Every Monday, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating this week. This week we’re covering big wins for climate on Election Day, the United Auto Workers union’s historic agreement with automakers, the Biden administration’s rural clean energy investments, Michigan’s historic clean energy bill, and the EPA’s proposed regulation of a chemical linked to massive salmon die-offs in the Pacific Northwest.
Environmental champions across the country won on Election Day.
In Virginia, Gov. Youngkin led an unprecedented spending campaign by promising to establish a Republican trifecta. But despite this wave of attacks — including efforts to attack electric vehicles — climate champions held the state Senate and flipped the House of Delegates.
In New Jersey, fossil fuel companies funded astroturf organizations to undermine support for offshore wind. But pro-clean energy candidates won across the state, expanding the Democratic majority, despite an avalanche of anti-wind spending.
“Wall Street didn’t build America, the middle-class built America. And unions built the middle-class.”
President Biden joined United Auto Workers (UAW) in Belvidere, IL to celebrate UAW’s historic agreement with automakers and the re-opening of the Stellantis plant following the four-week autoworker strike.
The agreement at all three automakers — GM, Ford, and Stellantis — includes a 25% pay increase for autoworkers over the next 4.5 years.
Last week in Minnesota, President Biden unveiled more than $5 billion in rural investments.
The funding includes $1.7B for climate-smart agriculture, $1.1B for infrastructure, $2B for job creation, and $145M for clean energy.
Coming from both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, the $5 billion will advance rural prosperity, economic development, competition, and sustainability.
The Democratic-led Michigan Senate passed a bundle of clean energy bills on Wednesday, transforming the state into a leader in the fight against climate change.
The bundle of bills, based on Gov. Whitmer’s “MI Healthy Climate” plan, would require the state to generate all of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2040.
The legislation will also allow more residents to enroll in a rooftop solar energy program and streamline permits for new wind and solar power.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a petition from three tribes requesting a ban on 6PPD, a chemical used in tires that has been linked to massive salmon die-offs in the Pacific Northwest.
“These salmon and other fish have suffered dramatic decreases in population over the years. Addressing 6PPD-quinone in the environment, and the use of its parent, 6PPD, is one way we can work to reverse this trend,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff.