THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – September 30, 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:

“While natural disasters do not discriminate, their long-term impact disproportionately falls on low-income communities of color. We must continue to fight for climate justice and urge the federal government to invest in our gente to protect them and our future generations.

Chispa LCV tweeted in response to the damage Hurricane Ian continues to have on communities. 

People still don’t know what the warnings mean and that’s a problem too. Communication is still a huge obstacle and unfortunately if the communication isn’t good, or if people misunderstand the forecast, then even if the forecast is perfect, there’s still going to be a lot of deaths and injuries.” 

Jase Bernhardt, professor at Hofstra University, who currently has a paper under review investigating why people don’t take flash flood warnings seriously. Urban areas are at a higher risk for flash floods because of concrete surfaces that lead to excess runoff. As cities continue to expand, the threat of flooding increases. The National Hurricane Center is also running several social science projects exploring how to better communicate forecasts with the public.

“This is a much-needed step to achieve environmental justice. We must start with communities and progress is difficult without funding and federal support.”

— Joan Casey, an environmental health researcher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, speaking on the EPA’s announcement launching the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights. The initiative by the Biden administration will give hard-hit communities $3 billion to address pollution. 

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CIVIC ENGAGEMENT WEEK OF ACTION WRAPS UP: On Monday, LCV Education Fund wrapped up a national Civic Engagement Week of Action. Over the course of the week, each day focused on a different theme of civic engagement to educate and engage voters who have been historically excluded from voter registration initiatives.  Efforts included encouraging voters to make a voting plan, taking action to work at the polls, community engagement, and artivism. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Education Fund Director of Civic Engagement Hilda Nucete said, “From tightening voting laws to redistricting, communities across the country have been fraught with efforts to further disenfranchise voters who see the greatest impacts from the climate crisis and pollution. Ensuring that every voter accesses their right to vote is crucial to protecting our democracy and our environment. We are proud to be working at the grassroots level to ensure that every eligible voter has equitable access to casting their ballot.”

DIRTY PERMITTING DEAL HAS NO PLACE IN MUST-PASS LEGISLATION: On Tuesday, in anticipation of the procedural vote on the continuing resolution that includes Senator Joe Manchin’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, 147 groups including LCV sent a letter to all U.S. Senators urging them to vote ‘no’ on any attempt to attach the bill to any must-pass legislation. Read the full letter here.

CLEAN WATER TAKES THE SUPREME COURT STAGE: SACKETT V. EPA This week, clean water advocates hosted a press call in advance of Monday’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in the case, Sackett v. EPA. The case has the potential to undermine the Clean Water Act, one of our most important environmental laws.  Watch a recording of the webinar here

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “Over the last 50 years, the Clean Water Act has been absolutely fundamental to cleaning up our waterways. While there is still more to be done, eliminating safeguards for our wetlands and other waters would take us in exactly the wrong direction. We need to be doing more to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, zip code, or income, has access to clean water. The oil and gas industry and coal companies have worked for years to undermine and eliminate our clean water protections. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court May finally give them what they and their Allie’s in Congress have failed to achieve so far. This case is not about the definition of some obscure word but rather it is about our ability to protect clean water for generations to come.”

MEMO: WEEKLY LCV VICTORY FUND UPDATE: With six weeks to go until Election Day, LCV Victory Fund and Climate Power Action have expanded previously announced paid media and field efforts by a total of $4 million. The expansion will engage even more voters about their candidates’ records on climate and environmental issues and elect climate champions in November. In addition, the Climate Voters Mobilization digital advertising and direct mail campaign expanded by $2 million, increasing the total program budget from $12 million to $14 million as the second wave of digital ads also ran in 26 Senate and House races. In the field, LCV Victory Fund’s field organizing effort with state affiliates and partners expanded by $3 million – bringing the total field investment to close to $16 million, increasing the program’s knock goal. For more updates, click here. The program welcomes reporters to join us for a canvass launch in AZ, GA, MI, NV, NH, PA or WI in the coming weeks – please be in touch with National Communications Director Emily (esamsel@lcv.org) to arrange a visit.

LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSES NY CANDIDATES FOR CONGRESS: LCV Action Fund, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, announced on Monday the endorsement of Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY-12), DCCC Chair and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-17), and House candidates Bridget Fleming (D-NY-01), Jackie Gordon (D-NY-02), Robert Zimmerman (D-NY-03), Laura Gillen (D-NY-04), and Francis Conole (D-NY-22) for re-election and election to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York. See what each of the candidates had to say here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Communities in New York know the devastating consequences of inaction on climate change all too well, which is why we are thrilled to support these outstanding candidates for election to the U.S. House. These candidates have all demonstrated their deep commitment to fighting for a healthy environment for all communities and holding corporate polluters accountable. We can count on them to advocate for all New Yorkers as we work together for climate action, justice and jobs.”

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

NEW STATE PARKS IN PA: On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced three new state parks  that will conserve approximately 3,500 acres of land in Chester, Wyoming, and York counties – part of the state’s largest park system expansion in decades. Each park will offer scenic hiking opportunities and significant public access for water-based recreation and contain areas with historic cultural significance. One of the new parks will preserve Big Elk Creek  which was a resource for local Indigenous peoples and served as an important route on the Underground Railroad. Aside from their benefits to local communities, the parks will also help boost tourism and drive local economic development. 

PCV TAKE: Pennsylvania Conservation Voters Executive Director Molly Parzen said, “Pennsylvanians from across our commonwealth are already seeing the benefits of the historic bipartisan investments in conservation included in this year’s budget. Today’s news will help ensure that more Pennsylvanians of all races and backgrounds can enjoy our commonwealth’s natural beauty even as we preserve open space and protect our environment. And it is an affirmation that the Legislature’s decision to allocate $800 million to conservation will benefit families across Pennsylvania and create good-paying union jobs and strengthen our economy.”

CHISPA MD LEADERS IN ACTION: This week, Chispa Maryland launched its Environmental Justice Advocate Training, which combined knowledge-sharing and activities around how to use shared culture and values to promote a healthy environment. The training was also an opportunity to build leadership, organize community members and supporters and educate friends, neighbors, and families on how to be part of the solution to climate change. Check out Chispa Maryland’s  post about the event here.

COMING UP:

SEPTEMBER 15 – OCTOBER 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

OCTOBER 3: Oral arguments in Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA

OCTOBER 3: Clean Water Advocates to Gather at Supreme Court to Protect the Clean Water Act

WHO: Prominent speakers and clean water advocates

WHEN: Monday, October 3rd at 9:30 AM ET

WHERE: Outside the United States Supreme Court – 1 First St NE, Washington D.C. 20543

OCTOBER 3: Press Call with Environmental Legal Experts on Attack Against Clean Water Act Heard Before Supreme Court: 

WHEN: Wednesday, October 3rd, 2022, 1:30 PM ET 

WHO: 

Sam Sankar, Senior Vice President for Programs at Earthjustice

Dave Owen, Professor of Law at UC Hastings

Jim Murphy, Senior Counsel for the National Wildlife Federation

Jon Devine, Senior Attorney and Federal Water Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Fund

Peter Morgan, Senior Attorney with the Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program

Kelly Moser, Senior Attorney and Leader of the Clean Water Defense Initiative at the Southern Environmental Law Center

RSVP: To participate in Monday’s press call, please RSVP to Nate Hitchings at nhitchings@skdknick.com to receive dial-in information.

OCTOBER 10: Indigenous Peoples Day

OCTOBER 18: 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act

NOVEMBER 8: Election Day

 

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