“As an Illinoisan, I know that part of what defines Midwestern culture is the ability to speak plainly: to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. Designating a national monument to honor the 1908 Race Riots, one of the darkest periods of our nation’s fight for racial equality, is a decidedly Midwestern thing to do — and I’m calling on President Biden to help us do just that.”
— Senator Tammy Duckworth in an op-ed titled President Biden, make site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riots a national monument.
“The EJ movement was a cause I could get behind because it embodied all of the aspects of Black life that we’re fighting for and made an investment towards our future as a people. Advancing environmental justice can lead to increased jobs, better health and wellness for our people, and stronger relationships between communities of color and their government.”
— SaAnkhessa Meskheniten, a senior at Trinity Washington University, in a Green 2.0 blog post where she explores her experience in the environmental field and how Black Americans can reclaim leadership within the movement.
“I’ve consulted articles and videos about how to talk to your kids about climate change in a candid, yet age-appropriate way. Among their suggestions: Break down the science in simple, understandable ways. Listen to their fears and hopes, and acknowledge your own. Explain to them that there are solutions. And let them know that other kids are demanding change, and that their actions can make a difference too.”
— Tony Barboza in a recent LA Times article titled “Think climate change is scary? Try talking to your kids about it,” that reflects on how to help young children understand climate solutions, that there are other kids demanding change, and that their actions can make a difference too.
END OF YEAR MEMO: HOW LCV HELPED SECURE 2022 CLIMATE AND DEMOCRACY VICTORIES: The strongest federal climate bill in U.S. history, a green wave in state and local elections, odds-defying election results in the House and Senate, President Biden’s first national monument, the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, and clean energy progress in 30 states – 2022 was the best year ever for action on climate, jobs, and justice, and a historic year for our democracy. LCV and affiliates played a hand in many of our country’s major victories this year. These are, of course, only a portion of successes this year, and our work to secure climate justice is far from over, but we are extraordinarily proud of the contributions LCV and affiliated entities made in 2022. For our full end of year memo, click here, and for our Top 5 2022: Year in Review, click here.
LETTER: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CAN SPEED CLEAN ENERGY DEPLOYMENT AND TRANSMISSION IN JUST AND EQUITABLE WAY: LCV led a letter to President Biden with 21 other organizations, including other leading environmental and environmental justice groups, encouraging the Biden administration to take actions to accelerate the deployment of clean renewable energy and associated grid modernization and transmission expansion in ways that support community input and environmental review. Read the full letter here.
OUR TAKE: Leading environmental and environmental justice groups told President Biden: “We urge you to use all new and enhanced authorities to drive clean electricity deployment and associated grid expansion and improvements while continuing to uphold and enhance the essential environmental review and public engagement processes that are required and critical for environmental justice and frontline communities. Some claim you cannot do both, but it is a false choice; we can and must have resilient grids filled with clean, renewable electricity that deliver environmental and social benefits as directed by communities to all communities.”
JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS: LCV applauds the January 6th Committee on their vital, thorough, nonpartisan investigation into this unprecedented MAGA attack on the right of the people to choose our own leaders.The evidence is overwhelming: Donald Trump and other conspirators in and out of public office must be held accountable for trying to overthrow the government, invalidate the election, and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
OUR TAKE: LCV Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “The rights to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and pass on a sustainable climate to future generations rest on a healthy democracy where every voter is equal and no one is above the law. Nearly two years after Trump and his extremist allies planned, promoted, paid for, and incited a deadly attack on our Capitol within a vast criminal conspiracy to overturn an election they knew they lost, our democracy remains in danger…Even as voters reject these extremists in many congressional races, MAGA Republicans in Congress continue blocking key pro-democracy legislation while MAGA Republicans in the states accelerate their voter suppression and MAGA Justices on the Supreme Court weaken protections for voting rights and redistricting. Holding Trump and other conspirators accountable will not fix every problem, but it is a vital step we must take if our democracy is to endure. LCV will continue fighting for major pro-democracy reforms such as the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, and the Judiciary Act, and looks forward to engaging with the Committee’s policy recommendations.”
EPA’S FINAL CLEAN TRUCKS RULE IS A GOOD STEP, MORE IS NEEDED: The EPA’s final rule to reduce harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from heavy-duty vehicles will help reduce transportation pollution and protect our health, but it is only a first step and not enough to safeguard communities near busy roads and freight hubs overburdened with diesel pollution.
OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “EPA’s final rule to reduce health-harming and smog-forming pollution from diesel trucks is a step in the right direction, but should have done even more to reduce disproportionate exposure in communities of color and low income communities overburdened with diesel pollution. Diesel pollution cuts short the lives of thousands of people each year and triggers hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, especially in frontline communities along freight routes. While this rule is an important step forward, more is needed to reduce transportation pollution and protect our health. Administrator Regan must first approve California’s waivers to reinforce states’ authority to set stronger truck and car standards, then swiftly propose and finalize stronger, longer term standards for climate pollution from cars and trucks to accelerate deployment of electric vehicles. Also without further delay, EPA must propose a strong limit for soot pollution, also known as particulate matter, in order to further protect our health and advance environmental justice.”
USPS ANNOUNCES FLEET ELECTRIFICATION: We are happy to hear that the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) will invest $9.6 billion, including $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, to electrify USPS delivery vehicles.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “Thanks to the hard work of the Biden-Harris administration and funding from the historic Inflation Reduction Act, we’re thrilled that the U.S. Postal Service is finally delivering clean energy, just in time for the holidays. With more electric mail trucks on the streets and charging stations at post offices across the country, this investment will mean cleaner air for our children and families, major progress toward our climate goals, and a clear example of clean energy benefits for the nation and the world. We’re encouraged by this quick and effective use of Inflation Reduction Act funds and look forward to continued work with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure the landmark climate law is implemented boldly, swiftly, and equitably.”
SENATE PASSES GOVERNMENT FUNDING BILL: Today, the Senate passed the government funding bill, avoiding a damaging year-long continuing resolution and providing crucial funds for the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and other critical environmental agencies.
OUR TAKE: Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “This bill provides crucial funding increases for the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and other critical environmental agencies that work hard to protect people and the planet. Importantly, passing this omnibus avoids a damaging year-long continuing resolution that would flatline funding for federal agencies charged with protecting clean air, clean water, and public lands. It also allocates critical funding to the city of Jackson to upgrade their water systems that, due to historic underinvestment driven by neglect and environmental racism, have jeopardized the health of Jackson’s families. At the same time, additional funding is still needed to adequately fund environmental agencies to outpace inflation, recover from Trump-era budget cuts, and properly implement President Biden’s all-of-government approach to combating the climate crisis and environmental injustice. Additionally, funding levels for international climate aid are woefully inadequate to meet our global commitments or do our fair share to support under-resourced countries bearing the brunt of climate impacts.
While not a substitute for comprehensive democracy legislation, we are grateful that Congress is finally reforming the antiquated Electoral Count Act. Congress must also stop allowing spending bills to act as vehicles for harmful unrelated policies, such as those that prohibit listing the greater sage-grouse as an endangered species, and force EPA to disregard science and treat biomass as a carbon-neutral fuel source. ”
JENNIFER MCCLELLAN EARNS LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSEMENT TO CARRY ON MCEACHIN’S ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LEGACY: LCV Action Fund, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, announced its endorsement of Jennifer McClellan in the special election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.
OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Jennifer McClellan will be a strong climate and environmental justice champion in Congress who will carry on the late Representative Donald McEachin’s incredible legacy. McClellan has been an incredible leader on climate and environmental justice in the Virginia legislature, including helping lead the commonwealth to become the first Southern state to commit to 100% clean energy, and we are excited to continue working with her to implement the historic climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and to build a just, equitable, clean energy future.”
VALCV TAKE: Executive Director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Michael Town said, “Throughout her legislative career, Jennifer McClellan has always put her constituents first and been a fearless advocate for climate action. I am beyond confident that Jenn will continue to be a strong advocate for a clean, healthy, and just environment in Congress, continuing and building on the strong environmental legacy of the 4th District.”
DEMOCRACY FOR ALL REPORT: In 2022, LCV and LCVEF’s Democracy For All program helped to register people to vote, support people in making voting plans, encourage voters to utilize mail-in voting and early voting, recruit election workers to ensure free and fair elections, and advocate for increased access to the ballot and expanding voting rights for all communities. Our teams on the ground knocked on people’s doors, met voters in their community spaces, bridged gaps to provide communities resources in their primary language, and partnered with artists to innovatively reach people through their preferred mediums. To learn more, check out our new Democracy For All Elections Report.
January 3 2023: New Congress is sworn in