THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – September 6, 2019
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Give me a break….This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants us to be talking about…They want stir up a lot of controversy around your light bulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers, when 70 percent of the carbon that we’re throwing into the air comes from three industries.”
— Senator Elizabeth Warren at CNN’s Presidential Town Hall
“The climate Crisis is the greatest crisis facing our planet today, and it could be the greatest crisis ever.”
— Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Las Vegas Review Journal
LCV IN THE NEWS:
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:
New England Public Radio (CT): Lamont Wants To See More Clean Energy And Accountability In Connecticut
Politico New York Energy (NY): ICYMI: The New York League of Conservation Voters released its scorecard
CLIMATE ON THE TRAIL BY THE NUMBERS: Ten presidential candidates, seven hours of CNN town halls, six new climate and clean energy plans, and one take from LCV on highlights.
Our thoughts are with the people of the Bahamas and the families currently in the path of Hurricane Dorian.
IT’S ALWAYS ELECTION O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE: In the final days before the special election in North Carolina’s Ninth District, LCV Victory Fund has ramped up its digital ad and direct mail program in support of Marine combat veteran and solar energy entrepreneur Dan McCready. Included in the campaign are two new mailers, ‘Serving’ and ‘Boots,’ and a set of digital video ads that contrast McCready’s record of putting his country first, serving in the military, and creating solar energy jobs with opponent Dan Bishop’s record of favoring the special interest polluters.
FOMO ON ALL THE PLANZ: In advance of CNN’s historic climate town hall this week, six more candidates put their climate plans in writing, paving the campaign trail with concrete steps for taking this crisis on, head on. So, rest assured, go on living your best life, we’re spilling the tea on all of them:
KAMALA HARRIS: Senator Harris’ record on fighting for justice and holding polluters accountable shines through in her plan, which sets goals for 100 percent carbon-neutral power in 10 years and a 100 percent clean, net-zero climate pollution economy by 2045. She focuses on creating good-paying clean energy jobs, building climate-smart infrastructure, ending subsidies for fossil fuels and passing her Clean School Bus Act, which aligns with our Chispa program’s Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign.
PETE BUTTIGIEG: Mayor Pete’s plan would create three million high-paying clean energy infrastructure jobs over 10 years, renew and increase our pollution reduction goals under the Paris Climate Agreement, establish hubs to help communities prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure frontline and indigenous communities benefit from the clean energy transition.
ELIZABETH WARREN: Senator Warren’s latest plan sets a clear timeline to reach 100 percent clean electricity, 100 percent clean vehicles, 100 percent clean buildings and more — all while centering on people and communities on the front lines of climate impacts and ensuring that fossil fuel workers are not left behind.
JULIÁN CASTRO: Secretary Castro’s Our People & Planet First plan builds on his previous climate proposals by setting a clear timeline to transition to 100 percent clean energy and net-zero climate pollution while centering on environmental and climate justice. He intends on implementing carbon equity scoring, new civil rights laws to dismantle environmental racism, guaranteed assistance for impacted workers in the fossil fuel industry, and substantial investments in infrastructure to build climate-resilient communities.
CORY BOOKER: Senator Booker’s plan calls for achieving a carbon-neutral economy no later than 2045, the creation of a $50 billion per year U.S. Environmental Justice Fund, $3 trillion of investments in renewable energy, energy storage, and electric vehicles, and an immediate end to fossil fuel subsidies and leases on public lands.
AMY KLOBUCHAR: Senator Klobuchar has plans to drop legislation in her first 100 days that will achieve 100 percent net-zero emissions by 2050. She also intends to restore and expand President Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan, end fossil fuel subsidies, and make major investments in clean energy and infrastructure. And, she’s pledged to make frontline communities a key part of all climate policy decisions.
CNN SPENDS 420 MINUTES IN CLIMATE HEAVEN: Seven hours. That’s a dreamy night’s sleep, it’s just a few hours short of a work day, it’s the minimum you’ll need to do your pork shoulder right, it’s a Dr. Zhivago-Lawrence of Arabia double feature, and it’s 12 times the total number of minutes climate change received across the first two debates. For the first time in history, 10 leading Democratic presidential candidates took the stage one at a time in prime time, over you guessed it — 7 hours — to answer in-depth questions about how they would combat the climate crisis and mitigate climate impacts. The takeaway is more comforting than a helping of pork shoulder over a double feature after a well-rested work day — these candidates have sophisticated plans to tackle the devastating impacts of climate change that attendees from across the nation brought to their attention:
@JulianCastro: In climate catastrophes, “Folks that get flooded out are the poorest communities, often the communities of color.”
@AndrewYang: When asked if we will all have to drive electric cars, “It’s not something you *have to do* … it’s awesome!”
@KamalaHarris: “Part of my plan is that by 2030 we will have electric school buses.”
@amyklobuchar: On climate justice, she says, “We’ve got to make this work for everyone, because right now it isn’t.”
@JoeBiden: “We should own the electric vehicle market.”
@BernieSanders: “We are the most powerful country on earth. We should be leading the world to a global clean energy transition.”
@ewarren: “Everything we spend on climate has to be about reducing our carbon footprint. It has to be about justice as well. For people who have been displaced. For workers who have been displaced. For communities of color.”
@PeteButtigieg: “Rural Americans can be such a huge part of the [climate] solution.”
@BetoORourke: On offshore drilling, “When we make mistakes, they are big ones and they are hard to reverse. They are hard to clean up. They damage those communities, the wildlife, the economies of those parts of the world. So, no new oil and gas leases offshore.”
@CoryBooker: “Climate is not a separate issue — it is the issue, the lens through which we must do everything that we do.”
👆 OUR TAKE: LCV SVP of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld had this to say, “Tonight’s historic town hall required presidential candidates to look voters impacted by climate change directly in the eye and tell them what they would or would not do to combat the crisis. We need more opportunities like this.”
ICYMI: Having taken a break from our tipsheet for Labor Day long weekend, we didn’t get a chance to offer a strong 👀 at the EPA’s proposal to eliminate regulation of methane from the oil and gas industry — despite the industry’s own opposition to the move.
OUR TAKE: Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said: “Trump and Wheeler’s latest proposal is so bad even the oil companies don’t want it. Weakening these clean air safeguards will result in the release of more methane pollution–a potent contributor to climate change–at a time when we need to be moving toward cleaner sources of energy. There couldn’t be a more tone deaf response from this administration on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and as more extreme, climate-fueled storms continue to build off our coasts and threaten our communities.”
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:
CORRUPTION AND POLLUTION BE GONE (AZ): Chispa Arizona and other clean energy advocates protested outside of the Arizona Corporation Commission while the CEO of the state’s largest electric company testified. In protesters efforts to demand an end to corruption and pollution, they highlighted that “~90% of likely Arizona voters believe the growth and use of renewable energy should be a priority for our state. When will your company start giving the people what they want?”
CONNECTICUTTING CARBON (CT): This week, Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order that expands the Governor’s Council on Climate Change and aims to make Connecticut’s energy grid 100 percent zero-carbon by 2040.
THE CVM TAKE: Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Lori Brown had this to say about the grid: “We were thrilled to hear that Connecticut is moving closer to a zero-carbon future and that the Lamont administration is taking the issue of climate change seriously.” And, Brown had this to say about the expansion of the governor’s council: “We are thrilled to see this revamped committee will include experts in environmental justice and equity as well as more community inclusion.”
DON’T NUCLEAR WASTE YOUR TIME (NV): Congresswoman Dina Titus joined Chispa Nevada, Nevada Conservation League and other clean energy advocates in Las Vegas for a panel about the social and economic impacts of the proposed nuclear storage waste site at Yucca Mountain. Congresswoman Titus commented that “All it would take is a near-accident to set off the fear.”
THE CVM TAKE: Separately, Nevada Conservation League Executive Director told The Hill, “Yucca Mountain for Nevadans is a non-starter … I’d say that with a few exceptions Yucca Mountain is potentially one of the most bipartisan issues in the state.”
September 10-12: High likelihood of full U.S. House votes to protect the Arctic Refuge and ban new oil and gas drilling off our coasts
September 12: Third Democratic Presidential Debate in Houston
September 16-20: Potential for full U.S. House vote to provide short-term funding for the government to keep operating while full FY20 Appropriations are hammered out
September 18: Dave Ross, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water, will testify on the administration’s actions under the Clean Water Act in front of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
September 19-20: MSNBC Presidential Climate Forum
September 20-27: Global Climate Strike Week