This Week In Climate Action


Apr 19, 2024

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


“I’d like to remind everyone here that this is the only planet with a Beyoncé on it.”

— Environmentalist, influencer, and drag queen Pattie Gonia on the importance of protecting natural spaces at a national monument petition delivery event.

“For thousands of years, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians have called the lands in the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument home.”

Chairman Thomas Tortez Jr. of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians on his support for legislation that would create the Chuckwalla National Monument.

“For too long, oil and gas executives have been prioritized over our voices and the needs of the communities who live here.”

—  Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, former mayor of Alaska’s Nuiqsut village, on President Biden’s prioritization of Western Arctic communities over the oil and gas industry.


BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION FINALIZES PUBLIC LANDS CONSERVATION STRATEGY: The Department of the Interior has announced a final rule that will guide strategic conservation management on public lands to protect and restore habitats impacted by climate change.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “The Biden-Harris administration is continuing to deliver on strong protections for our public lands and water, cultural resources, wildlife, and climate for our communities and future generations. This rule better balances conservation on our public lands, which is crucial to combat the climate crisis at the scale science requires and reduce climate-related disasters including droughts, wildfires, and devastating changes to ecosystems and watersheds. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for making conservation a priority and ensuring public lands are resilient and a part of the climate solution.”

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ISSUES HISTORIC ARCTIC PROTECTIONS: The Department of the Interior finalized an extensive drilling restriction in the Western Arctic and blocked the development of Ambler road. Both decisions have been celebrated by Alaskan Native communities who depend on subsistence resources that would have been affected by development.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “This is fantastic and historic news. President Biden has done more for conservation and climate than any president, and we’re looking forward to more progress in the days and weeks ahead. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for protecting 13 million acres of the Western Arctic and safeguarding the Brooks Range and the Gates of the Arctic. These actions put wildlife, communities, and their subsistence way of life first while continuing to prioritize climate and conservation in America’s iconic Arctic. We’re all in to support these efforts to protect people, our planet, and future generations.”

AK CENTER TAKE: The Alaska Center Co-Executive Director Chantal de Alcuaz said, “It is critical and urgent that Alaska transitions away from fossil fuels and embraces a sustainable energy future. For decades, our economy and state have been dependent on the fossil fuel industry, and this mindset has jeopardized our sacred lands and our future generations. These new protections from the Biden-Harris administration and their commitment to addressing the climate crisis are an opportunity for Alaskans to embrace the economy of the future and sustain our Alaskan ways of life.”

EPA DESIGNATES PFAS UNDER SUPERFUND: EPA has announced it will list PFOS and PFOA as hazardous chemicals under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), aka Superfund, to expedite PFAS clean-up operations nationwide.

OUR TAKE: LCV Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “EPA’s final decision to list PFOA and PFOS as hazardous chemicals under the Superfund program is a historic win for communities across the country impacted by this toxic pollution. For decades, chemical companies have knowingly jeopardized the health of our communities, especially communities of color and low-wealth communities, by contaminating our drinking water, lands, and air with these dangerous ‘forever chemicals.’

Today’s hazardous listing is a monumental step and will provide much-needed transparency around the release of these chemicals, allow EPA to swiftly deploy resources for cleanup, and ensure Big Polluters, not taxpayers, are held liable for cleanup costs. This announcement builds on the Biden-Harris administration’s recent finalization of the first-ever PFAS drinking water standards, delivering on another key piece of their PFAS roadmap, and demonstrating once again their commitment to ensuring everyone is able to live in a clean, safe, and healthy environment.”


SENATE REJECTS BILL TO BLOCK EPA’S CLEANER CARS RULE: The Senate voted to reject an amendment brought by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) that would have blocked EPA’s cleaner cars rule.

OUR TAKE: LCV Government Affairs Advocate for Climate and Clean Energy Darein Davis said, “Extreme MAGA Republicans in the Senate continue to attempt to advance the agenda of their Big Polluter allies at the expense of our communities. Rolling back clean car standards would mean higher energy costs, more climate pollution, and a less competitive U.S. auto industry. Today’s vote is another clear example of extreme Republicans’ efforts to eliminate the Biden-Harris administration’s ability to enforce clean car rules and undermine its goal of creating a cleaner, safer environment. We will continue to defend against attacks on clean transportation rules that, combined with the Biden-Harris administration’s affordable energy plan, will advance climate jobs and justice nationwide.”

CONGRESSIONAL, TRIBAL, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS DELIVER NATIONAL MONUMENT PETITION: At a press event on Tuesday, Congressional, Tribal, and community leaders gathered to deliver a petition with over 850,000 signatures to President Biden urging his administration to designate additional national monuments. The President has already made history by protecting 41 million acres of public lands, and counting. Watch a recording of the event on Facebook.

LEGISLATION TO DESIGNATE CHUCKWALLA NATIONAL MONUMENT INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: This week, Senator Padilla (D-CA) and Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-25) introduced legislation and called on President Biden to designate Chuckwalla National Monument in California.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “LCV applauds Senator Padilla and Congressman Ruiz for introducing legislation to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument. We stand with Tribal and local leaders working to protect cultural resources, vital species and habitats, and recreation opportunities in the California desert. We proudly join their call for the Biden-Harris administration to honor the homelands of the Cahuilla, Quechan, Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Mojave peoples and protect this critical desert ecosystem as a national monument for future generations. We look forward to working together to build on the Biden-Harris administration’s historic conservation record and supporting the administration, Senator Padilla, and Representative Ruiz’s efforts to establish the Chuckwalla National Monument.”

ENVIROVOTERS TAKE: California EnviroVoters Senior Political and Organizing Director Mike Young said, “The California desert is unique and invaluable to Indigenous Tribes and native plants and animals. We also know that protecting these lands can maximize the desert sector’s contribution to carbon emissions reduction. California Environmental Voters is proud to amplify the call for President Biden to advance our 30×30 goals by designating Chuckwalla National Monument and expanding Joshua Tree National Park. We’re grateful for Senator Padilla and Congressman Ruiz’s commitment to amplifying community voices throughout Southern California.”

GREEN GROUPS DENOUNCE RFK Jr: LCV Victory Fund joined with other leading national environmental advocacy organizations issuing an open letter today exposing the dangers of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign for president amid his anti-environmental positions. Kennedy has repeatedly claimed to be an “environmentalist” and attempted to leverage the goodwill from his earlier career as an environmental attorney to bolster his political campaign. However, today’s open letter warns voters that Kennedy does not have a viable plan to address the climate crisis and his conspiracy theories go against the science-based foundation of all environmental protections. Separately, a group of former NRDC colleagues published a similar letter.

LCV VICTORY FUND TAKE: From the letter: “RFK Jr. is peddling the term ‘climate change orthodoxy’ and making empty promises to clean up our environment with superficial proposals. The truth is, by rejecting science, what he offers is no different than Donald Trump. In the fact-free world that both he and Trump live in, objective reality simply does not exist. Their policy platforms are instead driven by what will benefit Big Oil and the greedy corporations that fund them. We know, however, that environmental progress depends on following scientific fact and putting people over politics.”

TRUMP, JOHNSON HOLD JOINT PRESSER: Donald Trump and Speaker Mike Johnson held a joint presser late last week which focused on “election integrity” and attempted to tie the issue to immigration.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Paid Communications and Elections Megan Jacobs said, “Trump and MAGA Mike have a history of putting our democracy at risk while doing favors for Big Oil and Big Corporations. They have consistently denied the outcome of the 2020 election and MAGA Mike even attempted to overturn the 2020 election results. Their extremism has no place in Washington and is why we will do everything we can to keep Trump out of the White House and put Johnson in the minority. Instead of using racist and xenophobic fear mongering tactics to make up new laws for things that are already illegal, they should be focused on protecting our democracy. We are fighting back against blatantly racist attacks on our democracy like election disinformation, violent threats against election workers, restrictive voting laws, and attacks on our courts to build a more fair and just democracy for all. The future of our climate and our democracy is at stake.”


MAJOR METHANE PIPELINE EXPANSION ABANDONED: The company behind the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) Project announced that it will allow the project’s federal approval to expire in May and not seek an extension. NESE would have expanded the Transco interstate gas pipeline network that extends from southern Texas to New York City.

NEW JERSEY LCV TAKE: New Jersey LCV Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “I am thrilled Williams Transco saw the light, deciding not to move forward with the unnecessary NESE pipeline project after more than seven years of saying, we don’t need NESE. The dangerous project posed a threat to clean air, clean water, wildlife, and the health and safety of our communities. We appreciate the diligence and hard work of the township councils and elected officials at all levels, our partners, and community members who rallied against this project from the beginning. The unneeded project goes against all New Jersey’s efforts to move toward a 21st century clean energy future. We must remain vigilant and not let Williams Transco revive the dirty NESE project in any other iteration in order to protect our families from the pollution and poor health from dirty fossil fuels.”

WASHINGTON CONSERVATION ACTION BACKS RANKED-CHOICE AND EVEN-YEAR VOTING: In a new op-ed published in The Seattle Times, Washington Conservation Action’s Political and Civic Engagement Manager Tony Ivey responds to comments from Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs deriding ranked-choice voting (RCV) and even-year voting. Ivey argues that both policies increase participation in elections and help more communities be represented in public office.

WCA TAKE: Washington Conservation Action Political and Civic Engagement Manager Tony Ivey writes, “It is maddening that the state’s top election official ignores research supporting the efficacy of ranked-choice voting and even-year voting. The secretary is entitled to his opinion, but it is not based on facts…. The secretary of state’s job is to make it easier for people to participate in democracy. Hobbs doesn’t seem to be committed to that.”

GOOGLE, REWIRING AMERICA LAUNCH COLORADO ELECTRIFICATION CALCULATOR: Together with Google and Rewiring America, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Energy Office launched the Colorado Electrification Calculator to help Coloradans access tax credits and discounts for electrifying their homes.

COLORADO ENERGY OFFICE TAKE: Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office Will Toor said, “Widespread adoption of energy-efficient technologies and high-efficiency electric appliances is key to achieving Colorado’s ambitious climate goals. We are excited for this new tool, which will help connect Coloradans with thousands of dollars in savings on home energy upgrades.”

REWIRING AMERICA TAKE: CEO of Rewiring America Ari Matusiak said, “We’re thrilled to launch this new tool in a state that is truly leading the way on residential electrification, thanks to Governor Polis’ leadership and the effort of so many advocates. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership to make these important home upgrades more affordable and accessible to all. With this calculator, households in Colorado are only a few clicks away from the next steps on their electrification journey.”

TEXANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST DESALINATION: Chispa Texas and community members rallied against permits for a Corpus Christi desalination plant at the recent Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) hearing, showcasing growing people power, awareness, and resilience. Check out photos and videos from the event here!


ON THE BLOG: Don’t miss this week’s Good Climate News on the Power Source Blog!

ON OUR SOCIALS: Typically we don’t get excited about Tax Day, but this year, with all the tax credits from President Biden’s affordable clean energy plan, there was a lot to be excited about. Other things we were excited about during this jam-packed pre-Earth Week week: new protections for the Western Arctic, the delivery of 850,000+ signatures on a petition urging the Biden-Harris administration to designate more national monuments, the Public Lands Rule, a fun and fresh animation on President Biden’s LNG export pause, and Taylor Swift’s album release.


APRIL 22: Earth Day!

APRIL 22: Passover begins at sundown.