Breaking news: Surprise Senate deal sets stage for record climate and environmental justice investments.
Late last night, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin reached a deal on record-breaking investments in climate, clean energy, and environmental justice. If passed, The Inflation Reduction Act will be a huge step forward on climate action, which will put our country on a path to reduce carbon emissions by close to 40 percent by 2030. With a reported $370 billion in investments in climate and clean energy, this bill would be by far the most important action Congress has ever taken to address climate change.
We are still going through the details, but we are excited by what we know so far about the deal. It includes long-term, robust support for clean electricity, electric vehicles, domestic clean energy manufacturing, and environmental justice communities, with particular support for working families and communities impacted by the shift away from fossil fuels.
As families struggle with high gas prices, inflation, and devastating climate-fueled extreme weather, this news comes not a moment too soon. With your support, LCV has been fighting for months for legislation that makes meaningful investments in climate and clean energy, improves our nation’s energy security, creates good-paying jobs, and starts building a more affordable, healthy, and equitable future right now.
There is still a lot of work to be done, and we are working around the clock to push this bill over the finish line. If you do one thing today, please join us and tell your senator they MUST vote to pass this climate legislation now.
In addition, LCV and its affiliated entities are pursuing three other key avenues for continued climate action to ensure we cut emissions in half by 2030, all of which our movement has a major role in accomplishing:
- We continue to do everything in our power to urge the Biden administration to immediately and boldly use all executive authority to curb climate pollution.
- With our 30+ state affiliates, we are pushing state and local governments to enact even stronger, more equitable clean energy and climate policies. (Already, our efforts have ensured that more than 40% of people in the U.S. live in a place committed to 100% clean energy).
- And through LCV Victory Fund, we are working to elect a TRUE pro-environment majority in the U.S. Senate and defend the U.S. House from those who would sacrifice our future on the altar of fossil fuel profits.
With you at our side, we continue to push our leaders to chart a sustainable path forward. Our lives, livelihoods, and our children’s future depend on it.
And now, here are your LCV Top 5 items for July 2022:
On July 20, President Biden gave a climate speech in Massachusetts at a former coal plant that will soon be a manufacturing facility for offshore wind components. LCV and our state affiliate, the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund, took the opportunity to call on the Biden administration to use every ounce of its authority to curb climate pollution, advance environmental justice, create good–paying jobs, and lower costs for families as quickly as possible.
Important steps that LCV is calling on the Biden administration to take include:
- Declaring a climate national emergency to spur clean energy and redirect federal resources
- Ending fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters
- Setting tight standards for new and existing power plants and other major emitters
- Placing strict limits on air pollution to safeguard communities
- Expediting requirements of 100% tailpipe pollution-free new cars by 2035 and trucks by 2040
- Protecting communities from hazardous, super-polluting methane
- Requiring companies to disclose climate risks
- Conserving 30% of lands and waters by 2030 – and more
READ our statement and the list of specific executive actions we support here.
It is critical that we elect more leaders to Congress who will act to equitably address the climate crisis and strengthen our democracy. This month, LCV’s affiliated political action committee, LCV Action Fund, 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 newly-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).
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.”
READ more about the latest endorsements here and see the full list of all LCV Action Fund-endorsed candidates for 2022 here.
From July 16-24, LCV and our Chispa program celebrated Latino Conservation Week: Disfrutando y Conservando Nuestra Tierra. An initiative of Hispanic Access Foundation, Latino Conservation Week was created in 2014 to support the Latino community getting into the outdoors and participating in activities to protect our natural resources. Now in its 9th year, community, nonprofit, and other organizations held hundreds of events across the country to promote access to the outdoors and opportunities for Latinx communities to show their support for permanently protecting our land, water, and air.
LCV and Chispa celebrated with events including:
- Chispa Arizona hosted a trip to the Grand Canyon, where 36 community leaders and staff explored and learned more about how the canyon is tied to the place of origin for the Navajo, Hopi, Paiute, and Zuni peoples and holds sacred significance for 11 tribes.
- Chispa Nevada kicked off the week in Mt. Charleston, where members explored the mountains and celebrated access to open spaces. They also held a second fun-for-all-ages community event called “Plantando Semillas” that focused on gardening and water conservation.
- Chispa Maryland celebrated at the Wheaton Regional Park with opportunities to hike, fish, and enjoy the outdoors with families and friends. Check out their Instagram post here.
- Chispa Florida hosted a webinar inviting school districts to learn more about the EPA’s Clean School Bus program funds. Check out their Instagram post here. They also hosted a press conference to ask the governor to declare a climate emergency in the state.
- LCV’s Congressional Champions Project hosted a Twitter Q&A with champions from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, lifting up their leadership to boost equitable access to the outdoors. Check out a blog post recapping the online event here.
On June 30, LCV Government Affairs Fellow Erin Keleske testified before the Environmental Protection Agency 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 reaffirming California’s authority to set — and other states to follow — those stricter-than-federal regulations will not only benefit the environment, but also help protect the health of both truck drivers and predominantly Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, as well as low-income roadside communities.
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.”
Read Keleske’s full testimony on why states are ready to lead on cutting vehicle emissions and why the EPA should approve the California waiver under the Clean Air Act.
The Biden-Harris administration has significant power to cut pollution and curb the climate crisis. LCV and our allies are calling on the administration to boldly and swiftly help meet climate commitments through executive action and federal agencies. On July 15, LCV, along with Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Healthy Gulf, the Healthy Ocean Coalition, Oceana, Rachel Carson Council, and Sierra Club, called on the administration to ensure that the Department of the Interior finalizes a five-year program that contains no new offshore drilling leases.
This was one of President Biden’s campaign promises, and it is an action his administration could take to have a major impact. The climate impact of permanently ending new leasing could be equivalent to taking every car in the nation off the road for 15 years.
READ our statement calling for no new leasing for offshore drilling here.