THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – OCTOBER 16, 2020
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“I just love that @JoeBiden is talking about EV batteries, carbon negative strategies, transmission challenges, BTUs, weatherizing buildings, capturing methane and all manner of clean energy job opportunities … does @realDonaldTrump even know what any of that is?”
— Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm via Twitter
“Anti-black racism has a long history and, over centuries, was also used in ways that created violence and harm that can be associated with laying the groundwork for today’s climate crisis.”
— University of Michigan Professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma Kyle Whyte in Yessenia Funes’ newsletter, The Frontline, in Atmos
“California has faced its worst wildfire season in modern history thanks to climate change. In our hour of need what has the Trump administration done? Flat out rejected California’s request for much needed aid. VOTE. THEM. OUT.”
— University of California Santa Barbara professor Leah Stokes via Twitter
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Courier: Amy Coney Barrett Could Bring the Climate Crisis to Its Breaking Point
The Hill: Environmentalists sound alarm over Barrett’s climate change comments
Politico Playbook: FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — LCV Victory Fund Adding $15M
Grist: The Best, worst, and weirdest climate ads of 2020
Reuters: Environmentalists, Democrats fault Trump court pick Barrett on climate evasion
Florida Politics: League of Conservation Voters pours in $720K to back Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in CD 26
Politico Morning Energy: LCV SPENDS $2.5 MILLION BOOSTING WOMEN OF COLOR
Grist: The best, worst, and weirdest climate ads of 2020
Politico Morning Energy: GREENS PUT ANOTHER $15M INTO SENATE MAP
Public Radio International: Environmental groups work to mobilize Black and Latinx voters
Colorado Sun: Diane Mitsch Bush outraises GOP rival Lauren Boebert in 3rd District as Democrats pour money into the race
E & E News: Barrett hearings are done. Here are 5 things to know
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
Outside Magazine (MT): In Montana, Stream Access Is on the Ballot
Colorado Sun (CO): A bold plan to protect 30% of Colorado lands and waters by 2030
REST IN POWER: This week, we were deeply saddened by the loss of Cecil Corbin-Mark, a fearless leader and advocate in the environmental justice movement, and the deputy director and director of policy initiatives at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. In these tough and trying moments, our thoughts are with Cecil’s family, friends, colleagues, and all those he inspired in the fight to dismantle environmental racism.
$115M — THAT’S MORE THAN WE THOUGHT: This week, LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities, including LCV’s network of state affiliates, announced that our total electoral investment this cycle has increased to $115 million, an upward revision from $100 million that reflects both the enthusiasm of our supporters and the importance of climate and environmental justice issues to voters nationwide.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. The crises our country is facing are massive and LCV Victory Fund is not leaving anything to chance in these final weeks.”
GIVEGREEN SURPASSES $40 MILLION: LCV Victory Fund, NRDC Action Fund PAC, and NextGen America announced that they have raised over $40 million for federal and state candidates through GiveGreen so far in this election cycle — shattering numbers from previous years and cementing GiveGreen as the biggest single-issue fundraising platform of any progressive group. This exciting news comes just three weeks after hitting the $35 million milestone.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund President Gene Karpinski said, “We are only three weeks away from the most important Election Day of our lifetimes and climate is on the ballot — we know it and voters across the country know it. The stakes have never been higher to elect climate leaders who will take action on the climate crisis, and we are grateful for the GiveGreen community for helping us build power in this fight.”
CAMPAIGNING ON CLIMATE: As polling shows that climate is top of mind for voters heading to the polls — including young voters and voters of color, particularly Latinx voters and women — candidates are showing their commitment to climate and the environment in noteworthy ads and moments on the campaign trail. LCV Action Fund compiled highlights of the ways pro-environment candidates are elevating the climate crisis and environmental issues in their campaigns. And the roster of pro-environment candidates is deep — so far this cycle, LCV Action Fund has publicly endorsed in 163 federal races. Of the candidates we’ve endorsed, 40% identify as candidates of color and 52% identify as women, making this year’s endorsements the most diverse ever and most reflective of our country.
OUR NEXT PRESIDENT WAS ON ABC: After Trump refused to adhere to the Commission on Presidential Debates’ guidelines and debate Joe Biden virtually this week, Biden was forced to participate in a solo town hall. When Trump got jealous and forced his own conflicting cable town hall upon viewers, the public was reminded, once again, that Joe Biden is an empathetic public servant who listens to scientists and experts, and Trump is a bully who is only in it for himself.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund tweeted throughout the night, and summed it all up with this: “Joe Biden talked about issues and policies that would tangibly improve the lives of people in America. Donald Trump refused to condemn QAnon, a dangerous, anti-Semitic conspiracy, and again debated the value of masks.The choice could not be more clear.”
VF ROUND UP: LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities have committed to investing at least $115 million this cycle to defeat Trump and elect climate and environmental justice champions up and down the ballot because our rights to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in safe and healthy communities are at risk. Check out LCV Victory Fund’s weekly roundup to get a snapshot of our field and paid media programs across the country.
RISING TO A BAKER’S DOZEN: As part of a historic $115 million electoral investment, LCV Victory Fund expanded its work in U.S. Senate races to include Alaska and South Carolina. LCV Victory Fund will launch a $1.5 million radio and direct mail campaign in South Carolina to defeat Lindsey Graham, who was also named as the final member of this year’s Dirty Dozen, and LCV Victory Fund announced a new $800,000 TV ad campaign in Alaska in support of challenger Dr. Al Gross. Check out the South Carolina mail here, and watch the Alaska ad here.
OUR TAKE: On naming Senator Graham to the Dirty Dozen, LCV Victory Fund SVP of Campaigns said, “Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the Senate’s leading apologists for and enablers of Donald Trump — there is no one more deserving of a spot alongside Trump on this year’s Dirty Dozen. Jaime Harrison understands that South Carolina’s coastal communities are poised to face severe impacts from climate change-fueled extreme weather events, which is why he’s committed to taking action to confront the climate crisis and fighting for environmental justice.”
BIPOC WOMEN’S HOUSE: LCV Victory Fund revealed plans to spend over $2.5 million to elect women of color to Congress, which includes paid media campaigns in support of women of color candidates in five competitive House Districts: Representative Debbie Murcarsel-Powell (FL-26), Patricia Timmons-Goodson (NC-08), Jackie Gordon (NY-02), Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23), and Candace Valenzuela (TX-24). Electing these five women of color in November will help grow the pro-environment majority in the House and further establish that our governing bodies should better reflect the racial and gender diversity of the country. Check out the first three ads here: FL-26, TX-23 (English/Spanish), TX-24.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund SVP of Campaigns Pete Maysmith had this to say, “Women of color are leading the fight for a more just and equitable clean energy future and our country needs to follow. These candidates are up against opponents bought and paid for by corporate polluters who would put our health at risk. For the health and safety of our families, we must re-elect Reps. Mucarsel-Powell and Torres Small and send Timmons-Goodson, Gordon, Ortiz Jones and Valenzuela to Congress.”
CLEAR CHOICE CUNNINGHAM: LCV Victory Fund and NRDC Action Votes launched a joint $70,000 radio ad in support of the Lowcountry’s pro-environment Congressman Joe Cunningham’s re-election bid against opponent Nancy Mace. The ad is specifically designed to reach Black voters, and highlights Mace’s climate denial and the tens of thousands in campaign contributions she accepted from corporate polluters who risk contaminating South Carolina’s drinking water. Cunningham, on the other hand, is a former ocean engineer who believes in science, stands up to polluters, and is working to combat climate change and protect coastal communities. Listen to the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Emily Crerand said, “Nancy Mace’s cozy relationships with corporate polluters put the health and safety of South Carolina communities, especially Black and Brown communities, at extreme risk. We need to keep Rep. Cunningham in Washington, fighting for clean air, clean water, and to ban drilling off of South Carolina’s coast.”
NRDC TAKE: NRDC Action Fund Votes Independent Expenditure Director Jossie Steinberg said, “Nancy Mace’s relationship with corporate polluters risks everyone in the Lowcountry’s way of life and the economic backbone of the region — their coastline. Rep. Cunningham is putting South Carolina first — not corporate polluters.”
EARTH DAY🌎 FOUNDER’S DAUGHTER FOR BIDEN: LCV Victory Fund released a new digital ad campaign in support of Joe Biden for president, featuring a testimonial from Tia Nelson, daughter of former Wisconsin Governor, U.S. Senator, and founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson. In the new ad, Tia says, “My father and Joe Biden served together. And they shared the unshakeable belief that every American has the right to clean air, and drinkable water…I know Wisconsin can trust Joe Biden to lead on the environment.” Watch the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Emily Crerand said, “Vice President Biden will listen to scientists and experts, make the largest-ever investment to combat climate change, address environmental injustice, and create 10 million good-paying jobs — that’s the leadership our country needs. Wisconsin should listen to Tia. She knows what an environmental champion looks like.”
AN ELK’S POINT OF VIEW🦌: LCV Victory Fund and House Majority PAC launched a new $260,000 radio ad in opposition to Matt Rosendale’s campaign to represent Montana’s at-large congressional district. The ad, narrated in part from the perspective of an elk, draws attention to Matt Rosedale’s anti-public record: “I am an elk and it’s been difficult these last few years. As an elk, Montana’s always been my home. But now I feel it slipping away … Rosendale’s a developer who wants to pave over our habitat. He pushed efforts to sell out our public lands.” Listen to the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “Montanans know who is going to fight to protect public lands, and it’s not real estate developer Matt Rosendale. He’s proven he will side with the billionaire Wilks Brothers and the corporate interests who fund his campaign and want to sell off Montana’s public lands. Rosendale will put Montanans’ way of life at risk. Rosendale’s wrong for Montana.”
BIG OIL IN IOWA?: LCV Victory Fund announced a $1.2 million direct mail campaign in opposition to Senator Joni Ernst’s re-election campaign. The program includes multiple rounds of mail about Ernst’s anti-environment, anti-Iowa record. Mailers started dropping across Iowa on Monday.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Emily Crerand said, “Joni Ernst is the senator of special interests’ dreams. We’re going big in Iowa in the final weeks because Iowans deserve a senator who works for them, not a climate denier bought and paid for by Big Oil. We need to send Theresa Greenfield to Washington to fight for the health and safety of Iowa families.”
PATA-GONNA VOTE: Patagonia hosted LCV Voting Rights Director Justin Kwasa and professional rock climber Tommy Caldwell on Instagram Live to discuss the upcoming elections and ways to safely cast ballots. Together they reviewed voting options, encouraged people to become poll workers, talked redistricting, and Kwasa reminded voters, “We are 20 days from when polls close. And I specifically say ‘when the polls close’ because we are in the middle of election season right now…We want everyone to be an October voter. As much as you can, vote early and vote by mail.”
CALLING CENSUS QUITS: This week, the Supreme Court let the Trump administration cut their constitutionally required census short, a ruling that puts a fair and accurate count of people in our country at risk. The Census acts as the baseline for allocating political power and trillions of dollars in government funding, and cutting it short is likely to hurt harder to reach communities most — people of color, low-income people, and young people. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said it best in her dissent, “the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable.”
AMY CONEY BARRETT: As McConnell’s Senate continues to delay consideration of a much-needed COVID-19 relief package to focus its efforts on an ill-conceived judicial nomination, LCV President Gene Karpinski sent a letter to the Senate, urging senators to oppose Amy Coney Barret’s nomination, and LCV also led an environmental group coalition letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, opposing the nomination process. During the hearings, Coney Barrett denied climate change multiple times, including when Senator Richard Blumenthal asked her to explain her climate denial: “I don’t think I’m competent enough to opine on what causes global warming or not.” For a lifetime appointment, we deserve better.
OUR TAKE: In LCV President Gene Karpinski’s letter, he said, “The idea that a nominee to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court has not developed a view on the existential threat of climate crisis is inexcusable and disqualifying for a position that will have a significant impact on our ability to address climate change. The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change is not up for debate, and judges willing to ignore or disregard scientific facts for political purposes are unfit for the bench. Moreover, her response is an insult to those communities on the front lines of climate change, already suffering the effects of extreme weather events and other harms.”
CLEAN WATER ACT 💧 TURNS 48 🎂: On Sunday, the Clean Water Act will celebrate its 48th anniversary. Over the years, we’ve made tremendous progress towards cleaning up and protecting our waterways, though we still have much more to do to ensure everyone has access to clean water.
JOIN US: Celebrate with the Clean Water for All Coalition by joining a virtual townhall on Tuesday, October 20 at 5pm featuring California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), and clean water advocates. The conversation will cover all we’ve accomplished so far, the Trump administration’s current assault on our clean water and how Congress and the states are fighting back, and how we can strengthen clean water safeguards for the future. RSVP here.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:
DIRTY DOZEN IN THE STATES (CA, MN, MT, NC, OH, OR, PA, WI): This week, LCV released the Dirty Dozen in the States, which highlights 12 of the worst state and local level candidates for the environment, from all across the nation. In a time of multiple converging crises — a pandemic, racial and economic injustice, and the climate crisis — the Trump administration has failed our communities. We look to our state and local officials, who have led both our clean energy progress and the pandemic response, to be the trustworthy stewards of public health that our country needs.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Since Trump has been in office, our biggest victories have been in the states. We need federal leadership but beating candidates dedicated to gutting environmental protections up and down the ticket has never been more important. This year’s list proves there are still far too many candidates bought and paid for by big polluters and we cannot allow them to continue blocking the progress the country demands.”
ANOTHER STATE LOOKS TO PROTECT 30% OF LAND FOR CONSERVATION (CO): Yesterday, Colorado conservation groups unveiled a first-in-the-nation report highlighting pathways to protect 30 percent of the state’s land land and water by 2030. Conservation Colorado and Western Resource Advocates’ new report, Colorado Pathways to 30×30, highlighting the state’s opportunity to lead the way in achieving the international, science-based imperative of protecting 30 percent of our land and water by 2030. This is a part of a growing movement across the country to achieve 30×30. Just last week California Governor Newsom announced the state would be working to achieve this same goal. At the federal level, the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature is currently making its way through Congress.
LCV AFFILIATE’S TAKE: Executive Director of Conservation Colorado Kelly Nordini said, “The outdoors have always been central to our state’s identity — it’s Colorado, after all. And today, as folks escape the dangers of COVID-19 by heading to community parks, wilderness areas, and everything in between, it’s clear that we must lead to protect our lands and waters. Our new report shows that the 30×30 goal is absolutely achievable if our leaders work together.”
October 18: 48th anniversary of the Clean Water Act
November 3: Election Day
December 11: Government funding expires