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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – AUGUST 18, 2023

Aug 18, 2023

This week, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest and most significant climate law ever enacted, with a special edition of This Week in Climate Action dedicated to highlighting how this law is leading us towards a clean energy future and changing lives across the country.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“I’m proud of the historic law my administration has passed, but it’s not about me, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s about you — all of you in this room… the American people.”

– President Joe Biden in a speech on August 16, the one year anniversary of the passage of the IRA.

“The clock is not just ticking. It is banging.”

Vice President Kamala Harris during a speech in Seattle discussing the impacts of climate change and celebrating the IRA’s one year anniversary.


THE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT TURNS ONE!: Wednesday was the one year anniversary of the passage of the largest and most influential climate legislation ever signed into law. Already, people across the country are benefiting from these hard-fought investments in climate and clean energy.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “As we celebrate the one year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, this popular, affordable, clean energy plan is supercharging our clean energy economy, lowering costs, creating good-paying, family-sustaining jobs, and reducing climate pollution. Thanks to the Biden-Harris administration and Democrats in Congress, communities across the country are already feeling the benefits with more to come.

“Already the Inflation Reduction Act has resulted in:

      • 272 clean energy projects
      • 170,000+ clean energy jobs
      • Lower costs for wind and solar power
      • More progress toward climate goals

“Communities across the nation and the world have suffered through some of the most extreme impacts of the climate crisis this summer. The people of Maui are experiencing one of the most recent and tragic consequences of climate-fueled disasters. July was declared Earth’s hottest month ever. It’s never been more important or urgent that we keep up the successful momentum for swift, equitable, and effective implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and build on that progress – for our climate, our jobs, our wallets, for environmental and racial justice, worker protection, national security, and so much more.

“Yet day after day, extreme MAGA Republicans are threatening all of this progress. In their own districts, at great cost to their constituents, they continue pushing failed fossil energy policies of the past including dirty drilling on our public lands and waters and other massive giveaways to Big Oil and other polluters. We know that once people hear about programs in the Inflation Reduction Act they support them. LCV will be doing everything we can to make sure people hear and see the benefits of this plan and know about Congressional Republicans who are  trying to take those benefits away at the behest of their Big Oil allies.”

Check out stories from people across the country who have benefited directly from the IRA here.


INFLATION REDUCTION ACT(IVITY) IN THE STATES:

LCV and state affiliates were joined by local officials and members of Congress in celebrating this historic milestone with events in-person, online, and on social media throughout the week.

IRA ANNIVERSARY EVENTS: 

  • Chispa AZ hosted a press briefing with Representative Raúl Grijalva, energy policy advisor to Governor Katie Hobbs Blaise Caudill, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, and Arizona Representative Mariana Sandoval (LD23) on IRA funding and its impact on Arizona. You can watch a recording of the briefing here.
  • Maine Conservation Voters joined environmental and labor partners and legislative leaders at a press event in Portland celebrating the IRA and Maine’s recently passed offshore wind bill. Watch MCV’s video of the event on Facebook or read a recap on their Twitter/X.
  • Maryland LCV hosted a briefing for county governments on the EPA’s EJ Climate and Justice Block grants and the IRA.
  • PennFuture (Conservation Voters of PA) hosted an anniversary celebration with Representative Dwight Evans (see the recap on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter/X) and a virtual press briefing.
  • New York LCV co-hosted a town hall with Representative Paul Tonko on how the IRA is protecting the climate and saving people money.
  • New Jersey LCV hosted a similar event with Representative Frank Pallone, State Senator Vin Gopal, and NJ State Assembly candidate and Ocean Twp Deputy Mayor Dr. Margie Donlon.
  • Oregon LCV announcing they will be hosting a virtual town hall next Tuesday with Senator Ron Wyden.
  • Nevada LCV celebrated the anniversary with Senator Jacky Rosen at a Las Vegas facility that manufactures steel tubes for solar fields.
  • Michigan LCV attended an anniversary event with Representative Hillary Scholton.
  • Virginia LCV hosted an anniversary celebration with Representative Bobby Scott.
  • Wisconsin Conservation Voters celebrated with an event with President Biden, Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Gwen Moore that highlighted how the city of Madison is connecting people with lower incomes to clean energy opportunities.

STATE VOICES CELEBRATE 1 YEAR OF IRA: State affiliates like Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska also worked to publish op-eds with local outlets on the first year of the Inflation Reduction Act this week.

INDIANA TAKE: Executive Director of Indiana Conservation Voters and former state representative Chris Chyung said, “The Inflation Reduction Act was a game changer for bringing back American manufacturing, and because of the progress we’ve seen just over the past year alone, we know that America’s clean energy’s rise is just getting started.”

GEORGIA TAKE: Executive Director of Georgia Conservation Voters Brionté McCorkle said, “This month, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) turns one year old and coupled with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the CHIPS and Science Act, the Affordable Clean Energy Plan provides the largest climate investments in our country’s history. This federal funding has kickstarted a transformation of the clean energy industry and promises relief on the horizon, both nationwide and here in Georgia.”

NORTH CAROLINA TAKE: Executive Director of North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Carrie Clark and North Carolina State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan said, “We have just had the hottest July in the history of the planet, and most likely the hottest month in recorded history. If we don’t transition away from fossil fuels, the implications for our future are becoming more obvious every day. Increases in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, extreme weather, and other natural disasters like floods and wildfires are obvious and unavoidable.”

ALASKA TAKE: Climate and Clean Energy Program Manager for The Alaska Center Rachel Christensen said, “One year ago, we did something so many, for so long, thought was impossible. We finally took a significant step forward in the fight against climate change. Every new wind turbine built, solar panel installed, and electric car or truck that rolls off the line will power a better future. Now it’s up to us to ensure this is only the beginning and that these investments work with and for our communities.”

LOCAL PRESS COVERS CLEAN ENERGY GREEN WAVE: After a year of the biggest climate action in American history, local outlets cover how it’s investing in their communities.

MAINE

COLORADO 

NEW YORK

NEW MEXICO:

WISCONSIN:


IRA ON THE POWER SOURCE BLOG AND SOCIALS:

ON THE BLOG: The IRA anniversary celebration continued on the Power Source blog with a post discussing the short and long term benefits of the legislation in helping us maintain a safe, livable planet.

FROM OUR SOCIALS:  In addition to organizing a social day of action with members of Congress and our state affiliates, LCV marked the anniversary of the IRA’s passage with celebratory content on Instagram and Twitter/X. 

With dozens of anniversary events being put on by our state affiliates, LCV also focused on uplifting the amazing work being done at the state level to celebrate what the IRA has accomplished, and also to push for more transformative environmental change.

(And, there was a lot of cake! Here’s a slice from Michigan, and one from  Maine.)


IN OTHER NEWS

MONTANA YOUTH WIN BIG IN HISTORIC CLIMATE LAWSUIT: On Monday, a Montana district court ruled in favor of 16 youth climate activists suing the state for violating their right to a clean environment as guaranteed by Montana’s state constitution. Judge Kathy Seely sided with the 16 plaintiffs, who range in age from 5 to 22 years old, and declared that a provision in the Montana Environmental Policy Act that prevents the state from considering the climate impacts of energy projects is unconstitutional. The ruling is expected to have significant impacts on current and future state policies and sets a precedent for similar Montana lawsuits in the future.

MCV TAKE: Montana Conservation Voters Executive Director Whitney Tawney said, “Today’s ruling is a victory for all Montanans. Instead of passing laws that limit our ability to regulate pollution, the state now must consider how its policies affect the health and wellbeing of its citizens and environment. The ruling is also a reminder of the importance of Montana’s constitution, and we applaud the brave young Montanans who stood up to protect the rights and freedoms promised to everyone in this state.”

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR LAUNCHES GREEN RIDES INITIATIVE: On Thursday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission Commissioner David Do announced the Green Rides Initiative to  make all city rideshares emission-free and wheelchair accessible by 2030. This initiative creates a cleaner and more accessible transportation system, and will make New York City the first large city to have a rideshare fleet that is entirely either zero-emissions or wheelchair accessible.

NY LCV TAKE: Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, “The Green Rides initiative is not only a positive step toward reducing air pollution and cutting emissions from the transportation sector — which is key to fighting climate change — it’s also a shining example of how strong climate legislation at all levels of government are combining with market forces to shift the economics in favor of clean energy. The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds Mayor Adams and Commissioner Do for introducing this forward-thinking initiative and for their commitment to getting stuff done that will not only benefit our environment but also contribute to a healthier, more livable city for all.”

MICHIGAN MAYOR AND RESIDENTS CHARGED IN 2020 FALSE ELECTORS SCHEME: Kent Vanderwood, the Mayor of Wyoming, Michigan, has been charged with eight felonies in connection to the 2020 presidential ‘false electors’ scheme. He is one of 16 state residents charged by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel with election law and forgery felonies.

MI LCV TAKE: Michigan LCV’s elections systems coordinator Daniel Rivera said, “Vanderwood must resign from his position, and I say that because doing so is so necessary to ensure that Michigan voters, especially the constituents of the City of Wyoming, myself being one, can continue to trust in the integrity of our local government.”

CHISPA NEVADA CELEBRATES THE ARRIVAL OF ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES:  Learn how Nevada communities pushed for greener, healthier alternatives to diesel school buses in Chispa NV’s newest blog on Clark County’s first electric school buses. And, be sure to check out #cleanride4kids on socials!

COMING UP:

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