THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – OCTOBER 9, 2020
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Big Oil knew. Big Oil lied. They did it to line their own profits, while they sold the rest of us down the river.”
“I yearn for an America where non-White women don’t have to battle for the bare minimum: to be allowed to speak.”
— Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah in her analysis of the ways that whiteness and patriarchy required Senator Kamala Harris to fight to be heard on debate stage
“At his best, Biden has the potential to appeal to the country in an emotionally honest way that might help to engender a greater sense of social cohesion, compassion, and mutual respect. But, a new president must also address the failures and the inequalities that have been festering in American life for decades. He must reckon immediately with an environmental crisis that is already upon us and cannot be conquered with a vaccine.”
— The Editors of the New Yorker in their presidential endorsement, For a Biden Presidency
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Bloomberg Green: Amy Coney Barrett on Court Seen Handcuffing Agencies’ Climate-Change Fight
New York Times: ‘Big Oil knew’: Environmental group’s ad targets energy companies, and Trump.
Self: 5 Ways Biden Winning the Presidency Would Affect Your Health
CNBC: Susan Collins struggles to change the subject from Brett Kavanaugh in Maine Senate race
E&E News: Lindsey Graham’s climate record at issue as race tightens
The Hill: Biden would face hurdles undoing Trump environmental rollbacks
Washington Post Energy 202: Five major environmental groups joined to support Democrats in the 2020 election
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:
NBC News (NV): Latino voters could swing Nevada. But they worry their ballots won’t count.
CBS San Francisco (CA): Newsom Launches Land, Water Conservation Initiative To Fight Climate Change, Restore Biodiversity
WHYY (PA): Environmental groups to spend $2M to flip Pa. legislature
Queens Daily Eagle (NY): Coalition works to make NYC’s yellow school buses go green
Associated Press (MI): Michigan governor releases $500 million water infrastructure plan
ANOTHER DEBATE: As Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off through plexiglass on Wednesday evening, a more cordial debate tenor emerged, yet Pence, much like Trump, ignored the moderator, Susan Page, and the rules, putting undeniable gender and racial inequities center-stage at the debate. Nevertheless, Harris skillfully navigated, pushing back on the vice president’s interjections, while each ticket’s message remained consistent: Trump and Pence continue to deny climate change and inflame racism, while Biden and Harris approach the converging crises in our country — the pandemic, racial and economic injustice, and the climate crisis — with the empathy and seriousness they deserve.
OUR TAKE: In response to the debate, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “This was a historic night for equity and climate justice. Kamala Harris, the first ever woman of color on a major party ticket, showed us what it will be like to have compassionate, just, pro-science, pro-environment leadership in the White House. The start of the Biden-Harris administration could not come soon enough.”
OUR MEMO: Climate and environmental justice continue to be a priority issue for voters. As ballots are cast, one thing is for sure: more people than ever will be voting for climate action. Prior to the debate, LCV Victory Fund shared a few notable proof points on climate’s salience with voters and Senator Harris’ long pro-environment record. Read it here.
GREEN THE PLANET, SAVE THE SENATE: This week, singer and songwriter Paul Simon hosted an event with GiveGreen — a partnership of LCV Victory Fund, NextGen America and NRDC Action Fund PAC that raises money for federal and state candidates. In addition to Simon’s special musical performance, he talked with key Senate candidates about the just and equitable climate solutions they plan to enact as soon as they are elected.
PAUL SIMON’S TAKE: In an email to LCV members, Paul Simon said, “We have the power to course correct, save our planet, and reshape our nation as fundamentally more just, equitable, safe, and healthy. And our best chance of doing that is to Green the Senate this November 3.”
VF ROUND UP: With Joe Biden himself running a climate change-focused ad in a key state like Michigan, it’s clear that environmental issues are on the minds of voters like never before. LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities have committed to investing at least $100 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.
BIG OIL KNEW. BIG OIL LIED: LCV Victory Fund launched a new $2 million national cable and digital ad campaign urging voters to break Big Oil’s hold on our elected officials by defeating Trump and electing Biden. The campaign, initially launching in the battleground state of Arizona before a run on national cable TV, portrays the fossil fuel industry’s history of denying responsibility and downplaying their own science on climate change, while also highlighting how corporate polluters benefit from Trump’s dangerous environmental rollbacks.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Trump isn’t the only one who denies reality and puts people’s health and safety at risk. The fossil fuel industry continues to try to muddy the waters when it comes to their responsibility for the climate crisis, and they rely on politicians like Trump who are willing to ignore science and health experts to roll back critical environmental protections. That’s why we’re making sure voters understand that we need a leader like Joe Biden who will make polluters, not people, pay for the damage they are causing.”
NUESTRA HISTORIA: Somos PAC, a Latino-led progressive hub for persuading and mobilizing Latino voters, and LCV Victory Fund announced a $1 million statewide Spanish radio and TV buy in Nevada aimed at reintroducing Biden to Latino voters. The ads tell Biden’s personal story overcoming struggle that so many Latino voters can relate to.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “Nevada voters are on the front lines of climate change and only one candidate in this race, Joe Biden, will listen to scientists and experts and protect the health and well being of Latinx families. Biden has helped our country rebuild from multiple ongoing crises before — he doesn’t give up. We need him in the White House fighting for us.”
SOMOS PAC TAKE: President of Somos PAC Melissa Morales said, “Latino voters have heard enough about Trump. Right now they are looking to credible, independent voices to learn more about Joe Biden and what his presidency would mean for them. That is why Somos PAC, in partnership with organizations like LCV Victory Fund, is making major investments across the country in grassroots field operations and paid communications to restart a conversation about who Joe Biden is, what he has overcome, and what we can all overcome if he is elected president.”
A CHANGE WOULD DO ME GOOD: LCV Victory Fund announced an investment of over $800,000 in Maine to defeat anti-environment Senator Susan Collins and elect Sara Gideon. The investment includes a direct mail campaign that started hitting Mainers’ mailboxes in late September. Instead of being an independent voice for Maine, Collins has supported anti-environment policies like Trump’s tax plan that opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and she supported some of Trump’s worst anti-environment nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “We have supported Senator Collins in the past, but it’s time for change. Collins has taken more corporate PAC money than any senator in Maine history and it’s clear that she will ultimately side with Donald Trump and the corporate special interests that fund her campaign over Maine families.”
EPA SILENCES OKLAHOMA TRIBES: The Trump administration continues to exploit the pandemic and chaotic news cycle to help polluters and hurt people. This week, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler granted the state of Oklahoma control over environmental issues on nearly all tribal lands in the state — a move that completely disregards environmental justice and tribal sovereignty. Trump’s EPA has provided corporate polluters with a legal pathway to environmental abuses on tribal lands, without any available recourse for the tribes. Oklahoma tribes deserve the ability to protect their environment.
TRUMP WALKS AWAY FROM RELIEF: After months of brazenly disregarding public health recommendations during a global pandemic, the White House has emerged as a chaotic cluster of coronavirus infections, which has done nothing to engender in Trump a compassionate sense of responsibility for the public health crisis our nation is experiencing. Instead, after days of hospitalization in a pre-eminent government-funded health care institution, Trump has emerged in a reckless fury, refusing to consider Speaker Pelosi’s COVID relief package. And McConnell’s senate is doing no better as he single-mindedly pursues Amy Comey Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination instead of taking up the Heroes Act, which would provide our country support as it faces converging crises — a pandemic, racial injustice, economic inequity, and the climate crisis.
OUR TAKE: LCV Legislative Director Matthew Davis had this to say, “Trump giving up on relief for our communities proves without a shadow of a doubt that the president cares about no one but himself. An empathetic leader would have listened to the experts and alleviated the spread of the disease, put our economy on a path to recovery, and used this opportunity to make transformative investments in safe, healthy communities powered by clean energy. Instead, our country is suffering and environmental injustice, systemic racism, and structural inequality continue to drive higher coronavirus infection, death rates, and economic insecurity in communities of color.”
LATINX HERITAGE MONTH CLEAN AIR: To close out the last week and a half of Latinx Heritage Month, Chispa is uplifting an issue central to its mission: clean air. Latinx communities can no longer bear the brunt of the health and economic consequences of toxic air — Chispa’s lucha for clean air includes pushing for bold climate solutions like a just transition to a clean energy economy that benefits all communities.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY (AZ): Chispa Arizona is partnering with Indigenous Peoples’ Day Arizona (IPDAZ), supporting a weekend-long set of virtual events that honor the inherent power of Indigenous people and communities, and challenge the colonial settler rhetoric of discovery and conquering land. By bringing many community members together virtually, IPDAZ’s sixth annual celebration is working to create a world that honors Indigenous existence.
30 BY 30 (CA): California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new executive order that sets a goal for the state to protect 30% of California’s lands and ocean in the fight against climate change. As the U.S. loses a football field of natural area every 30 seconds to development, scientists are coalescing behind a goal of protecting at least 30% of our lands and ocean by 2030. This conservation will help fight climate change, fight the extinction of plants and wildlife, and protect majestic landscapes and ocean for future generations.
CVM TAKE: California LCV CEO Mary Creasman said, “This summer, Californians have grappled with the extreme effects of climate change — from wildfires burning a record 4 million acres this year, to smoke filled air that turned our skies orange. Protecting at least 30 percent of California’s land, waters, and oceans by 2030 will yield multiple benefits — from sustaining our water quality and supply, mitigating extreme heat, cleaning our air, and providing access to the outdoors and opportunities for all Californians to connect with nature.”
LCV TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “The climate, extinction, and nature crises demand the kinds of bold solutions that Governor Newsom is driving in California — a state experiencing the devastating impacts of climate fueled wildfires and extreme heat first hand… We’re thrilled to see California leading the way and bringing stakeholders to the table to ensure that we reduce racial and economic disparities in access to nature; conserve more places for sportsmen and other outdoor enthusiasts to get outside; and support the conservation priorities of tribal nations.”
September 15 – October 15: Latinx Heritage Month
October 12: U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day
October 18: 48th anniversary of the Clean Water Act
November 3: Election Day
December 11: Government funding expires