Celebrating the Enduring Legacy of Black Activists Who Birthed the Environmental Justice Movement
Feb 24, 2023
Thanks to our supporters, 2022 was the most effective year yet for climate action and our movement. Together, we helped secure the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), advance climate and clean energy progress in the states, and elect and protect climate champions at all levels of government. (Read more about our 2022 accomplishments here.)
As we begin 2023, we’re laser focused on building on these successes to continue climate progress. Here’s where we’ll be centering our attention this year:
The work ahead is critical. And we’re ready for the challenge.
And now, here are LCV’s Top 5 stories from January 2023:
1. Governors Announce Climate Priorities
State elected officials have hit the ground running, announcing 2023 goals that zero in on ambitious and equitable climate progress. Governors in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and elsewhere recently announced crucial clean energy and environmental commitments, including committing to 100% clean energy and proposing transitions to zero-emissions buildings, removing lead and “forever chemicals” from our drinking water, and coordinating climate policies across state agencies.
These advances are a direct result of our Clean Energy for All (CEFA) campaign, through which LCV and more than 30 state affiliates have harnessed grassroots power to demand science-based, environmentally just responses to the climate crisis at the state and local levels. Thanks to the policies that our state affiliates have advocated for, 40% of people in the U.S. now live in a place that is committed to 100% clean energy. Read more about recent highlights from the states.
2. Critical Clean Water Projections Restored by Biden-Harris Administration
The Biden-Harris administration repealed, once and for all, former President Trump’s catastrophic rollback of critical clean water protections, which had jeopardized the waterways that our families, businesses, and communities depend on. The administration’s reinstatement of science-backed safeguards is a vital step toward ensuring our health and safety by protecting our nation’s water from reckless development and industrial pollution.
The sustained advocacy of LCV supporters, including speaking up against the Trump Dirty Water Rule and demanding that the Biden-Harris administration act to ensure clean water for all, created the pressure needed to make these critical safeguards a reality.
In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps engaged in a transparent and inclusive rulemaking process to support public involvement and advance environmental justice for the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities that have historically borne the brunt of water pollution. Read responses from environmental groups, legal experts, and clean water advocates.
3. New Electric Vehicle Tax Credits
The Treasury Department and IRS released key details to help consumers access new electric vehicle (EV) tax credits enacted as part of the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The IRA’s roughly $369 billion in climate investments are a direct result of our collective work. We are thrilled about the Biden-Harris administration’s quick work to begin implementation of the law, and we continue to press the administration on its commitment to speed the transition to electric vehicles with upcoming proposed long-term standards for cleaner cars and trucks, which together, could help put our nation on track to reduce carbon pollution by 50% by 2030. More electric vehicles on our streets will mean cleaner air in our communities, reduced transportation costs for families, and major progress toward our climate goals.
Provisions like the EV tax credit were included in the IRA thanks to LCV’s sustained advocacy campaign over the last two years and our partnerships with communities and grassroots activists who pressured federal policymakers to take action on climate change. Read LCV’s statement on the EV tax credits.
4. First Electric School Buses Roll Out in Nevada
This month, Nevada’s Clark County School District rolled out its first electric school buses since last fall’s release of funds by the EPA. The county, along with hundreds of school districts across all 50 states, is set to grow its fleet of electric buses due to the historic investment from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The electric buses are a big win for communities across the country and for the Chispa supporters who have been advocating for them since 2017 to clean up the air our families breathe. Chispa Nevada, along with Chispa programs in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and Texas will continue to work with local communities to ensure that decision-makers prioritize the needs of communities of color in implementation of the IRA, including with equitable distribution of electric school buses.
5. Nonpartisan Voter Registration and Mobilization: DFA Elections Report
Despite relentless attempts to suppress votes, LCV, our sister organization LCV Education Fund, and our state partners worked tirelessly to energize and engage voters at every step of the electoral process in 2022. The recently released Democracy For All (DFA) report outlines our nonpartisan work to register and mobilize voters, recruit poll workers to serve their communities, push back against voter disinformation and more. Highlights include registering more than 125,000 voters, securing 89,000 pledges to vote, and engaging over 2 million community members. Learn how we expanded voting rights for communities nationwide.