THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – August 11th, 2017

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 and Twitter.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“[It is] absolutely critical that we follow independent peer reviewed science in crafting environmental policy.”

  • Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. calling on President Trump to endorse the federal climate change report at an event organized by the New Hampshire League of Conservation Voters

“Building economic strength, creating jobs, and protecting Wisconsin’s vulnerable natural resources are not mutually exclusive endeavors. The Legislature needs to push back on Walker’s extreme anti-environment proposals.”

  • Kerry Schumann, Executive Director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters on Governor Walker’s bill to surrender clean water to a corporation

“The bottom line is this: We will not be intimidated by craven efforts to smear our work and distract from this administration’s real, dangerous attacks on voting rights and the planet. We will not let deceitful individuals disparage the people and issues we advocate for every day.”

  • Gene Karpinski, President of LCV on the discovery that operatives associated with extreme right-wing groups used fake identities in order to meet with LCV and California LCV staff and supporters

LCV IN THE NEWS:

Telemundo: El cambio climático estaría afectando ya a Estados Unidos

ThinkProgress: Trump files notice to withdraw from Paris agreement, planning instead to promote fossil fuels

Colorlines: Former EPA Head on How Trump Should Handle New Climate Change Report

The New Yorker: Has James O’Keefe Accidentally Stung Himself Again?

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY, AUGUST RECESS EDITION:

As Senators and Representatives return to their home states for August recess, LCV’s state affiliates are hard at work fighting to ensure that constituents’ voices are heard. Across the country, environmental allies and activists are standing up to protect the environment and fight climate change in the states.

Here’s what our allies and state leagues were up to this week:

In New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan and former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy called on the Trump administration to endorse the federal climate change report, raised alarm about proposed budget cuts to the EPA, and highlighted the importance of working to combat climate change and protect New Hampshire’s natural resources. Read more below:

Portsmouth Herald: Hassan: Trump needs to listen to climate scientists

New Hampshire Public Radio: Hassan: Trump should endorse findings of leaked climate report

Associated Press: In N.H., former EPA head calls on Trump to heed science, climate report

In Alabama, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Birmingham Mayor William Bell joined Conservation Alabama and the League of Conservation Voters for a tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights Monument to highlight the importance of preserving our national monuments as the Trump administration threatens their very existence.

Alabama Political Report: US Representative Terri Sewell will tour Civil Rights Memorial in campaign against Trump

Here’s what else folks across the country were reading:

Seacoast Online (NH): ‘Battling Mother Nature,’ climate change on Marginal Way

WEMU Public Radio (MI): 1st Friday Focus On The Environment: Expanding Energy Laws And Efficiency In Michigan

RTO Insider (NY): Solar Powers NY City Council Candidate

The Pueblo Chieftain (CO): Not making the grade

The Cap Times (WI): Kerry Schumann: Foxconn legislation is a dangerous giveaway of our air and water

Noticias Arizona: Ideas divertidas para inculcar la cultura del reciclaje en los niño

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ICYMI: HAS JAMES O’KEEFE ACCIDENTALLY STUNG HIMSELF AGAIN? As first reported by The New Yorker, the League of Conservation Voters recently discovered that operatives associated with extreme right-wing groups used fake identities in order to meet with LCV and California LCV staff and supporters. Get the facts from LCV President Gene Karpinski here.

SCIENTISTS STAND UP WHEN THE TRUMP ADMIN WON’T: This week, a draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies was reviewed by the New York Times. The report, authored by leading staffers from NASA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers, among others, says it’s “extremely likely” that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades have been caused by human activity. What’s more — the report indicated that communities are feeling the harmful effects of climate change right now while the Trump administration shamefully refuses to act. The White House now faces an unpleasant choice: endorse a report that contradicts the denials of top administration officials, or change the report so it doesn’t conflict with their backwards beliefs. Stay tuned.

PRUITT WILL BE PRUITT: To nobody’s surprise, but everybody’s disappointment, Scott Pruitt continues to cast doubt on the validity of threats of climate change, highlighting his “red team/blue team” exercise to challenge what the EPA chief called “so-called settled science” of climate change.

GOP TAKES THE COUNTRY BACKWARDS ON CLIMATE: A new Washington Post analysis illustrates how Republican leaders’ views on climate change have evolved inversely to scientific research — that is, while researchers have established that the climate is changing and that human activity contributes to global warming, more Republicans running for office have walked further and further away from this. The Washington Post writes, “each successive nominee has started out less convinced of the realities of human-driven climate change than the last.” Given the Trump administration’s attacks on the environment, and staunch refusal to accept the science behind climate change (see also: Scott Pruitt’s red team/blue team), it’s not surprising that President Trump’s views are the furthest from hard science in quite some time.

WHY IT MATTERS: The harmful effects of climate change are becoming more and more visible. This week, NOAA predicted an above normal hurricane season, and a new report showed that the sea levels along parts of the U.S. coastline are rising six times faster than the rate of global increase.

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME?: In what appears to be another desperate attempt by the Trump administration to deny the science of climate change, Department of Agriculture employees have reportedly been directed to avoid using the term climate change in their work. USDA now encourages employees to use terms like “weather extremes” in place of “climate change.”

ZINKE’S LATEST GIVEAWAY TO DIRTY ENERGY: The Department of the Interior is set to roll back an Obama-era rule that required companies mining and drilling on federal lands to pay taxpayers a fairer share for the public resources they took. Under the old system, fossil fuel companies exploited loopholes so they could pay lower royalties. If you can look past the false idea that destroying public lands for the coal industry is a good thing, you get to the cost: estimates say the change will end up costing taxpayers between $60.1 million and $74.8 million annually.

RENEWED ENERGY FOR SOLAR: In DC, residents are giving solar panels renewed energy. Solar Works DC, a low-income solar installation and job-training program developed by the District’s Department of Energy and Environment and the Department of Employment Services, is kicking off this summer. Their mission is to train more than 200 DC residents over three years, in partnership with GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, a national nonprofit that helps to implement solar power for low- to moderate-income families at no cost. The trainees will develop skills needed for careers in the solar industry, and will install solar panels for 60-100 lower-income DC residents.

COMING UP:

August 14 The end of the comment period on the marine monuments review.

August 19 – Day of Action ahead of the end of the Department of the Interior national monument review.

August 19 – Van Jones and Vien Truong of Dream Corps join LCV’s Chispa Nevada for a live event in Las Vegas in support of the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign. LCV’s Chispa is organizing with communities to call on governors across the country to put the health of kids and communities first, by using the $2.7 billion VW settlement fund allocated to states for electric, zero-emissions school buses.

August 24 The deadline for Secretary Zinke to issue his recommendations on the national monument review.

August 28 – The end of the comment period for the Clean Water Rule repeal.

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