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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – AUGUST 11, 2023

Aug 11, 2023

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.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“Throughout my career, I’ve met with so many people from my community who expressed their concerns about the climate crisis and asked how they can get involved in making change. My best advice? VOTE.”

Representative Joe Morelle (NY-25) during LCV’s Twitter/X Q&A on the Freedom to Vote Act.

“Many Havasupai tribal leaders have carried this battle on their shoulders over the decades. We are the fortunate ones to experience this unprecedented time in which our historic lands, water, sacred objects, and sites now hold the power and protection, which they rightfully deserve, under the supreme law of the land by the stroke of President Biden’s pen.”

Thomas Siyuja Sr., Havasupai Tribe chairman, on the designation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni –  Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.

“Our home is on fire right now. There needs to be more action and more investment. People hit first and worse by the climate crisis tend to be Black, indigenous and low income. Yet we’re the keepers of the knowledge of how to build a society that wouldn’t cause ecological collapse and societal doom.”

Kaniela Ing, a seventh-generation Känaka Maoli, or Indigenous Hawaiian, speaking on the disastrous wildfires that have destroyed a historic seaside town that once was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. The area continues to hold cultural and historical significance to Native Hawaiian history and culture, and it will be critical to center the needs of local Indigenous communities as next steps for the community take shape.


HIGHLIGHTS IN INFLATION REDUCTION ACT IMPLEMENTATION:

BIDEN TOUTS IRA WINS OUT WEST: This week, President Biden visited Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah celebrating the designation of a new national monument, the groundbreaking on new wind power facilities, and the anniversary of the PACT Act.

CLIMATE ACTION TEAMS REV UP FOR RECESS: LCV’s state Climate Action teams took full advantage of August recess by arranging meetings and events with their local representatives. Teams also connected constituents with their representatives to encourage them to continue supporting the IRA as we near the one-year anniversary of the legislation’s passage. To learn more about the work of our Climate Action teams, click here.


IN NATIONAL NEWS: 

BIDEN DESIGNATES BAAJ NWAAVJO I’TAH KUKVENI NATIONAL MONUMENT: In response to a years-long Tribal effort to protect the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas, President Biden this week designated the region as a national monument. The designation, based on a Tribal-led proposal, will withdraw nearly one million acres of public land from harmful uranium mining.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Thanks to President Biden, Secretaries Haaland and Vilsack, the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, and local leaders and advocates, the iconic Grand Canyon region is now permanently protected. In addition to helping to preserve the stories, histories, and sacred sites of the Havasupai, Hualapai, Hopi, and Navajo people, this new monument helps protect a vital source of clean drinking water in the Southwest and will create jobs in the outdoor recreation economy. President Biden is building an incredible conservation record by working with local communities and Tribal Nations, and we look forward to working together to strengthen protections for more parks, lands, and waters.”

CHISPA AZ TAKE: Chispa AZ Executive Director Vianey Olivarría said, “Our Indigenous relatives have been calling for the protection of sacred lands for years, and the Grand Canyon Coalition has followed their lead in an admirable advocacy effort for the designation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. We are ecstatic that our state has a new national monument, grateful that the Biden administration listened to the call of Tribal leaders and relieved that the unique ecosystems, wildlife and water sources found in and around the Grand Canyon are now protected for future generations.”


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

OHIOANS VOTE NO ON ISSUE 1: Ohioans voted down a ballot measure that would have made it harder to pass future proposed constitutional amendments in the state by raising the necessary threshold of support to 60%. Issue 1 came ahead of a proposed amendment that Ohioans will vote on in November to protect reproductive rights, and it would have made it harder to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. This is a major win that ensures voters’ voices continue to be heard on the issues they care about in our elections.

OEC TAKE: The Ohio Environmental Council Executive Director Carol Kauffman said, “Issue 1 was a direct attack on the environmental movement’s future potential to combat the causes of climate change. No matter where we live or what we look like, all Ohioans deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them — like clean air and water, accessible public lands and a healthy democracy. Extreme politicians and corrupt special interests created an August Special Election in an attempt to sneak Issue 1 past voters and end majority rule. But Ohioans overwhelmingly stopped them, decisively voting down this bad constitutional amendment.

“We are proud to stand with the majority of Ohioans from every corner of the state, across political lines, who voted no on Issue 1 as well as the more than 200 organizations who united behind the One Person One Vote campaign.

“Together, we will continue to use our collective power to ensure a stronger democracy that works for every Ohioan, their communities, and our environment.”

GOV WHITMER ADMINISTRATION BACKS 100% CLEAN ENERGY IN MICHIGAN: On Thursday, Democratic lawmakers gathered with clean energy advocates to celebrate the release of a new report detailing how Michigan’s proposed 100% clean energy legislation can bring broad health and economic benefits. These include reducing energy costs across the entire economy, leveraging billions of dollars in federal investments and reducing premature mortality and saving billions in avoided public health costs. At the event, Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II stated that their administration supports the goals of the 100% bill package, which would set more ambitious goals than the administration’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, released in April 2022.

UC BERKELEY STUDY FINDS “POLITICAL DESERTS” THAT PREVENTS CALIFORNIANS FROM VOTING: A new UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies survey of California voters finds that many Black, Latino, and Asian voters in particular say they feel they need more information to cast an informed ballot. The IGS data underscore how much work needs to be done if the electorate is to more closely resemble California’s population.

ENVIROVOTERS TAKE: Marquis Mason, advocacy partnership coordinator with California Environmental Voters, said, “If we want to achieve a truly multi-racial democracy, then the most marginalized need to have confidence in their vote and know that their voice is precious and needed. California currently puts very little funding into engaging voters and making sure those who have the ability to vote actually do so. Today’s polling results show that Californians believe that must change.”


NEW ON THE POWER SOURCE BLOG AND SOCIALS:

ON THE BLOG: In the last decade, anti-voter legislation has seen a resurgence across the country. Right-wing extremists are pushing legislation that will create even more voting barriers in communities that have been historically excluded, such as communities of color and low-income communities. This week, for the anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act 58 years ago, LCV hosted a Twitter/X Q&A with members of Congress on the current state of voting rights in America where representatives answered questions about what is being done to protect the people’s fundamental right to govern ourselves to maintain and protect a strong, robust democracy for all. Read more on the blog.

FROM OUR SOCIALS: LCV continued our work uplifting climate champions in Congress across social platforms this week, including hosting a Twitter/X Q&A on voting rights in America with Representatives Sewell, Sarbanes, Morelle, Jayapal, and Williams, and Senators Merkley, Carper, and Klobuchar.

Additionally, LCV worked to share content regarding the catastrophic wildfires in Hawai’i on our social platforms.

We were also able to share some good news: a huge success for a Tribal-led effort in the Grand Canyon region resonated on Instagram and another platform, and we also celebrated a major win for democracy in Ohio.


COMING UP:

AUGUST 16: 1 year anniversary of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

AUGUST 23: National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

AUGUST 26: 60th anniversary of the March on Washington event

SEPTEMBER 19: National Voter Registration Day

SEPTEMBER 30: Government funding expires