THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Sigo en Paris because it is the right thing to do on behalf of people across the globe, especially communities of color, Latinos, who are directly affected and feel the consequences of climate change… For us, this is a justice issue, a public health issue, a safety issue, and an economic issue—we cannot afford to give up. We must protect the health of our families, our community, and the environment.”
- Ernesto Vargas, LCV’s Chispa national director, on the launch of “Sigo en Paris,” the Spanish-language version of “I am Still In”
“From Craters of the Moon in Idaho to Gold Butte in Nevada to Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, these monuments help drive the West’s booming outdoor recreation economy and preserve our shared natural and cultural heritage. These lands belong to all of us, not corporate polluters. Will Senators Heller, Flake, Risch and Crapo continue to listen to the dirty energy industry or side with the hundreds of thousands of people who have already said they want these lands protected for current and future generations?”
- Gene Karpinski, President of LCV, on launching ads to urge Senators Heller, Flake, Risch and Crapo to stop supporting the Trump administration’s national monument review
“We’ve long had strong bipartisan support for environmental issues in this state, but we have certainly lost that support from Frelinghuysen. It’s clear he’s putting the most recent Republican caucus position ahead of the interests in his state.”
- Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, on Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-NJ) environmental record. Frelinghuysen is chair of the House Appropriations Committee and a key decision-maker on the EPA budget. Once considered fairly moderate on environmental issues, his LCV score has fallen dramatically since 2008 to just 8 percent in 2016.
“There’s a real threat, I think, many lawmakers feel. If they fight against Big Oil too loudly or too often, there is a real danger that Big Oil will spend millions of dollars against them.”
- Andy Kelley, Communications Director at the California League of Conservation Voters on the impact of Big Oil’s political spending in California
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Interior’s inbox fills with comments on national monuments review
Idaho Falls Post-Register: Conservation group targets ads at Crapo, Risch
Politico: LCV HITS GOP ON MONUMENT REVIEW
Politico: GREENS: WE NEED MORE TIME ON WOTUS
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
Anniston Star (AL): Letter to the editor: Help protect our public lands
East on Courier (CT): Paris Climate Accord withdrawal sparks local activism
OUR LANDS, OUR VOTE – LCV HOLDS POLITICIANS ACCOUNTABLE ON MONUMENTS
LCV launched a $75k, multi-platform digital ad campaign to encourage constituents in Nevada, Arizona and Idaho to voice opposition to the Trump administration’s review of our national monuments and contact four senators who have been vocal supporters of the monument review: Sens. Dean Heller, Jeff Flake, Jim Risch and Mike Crapo. The campaign is part of LCV’s “Our Lands, Our Vote” initiative, which has helped harness the incredible outpouring of public enthusiasm for protecting our public lands and waters. The initiative now aims to surpass 300,000 public comments before the July 10th deadline after exceeding initial goals of 250,000 this week.
“SIGO EN PARIS” – COMMUNITIES OF COLOR TAKE ON TRUMP’S CLIMATE POLICIES
Latino groups spoke out against Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris last Friday, joining a broad coalition of environmental and progressive groups to launch “Sigo en Paris,” the Spanish-language version of the “I Am Still In” petition. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change, and “Sigo en Paris” is a reminder to the Trump Administration and the international community that Latinos are essential in the effort to make sure that the US remains a climate leader. The groups included LCV’s Chispa program, along with League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Latino Victory Project, Hispanic Federation, National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), Voces Verdes, and GreenLatinos, among others.
SHOCKER– PRUITT GETS HIS ADVICE FROM INDUSTRY, NOT SCIENTISTS
Scott Pruitt’s dangerous rollback of protections for public health and the environment haven’t been made in a vacuum – in fact, he’s sought a lot of advice and almost none of it has come from the career staff at the agency he heads nor scientists who make up the now-sparse Board of Scientific Counselors. Instead, Pruitt has been seeking guidance from energy industry leaders and former lobbyists, moving the agency closer to the Big Oil, gas, and coal industries it’s designed to regulate. Pruitt is once again putting corporate and industry interests over the health and safety of the American people.
PARTY OF NONE AT TRUMP’S OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
In case Trump’s speech about NASA gave you hope that he believed in science, the Science Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reportedly remains completely unstaffed. This administration has made clear they have no desire to listen to the advice of scientists on issues that jeopardize American communities, but the speed at which the attacks on science have picked up is shocking.
STEPHEN HAWKING: EARTH MAY RAIN SULPHURIC ACID BECAUSE OF TRUMP
At his 75th birthday celebration, physicist Stephen Hawking cautioned the public about the catastrophic consequences of Trump’s climate change policy. He warned that the earth is close to the tipping point where global warming will become irreversible, and warned that “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid.”
Hawking joined a robust chorus of voices who all agree: Donald Trump is putting the country and the planet in grave danger with his disastrous and negligent climate policies.
THREAT OF DRILLING MAKES SEISMIC WAVES
A bipartisan opposition from concerned citizens, business leaders, and government officials echoed throughout the nation this week after the Department of the Interior published a notice seeking comment on a 5-year offshore drilling plan. The plan would allow lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the waters off of south central Alaska. Interior also proposed allowing seismic testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean, a concerning first move towards opening drilling in the Atlantic This move would have disastrous effects on our oceans and marine life, and has drawn wide and bipartisan criticism and opposition.
ZINKE: SPEED UP DRILLING PERMITS ON FEDERAL LANDS
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a secretarial order to speed up oil and gas drilling permits on federal lands. Even when the Bureau of Land Management has issued thousands of permits that industry is not using, Zinke moved to give the fossil fuel industry quicker and easier access to drill in these lands. Notably, Zinke’s actions come at a time when his department looks to roll back protections for other public lands: national monuments, showing the Trump administration’s prioritization of dirty energy over protecting our public lands.
APPEALS COURT AGREES: METHANE STINKS
The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down Pruitt’s 90-day suspension of methane emission standards for new and modified oil and gas wells. Though Pruitt tried not to enforce the existing rules, the court determined that he has to do his job and enforce the existing rules while the agency rewrites them. The decision was a blow to Pruitt, who had proposed extending the 90-day suspension to two years. Though the court will have a separate hearing on the two-year suspension, the decision is a reminder that Pruitt isn’t permitted to unilaterally and immediately disregard Obama-era environmental protections.
TRUMP AGAINST THE WORLD
Trump is on a collision course with other world leaders over his backwards stance on climate change as they travel to Hamburg for the G20 Summit this weekend. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that addressing climate change will be one of the top agenda items at the summit, reminding the world that since Trump’s embarrassing withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, she is “more determined than ever to make it successful.” The rift between Trump and European leaders has grown wider in the past month, with French President Emmanuel Macron sharply condemning Trump’s climate policies. Even one of Trump’s closer allies abroad, British Prime Minister Theresa May, will challenge him over climate change at the summit. In a sharp note of irony, Trump struggled to find lodging in Hamburg, further cementing his position as the odd one out during the summit.
Trump is at the G20 July 7th-8th this week, and will face significant opposition from world leaders on climate change.
July 10th is also the EPA’s public hearing in DC on delaying the implementation of their New Source Performance Standards for methane pollution.