THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – June 10, 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:

“January 6th and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. The world is watching what we do here.”

— Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chair of the House January 6th Committee, during his opening statement on the first night of public hearings. 

“At the state level, we are doing our part by innovating and accelerating climate solutions. We are getting more zero emission vehicles on our roads, rapidly transitioning to clean energy, improving energy efficiency, supporting overburdened communities and displaced workers, cutting harmful emissions, and strengthening resilience. But this is not enough to reach our country’s climate goals. The U.S. House of Representatives previously approved a transformative $550 billion climate package for this purpose, and it is critical that any climate package include a similar level of funding.”

– Twenty-two governors wrote to Congress, urging them to pass a comprehensive climate reconciliation bill.

“Single-use plastic pollution is a serious threat to our planet—and nowhere is that clearer than our oceans. Plastic is choking, suffocating, and killing marine animals and fish, and now it’s on pace to outnumber them too—scientists predict that our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Our oceans don’t have a choice about whether they are filled with plastic, but we do.”

– Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, about President Biden’s announcement on World Oceans Day to phase-out single-use plastic on public lands.

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THE CLIMATE VOTES PROJECT: This week, LCV Victory Fund and five other green groups launched the Climate Votes Project, a historic $100 million initiative to elect federal and state level climate champions to office. The project builds on previous work propelling climate up the national agenda and will focus on pivotal state and local races, with actions ranging from both climate persuasion and mobilization paid media to funding in-person field organizing efforts. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice president for Campaigns Pete Maysmith said “We know from past experience and research that even amongst all the noise in politics today climate can play a pivotal role in motivating the voters who can make the difference in a close election. As the Republican Party only further caters to the fossil fuel industry and their most extreme MAGA supporters, we will be making sure that voters know where their candidates stand and that the stakes have never been higher.”

PROTECTING CASTNER RANGE: Ahead of the 116th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, LCV and 91 coalition partners signed a letter calling on President Biden to use the powers granted under the Act to designate Castner Range a national monument. Located in El Paso, Texas, the Range is an important environmental and cultural resource that the community has worked half a century to protect. Making it a national monument would be an excellent opportunity for the Biden-Harris administration to make strides on their America the Beautiful Initiative, which aims to equitably preserve 30% of America’s land and waters by 2030.

OUR TAKE: In the letter, the coalition partners wrote, “Ultimately this land belongs to our children and future generations. Designating Castner Range as a national monument would not only permanently protect the area from future development but will illustrate a significant step to expand conservation education to marginalized communities who disproportionately bear the brunt of climate impacts and historically have less access to nature.”

PRIMARY ELECTIONS: LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates celebrated victories in their primaries this week, bringing them steps closer to continuing the fight for an equitable and healthy planet through the halls of Congress. In New Jersey, Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Representatives Andy Kim (D-NJ-03), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-07), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) all won their primaries. In New Mexico, Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-01), Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM-03) and Gabe Vasquez, candidate for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, also went home victorious. In California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-11), Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Ami Bera (D-CA-06), Doris Matsui (D-CA-07), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Raul Ruiz (D-CA-25), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-31), Pete Aguilar (D-CA-33), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Katie Porter (D-CA-47), Mike Levin (D-CA-49) and Scott Peters (D-CA-50) will all move forward to the general election.

OUR NJ TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “The Garden State is a leader for climate and environmental justice and the New Jersey Congressional delegation has made a tremendous contribution to the national effort to tackle the climate crisis through transformational investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and good-paying union jobs. We know that we must continue the fight to protect New Jersey’s coast, clean air and water and we look forward to helping these members win re-election in November.”

OUR NM TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “New Mexico Democrats chose three amazing clean energy champions to represent them in Congress and we congratulate Teresa Leger Fernandez, Melanie Stansbury and Gabe Vasquez on their victories tonight. All three of these candidates have dedicated their careers to fighting for clean air and water and access to our public lands for all people in our country. As we work to tackle the climate crisis through transformational investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and good-paying union jobs, we need their continued leadership more than ever. LCV Action Fund is proud to work to help them win this November.”

OUR CA TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Congratulations to these amazing advocates for California’s environment and communities on advancing to the general election. The Golden State has long been a leader in addressing climate and environmental injustice and the work of all these champions has been critical in bringing that same determination to Congress to protect California’s coast, address wildfires ravaging the state and tackle the climate crisis through transformational investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and good-paying union jobs. We look forward to more victories for all these candidates in November – LCV Action Fund will be there every step of the way.”

BIDEN ACCELERATES CLEAN ENERGY: On Monday, the Biden-Harris administration announced it would use the Defense Production Act to boost domestic manufacturing and production of clean energy technologies. Additionally, Biden paused tariffs on solar imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam for two years. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Government Affairs Matthew Davis said “This is exactly the kind of bold executive action voters are demanding from their climate president – thank you President Biden. Today’s move will immediately turbocharge clean energy manufacturing and production in the United States, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate our transition to the healthier, more equitable, and more affordable clean energy future our children and families deserve. Already, announced expansions in solar manufacturing since the start of the Biden-Harris administration will triple U.S. capacity to crank out the solar panels we need to rapidly achieve true energy independence. We’ve been calling on the administration to swiftly alleviate uncertainty for the solar industry caused by a Department of Commerce trade inquiry and are pleased with today’s announcement.”

NEW MEXICO ADS: Alongside President Joe Biden’s trip to New Mexico on Friday, LCV launched a digital ad campaign in the greater Santa Fe area urging the President and Congress to pass legislation making historic investments in clean energy. The trip comes as a response to a record-breaking year of wildfires that have scorched New Mexico’s drought-stricken forests. As a partial consequence of climate change, the state is still battling the two largest wildfires recorded in state history – the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire and the Black Fire, which are burning 617,000 acres collectively.

ENDORSEMENTS FOR CONGRESS: This week, LCV Action Fund endorsed John Fetterman for election to the U.S. Senate to represent the state of Pennsylvania. LCV Action Fund endorsed Fetterman for his record and commitment to action on climate, justice and jobs. You can find all of LCV Action Fund’s endorsements HERE.

SHALANDA BAKER: On Tuesday in a bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Shalanda Baker as the first ever director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy. Prior to her appointment, Baker served as the DOE’s deputy director for energy justice, spent over a decade researching energy justice in the renewable energy transition and received a Fulbright-Garcia-Robles research fellowship.

WORLD OCEANS DAY: Celebrating World Oceans Day, the White House unveiled its action plan for protecting and restoring the health of the world’s oceans on Wednesday.  Most significantly, the Biden-Harris administration announced its proposal to designate Hudson Canyon a national marine sanctuary. Found off the coast of New York and New Jersey, the Canyon is habitat to endangered species of marine life such as sea turtles, sperm whales and cold-water coral. Other parts of the president’s initiative include the phase-out of single-use plastic products on public lands, nation-to-nation coordination in the Bering Sea and a first of its kind Ocean Climate Action Plan.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

CALIFORNIA ADS: On Tuesday, the California Environmental Voters launched a new ad in the Sacramento Bee newspaper as part of their #ClimateCourageBudget campaign calling on Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature to pass a pioneering state budget that allocates at least 5% over the next five years to combating climate change.

EnviroVoters TAKE: On their website, California Environmental Voters said “Scientists say California will reach a point of no return at the end of this decade. We need a turning point. Investing our record state budget surplus now in clean energy and transportation, water, and other vital infrastructure will provide a lifeline.”

CHISPA MARYLAND IS READY TO VOTE: Over the weekend, Chispa Maryland tabled at a community day in the town of Brentwood to share information about the Chispa program and the upcoming primary election.

CHISPA ARIZONA AND COOLIDGE COMMUNITY: On Monday, the Arizona Corporation Commission reaffirmed a previous vote to reject a permit for a proposed gas-fired power plant expansion in the city of Coolidge. Chispa Arizona turned out with the local community and successfully advocated for the ACC to deny the polluting power plant a rehearing. Check out Chispa Arizona’s post here!

COMING UP:

ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month + Immigrant Heritage Month

JUNE 14: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina Primary Elections

JUNE 18: Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly Moral March on Washington and to the Polls

JUNE 19: Juneteenth 

JUNE 21: Washington, DC and Virginia Primary Elections

JUNE 28: Colorado, Illinois, New York State U.S. Senate, Oklahoma and Utah Primary Elections

 

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