“There has never been a better time to choose to lead the way to a more reliable and cleaner grid.”
“Summer is rapidly transitioning from an idyllic season to a scary time of year, full of deadly heat waves, wildfire smoke, and flooding. Thanks, fossil fuel companies.”
— Dr. Leah C. Stokes, professor of climate and energy policy at UCSB, on the record-setting temperatures throughout the month of July.
“Donald J. Trump did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate one or more persons in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right and privilege secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States– that is, the right to vote, and to have one’s vote counted.”
— Special Counsel Jack Smith in a 45-page indictment of former President Donald Trump on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
CLIMATE ACTION TEAMS HOST SLEW OF FARM BILL, IRA EVENTS: This week, LCV Climate Action teams and state leagues in Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Minnesota participated in community events advocating for maintaining climate smart agriculture funding in the Farm Bill negotiations and educating constituents on the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act, or affordable clean energy plan. Together, these states hosted a total of 15 events and engaged hundreds of elected officials and thousands of community members. And there are more events on the horizon!
EEI TARGETS POWER PLANT RULES: Ahead of the end of the public comment period on August 8th, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) circulated formal public comments to its member utilities attacking the EPA’s power plant emissions rules. LCV joined Evergreen Action and other climate groups in a letter encouraging EEI member utilities to publicly support EPA standards by not signing on to EEI’s comments.
COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “Your company has barely a week to decide whether to stand on the right side of history by committing to publicly support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) common-sense standards controlling greenhouse gas pollution from coal and gas power plants. As you know, the EPA’s comment period on standards under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act closes on August 8. Unfortunately, our understanding is that the utility trade association, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), is preparing to send EPA formal comments flatly attacking those standards, especially as they relate to gas power plants. EEI’s reported comments would call for scrapping or withdrawing of common-sense emissions rules in the middle of an unprecedented climate-caused heat wave that has impacted Americans and harmed local economies. This stance by EEI would falsely malign the legal and factual basis for the rule, only after industry took millions of dollars in public money to develop the very technologies that form the basis of the proposal.”
LCV ON EXTREME HEAT: LCV’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld spoke to The Washington Post on Biden’s proposed extreme heat protections for workers.
TIERNAN’S TAKE: From the newsletter, “The suffering from this extreme, record-breaking heat is calling so much attention to the climate crisis. What we really need is to turn that attention and concern to a call to action for more badly needed progress. There are just as many really big transformational solutions that are win-win-win to help address this crisis and help rebuild and grow our economy.”
ADVOCATES FORCE MICHIGAN’S LARGEST UTILITY TO CUT POLLUTION, INVEST IN CLEAN ENERGY: The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a settlement led by advocacy organizations on behalf of utility customers that will require the Detroit-based utility, DTE Energy, to emit less pollution and invest more in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and assistance to low-income ratepayers. The coalition included Michigan Conservation Voters, NRDC, and We Want Green Too.
MI LCV TAKE: Michigan League of Conservation Voters Communications Director Nick Dodge said, “This settlement is a step in the right direction and it only happened due to advocacy from organizations across the state who intervened, got ratepayers involved and put the big energy utility’s feet to the fire. We have unprecedented amounts of federal funds available to make investments in clean energy, energy efficiency and to lower costs for ratepayers. Members of the Legislature should now look to pass clean energy legislation that empowers the Michigan Public Service Commission to further hold utility companies accountable, seizing this moment to transition to cleaner, more affordable energy.”
CLEANER CARS AND TRUCKS IN CONNECTICUT: Last week, Connecticut launched the public comment process to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC2) and Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) regulations. These require all new cars sold in the state to be 100% electric by 2035 and all new medium- to heavy-duty trucks sold in the state to be 100% electric by 2045 respectively. The 2022 Connecticut Clean Air Act mandated that the state implement ACT rules, and under a 2003 law, Connecticut must follow the same standards for passenger cars as California.
CTLCV TAKE: Connecticut LCV Executive Director Lori Brown said, “The adoption of these standards is critical, and we commend the collaborative efforts between Connecticut and other states like California, Massachusetts, and New York, who have been implementing similar standards successfully for two decades. These standards have already been embraced by many states, showcasing the potential for nationwide progress. Collaboration with other states is key to creating a unified market.
The legislation that our state lawmakers and the Lamont Administration put together last year to tackle climate change put us on a path to reduce tailpipe emissions from heavy duty vehicles like trucks and buses. The public comment phase on these proposed regulations will help everyone understand the responsibilities and public benefits that will come with these updated vehicle standards. We don’t need endless debate and more studies to know what a positive impact this will have on every community across Connecticut and the region.”
NEW JERSEY LCV MOURNS THE DEATH OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: New Jersey LCV mourns the death of the state’s lieutenant governor, Sheila Oliver, a longtime environmental advocate.
NJLCV TAKE: New Jersey LCV Senior Policy Director Allison McLeod said, “New Jersey lost a trailblazer for women and a champion for the underserved in New Jersey with the passing of Sheila Oliver. She made history as the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the General Assembly, and just the second Black woman in the nation’s history to lead a house of a state legislature. As the head of the Department of Community Affairs, which coordinates state aid to towns and cities and oversees code enforcement, she helped numerous families throughout New Jersey improve their lives. We were proud to work with Sheila Oliver and Governor Murphy on legislative initiatives to demand clean air, safe drinking water, and to protect open space in New Jersey. In her many years of public service, she always served the people of the state with grace, kindness, and empathy. Our thoughts are with the Oliver family at this difficult time.”
MAINE LOOKS TO MAKE NEW HOUSING FOSSIL-FREE: Advocates are pushing Maine state leaders to steer new residential construction toward denser, all-electric, energy efficient buildings that can help bring down living costs and carbon emissions. As more people migrate to Maine in search of cooler temperatures, the state looks to build more housing and tackle both the population crisis and climate crisis simultaneously.
MCV TAKE: Maine Conservation Voters Policy Director Kathleen Meil said, “It’s one of the things that I actually find really exciting about this work and about everything related to climate action. It feels much better than being overwhelmed with, like, ‘Oh, no, we have to accomplish all of these things at the same time.’ It’s like, ‘No, we get to tackle all of the most important problems that people face at the same time. How cool is that?’”
CHISPA TX HOLDS THE PORT ACCOUNTABLE ON CEO SELECTION PROCESS IN A PUBLIC HEARING: The Port of Corpus Christi Authority (POCCA) is selecting a new CEO, and Chispa TX Program Director Elida Castillo offered public comment on the selection process here. Spoiler alert, the Port wants all the benefits of a government body without the accountability!
CHISPA NV HELPS PREPARE OUR KIDS FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON: Last week, organizers and community leaders from Chispa NV attended a City of Las Vegas event to help children in the community with school supplies and back-to-school needs like haircuts, dental exams, and more. For more information and pictures, click here!
CHISPA MD PARTICIPATES IN BALTIMORE SCHOOL FAIR: Chispa MD was invited to set up a table at Baltimore County School’s Partnership Fair last week with other community partners offering social services to students and families, among other resources. For more information and pictures, click here!
CHISPA AZ AND ALLIES LIVE ON TAKING ACTION AGAINST AZ PUBLIC SERVICE RATE INCREASE: Yesterday, Chispa Arizona led an educational Instagram Live with Ana Gorla, Chapter Energy and Public Lands Program Coordinator at @sierraclubaz, DJ Portugal, organizing director with @chispaarizona, and Echo Renewables (@azsolarkylee). The Arizona Public Service electric utility is proposing to raise rates in Arizona and community groups are rallying utility customers to take action against the proposed 13.6% rate increase. Watch the Instagram Live here!
JULY TOP 5: This July, the world faced an onslaught of climate disasters. In addition to being the hottest month ever recorded, the east coast experienced torrential rain and flooding, and wildfires raged in Canada, polluting air across the U.S. with smoke and debris. These effects of climate change offer a stark reminder of why our work combatting the climate crisis is so urgent. This month, we continued that work by supporting a $20 billion Biden-Harris administration grant program for community clean energy transition, pushing back against far-right legislators who are working to undermine clean energy solutions, supporting the nation’s first commercial, utility-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of New York, strengthening alliances with the Latinx community through Latino Conservation Week events, and raising over $10 million to support climate champions in the upcoming elections. Read more here.
FROM OUR SOCIALS: On the national social channels, 7 of the 10 top Facebook posts of July were about extreme heat and its connection to climate activism, and we saw that trend continue across platforms this week. Here’s a top Facebook post and, here’s a similar theme resonating on another platform. Also bringing the heat across platforms: Barbie!
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