This Week In Climate (In)Action


Oct 12, 2018


“Science is telling us that the problems of climate change are real, the consequences are huge, and the need for action is urgent. We need new leadership now, because it’s quickly going to become too late.”

  • Mike Levin, who is running against Diane Harkey for Congress in CA-49, explains the importance of electing new congressional leadership that will take the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on climate change

“It’s not acceptable to treat climate change like a problem for future generations to solve. The effects are unfolding in real time, and those in power must start believing the science and stop propping up special interests making climate change worse.”

“I know it’s Halloween season. But you can’t just put on a mask and pretend to be an environmentalist because you’re in a tough election cycle, Mike.”

  • Elissa Slotkin – the former acting assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under President Obama, who is challenging Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop – burns her opponent on his anti-environmental record in a televised debate on Sunday.



USA Today: EDITORIAL: Global warming, Hurricane Michael and what you can do

Outside Magazine: How to Vote for the Outdoors

Politico Morning Score: IE expenditures show expanding House map

Seattle Times: Bill Gates Endorses Washington State’s Carbon-Fee Ballot Measure

Roll Call: GOP-Held Illinois District Pounded with Outside Money as Election Nears


Mother Jones: Maybe Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz Will Finally Talk About Climate Change

E&E News: Dems look to make climate a midterm issue

Las Vegas Sun: LETTER: Fight for clean air in Nevada

Roll Call: New Ad Knocks California Republican Diane Harkey on Offshore Drilling

CALmatters: Disaster politics, YIMBYism and Trump’s CA pick



LCV’s state affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:

Monroe Courier (CT): Moore earns CTLCV endorsement

Maryland Matters (MD): ‘Green Prom’ Draws Big Crowd as Election Day Nears

The Frederick News-Post (MD): Green votes look to go blue amid Hogan’s record on the environment

Roll Call (MI): ‘Forever Chemicals’ Seep Into Michigan’s Water (and House Races)

The Oregonian (OR): Knute Buehler says he isn’t taking anti-environment money. He’s gotten more than $850,000

The Record-Journal (CT): Environmental group plans $21,000 campaign against Suzio

Roll Call (MI): ‘Forever Chemicals’ Seep Into Michigan’s Water (and House Races)




A NOTE ON HURRICANE MICHAEL: As Hurricane Michael made landfall this week across the Florida Panhandle and other states, our thoughts are with all who were within the storm’s path. Stay safe.

RICK ROLL RICK SCOTT: In the coverage of Hurricane Michael, Florida Governor and Senate candidate Rick Scott  has talked about the destruction it is causing. It’s important to remember that Scott has banned phrases like “global warming” and “climate change,” and he has consistently sided with Big Oil, all while Florida faces the destructive impact of climate change.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW: On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a group of scientists organized by the UN to inform and direct world leaders – published a new report that painted a far more alarming picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought. The report sends out the most dire warning to date: we must limit the global rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius or else we are headed for massive droughts, widespread coral reef annihilation, and unparalleled flooding from super-storms and sea level rise by 2040. The time is now for those in charge to believe the science and to stop putting the special interests of polluters before the people.

SCIENCE TRUMPS TRUMP: On Tuesday, Trump tried to cast doubt on the report, saying he wanted “to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it.” This is yet another example of Trump denying climate science. This report was authored by 91 scientists representing over 40 countries, with 133 other scientists contributing to it, and over 6,000 cited references.

ELECTIONS MATTER: The report warns that we must make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” On a press call with senators and environmental leaders, our president Gene Karpinski discussed why LCV Victory Fund and its related entities are investing $60 million in the midterms – our largest investment ever to elect environmental champions, which will bring the United States back to being the world’s leader in the fight against climate change.

ALL TOGETHER NOW: This week LCV joined the BlueGreen Alliance — the national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations. This announcement comes at a crucial moment in the effort to address climate change.

LCV’S GENE KARPINSKI: “We’re excited to join together with our allies in the labor and environmental movements as a member of the BlueGreen Alliance. The world is at a turning point in the fight against climate change. Together we will fight to defend the progress that has been made, and to advance meaningful efforts at all levels of government, while building a lasting movement that will ensure we leave a healthy planet for future generations and create an economy that works for everyone.”

25 DAYS UNTIL THE MIDTERMS: LCV Victory Fund is leading the way to electing the most environmentally friendly Congress we’ve ever had, countering one of the worst environmental legislative sessions in recent history. Here’s the important work we’ve been up to this week:

DIRTY DOZEN LIST GROWS: LCV Victory Fund’s iconic Dirty Dozen list continues to grow – calling out the candidates who pose the biggest threats to our water, air, lands, and health, and who LCV Victory Fund and our state affiliates are working to defeat:

SENATE DIRTY DOZEN: LCV Victory Fund named Arizona Senate candidate Martha McSally to the Senate Dirty Dozen. McSally has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry and supported a tax plan that gave $25 billion in tax breaks to Big Oil, while consistently voting against the Clean Power Plan, against efforts to grow Arizona’s clean energy economy, and against clean air protections – despite Phoenix having some of the worst air pollution in the country.

LCV Victory Fund also added Tennessee U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn to the Senate Dirty Dozen. Blackburn has consistently voted against renewable energy, conservation, clean air, clean water and public health throughout her fifteen year career in Congress, earning a two percent lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard. On top of voting to gut safeguards against pollution — which could lead to increases in asthma and other health problems — Blackburn also supported efforts to undermine health insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions. She even went on live TV to debate Bill Nye the Science Guy on the topic of climate change, resulting in a segment that Tennesseans have called an “embarrassment,” a “joke,” and a “waste of time.”

Finally, LCV Victory Fund also named Minnesota Senate candidate Jim Newberger to the list. During an August debate against Senator Amy Klobuchar, Newberger tried to explain his anti-climate science views: “Do I believe it’s man-made? No, I do not. Climate change, the number one factor in climate change is the sun, and we cannot change the way the sun operates.” Just this past month, Newberger doubled down on his climate science denial. In an interview with CBS Minnesota, he said: “the current thought of man-caused climate change has been scientifically proven and admitted to as being false.” Over 97 percent of climate scientists disagree, according to multiple studies.

HOUSE DIRTY DOZEN: LCV Victory Fund added California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) and California congressional candidate Diane Harkey (CA-49) to its inaugural House Dirty Dozen. Rohrabacher has called climate change a “fraud” and “big lie,” and has a 10 percent lifetime environmental voting record on LCV’s scorecard. And, as a state assemblymember, Harkey opposed cutting carbon pollution and sided with polluters time after time.

HITTING THE (GREEN) AIRWAVES: As part of our $60 million investment in the 2018 midterm elections, LCV Victory Fund launched several ad campaigns this week to defeat pro-polluting candidates:

MONDAY: LCV Victory Fund announced a $266,000 ad campaign against North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13). Budd has a zero percent lifetime score on our National Environmental Scorecard, and the ad, titled “Health,” shows voters how Budd has stood with special interests and corporate polluters over protecting public health. Watch the ad here.

TUESDAY: LCV Victory Fund launched a $778,000 ad campaign against House candidate Diane Harkey (CA-49). The ad, titled “Turned Her Back,” shows voters how Harkey, as a state assemblymember, turned her back on protecting California’s coasts from offshore drilling. Watch the ad here.

EVEN MORE!: Our state affiliate, Conservation Ohio, announced $525,000 TV ad campaign on governor candidate Mike DeWine’s record of putting polluter profits ahead of public health. The ad is narrated by a child with asthma. Watch it here.

WEDNESDAY: LCV Victory Fund announced a $291,000 ad campaign targeting pro-polluter Illinois Representative Peter Roskam (IL-06). The two digital ads, titled “Polluter in Chief” and “Polluters,” detail Roskam’s ties to polluters as well as his record of voting against clean air, clean water and public health protections, attacking climate change as “junk science,” and voting with Trump 94 percent of the time. Watch “Polluter in Chief” here, and watch “Polluters” here.

FRIDAY: LCV Victory Fund and EDF Action released new radio ads that will air in California 25th Congressional District. The ads, with an investment of $400,000, target Congressman Steve Knight’s record of siding with special interests, including big polluters, over California families. Listen to the ad here

ALSO FRIDAY: Our state affiliate in New Mexico, Verde Voters Fund, went up with a statewide digital ad in the race for governor, contrasting Rep. Steve Pearce‘s connection to oil and gas with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s vision for a clean energy economy. The ad comes as Pearce is receiving additional scrutiny for his personal financial ties to the oil industry.

ON THE DEBATE STAGE: Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop has a long record opposing rules that would protect the Great Lakes drinking water. However, during a televised debate this weekend, Bishop tried to continue his election-year attempts to mislead voters about his anti-environmental record. Shortly after, Bishop downplayed the man-made impacts of climate change. Note: no fighter for the environment would earn an abysmal lifetime score of 20 percent on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard. Earlier this year, LCV Action Fund endorsed climate champion Elissa Slotkin in the race.

TURN OUT, TURN OUT, TURN OUT: LCV Victory Fund also announced this week that it would invest an additional $1.7 million in Arizona through the New American Jobs Fund field program. The expansion of the program will include voter turnout canvasses in Phoenix, Tucson, and the surrounding Pima County area to tell voters why Kyrsten Simena is the right choice over Martha McSally.

A MODEST BRIGHT SIDE: Congress gave us a small but important  win for our water this week by passing the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which will help us start to tackle our most pressing water challenges and move us toward the goal of ensuring everyone in this country has access to clean water.

FAILING EPA: The EPA is considering a new way to weaken the case for acting on climate change: removing benefits like public health from cost calculations. This is a dirty trick to make action on climate change look less cost-effective and less beneficial to move forward.

FORMER CLEAN AIR CHIEF’S TAKE: Janet McCabe, Acting EPA Air chief under Obama, put it into perspective: “If you quit smoking because you don’t want to get lung cancer, well, you’re also getting all the other benefits you get when you quit smoking. You can exercise more, your breath doesn’t smell as bad, it affects your weight in positive ways, whatever all those things are, those are real benefits that make a difference in people’s lives. Why would it not be appropriate to consider them?”

BRETT ON THE BENCH: On Saturday, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to be the next Supreme Court Justice by a vote of 50 – 48, the slimmest margin in 137 years. LCV President Gene Karpinski said the confirmation was a “disgrace,” and called Kavanaugh a “threat to fundamental protections for our air, water, lands and public health.”

OUR WORK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER: More from Gene: “While we are dismayed by the decision to confirm Kavanaugh, we are not dissuaded in our continued efforts to protect the environment and our communities, including by opposing biased or unqualified judicial nominees. Senators who chose to support Kavanaugh took an extreme anti-environmental action that we will not forget. This underscores how important it is this November for all who are deeply troubled to redouble our efforts to elect candidates who will fight to protect our environment, the health of our communities, the rule of law and our democracy.”



NOVEMBER 6 — Election Day!



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