THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – November 18, 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 have resisted, we have built resurgence movements, and we have consistently made it clear how important we see it in this world—not just for us but for the world in general—that we continue these types of ways of understanding our place here.” 

— Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy, associate professor and department chair of Native American Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt and member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Northwest California, speaking on the resilience of Native cultural practices.

“It’s pretty remarkable how much the politics around climate have changed. Democrats used their political capital on [climate] legislation and did not pay a price for it in the midterms. In fact, many of them leaned into their clean energy leadership.”

Jamal Raad, executive director of Evergreen Action.

“Show up. Don’t expect anything in return… We don’t have a choice to step out of activism or water protection or land protection. If you want to be an ally, then step in and be willing to stand with us. Take direction and take initiative, too. Meet us where we’re at, not where you want us to be.”

— Sandy Gokee, who is Anishinaabe—Bear Clan—and lives in Ashland, Wisconsin, in an interview speaking on the importance of true allyship with Native communities.

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LCV VICTORY FUND AND PARTNERS ANNOUNCE $1.8 MILLION INVESTMENT IN GA RUNOFF: LCV Victory Fund and the New American Jobs Fund, a joint effort of LCV Victory Fund and the United Steelworkers (USW Works), announced that they are investing $1.8 million in support of Sen. Raphael Warnock in the December 6 Georgia Senate runoff. Warnock’s opponent Herschel Walker is a member of LCVVF’s 2022 Dirty Dozen list of the worst anti-environmental, anti-democracy candidates. LCVVF is starting up a major field program with new offices in Lawrenceville and Smyrna, as well as running digital advertising targeted at climate voters. Additionally, Family Friendly Action PAC, with support from the New American Jobs Fund, has re-started their canvassing operation out of the Marietta field office from the General Election. Watch “Again,” a digital ad targeted at a subset of low turnout voters who are highly motivated by climate messaging, here

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Herschel Walker is an anti-environment serial liar making nonsensical remarks about climate on the campaign trail while Senator Raphael Warnock is helping bring multi-billion dollar job-creating electric car plants and other clean energy jobs to Georgia. The choice for Georgia voters couldn’t be more clear. As we’ve seen over the last week, when climate voters turn out, we win – that’s why we’re standing up a massive field operation and strategic paid media campaign to get out the runoff vote for proven champion Senator Warnock.”

MEMO: LCVVF POST-ELECTION UPDATES – SENATE PROTECTED, GREEN WAVE IN THE STATES: It’s clear that LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities successfully achieved our top priorities this election cycle: 1) Protect the pro-environment Senate, 2) Protect and elect more pro-environment Governors, and 3) Protect and elect as many environmental champions in the House as possible. LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities ran our biggest midterm campaign ever to boost turnout among voters who care deeply about climate change and the environment with an investment of over $100 million – and in the majority of places, it worked. We knew that climate and democracy champions had to overcome a number of challenges, yet against the odds and thanks in part to our strategic paid media and field organizing programs, climate voters turned out and climate champions won up and down the ballot. With so many close races, we are confident that our work to mobilize climate voters, support climate champions, and highlight the extremist records of opponents played a decisive role in the election. Nowhere was this more true than in state elections where up and down the ballot we saw a Green Wave of environmental champions. For a detailed breakdown of key results in priority races, including Dirty Dozen defeats, as well as our spending and field program summaries, click here.

NINE DIRTY DOZEN MEMBERS DEFEATED SO FAR: LCV VICTORY FUND’S SIGNATURE PROGRAM HAS ONE OF ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL CYCLES: Speaking of Dirty Dozen defeats, LCV Victory Fund’s signature Dirty Dozen program also had one of its most successful cycles ever – defeating nine of 11 candidates in called races (with the Georgia Senate runoff still outstanding).

OUR TAKE: LCVVF’s Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “This year’s Dirty Dozen included some of the most extreme climate and election denying candidates we have ever seen, and voters resoundingly rejected them. We knew this year would be an uphill climb because of a number of factors: historic precedent, high prices linked to the war in Ukraine and price gouging by fossil fuel executives, the pandemic, barriers to democracy such as partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, intimidation, and rampant disinformation, as well as Big Oil dark money financing the other side to put polluters over people. In the face of these challenges, the wins we have are only more significant and underscore how out-of-step these candidates were with voters.”

33 NEW ENVIRO CHAMPS AND COUNTING – LCV CONGRATULATES ENDORSED CANDIDATES AND RELEASES NEW MEMBER GUIDE: As we await the final votes in more key races to be counted across the country, LCV congratulates LCV Action Fund-endorsed and state affiliate-endorsed candidates on their victories in the midterms. LCVAF is proud to have helped elect at least 33 new members of Congress who we know will be leaders for climate and environmental justice and re-elect 98 more seasoned climate champions who delivered the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. Newly elected LCVAF-endorsed and state-affiliated candidates are featured in the 2022 LCV New Member Guide. For the full list of new members and demographic information on our endorsed candidates, click here.

Since last week, LCV Action Fund-endorsed climate and democracy champions also won in New York, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Ohio.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Political Affairs Craig Auster said, “From Florida to Washington, and everywhere in between, voters were proud to support environmental champions who stood up to vicious attacks from corporate special interests like Big Oil and campaigned on building a more just, equitable clean energy future. We can’t wait to get to work with this new diverse group of climate leaders and their seasoned pro-climate colleagues to continue to lower costs for families, address climate pollution, create more clean energy jobs, and advance environmental justice.”

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S COP27 CLIMATE COMMITMENTS: Last week, President Biden spoke at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He announced important new steps his administration will take to combat the climate crisis and protect public health through a stronger proposed methane rule, an updated Methane Action Plan, and a new proposed federal contractor emissions reduction rule.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, we’re thrilled that a U.S. president is finally able to join the global climate summit with a popular and historic climate law on the books and the support of the majority of the country behind him…Critically, the new proposed supplemental rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from the oil and gas industry and the updated Methane Action Plan reflect calls from community members, especially those living on the frontlines of oil and gas operations, to strengthen the EPA’s previous proposal. We especially appreciate the additional proposed provisions that would require monitoring at all well sites, address abandoned and improperly closed wells, and target super emitters. We urge the EPA to swiftly finalize the strongest possible safeguards to help tackle the climate crisis and move us closer to ensuring that every family, no matter their zip code, race, or income, can breathe clean air.

“The new proposed rule requiring major federal contractors to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and disclose climate-related financial risks marks another important climate commitment. This rule is a powerful opportunity to use the federal government’s purchasing power to drive decarbonization while safeguarding taxpayer dollars and promoting climate-resilient federal supply chains.”

LCV STATEMENT ON SPEAKER PELOSI’S DECISION TO STEP DOWN: Speaker Pelosi, the most pro-environment, pro-democracy speaker of the U.S. House ever, announced her decision this week to step down as speaker and stay on as a member of the House in the next Congress. 

OUR TAKE: President Gene Karpinski said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you Speaker Pelosi! We’re beyond grateful for Speaker Pelosi’s tireless leadership culminating in the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act into law – the biggest investment our country has ever made in climate solutions. As the first woman to hold the gavel, she is also by far the most pro-environment, pro-democracy Speaker of the U.S. House ever. The Speaker’s ability to make historic progress and her commitment to today’s children and to future generations are incomparable.”

LCV STATEMENT ON HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS: On Tuesday, House Republicans held leadership elections and supported anti-environment, pro-polluter Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Tom Emmer. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Despite the majority of voters casting their ballots in support of climate action and affordable clean energy last week, out of touch House Republicans are supporting three of their most-anti environment, pro-polluter members as their top leaders. With abysmal LCV scores at or below a truly appalling 5%, it’s clear that Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Tom Emmer want to double down on the failed dirty energy policies of the past and take our country backward. When people show you who they are, believe them.”

LCV VICTORY FUND RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S ANNOUNCED CANDIDACY: We already beat Trump once and we’ll do it again. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “In 2020 we reserved a special spot for Trump on our Dirty Dozen list as the “Dirtiest of All Time”, and since his defeat he has only continued to prove how much he deserves the title with his stoking of violence, racism, antisemitism, and the Big Lie. Trump maliciously inflicted harm as president, and he has continued to do so after losing decisively to President Biden. Trump is a three time loser and we fully intend to defeat him. In 2018, 2020 and 2022 we invested heavily in mobilizing climate voters to make the difference in key races, including ousting him from the White House. Last week, voters defied the pundits and rejected extreme MAGA candidates up and down the ballot, and instead rewarded candidates who support climate action and democracy. We will do everything we can to make sure Trump never comes close to the White House again. Unfortunately, Trump is no longer unique when it comes to politicians who would take our country down a dark and destructive path. We will also fight back against the other extreme MAGA candidates who are already trying to imitate him and his focus on denialism, hatred, division, racism and authoritarianism.”

NEXT NATIONAL MONUMENT IN NEVADA?! On Thursday, nearly 300 Avi Kwa Ame supporters attended a community meeting hosted by the Bureau of Land Management to discuss the Avi Kwa Ame national monument proposal in southern Nevada.  The diverse coalition – from Tribal Nations to advocates and recreationists to business leaders and local residents – shared support for protecting the natural, cultural, economic, and scientific resources in the landscape. 

NCL TAKE: Nevada Conservation League Avi Kwa Ame Campaign Manager Craig Bakerjian said, “Today’s community meeting presented us with the meaningful opportunity to demonstrate to the Bureau of Land Management the important role the Avi Kwa Ame landscape plays in the protection of sacred sites, preservation of ecological resources, strengthening of our economy, and the resilience of our climate.”

FORT MOJAVE INDIAN TRIBE COUNCIL TAKE: Vice Chairman of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and President and Inter Tribal Association of Arizona Shan Lewis said, “Avi Kwa Ame is significantly an important part of our community as it is where our tribal creation story begins. Its protection is the equivalent to protecting the existence of the Mojave people and culture itself. This fight for protection has been a priority of our people for generations. As leaders we carry the honor of fighting for the right to protect that which is most sacred to the Mojave people. To be able to offer protection under the status of a monument would not only protect this sacred area but share it with others in a respectable way. Our visit with Secretary Haaland was a historical event for the Mojave people. To elevate the status of our cause to create the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument with this important visit from the highest levels of the federal government was an honor. It is important to continue dialog after such an event until the goal of protection is met.” 

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

STATE TRIFECTAS MA, MD, MI, MN : Climate action and environmental priorities that were once stalled are now poised to be quickly enacted into law in Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, and Minnesota, where Democrats now hold a trifecta: controlling both chambers of the legislature and governorships.Top targets include state legislation to codify aggressive renewable standards and climate action, tackling “forever chemicals,” removing toxic lead water pipes, and ensuring polluters are held responsible.

OUR TAKE: LCV State Communications Director Nick Abraham said, “It’s really like a green wave that we’re seeing across the country. We’re seeing [that] the folks that ran on climate absolutely won.”

COMING UP:

MONTH OF NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month 

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