Top 5

June Top 5 2023

Jun 29, 2023

This month, as our country celebrates Juneteenth and Pride, we honor the many contributions of members of the Black and LGBTQIA+ communities as well as the hard-won progress made by these communities on the road to equality and justice.

Today, despite this progress, members of these communities are among the most threatened by the far-right captured Supreme Court as it rolls back the clock on  our environmental protections, our democracy, and our fundamental rights.

The Court, and all courts, are critically important to protecting the health, safety, and rights of everyone in this country, including the freedom to participate fully in our democracy. And a strong democracy is vital to ensuring a responsive government that works to provide a just and equitable climate future. But these rights are currently under attack by far-right justices on the Supreme Court who are putting partisan and polluter interests over people and fidelity to the law.

Defending communities from threats to our democracy and environment are among the many reasons that LCV Action Fund, along with other environmental groups, recently endorsed President Biden’s reelection campaign. The Biden-Harris administration has taken a strong position on voting rights, made great gains in the courts through progressive judicial appointments, and taken historic steps on advancing climate action, as you’ll see in our top story below.

This month’s Top 5 stories also highlight our state affiliates’ progress in advancing clean energy policies, the importance of strong clean water safeguards, and next steps for continuing LCV’s urgent and timely work, including advocating for court reform. LCV is laser-focused on protecting our democracy, our voting rights, and the environment.

June 2023 Top 5 Stories

Photo by Ronald Flores

1. LCV Action Fund, Other Green Groups Endorse President Biden’s Reelection Bid at LCV Capital Dinner

Community. Purpose. Action. These were among the key ingredients that shaped LCV’s Capital Dinner in Washington, D.C. on June 14. The inspiring evening provided an opportunity for LCV members to connect and celebrate recent successes, including last year’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Over 800 attendees were joined by a number of special guests, including:

  • President Biden (keynote speaker), whose bid for reelection with Vice President Kamala Harris received the endorsements of LCV Action Fund, NextGen PAC, NRDC Action Fund, and the Sierra Club that evening.
  • House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who spoke after receiving LCV’s Lifetime Achievement Award for having done more for climate and democracy than any other Speaker in history.
  • Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota, who accepted the John Hunting Winning for the Environment Award on behalf of LCV’s Minnesota state affiliate.
  • Representatives Angie Craig (MN-2), Andy Kim (NJ-3), Summer Lee (PA-12),  and Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), who spoke about their commitment to advancing climate progress and environmental justice.

President Biden and Vice President Harris received their endorsements by doing far more to address the climate crisis and environmental injustice than any prior administration in U.S. history.

  • A Sampling of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Accomplishments:
    • Working with Congress to secure over $370 billion to equitably combat climate change, putting our country on track to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 while creating tens of thousands of good-paying, clean energy jobs and combating environmental injustice.
    • Securing confirmation of more federal judges by this point in his term than any president in decades, and, unlike any other president, these judges are majority women, majority people of color, majority public-interest lawyers with experience working for the people rather than just corporate interests.
    • Leading the world on climate action by re-entering the U.S. in the Paris Accord and mobilizing the world’s leading emitters to help poorer countries deal with the impacts of climate change.
    • Replacing lead pipes across America, cleaning up brownfields and Superfund sites, and plugging abandoned gas and oil wells that leak methane and other dangerous air pollutants.
    • Working to conserve at least 30% of lands and waters by 2030, including protecting over 10 million acres in Alaska, Colorado, MInnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, to date.

At the Capital Dinner, President Biden reflected on the power of LCV, saying, “Your work has never been more important than it is today… Together, we’ve made a lot of progress so far, but we’ve got to finish the job.” Read President Biden’s comments, including a list of the Biden-Harris administration’s climate accomplishments.


Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi was honored for her decades-long partnership with LCV in support of both climate action and the protection and expansion of voting rights. She’s been called the greatest champion for climate to ever hold the gavel, the most pro-environment speaker in U.S. history, a mentor to countless climate champions, and a master of the modern Congress. Thank you, Madam Speaker!



Conservation Minnesota, one of LCV’s 30+ state affiliates, was awarded the John Hunting Winning for the Environment Award for helping to enact that state’s 100% clean energy law. Thanks to the tireless and strategic work of their staff and Minnesota constituents, Minnesota is now on the path to 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, leading the way for other states. Congratulations, Conservation Minnesota!


You helped make all of these successes possible. Take a look at what we’ve accomplished together:


2. The Supreme Court, Clean Water, Voting Rights — and You

Our nation’s democracy faces serious systemic challenges, including gerrymandering, racist voter suppression, court capture, and polluter money in politics. All of this leads to disproportionate power by special interests, and far-right extremists on the U.S. Supreme Court provide a clear window into the results.

Today’s Court majority is making politically motivated decisions that roll back the clock on our environmental protections, our democracy, and our fundamental rights — putting partisan interests over people’s health and safety and fidelity to the law. With this as the backdrop, let’s take a look at two recent Court rulings, and LCV’s response to each.

  • Clean Water

    In May, the Court’s ruling in Sackett v. EPA sharply narrowed the scope of the federal Clean Water Act, which has safeguarded our wetlands, rivers, streams, and lakes for over 50 years.

    As a result, more than half of our nation’s wetlands are now vulnerable to pollution and destruction, and protections for millions of miles of our streams are in serious jeopardy. With this ruling, the Court has failed the most vulnerable among us — namely Indigenous communities, communities of color, and those most vulnerable to pollution and facing intensifying climate disasters. Read LCV’s response to the Court’s decision gutting EPA water protection.

  • Voting Rights

    In early June, the Court surprised the country by ruling in favor of Black voters who challenged Alabama’s congressional map. The Allen v. Milligan ruling was a victory for Black Alabamans and voting rights advocates, but does not undo the damage of the right-wing justices’ repeated attacks on voting rights over the last decade — which has emboldened increasing waves of racist voter suppression and gerrymandering across the country. This surprise decision came amidst growing calls for court reform from LCV and others and is a testament to the work of everyone pushing for courts that protect our rights and uphold our laws. Read LCV’s response to the Court’s voting rights decision.

Voting rights, environmental protection, and climate action are linked by more than the Court’s recent rulings. LCV understands that the communities most impacted by pollution and climate change are most often the same communities most targeted for voter suppression. We also understand that the right to vote for elected officials impacts who sits on the nation’s highest court and all our courts.

That’s why, for years, LCV has worked to expand voting rights and ensure free, fair, and secure elections — because voters must be able to freely and fairly choose representatives who prioritize constituents’ health and safety. And through our Judiciary program, we advocate for highly qualified pro-environment, pro-democracy judicial nominees who bring personal and professional diversity to the bench.

WHAT’S NEXT? With the help of our members, partners, allies, donors, and other supporters, LCV is:

  • Working with 40+ partner organizations to advance court reform through passage of the Judiciary Act in Congress, which would add four seats to the Supreme Court, as well as judicial ethics legislation.
  • Working to advance pro-environment, pro-democracy nominees for lifetime judgeships on federal Circuit and District Courts.
  • Bolstering clean water protections at the local, state, and federal levels through work with our state affiliates, the Biden-Harris administration, and allies in Congress.
  • Working to protect and expand access to the ballot box alongside our 30+ state affiliates while also pushing for congressional action on voting rights.

North Carolina LCV statement on Moore v. Harper Supreme Court case.
LCV Statement on Senate Confirmation of Julie Rikelman.

3. Lawmakers’ Clean Water Votes

Clean water is a fundamental human right. But not all lawmakers agree. Earlier this year, Congress voted on a resolution that would have blocked the Biden-Harris administration’s Clean Water Restoration Rule, revoking protections for critical waters and allowing unregulated pollution in our streams, rivers, and wetlands. Fortunately, the bill was vetoed by President Biden, and an attempt at overriding the veto failed.

More than three in four people in the U.S. support strong federal protections for our waters. Constituents need to know how their members of Congress voted on this critical issue, especially given the recent Supreme Court ruling limiting federal water protections. This month, LCV released a series of new ads that praise members of Congress for their water protection votes while calling out Senator Sinema for not voting to protect our most precious resources.


Trumpeting the successes of climate champions while holding polluters and their allies accountable is a key piece of LCV’s strategy for protecting people and the planet.

In addition to creating and placing these ads, LCV advocates for policies that will reduce water pollution and strengthen critical environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. We work alongside a coalition of clean water advocates, families, scientific experts, frontline communities, and public health professionals to fight back against big polluters’ attempts to gut clean water laws and block the EPA from protecting our communities. Read about LCV’s clean water accountability ads. 

4. Federal Clean Energy Investments: What’s Next?

In 2022, after considerable effort from LCV, our allies, members, donors, and partners, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law by President Biden. Now, alongside our 30+ state affiliates and others, LCV is working to ensure that this historic federal clean energy plan is implemented swiftly, effectively, and equitably.

We are in a race against the clock as we face a warming planet, mandated IRA timelines, and attempts by anti-environment extremists in Congress who are actively working to halt climate action by slashing critical funding.

It’s critically important that clean energy projects are implemented swiftly so people experience the positive effects of these investments and the U.S. can keep moving forward on climate action. With the continued support of our donors, volunteers, and state partners, here’s what LCV’s doing:

  • Acting fast by maximizing our strong network of state affiliates, relationships with elected leaders, and partnerships.
  • Raising public awareness to ensure that people across the country know about clean energy progress and feel its benefits.
  • Training and mobilizing elected officials to spread the word.
  • Defending the IRA against legislative attacks.
  • Combating misinformation about clean energy to ensure that constituents hear accurate messaging from a variety of trusted sources.
  • Making it politically popular to be a clean energy champion.
  • Aligning work among a broad swath of partners.

Passing the Inflation Reduction Act was only part of what’s needed. Now, we must do all we can to ensure this once-in-a-generation federal clean energy plan is defended and put to work this year and for years to come. Our families, our communities, and our planet are depending on us. Read the details on LCV’s IRA implementation plan.

5. Elections Have Consequences: 2022’s ‘Big Green Wave’ Leads to 2023 Clean Energy Progress

In the first half of 2023, leaders across the country delivered on the “big green wave” that brought pro-environment leaders to power in many states. Following last November’s election, and thanks to LCV’s partnerships with our state affiliates and our Clean Energy for All (CEFA) campaign, state legislatures took advantage of President Biden’s affordable clean energy plan to enact ambitious, even landmark state clean energy laws. Take a look at the results:

  • California — Clean Trucks Transition
    • The Scoop: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously mandated that truck fleets transition to 100% zero-emission electric vehicles by 2045. The new rule requires all new fossil-fuel powered medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold in the state after 2036 to be electric and sets incremental targets to transition different fleet classes to electric vehicles.
    • LCV Affiliate’s Role: California Environmental Voters pushed Governor Newsom to support clean truck goals, resulting in his 2021 executive order and leading to this clean fleets rule while also advocating for six clean energy champions to be appointed to CARB and mobilizing grassroots support.
  • New York — All Electric Buildings Act
    • The Scoop: With its 2024 budget, the Empire State became the first state to enact an all-electric mandate for new buildings, banning fossil-fuel powered heating and appliances for new residential buildings by 2026 and for many new commercial buildings by 2029.
    • LCV Affiliate’s Role: New York League of Conservation Voters worked with other advocates for over four months to reach this goal, including three lobby days, testimony at hearings, a forum to educate legislators and their staff about zero-emission building technologies, and digital ads driving hundreds of messages to the governor and key decision-makers.
  • Vermont — Affordable Heat Act
    • The Scoop: Vermont’s legislature overrode Governor Scott’s veto of the Affordable Heat Act, launching a two-year process to develop statewide clean heat standards. This policy is designed to ease the transition to clean energy by helping ensure that every Vermonter can access cleaner, more affordable heat.
    • LCV Affiliate’s Role: Vermont Conservation Voters ran a month-long, multi-pronged campaign to ensure veto-proof majorities in the state House and Senate, including digital ads, phone banking, and ads in newspapers and high-traffic publications.

Other states are making great gains:

Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin are also moving forward with environmental justice and clean energy initiatives. Read about states’ clean energy progress nationwide.

These state-level successes are largely driven by LCV’s 30+ state affiliates and the Clean Energy for All (CEFA) campaign, focused on rejecting fossil fuels, embracing clean energy nationwide, and protecting public health. Learn more about LCV’s CEFA campaign.