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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – AUGUST 12, 2022

Aug 12, 2022

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:

“Today’s a big day for all of us; I think in particular about my five year old and my six year old little boys–this is for them, this is for their future.”

-Representative Andy Kim speaking on Friday’s historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

“It’s time for us to take our message from these hills–from this devastation and destruction–to the front steps of the White House and demand that Joe Biden keep his climate promises and put an end to these projects once and for all.”

–Activist Russel Chisholm in a recent video by the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights Coalition calling on President Biden to stop the construction of the Mountain Valley pipeline, which Sen. Manchin is intent on pushing forward despite the fact that the project has already faced numerous legal challenges and would recklessly endanger water quality for thousands of people, family farms, wild mountains, and their habitats.

I think that the conversation is limited, and especially absent in minority communities. We need to talk to Black and brown communities, because they are the ones that are hit every day, so they are the ones that probably have answers.

Director of Chispa Florida Maria Revelles on how crucial translating environmental justice resources is to increasing accessibility for non-English speaking populations. Recently, training materials for Florida’s Red Tide Respiratory Forecast, a citizen science project that teaches community members to monitor toxic algae blooms, was translated into Spanish in recognition that nearly a quarter of Florida’s population are native Spanish speakers. 

“The environmental movement as a whole has a long way to go to address racism, but people can start by recognizing how much Indigenous peoples have done for conservation and by acknowledging the errors made against all people of color along the way. There must also be more Indigenous peoples in positions of power throughout environmental organizations to help assert their voices when making decisions about their land.”

– Minnie Degawan, member of the Kankanaey-Igorot Indigenous group in the Philippines, said in an interview with Conservation International in 2020. The article was re-uplifted on Tuesday, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

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INFLATION REDUCTION ACT OF 2022: This week, the people and planet celebrated major victories with the Senate and House passages of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The bill is the strongest action the United States has ever taken against climate change and is a testament to the relentless fighting of environmental activists and champions in Congress to get climate action done. Earlier this week, LCV sent a letter to the House from President Gene Karpinski urging members of Congress to vote YES; LCV also sent a similar letter to the Senate last week and held a press conference with Senate Democrats to advocate for the bill. LCV now urges President Biden to officially sign the bill into law.

While passing this bill means massive progress toward a clean energy future for our country, there are potentially harmful provisions in this bill that open the door to continued fossil fuel infrastructure and oil and gas leasing that could disproportionately impact Indigenous communities, communities of color, and under-resourced communities in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and Appalachia. We will fight back alongside communities on the ground for environmental justice for all. Read our full factsheet about critical climate investments included in this legislation.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “It happened! Congress just passed the strongest climate legislation in our history. The significance of this monumental step toward reducing our climate pollution and building a more just and thriving clean energy future cannot be overstated. Getting here is a testament to the persistence of a massive, diverse climate coalition, including labor, environmental justice advocates, young people, and climate champions on Capitol Hill and in the administration. We cannot wait for President Biden to sign this bill into law. 

“At the same time this bill continues to prop up the still-too-powerful fossil fuel industry and corporate special interests, at the expense of communities of color. LCV will fight to protect Indigenous communities and communities of color along our Gulf Coast, Alaska, and elsewhere who continue to be threatened by oil and gas drilling and fossil fuel development. Starting today, we’ll work to ensure people understand the ways the Inflation Reduction Act benefits them, through ads, field organizing, and other advocacy efforts. And LCV will get right back to work fighting for more climate and environmental justice on all fronts, from executive action, to state and local progress, to electing more environmental champions up and down the ballot. Finally, we’ll ensure that every Republican who voted against this bill is held accountable for prioritizing polluters and corporate special interests over the health and well being of their constituents.

THANK YOU AD LAUNCH: On Friday, LCV and Climate Power announced a $2.2 million ad campaign to thank Congress for passing the Inflation Reduction Act. The announcement followed an initial $100,000 Facebook ad buy to thank 12 climate champions for their vote to secure cutting costs, address climate change and create millions of clean energy jobs in the historic legislation. The ads ran for the five days between the Senate and House passage. See the full list of Senators targeted in the ad campaign here, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Jon Ossoff and Sen. Warnock. The ads top off LCV and Climate Power’s largest climate campaign ever; our 18-month advocacy campaign to pass climate legislation included hosting over 400 events with elected officials, knocking 575,000 doors and over $50 million in paid TV and digital ads.

LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSING ADMIRAL FRANKEN: LCV Action Fund announced its support for electing Admiral Mike Franken to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. A retired U.S. Navy vice admiral, Franken also previously served as a congressional affairs fellow in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, political-military chair in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Executive Panel and as a legislative fellow for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Admiral Franken understands the national security threat that a changing climate poses to future generations and is committed to tackling environmental issues head on. We are thrilled to support his campaign to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate because we know that he will fight for clean water, healthy air, and a resilient climate with the urgency it requires. With Iowa facing increased frequencies of climate-driven disasters – from more frequent heavy precipitation and floods to droughts and extreme heat – we need leaders like Admiral Franken who will fight to protect all communities from the impacts of the climate crisis and help ensure Iowa continues to be a leader in clean energy.”

VICTORIES IN MN AND WI: LCV Action Fund congratulated Betty McCollum and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes on their respective primary wins on Tuesday. McCollum is running to represent Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District, while Barnes is running for election to the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin. Both McCollum and Barnes earned the support of LCVAF for their strong record of fighting for climate justice and will continue to fight hard for a chance to advance an equitable clean future in Congress.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Congratulations to Representative Betty McCollum on her well-deserved primary victory in Minnesota. It has never been more important to have leaders like Betty McCollum in Congress who consistently stand up to corporate polluters and fight for the rights of all people in our country to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and live in a fair and just democracy. Betty McCollum has shown that time and again she is that leader and we look forward to continuing this important work together.”

OUR TAKE 2: On Barnes’ win, Sittenfeld said, “Mandela Barnes’ leadership will help deliver more transformational climate action, clean energy, jobs, and justice for all communities.We are excited to continue to support Mandela Barnes in leading Wisconsin and the country towards a clean energy future that prioritizes the health and well-being of communities over corporate polluters and their profits. We need more leaders like Mandela Barnes in the Senate, and we will do everything we can to help make that happen in November.”

CLEAN TRUCKS AD LAUNCH: On Tuesday, the Washington Post featured a full-page ad with LCV, Chispa, Sierra Club, Climate Reality Project and other groups calling on the EPA to finalize a strong rule to cut pollution from trucks and buses. The clean trucks rule has widespread support from a broad coalition that is fighting for everyone’s right to clean air despite the work of polluters to undermine the proposal. And in good state news for trucks, the Engine Manufacturers Association dropped their lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board rule to clean up trucks there. 

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

MASSACHUSETTS BECOMES LATEST STATE TO TAKE MAJOR CLIMATE ACTION IN 2022: On Thursday, Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed Massachusetts’ new Climate and Clean Energy Bill into law. Through reaching an important compromise, the state legislature and the Baker Administration have reinforced their commitment to leading the nation and acting urgently to address the climate crisis. Governor Baker’s signature comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate passing the Inflation Reduction Act, the biggest federal action on climate in U.S. history. These  victories are the result of people across the Commonwealth and the country  demanding action while increasingly experiencing the impacts of climate change firsthand. 

MA STATE LEAGUE TAKE: Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund Executive Director Casey Bowers said, “This law builds on existing climate policy and accelerates our transition to local, clean energy, setting us on a course toward a sustainable, healthy future. Recent heatwaves and drought conditions have made the immediate need to reduce emissions and protect vulnerable communities even clearer. We look forward to carrying this momentum and building on this legislation next session to ensure Massachusetts is on track to reach its 2030 and 2050 climate goals. We cannot afford to slow down. We thank Governor Baker for signing this bill and solidifying his legacy as a leader in offshore wind and clean energy and our climate champions in the Legislature for their tireless work ensuring this bill becomes law.”

PASSING THE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT: It’s been a busy week for our partners across the Conservation Voter Movement who headed to their senators’ district offices this week to rally in support of the bill! Check out some of their hard work in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. In addition to the on-the-ground activity, LCV and state affiliates directed over 750 calls into key Senate and House offices over the last week to keep up the drumbeat for action and worked hard to educate people about the enormous benefits the Inflation Reduction Act will have for their communities. Check out the stories they published in New Mexico, Georgia, New York, Illinois, California, Maine, Alaska, Nevada HERE and HERE, New Jersey, and Ohio HERE and HERE.

CLEAN AIR FOR NJ SCHOOL KIDS: On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a law authorizing up to $45 million in grants to at least 18 school districts or bus contractors for electric school buses and charging infrastructure. Half or more of those grants will go to communities that are low-income, urban, or overburdened by pollution. 

NJ LCV TAKE: New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “This bill is a good first step to having our students, especially those who live in already overburdened communities, breathe cleaner air.”

GREEN ENERGY IN CHICAGO: The Chicago city government celebrated a significant climate win this week by signing a $422.2 million agreement with Constellation New Energy LLC. The agreement will bring in renewable power to make Chicago’s government buildings, street lights, and all city-owned assets carbon-free by 2025. This is one of many local actions around the country in a wave of rapid progress toward decarbonizing.

CHISPA AZ GAME NIGHT: This past week, the Chispa Arizona team hosted a youth game night where youth leaders had an opportunity to build community as they talked about Arizona’s environmental issues and how youth can take action.

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH CHISPA MARYLAND: This past week, the Chispa Maryland team attended a back to school event hosted by @dianamfennell that included a back to school book bag giveaway for our niños! The team tabled in Colmar Manor and talked to community members about the Chispa program.

COMING UP:

AUGUST 13: Hawaii Primary Elections

AUGUST 16: Alaska and Wyoming Primary Elections

AUGUST 16: National poll worker recruitment day

AUGUST 23: Florida Primary Election

SEPTEMBER 13: Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Primary Elections

SEPTEMBER 20: Massachusetts Primary Election

NOVEMBER 8: Election Day