“When I become eligible to vote next year, the physical address requirements in H.B. 2492 mean I won’t be able to register to vote. As Indigenous people, our voices matter and I stand with our tribal nations against the one-sided decision of Arizona lawmakers. Everyone should be allowed to vote, even those who can’t provide a physical address.”
—Keanu Stevens, a 17-year-old, speaking on why the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Gila River Indian Community filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, adding three Native youth to their lawsuit challenging proof of address requirements. Under the new law, citizens who want to vote must provide proof of a physical address in an additional pre-registration process required for the first time ever in Arizona.
“That’s our livelihood out here…Probably an acre, an acre-and-a-half of grasses was totally covered with oil. But that’s on a slope so it would run down, and that’s when it ran down into the creek.”
–Land owner Bill Pannbacker, whose pasture was quickly saturated by the oil leaked from the Keystone pipeline.The pipeline ruptured about 15 feet north of his fence line, where cattle are kept from May through October and where his family has lived since the 1930s, growing corn, soybeans and wheat.
“People probably didn’t expect us to focus on health and mental health and [Agriculture] and the food system. [But] that is what the moment required, because climate action is not just the solar panels or removing fossil fuel subsidies.”
— Chair Kathy Castor speaking on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s final report released this week. Thanks to Representative Castor’s leadership and other members on the committee, this Congress has overseen the most action on climate ever, with over 300 committee recommendations becoming law.
PERMITTING ROLLBACKS FAIL TO PASS THE SENATE: On Thursday, Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal to attach the Building American Energy Security Act (BAESA) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) failed its Senate vote. BAESA contained even more harmful provisions than previous versions of this legislation, and would have short circuited environmental review and public input requirements for energy projects, giving fossil fuel project developers an added advantage in the process over frontline communities. BAESA would have also gutted judicial authority and remedies for those communities, in addition to rubber stamping the damaging and needless Mountain Valley Pipeline.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Government Affairs Matthew Davis said, “This failed amendment would have prioritized the interests of the fossil fuel industry at the expense of the environment and health of frontline communities, who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, communities of color and low-wealth communities. It is time to move forward with real solutions that center the most impacted communities as we swiftly transition to a more healthy, equitable and just clean energy economy.”
ANNUAL REPORT ON RACIAL DIVERSITY IN ENVIRONMENTAL SECTOR SHOWS INCREMENTAL PROGRESS: This week, Green 2.0 released its sixth annual NGO and Foundation Transparency Report Card, which provides critical data on the racial diversity found on the staffs and boards of non-governmental organizations and foundations.The report’s analysis, which involved 68 NGOs and 20 foundations, including LCV, found that Black representation in the U.S. environmental sector has increased steadily in recent years but still falls short of truly reflecting the diversity of the American population. LCV’s Chief Officer for Racial Justice and Equity Dr. Leslie Hinkson named the Green 2.0 study as a tool for accountability and a way to connect with other organizations to share best practices. View a video summarizing the report’s results here.
INFLATION REDUCTION ACT GUIDE BOOK: On Thursday, the White House released the Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook, which outlines how the historic $369 billion of climate investments will be implemented to speed up our transition to a healthier, more equitable, clean energy future.
OUR TAKE: Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “As this historic year for action on climate, jobs and justice comes to a close we’re encouraged by the White House’s release of this informative Guidebook for every state, city, company, community, and individual that stands to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act. It will take all of us to unleash the promise of the roughly $369 billion of climate investments in the law and this Guidebook is an important and useful first step to seize a historic opportunity to speed up our transition to a healthier, more equitable, clean energy future. We look forward to continued work with the Biden-Harris administration and our state affiliates to ensure the Inflation Reduction Act is implemented boldly, swiftly and equitably.”
LCV VICTORY FUND ELECTIONS REPORT: This week, LCV Victory Fund released the 2022 Elections Report, which outlines the $100 + million invested by LCVVF and its affiliated entities, tactics, winning strategies for reaching climate voters, and wins across the country.
RATEPAYER COALITION DEMANDS CLEAN ENERGY IN UTILITY PLANS: Members of DTE Can Do Better, a coalition of community-based groups and environmental advocates including the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, are calling on DTE Energy’s 2.3 million customers to join the first of many public hearings on the utility’s proposed long-range energy plan on December 19. The coalition is organizing ratepayers to demand the Detroit-based electric utility do more to avert the climate crisis, including phasing out fossil fuels sooner, prioritizing energy efficiency, and investing in clean energy resources.The virtual public hearing is on December 19 at 4 p.m.; details are here.
NEW YORK WIND: New York Governor Kathy Hochul received a letter this week from a coalition of environmental organizations and labor groups including LCV urging the state to expand its goals for offshore wind construction. The letter called for more ambitious targets to build 15 gigawatts of offshore wind generation by 2040 and 20 gigawatts by 2050 to get New York closer to reaching 100% clean energy by 2040 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
COALITION TAKE: Coalition leaders wrote, “Increasing this goal advances New York as a national model and as a hub for the offshore wind industry on the east coast. New York will be in a unique position of supporting the supply chain of offshore wind, creating thousands of good union labor jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits…This effort will lead our state in the direction of a decarbonized grid, while growing the middle class and making New York a more sustainable and healthier place to live.”
COLORADO LATINO POLICY SUMMIT: Protégete was proud to participate in the 2022 Colorado Latino Policy Summit alongside the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus to elevate climate and environmental priorities for our community. Protégete had the pleasure of meeting with Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, former Presidential Candidate, and former Mayor of San Antonio. For more information, check out their post here.
January 3: 118th Congress is Sworn In