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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – FEBRUARY 2, 2024

Feb 2, 2024

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:

“I can’t remember a bigger win.”

Bill McKibben, climate activist and author, on the Biden administration’s decision to pause approvals of new liquefied methane gas export projects.

“We represent the communities who are at stake here. We represent the people who are dying because of decisions that are made here in DC.”

— Roishetta Ozane, founder of the Vessel Project of Louisiana, on the impact of liquefied methane gas (LNG) exports on Gulf communities, at Thursday’s press conference celebrating the Biden’s administration’s pause on LNG exports.

“Hiding behind loopholes in decision texts, or dodging the hard work ahead through selective interpretation, would be entirely self-defeating for any government, as climate impacts hammer every country’s economy and population.”

Simon Stiell, U.N. Climate Chief, in a speech today urging countries to stand by climate commitments made at COP28.


BIDEN’S CLIMATE AGENDA IN ACTION:

FEMA TO EXPAND CLIMATE FUNDING: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expanding funding for projects that address the climate crisis, improve resilience, and cut energy costs, including funding net-zero energy projects for the first time, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Not only will the funding help communities rebuild sustainably after disasters, but it will also fund projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate some of the risk of extreme weather events in the future.

FEMA TAKE: FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said,Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and the Inflation Reduction Act, FEMA will now cover the costs of net-zero energy projects since they are the single most effective measure FEMA can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the climate crisis.”


IN NATIONAL NEWS: 

PRESIDENT BIDEN TAPS NEW CLIMATE ENVOY: President Biden has appointed John Podesta to succeed John Kerry as the administration’s new climate envoy, even as he maintains his role leading affordable clean energy plan implementation.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “We’re thrilled John Podesta is taking on this additional and vitally important role in the Biden-Harris administration! With John’s decades of tireless leadership at home and abroad, he is ideally suited to ensure that we continue to combat the climate crisis at the scale science demands in all that we do. We applaud John Kerry for his longtime climate leadership in many key roles, and we look forward to continuing to work with Podesta to work towards a more just and sustainable clean energy future for all.”

LCV JOINS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, FRONTLINE COMMUNITY MEMBERS FOR LNG PRESSER: On Thursday, Members of Congress joined leaders from the Gulf Coast to celebrate the Biden administration’s decision to pause LNG exports and to call out the oil and gas industry for their reckless profiteering off of LNG exports at the expense of the health and safety of our communities and the environment. Watch the full press conference and see our thread on X/Twitter!

LCV ANNOUNCES $2 MILLION CAMPAIGN AROUND BIDEN’S LNG EXPORT PAUSE: In response to the Biden-Harris administration’s latest major climate action putting a pause on pending LNG export projects in order to review their climate and community impacts, LCV announced a $2 million campaign including an initial DC television buy, activity on the ground, and a significant digital campaign focused on getting the word out to young people to follow. Watch the ad on Youtube!

OUR TAKE: LCV SVP of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Last week President Biden said ‘We will heed the calls of young people and frontline communities who are using their voices to demand action from those with the power to act.’ and we’re working hard to make sure those folks know that their voices were heard. Big Oil and their allies are already saying anything and everything under the sun to try to scare people, all with the goal of continuing to rake in record profits regardless of the cost to consumers, these communities, and future generations. We’re committed to making sure that young people know aboutPresident Biden’s latest action, and that he has done more than any president in history to fight the climate crisis and stand up to Big Oil.”

LCV RESPONDS TO HOUSE GOP RESOLUTION CONDEMNING BIDEN’S CLEAN ENERGY POLICIES: House Republicans attempted to move a resolution condemning all of President Biden’s clean energy policies through the House Rules Committee on Thursday.

OUR TAKE: Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “This outrageous resolution from MAGA House Republicans reads like a wishlist for greedy Big Oil executives who are willing to say and spend anything to pad their already record high profits. While clearly motivated by President Biden’s thoughtful recent decision to protect consumers and communities by pausing new LNG export terminals, Big Oil’s allies on the Hill are wasting time attacking everything President Biden has done to make the popular clean energy boom a reality–lowering costs, creating good jobs, and fighting the climate crisis.

“Let’s be clear, exporting LNG is harmful to our environment, our economy, and our communities. Continuing to allow the massive expansion of this industry would mean even more toxic pollution and higher energy bills for communities across the country who are already overburdened by pollution and energy costs, and would make it nearly impossible for the world to reach its climate goals. Our future must be powered by clean energy, not the polluting, volatile, and unreliable fossil fuels of the past.”

SENATE DEMS INTRODUCES INVITE ACT: U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced the Including New Voters In The Electorate (INVITE) Act early this week to assist new U.S. citizens in registering to vote.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Civic Engagement Hilda Nucete said, “LCV proudly supports Senator Alex Padilla’s INVITE Act because a thriving environment thrives on a strong democracy. New Americans, as new eligible voters, deserve seamless access to their rights and freedoms as citizens, and registering to vote following naturalization should be as straightforward as renewing a driver’s license.”

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Director Estefany Carrasco-Gonzalez said, “Registering to vote and making my voice heard at the ballot box was an important moment when I first became a citizen. Many immigrant communities already face disproportionate harm from environmental injustice. Those who have undergone the process to become citizens should be able to easily access their fundamental right to vote in our country, which is why we applaud Senator Padilla and Congress must pass the INVITE Act.”

SENATE CONFIRMS JOE GOFFMAN: After over two years of delays, the Senate finally voted on Wednesday to confirm Joe Goffman to serve as assistant administrator in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy, and former EPA health scientist, Matthew Davis said, “LCV is thrilled to congratulate Joe Goffman on his well-deserved and long-overdue confirmation to run EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Goffman’s expertise and experience with the EPA, the Clean Air Act, and the effects of air and climate pollution on our communities make him the ideal candidate to lead this office, which is crucial to delivering necessary regulatory actions to protect the environment and public health, as well as advancing environmental justice and climate action. We look forward to seeing the impact Goffman will have in this role, and we are excited to work alongside him and the EPA to implement the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act.”

LCV LEADS 110+ ORGANIZATIONS URGING CONGRESS TO VOTE AGAINST ANTI-ENVIRONMENT RIDERS: LCV and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) led 113 groups in sending a letter to congressional leaders and Members of Congress urging them to reject the inclusion of all anti-environmental poison pill policy riders in FY24 appropriations bills.

COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “Do not sacrifice the health and safety of our communities for the sake of catering to political extremism. Congress should allow these agencies to do the job they entrusted them with, to protect our environment, climate and communities.”

LCVVF UPS INVESTMENT IN NY-03 SPECIAL ELECTION: LCV Victory Fund has announced it will up its initial investment of $350,000 to $600,000 to support Tom Suozzi in the upcoming special election for New York’s Third Congressional District.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Deputy National Field Director Erin Phillips said, “Voters in New York, especially here in Queens and Nassau County, know how important this race is to tackle the environmental issues they care about. That’s why we are nearly doubling our investment. At door after door, people in the district continue to tell us they are worried about climate disasters like flooding and want a representative who won’t be a part of the chaos caused by MAGA Republicans.”


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

DUKE ENERGY PROPOSES REGRESSIVE ENERGY PLAN: Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, released an updated version of its Carolinas Resource Plan this week that includes significant investments in new gas-fired power generation and will raise customers’ bills. The plan details Duke’s energy portfolio projections in North and South Carolina for the next decade and will be reviewed by state regulators.

NCLCV TAKE: North Carolina LCV Clean Energy Campaigns Director Michelle (Meech) Carter said, “Duke has dragged its feet on reliable and renewable energy like solar and wind in favor of profits for its shareholders. This updated Carbon Plan is no exception. We will see a slower transition to wind, solar, and battery storage, while North Carolina ratepayers suffer more price increases.”

CONNECTICUT CLIMATE PROMISE MARCH: Hundreds of advocates marched to the Connecticut State Capitol Friday to demand state leaders take action to meet Connecticut’s climate pollution reduction goals and build a green economy. The Climate Promise march featured multiple speakers and made stops at the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the headquarters of New England’s largest energy company. Organizers, including Connecticut LCV, delivered a letter to the General Assembly outlining necessary climate actions ahead of the legislative session which begins next week, especially highlighting environmental racism and racial health disparities.

CTLCV TAKE: Connecticut LCV Climate Policy and Outreach Coordinator Julianna Larue said in a press release, “The Climate Justice March is a call from residents for Connecticut to honor its climate promise. It represents a collective demand for bold legislative action to fight climate change in the 2024 legislative session. We advocate for sustainable transportation solutions, clean energy, and environmental justice, reaffirming our commitment to a healthy and equitable future. In the fight against climate change, we must stand as advocates for both our planet and environmental justice. It is our duty to hold corporations and government officials accountable for the unequal burdens of environmental degradation on marginalized communities across our state.”

CALIFORNIA TRIBE PROPOSES NEW NATIONAL MONUMENT: The Fort Yuma Quechan Indian tribe of California called on President Biden to protect more than 390,000 acres of the Tribe’s homelands by establishing the Kw’tsán National Monument on Thursday.

TRIBAL TAKE: Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe President Jordan Joaquin said, “As original stewards of this land, we are asking President Biden to take action to protect this important and sacred landscape by designating it as the Kw’tsán National Monument. As others see the land as just land and dirt, we, the Quechan people, see the land in our DNA. We come from the air, the water, the land. It’s who we are, and protecting these lands preserves our past while safeguarding our future.”

OUR TAKE: From our X/Twitter, “BIG NEWS! The Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe just called on @POTUS to create the Kw’tsán National Monument and protect 390,000+ acres of their ancestral homelands in Imperial County, CA. Join us in calling on President Biden to #ProtectKwtsan ➡️ http://protectkwtsan.org/actnow.”

CHISPA NV FIGHTS BACK AGAINST RISING UTILITY COSTS: Chispa Nevada was featured in a news segment this week discussing rising rates from Southwest Gas, the largest distributor of natural gas in Nevada and Arizona. Southwest Gas has dramatically increased its rates in recent years, filing four rate increases in the last five years – more than the industry standard. The utility recently proposed another rate hike that would raise customers’ bills by $55-$100 per year.

CHISPA NV TAKE: Chispa Nevada Program Director Audrey Peral said, “One of the big factors that we’re up against is corporate greed. We know that that recent rate increase was the highest that Southwest Gas has ever proposed. And it’s really because they want to raise prices on Nevada customers to increase their revenue.”

CHISPA AZ LAUNCHES MONTHLY PODCAST: The first episode of Chispa Arizona’s new podcast, Sonoran Pulse, went live on Wednesday on X/Twitter. The monthly podcast covers happenings in the Arizona Legislature, both in Spanish and English, and explains ways community members can take action with Chispa AZ and its partners.


NEW ON THE POWER SOURCE BLOG AND SOCIALS:

ON THE BLOG: Wrapping up the first month of 2024, we published the January Top 5 blog, focused on LCV’s democracy-related work. Check out the blog for stories on our democracy-related victories at the local, state, and federal levels, and how these victories advance our climate action goals.

ON OUR SOCIALS: See the LNG announcement that has Sydney Sweeney swooning, the headline that made Regina George call out Fox News, the legacy of Black environmentalists, LCV Union’s new contract, and recently released videos on offshore wind, exclusively on LCV’s socials this week!


COMING UP:

FEBRUARY 4: Lead and Copper Rule public comment period closes.

FEBRUARY 8: Trump v. Anderson SCOTUS Oral Arguments.

FEBRUARY 21: Ohio v. EPA SCOTUS Oral Arguments.

MARCH 1: First government funding deadline.

MARCH 7: President Biden to deliver State of the Union Address

MARCH 8: Second government funding deadline.