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Press Releases

Environmental Organizations React to Election Results, Discuss Future of Climate Justice Policy

Nov 9, 2022

Emily Samsel, LCV, emily_samsel@lcv.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Climate Power, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Action, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund, NextGen America, and Sierra Club held a post-election press conference to analyze the results of the 2022 midterms so far and discuss the future of climate and environmental justice policy.

WATCH: Post-Election Press Conference

Leaders from the six organizations also highlighted their efforts to elect climate champions across the country this midterm cycle. For the first time, six groups – Climate Power Action, Climate Reality Action Fund, EDF Action Votes (EDF AV), LCV Victory Fund (LCVVF), NRDC Action Votes (NRDC AV), and NextGen PAC – were part of the joint Climate Votes Project to elect climate champions at the federal and state level in 2022.

Highlights of these groups’ independent expenditures include:

LISTEN: NRDC Action Votes radio ad in Pennsylvania highlighted how Dr. Mehmet Oz’s support for polluters harms children’s health.

WATCH: “Breathe” (Climate Power Action Ad supporting Rep. Underwood in IL-14, part of LCVVF and Climate Power’s Climate Voters Mobilization campaign

WATCH: “Extendio La Mano” (EDF Action Votes ad in support of Sen. Mark Kelly – see English translation here

Following the election, environmental groups see three key levers of power to make continued climate action: 1) Implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act; 2) Continued action to finalize environmental safeguards from the Biden-Harris administration; 3) Continued passage of climate and clean energy legislation in the states. The future of environmental policy is especially significant as President Biden, members of Congress, and other U.S. leaders are on the world stage at COP27 this week.

See highlights from speakers and coalition partners below.

“The good news, as we gather here today, is that the climate community stepped up like it never has before in the election space,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Climate voters showed up big time in race after race after race. And, in the vast majority of cases, climate champions won up and down the ballot. The main ways we’re going to make progress on climate are: one is to make sure the Inflation Reduction Act is implemented well; second, we have to push the Biden administration to take aggressive executive action to make all the progress he can make; and three we need to continue to make progress in the states. The states is a very powerful story of the progress we’ve made in the last four years – and in fact, it’s fair to say today that, looking at yesterday’s elections, there was a big green wave in states across the country.”

“This election was all about mobilizing drop off voters,” said Climate Power Action Executive Director Lori Lodes. “Because of what President Biden and Democrats in Congress were able to get done on climate, we had a unique opportunity to tell a story to voters, to give them something to be excited about. We partnered with our friends at LCV Victory Fund and spent $15 million in seven competitive Senate seats and 26 House races, on a very sophisticated program to turn out 2 million voters. These were voters that were motivated by climate but had the potential to drop off this midterm. We spent 10 weeks not just throwing political ads at the voters, but having a conversation. We were in their mailbox and on their screens talking about why climate was important, how members of Congress had delivered, and why it matters.”

“The environmental movement worked closer than ever to show up for members of Congress who made historic climate progress,” said EDF Action President David Kieve. “EDF Action and our affiliated entities made our biggest midterm investment – nearly $14 million – to reelect our champions, using a range of tactics from communicating with Latino voters, mobilizing climate activists across the country, and focusing on persuadable swing voters. Many climate champions faced their toughest electoral environment ever, and many of them will return to Washington to continue their work advocating for their constituents, improving their communities and protecting our planet. EDF Action’s work alongside our partners played an impactful, and in some cases, potentially determinative role in several key races. We were proud to have supported our allies who stood up to protect our climate.”

“NRDC Action Votes is proud to partner with LCV Victory Fund on GiveGreen, which is the largest single-issue donor platform in progressive politics,” said NRDC Action Fund President Manish Bapna. “This year donors contributed a record $27 million to federal and state candidates through GiveGreen — surpassing our last midterm efforts in 2018, when the platform raised $23 million. The growing success of this joint project demonstrates our commitment to supporting the campaigns of pro-environment and pro-climate candidates, and it’s another signal that we’ve got their backs.”

“Young people are acutely aware of what’s at stake if we don’t address the climate crisis, and that’s why they are turning out to vote,” said NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez. “NextGen America is proud to mobilize young voters across the country to elect climate champions who will address this global crisis. Every day our movement grows stronger and we will not stop until we see nationwide policy solutions that protect our planet.”

“Collectively, we made investments in key battleground states with competitive House and Senate races including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin,” said Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz. “By the end of these efforts, we tapped into over 1.6 million members from all the environmental organizations combined. The historic Inflation Reduction Act will invest over $369 billion in climate action, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice. This legislation showed what is possible even with a 50-50 Senate — with a small majority, we passed the most significant climate bill in history. There are still powerful avenues for climate action beyond Congress through bold executive action to slash pollution and drive clean energy jobs or push the state and local levels of government to implement climate action.”

Additional environmental groups that were part of this cycle’s largest-ever member mobilization to elect pro-environment candidates provided the following comments.

“Even in these unsettled times, midterm voters have shown us that they want leaders who prioritize solutions that protect people and wildlife alike — and are willing to work across party lines to get the job done,” said Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund Karla Raettig. “We will work to ensure our newly elected and re-elected champions do not shy away from the crises facing communities across the nation, including the climate crisis and the persistent, pernicious environmental injustices.”

“We’re proud of the clean energy progress we’ve made in 2022,” Executive Director of Clean Energy for America Andrew Reagan. “Because of clean energy champions in the House and Senate, we passed a historic climate and clean energy bill that will lower prices for all Americans and ensure American energy independence. That work continues alongside the champions we helped elevate on Election Day, so that together, we can enable clean energy’s workforce and leadership to power America’s economy to new heights.”

“Our first priority as a country today should be to make sure every vote is counted,” said Maria Handley, Acting Executive Director of The Wilderness Society Action Fund. “Polls showed voters went to the polls concerned about the economy, reproductive rights and election integrity, and also that voters are also demanding more climate action, not less. Whatever the final tally of seats in Congress, there is no mandate for some of the anti-conservation proposals put forward by GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. Congress will be radically overstepping if it thinks voters want to let polluters call the shots. We call on President Biden to remain steadfast in his commitment to advancing public lands conservation while protecting communities from the worst impacts of climate change. When the political smoke clears, we urge both parties to work together when possible to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

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