THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – JUNE 24, 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:

“We are in a post-Roe world and there is now one question before us. Will we allow the far-right to have the last word on abortion? NO! We must fight back against this stolen Court, abolish the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and expand the Supreme Court of the United States.”

– Senator Ed Markey stated about Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“We know that our great moral and constitutional traditions declare that we must establish justice and ensure equal protection under the law for all people. We know that when the nation is moving away from the principles of life, liberty, justice and freedom for all people and there has been a long train of abuses, we must correct the nation. We are bound to do that by the basic vision of the Declaration of Independence and all the promises of our founding documents.”

– Rev. William J Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said during Saturday’s Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C.

“When we start thinking that we are not nature, that’s when we get into trouble. [We need to] make people aware that we are nature too – the Earth is just an extension of us. Or we are an extension of the Earth, let’s say.”

– Artist Guilherme Lemes said to LCV about his climate justice inspired mural in Las Vegas.

Instead of being removed from a landscape to make way for a public park, we are being invited back to our ancestral homelands to help repair them and plan for a resilient future. We are being asked to apply our traditional knowledge to both the natural and human-caused ecological challenges, drought, erosion, visitation.

Zuni Pueblo Lt. Gov. Carleton Bowekaty said of the historic cooperative agreement between five indigenous tribes and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to co-manage Bears Ears National Monument.

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OVERTURN OF ROE V. WADE: While we knew this was likely, the Supreme Court decision allowing states to ban abortion means, today, our country officially diminished the rights and equality of all people who can become pregnant – a point Justices Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan made clear in their dissent. In this moment, it’s unmistakable that this Court, which has been captured by extremist far-right interests, is no longer aligned with the people of this country. It’s time to expand the Court.

LCV TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski and Board Chair Carol M. Browner said, “Today is an infuriating day. For the first time in our history, the Supreme Court has taken a fundamental right away from the people. Eight in 10 people in this country support the legal right to abortion and this decision is an outrageous overreach by an extremist majority on a Supreme Court captured by far-right special interests. The decision to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent will deny access to essential healthcare for millions of people, especially those who already carry the greatest burdens from attacks on democracy and environmental, economic, and health injustices, including communities of color, communities with low-wealth, and rural communities. 

Make no mistake, today’s decision is the result of a concerted decades-long right-wing effort to capture our courts and roll back the rights of women, girls, and all people who can become pregnant. We can’t wait to correct this captured Court – Congress must act immediately to rebalance the scales for a more just, honorable, and equitable judiciary, and expand the number of justices who serve on our nation’s highest Court.”

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Director of Policy and Advocacy Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate said, “Chispa stands with our allies who have been at the forefront of the fight for reproductive freedom and free, safe access to abortion. We remain committed to defending the right to make our own choices about our bodies and futures. The Supreme Court’s egregious attack on our rights will be met by our collective people power. We will resist and we will persevere. We know it’s people of color, especially Black, Indigenous, and undocumented people, and other communities who already face health access barriers, who will bear the brunt of this decision. Personally, this adds to the layers of oppression I face everyday as a person of color, immigrant, and member of a low-income, mixed status family. It feels like I am not allowed freedom in this country, not even the right to make decisions about my own body.” 

Find statements from Chispa Florida, Chispa Arizona, Protégete in Colorado, Chispa Texas and Chispa Nevada here. Read the full statement en español here.

VA PRIMARY VICTORIES: LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates celebrated primary victories in Virginia this week, positioning them to continue pushing the needle forward on climate action in their key state. LCV congratulates U.S. Representatives Elaine Luria (VA-02), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) for their respective primary wins.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Congratulations to these climate and environmental justice leaders on their victories tonight. Each of these members of Congress have been true champions for Virginia’s communities and have been strong advocates for a just and equitable transition to a clean energy future, climate action, and protecting our democracy. It has never been more important to have leaders like these in Congress as we continue our fight to tackle the climate crisis through transformational investments in clean energy, environmental justice, and good-paying union jobs. We look forward to more victories in November and will do everything we can to help make that happen.”

YESLI VEGA IS WRONG FOR VIRGINIA: In additional primary news, LCV Action Fund released a memo explaining how Virginia-07 Republican primary winner Yesli Vega is bad for the environment and for families. As a Prince William County Supervisor, Vega has voted against a goal of 100% renewable energy, opposes critical reforms to get corporate polluter money out of politics and defended the violent insurrectionists who launched an attack on our democracy on January 6. In November, she will face off against LCV Action Fund-endorsed climate champion Abigail Spanberger for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Read the full memo here.

OUR TAKE: Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “The contrast between Abigail Spanberger and Yesli Vega could not be more stark. Every voter in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District who cares about clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and ensuring we leave a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren should be alarmed by Yesli Vega’s record of voting to protect polluter profits over people. Fortunately Abigail Spanberger is fighting hard in Congress to create millions of clean energy jobs, lower costs for hardworking Virginians and ensure a safe climate for future generations.”

BACKING REP. CASTEN: On Tuesday, LCV Victory Fund and NRDC Action Votes announced a new digital ad buy backing Representative Sean Casten in the IL-06 primary. The initiative comes a week after Casten pulled campaign ads after suffering the tragic loss of his 17 year old daughter. As a strong supporter of clean energy solutions, Casten is a proven environmental leader on Capitol Hill.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Campaigns Director Joann Saridakis said, “Representative Casten is the definition of a Congressional climate champion. The last year has made it clearer than ever that we need proven pro-environment leadership in Congress in order to pass the cost saving climate and clean energy legislation our country needs – and it’s imperative that Rep. Casten wins his primary and heads back to Washington for another term to do just that.”

ENDORSING DELIA RAMIREZ: LCV Action Fund announced its endorsement of environmental champion and Illinois State Representative Delia Ramirez on Thursday. Running to represent Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, Ramirez would be the first Latina to represent Illinois, and any Midwestern state, in Congress. Since serving in the Illinois State Legislature, Ramirez has consistently earned a 100% on the Illinois Environmental Council’s scorecard for, among other things, her support transitioning Illinois to 100% clean energy and refusing to take contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Throughout her career in the state legislature, State Rep. Delia Ramirez has been a champion for climate action, environmental justice, and democracy and we know she will continue leading on these issues and a just and equitable transition to a clean energy future in Congress. It is more important than ever that we have representatives in Washington who will stand up for people over polluter profits and prioritize the health and well-being of our communities and our environment – we are thrilled to support Rep. Ramirez because we know she will do just that.”

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE BILL MARKUP: On Tuesday, the House Interior Subcommittee marked up the House Appropriations Interior and Environment bill, advancing significant investments for the environment, public lands, clean water and environmental justice. These investments are crucial to ensuring that the EPA, DOI and other agencies can protect our communities and wildlife and address environmental injustice. A significant piece of proposed funding is $150 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program.

OUR TAKE: LCV Government Affairs Advocate David Shadburn said, “At a time when communities are experiencing climate disasters in their backyards and record-breaking gas prices from price-gouging by oil and gas companies at the pump, it could not be more important for Congress to implement President Biden’s 2023 budget with the investments we need in climate, clean energy, justice, and jobs. Today’s markup is an exciting first step and we look forward to working with House and Senate leaders to get this bill passed and to President Biden’s desk.”

CAPITOL BANNER DROP: On Thursday, the Fight For Our Future coalition dropped a visually stunning banner at the U.S. Capitol building, the White House and the EPA headquarters. The coalition is made up of LCV, the Center for American Progress, Sierra Club, MoveOn and the Green New Deal Network, who joined together to demand that President Biden and Congress get the job done on a climate reconciliation bill that prioritizes climate, care, good jobs and justice before August recess. Passing a climate bill now is more important than ever as gas prices soar and the IPCC warns that “it’s now or never” to slow down climate change.

#CLIMATEBILLNOW: Across the country, people continue to call on the Senate to pass a climate bill that saves families money, creates good-paying jobs and builds a healthier, more just, clean energy future. This week, LCV released a new video supporting bold, dramatic action to save our planet and communities. Check it out here.

BOUNDARY WATERS: The Biden administration made important steps toward banning mining activity around Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, America’s most visited wilderness area, on Thursday. In a draft Environmental Assessment, the U.S. Forest Service found that a twenty-year mineral withdrawal would protect water quality and serious degradation in the Boundary Waters. The finding follows Biden’s decision to cancel the only two federal mineral leases in the watershed. A 30-day comment period on this Environmental Assessment will follow.

ARTISTS ARE BUILDING COMMUNITY POWER: LCV caught up with artist Guilherme Lemes, who, earlier this year, painted a mural in Las Vegas calling for climate justice now. The piece highlights the interconnectedness of humans and nature and the importance of protecting our Earth. Find out more about what climate justice means to Lemes and see photos of his mural here.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

MI VOTO, MI COMUNIDAD: On Wednesday, June 29, Chispa national and Chispa Arizona will premiere the film “Mi Voto, Mi Comunidad” (“My Vote, My Community”) featuring longtime community activist Masavi Perea. The film follows Perea’s journey to becoming a U.S. citizen and registering to vote for the first time – a story of resilience, commitment to community and triumph. The premiere will begin at 6:00 pm PST and viewers can sign up to attend the virtual screening here.

CHISPA FLORIDA X UNITE HERE: Yesterday, activists with Chispa FL, Florida Rising, Central Florida Jobs With Justice, Unite Here, as well as Florida State Representatives Anna V. Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith gathered to rally in support of renter protections ahead of a special session of the Orange County Commission. Learn more about the event here.

COMING UP:

ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month + Immigrant Heritage Month

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

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