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Memos & Research

END OF YEAR MEMO: How LCV helped secure 2022 climate and democracy victories

Dec 16, 2022

To: Interested Parties
From: Pete Maysmith, SVP of Campaigns and Tiernan Sittenfeld, SVP of Government Affairs
Date: December 19, 2022
Re: How LCV helped secure 2022 climate and democracy victories

The strongest federal climate bill in U.S. history, a green wave in state and local elections, odds-defying election results in the House and Senate, President Biden’s first national monument, the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, and clean energy progress in 30 states – 2022 was the best year ever for action on climate, jobs, and justice, and a historic year for our democracy.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and affiliated entities played a hand in many of our country’s major victories this year:

Inflation Reduction Act

The landmark Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant action our nation has ever taken on climate change, and more than a decade of work by LCV and our state affiliates, including a massive 18-month long nationwide advocacy and organizing campaign, were integral to getting the strongest-ever climate, jobs, and justice bill over the finish line.

Through multiple failed attempts to reach a deal, we never let up pressure and successfully kept climate investments at the center of the final bill. Even when the war in Ukraine and Big Oil price gouging caused a spike in gas prices, we kept the focus on the need for clean energy security. During the biggest climate campaign in LCV’s history, we hosted over 400 events with members of Congress, cabinet officials, and other federal and local leaders, field teams knocked over 575,000 doors and engaged with more than 27,000 small businesses in key states, we showed up at hundreds of town halls, engaged 40 artists across the U.S. to stand up art activations, – some made out of butter and ice – ran hundreds of paid TV and digital ads, many in collaboration with Climate Power, and left nothing on the table in the fight for a climate bill.

Green Wave in the states, Senate protected, slim minority in the House

LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities invested more than $100 million in this cycle’s elections and the environmental community stepped up like never before to defy expectations of pollsters and pundits in the 2022 midterms. In the majority of races where LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities were involved, climate voters showed up to help protect and elect pro-environment, pro-democracy candidates — and defeat candidates who denied climate science and the 2020 election results. In fact, voters rejected 10 of 12 of the worst anti-environment candidates on our 2022 federal Dirty Dozen list and elected 72% of LCV Action Fund’s endorsed candidates. Thousands of LCV members volunteered to help elect dozens of pro-climate members of Congress and environmental donors contributed a midterm record $27.1 million to candidates through GiveGreen.

Pro-environment leadership will not only retain control of the U.S. Senate, but added a seat to the majority, and many incumbent and new climate champions, one of the most diverse classes of LCV Action Fund-endorsed new members ever, will head to Congress. And thanks to the work of our state affiliates, there was a “green wave” in critical governors, state legislative, and other state and local races across the country. Of the 11 climate champion Governors up for reelection this year, 11 will be back in Governor’s mansions in 2023 and Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Minnesota will start the year with new trifecta control for climate champion Democrats. This expands the landscape for climate and clean energy progress and helps protect free and fair elections through 2024. For a full breakdown of our 2021-2022 elections work, check out this brand new report.

President Biden’s first national monument – Camp Hale-Continental Divide

LCV, Conservation Colorado, and other partners worked alongside Colorado leaders — including U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (CO-02), and Governor Jared Polis — to secure the permanent protection of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide area, the first national monument designation of President Biden’s term. The monument designation was also important in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, where Senator Bennet ran and won on climate and conservation, while his anti-environment opponent Joe O’Dea opposed protecting more public lands.

We’re also on the cusp of securing another major win for public lands in Nevada – President Biden has pledged to soon designate Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada. This second monument designation would be a testament to the hard work of tribes, local leaders, and activists, including LCV and Nevada Conservation League – we look forward to swift action.

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

LCV was proud to advocate for a swift confirmation for history-making, now-Supreme Court Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson. As the first Black woman and first former public defender on the Supreme Court, Justice Jackson’s confirmation was a crucial step towards a judiciary that looks like America and works for the people, not polluters and other special interests. Environmental laws are only as strong as the judges who enforce them. Our work in support of Justice Jackson, including digital advertising, driving constituent calls to Senators, direct lobbying, supporting our state affiliates in their advocacy, collaborating with artists in support of this historic appointment, and leading the environmental coalition’s campaign to confirm Jackson, was just one example of LCV’s ongoing efforts in support of a pro-environment, pro-democracy judiciary, and our organization’s broad, multifaceted work to protect and strengthen our democracy.

Clean energy progress in 30 states

While the federal government was busy passing the strongest climate bill in United States history, 30 states, led by LCV’s state affiliates, also made clean energy progress in 2022. Highlights include California’s nation-leading electric vehicle law, Colorado’s strong methane protections, Connecticut’s 100% clean electricity by 2040 law, Maryland passing the strongest near term climate goal in the country, and new statewide climate and clean energy plans from Governors in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Carolina. Thanks to the work of our Clean Energy for All campaign, more than 40% of people in the United States now live in a place dedicated to 100% clean energy. Read the 2022 Clean Energy for All report here.

This is of course only a portion of the successes this year, and our work to fully secure climate justice is far from over, but we are extraordinarily proud of the contributions LCV and affiliated entities made in 2022. Please be in touch as we can be helpful with end of year reporting.

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