the rally, “The good news is that Congress and President Biden have the tools now to curb pollution and protect our health. This [Supreme Court] decision should encourage the Biden administration to use every authority they have to push forward with an ambitious climate agenda, and Congress must expedite a deal on a reconciliation package this week that includes the climate investments passed by the House. Passing the reconciliation bill will immediately save families money, create good paying jobs, and build a healthier and more just clean energy future for the long term.”

ENDORSING 12 NEW CANDIDATES: LCV Action Fund, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, announced 12 new endorsements in key states for the U.S. Senate and House in the 2022 election cycle, as mentioned exclusively in the Washington Post’s Climate 202. The endorsed candidates include Kendra Horn (OK-Sen), Jevin Hodge (AZ-01), Kermit Jones (CA-03), Will Rollins (CA-41), Maxwell Frost (FL-10), Eric Lynn (FL-13), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Annette Taddeo (FL-27), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), Monica Tranel (MT-01), Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR-05) and Chris Deluzio (PA-17).

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “LCV Action Fund is all in to defend and expand the pro-environment majority in Congress, and we are thrilled to support this outstanding group of environmental and conservation champions from across the country for election to the U.S. Senate and House. It is more important than ever that we have a Congress that prioritizes the health and well-being of communities instead of polluters and their profits and fights to protect our democracy. We know these leaders will deliver on climate action, clean energy, jobs, democracy, and justice for all communities and we are excited to work alongside them in this election and beyond.”

NO NEW OFFSHORE DRILLING LEASE SALES: Last Friday, the Interior Department released its proposed five year offshore drilling plan. The plan, now moving to a public comment period, could allow up to 10 sales in the Western and Central Gulf and one potential lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, though Interior’s proposal gives equal consideration to finalizing a plan with no lease sales.

OUR TAKE: Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel said, “We are counting on President Biden to seize the historic opportunity to lead the way to an equitable and just clean energy future by finalizing an offshore drilling plan that includes no lease sales. Offshore drilling is a dangerous practice and poses huge risks to the health of communities, workers, wildlife, and the climate. Families in need of relief from high gas prices are being lied to by oil and gas companies – the reality is that new offshore drilling leases take years before they produce any oil, so they do nothing to bring down the price of gas at the pump today. But new offshore drilling leases can lock us into long-term fossil fuel infrastructure for decades to come at a time when our transition to a clean energy future could not be more crucial. We will continue to fight to ensure there is no new leasing in the final Five Year Plan in line with what science and justice require.”

BACKING DONNA EDWARDS: Following an announcement on June 27 that LCV Victory Fund would invest $550,000 in supporting Donna Edwards in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, the organization announced that it would be scaling up funding to $650,000. LCV Victory Fund released new radio ads and direct mail pieces that will reach voters until the July 19th primary. 

OUR TAKE:  LCV Victory Fund Regional Campaigns Director Joann Saridakis, said, “Donna Edwards will stand up to the oil companies that are jacking up gas prices and polluting our air, fight for stronger gun laws, and deliver progress for Prince George’s County – she has the record to prove it. The last year has made it clearer than ever that we need strong pro-environment leaders like Edwards in Congress who know how to make deals and get things done.”

2023 BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS: On June 30, LCV joined 15 environmental and climate advocacy groups in applauding the U.S. House for their markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bills that included significant investments into climate, clean air and water, oceans, wildlife, public lands and public health. The joint statement thanks our Congressional allies for their hard work to secure these critical investments and urges Congress to pass strong appropriations bills that fully fund the government agencies tasked with protecting our health and environment. Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Ocean Conservancy and the Natural Resources Defense Council are among other co-signers of the joint statement.

OUR COLLECTIVE TAKE: The joint statement reads, “Now that Congress has eliminated draconian spending caps of the past decade, it must now fully fund the agencies that do essential work to protect people and the planet. Congress must fight for investments in our health, environment, and communities that meet or exceed the President’s budget proposal. Amid an escalating biodiversity crisis, unprecedented extreme weather and wildfires fueled by the climate crisis, potential price gouging by oil and gas executives, and other pressing emergencies, we need these investments more than ever to ensure our families and communities are safe and healthy. 

Vital investments are on the table now thanks to these robust appropriations bills, and we would not be at this crucial moment without the leadership of Congressional champions like Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro and the chairs of the Appropriations subcommittees who clearly understand the scale and urgency of the problems before our country and the world. With the continued work of these champions in Congress, we can pass an FY23 budget that provides the critical investments in the ecosystems that support us, so all communities have access to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate.”

SUPPORTING THE CALIFORNIA WAIVER: LCV Government Affairs Fellow Erin Keleske testified before the Environmental Protection Agency on June 30 in support of the California Waiver: Advanced Clean Trucks, Omnibus Low NOx, and HD Emission Warranty Regulations. As the granddaughter of a lifelong truck driver, Keleske told the EPA that regulations will not only benefit the environment, but they will also help protect the health of both truck drivers and predominantly BIPOC and low-income roadside communities.

OUR TAKE: LCV Government Affairs fellow Erin Keleske said in her statement, “The slate of regulations proposed by California will not only help protect these essential workers from poor air quality, they will also protect the tens of millions of Americans who live near high-traffic corridors. These “Diesel Death Zones” are disproportionately home to Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income families. The EPA has a responsibility to protect these communities who currently bear most of the negative health impacts of NOx pollution.”

JUNE TOP 5: Recognizing the heightened climate impacts that come with the summer season, LCV released a list of its top five pieces of climate change news and initiatives from last month. LCV is fighting for equitable climate action at every level of government, and in June it focused on keeping the pressure on Congress to pass legislation that will curb planet-warming emissions, speed the transition to clean energy and invest in communities hit hardest by climate and environmental injustice. 

The first item on LCV’s top five this month includes the U.S. Supreme Court’s West Virginia v. EPA decision to dangerously narrow the EPA’s authority to regulate climate pollution from power plants. The decision is the result of a decades-long effort by the far-right to capture and tilt the Court, and is one of the reasons why LCV announced its support for expanding and rebalancing the Supreme Court earlier this month.

Other top five items include a recent memo published by LCV highlighting impressive state-level progress on climate and clean energy, the launch of the Climate Votes Project – a historic $100 million effort by LCV Victory Fund and five partners to elect climate champions during the 2022 election cycle, a highly circulated AP article elevating Chispa Arizona Organizing Director Masavi Perea and the Latinx activists leading the grassroots fight against climate change, and new digital ads calling for an end to the dirty, dangerous Willow Oil drilling project in the Arctic.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

CHISPA AZ WANTS FAIR ELECTIONS: Today Arizonans for Fair Elections submitted 475,290 signatures to get the Arizona Fair Elections Act on the November Ballot. Once qualified, this citizen’s initiative will proactively work to restore Arizona’s popular permanent early voting list, limit lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, prevent partisan election officials from overturning the outcome of popularly decided elections, and so much more! Check out Chispa AZ’s post here!

CHISPA NV AND LEADERS ARE READY FOR ACTION: Last Thursday, June 30, the Chispa Nevada team hosted our monthly community meeting which had over 50 members and promotores evaluating the program, planned for Latino Conservation Week, and began sharing ideas of what organizing opportunities they want to do for the rest of the year. Check out Chispa Nevada’s post here!

PROTEGETE COLORADO AND THE EPA: Protégete Director, Beatriz Soto, spoke today with EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Gina McCarthy, the White House National Climate Advisor, about the challenges the federal government is facing when tackling climate change as well as the progress that has been made toward achieving their ambitious environmental agenda. Check out Protégete‘s post here!

CHISPA FLORIDA IGNITING THE SPARK: Chispa Florida and our community organizer, Susana Restrepo, were part of different community events in Kissimmee. Chispa Florida held the second climate awareness and hurricane season workshop where wee educate and talk with the community about their needs and how to be prepared for a natural disaster. Check out Chispa Florida’s post here!

CHISPA MARYLAND: Today, Ramon Palencia-Calvo, Program Director for Chispa Maryland, participated in a live “Su Voto Importa. Sepa Cómo Votar” (Your Vote Matters. Know How to Vote). This free virtual event in Spanish aims to inform the Latino community in Maryland all about the voting process, where and how to vote on July 19th (or earlier!) and the importance of participating. Check out more on Chispa Maryland’s post here!

COMING UP:

JULY 16-24: Latino Conservation Week

JULY 19: Maryland Primary Election

AUGUST 2: Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington Primary Elections

AUGUST 4: Tennessee Primary Election

AUGUST 9: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin Primary Elections

AUGUST 13: Hawaii Primary Elections

AUGUST 16: Alaska and Wyoming Primary Elections

AUGUST 23: Florida Primary Election 

SEPTEMBER 13: Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Primary Elections

SEPTEMBER 20: Massachusetts Primary Election

NOVEMBER 8: Election Day 

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