Join LCV for our annual Capital Dinner on March 20th in Washington, DC Register Now

This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – JANUARY 12, 2024

Jan 12, 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:

“If House Republicans bend to the insatiable whims and demands of their hard right flank, if they corrode the appropriations process with poison pills and extremist policy proposals, then they will be responsible for moving us closer to a shutdown.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the ongoing government funding fight in Congress and the looming shutdown deadlines on January 19th and February 2nd.

“We’re already moving in the wrong direction on fossil fuels. They want to push us further.”

Timmons Roberts, professor of environment and sociology at Brown University, on a newly-launched ad campaign from the American oil lobby promoting the use of fossil fuels.

“As the mother of an asthmatic child, I know how the black smoke of diesel pollution contaminates the air our children breathe and worsens conditions like asthma.”

Areli Sanchez, promotor with Chispa Nevada, on the EPA’s announcement that it will provide nearly $1 billion for school districts across the country to transition away from toxic, diesel school buses.


HIGHLIGHTS IN INFLATION REDUCTION ACT IMPLEMENTATION:

EPA AWARDS NEARLY $1 BILLION FOR TRANSITION TO CLEAN SCHOOL BUSES: The EPA announced nearly $1 billion in grants for the Clean School Bus Program under the IRA, which aims to replace toxic, diesel school buses with cleaner alternatives. This latest round of funding will impact nearly 7 million students in 37 states.

OUR TAKE: LCV Government Affairs Advocate for Climate & Clean Energy Darien Davis said, “The Biden-Harris administration is continuing to deliver on historic investments towards a clean energy future with more clean buses that will help address environmental injustice in the communities of color and communities with low wealth, and increase good paying union jobs in our country. These investments will ensure that 7.5 million students across the country will have a clean ride to school. As the EPA continues to fund electric buses for our youth and communities to breathe cleaner air, we must ensure these benefits are prioritized to reach the communities of color and communities with low wealth that are most impacted by toxic air pollution.”

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Director Estefany Carrasco-Gonzalez said, “Communities of color and low-income communities across the country experience higher rates of respiratory and other illness due to exposure to dirty air. This latest announcement from EPA is a great step toward ensuring cleaner, safer, healthier air for all communities, particularly for our children in historically excluded communities who are more than twice as likely to have respiratory diseases like asthma than children living in higher income areas, by helping these communities to replace toxic, diesel school buses with cleaner, electric models. Already, the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program has doubled the number of electric school buses in the country, and we are excited to continue to work with EPA to further an equitable and just transition to electric school buses.”

MLCV TAKE: Maryland LCV Deputy Executive Director Ramon Palencia-Calvo said, “We are excited to see [Montgomery County Public Schools] has been given the resources to transition to a cleaner, healthier future for our students. Electric school buses are not only environmentally responsible, but they also protect our children and our families from the harmful effects of diesel emissions, which are linked to asthma and other health issues.”


IN NATIONAL NEWS: 

BIDEN CAMPAIGN SPEECH MARKS THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION: On Friday, one day before the third anniversary of the violent insurrection led by Donald Trump and his allies on January 6, 2021, President Biden gave a speech remembering the events of that day and asking supporters to defend democracy in the upcoming elections.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Director of Judiciary and Democracy Doug Lindner said, “We couldn’t agree more with President Biden that our democracy is on the ballot. Three years after MAGA insurrectionists tried to violently overthrow our democracy, we must meet the urgency of the moment and protect our freedoms by electing pro-democracy, pro-environment candidates up and down the ballot. Our elections are threatened not only by voter suppression, but also political violence, voter and election worker intimidation, extremist politicians and judges, and the spread of harmful disinformation about the integrity of our elections. We must elect leaders committed to passing strong voting rights legislation, confirming judges who will enforce it, and protecting our right to a free, fair, equitable, and just democracy for all, especially those who are historically excluded from the electoral process in communities of color and communities with low wealth.”

HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS CRA THAT UNDERMINES U.S. MANUFACTURING AND EV INFRASTRUCTURE: On Thursday, Republicans in the House voted to pass S.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to eliminate the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) temporary, targeted waiver of Buy America requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy Matthew Davis said, “Extreme MAGA Republicans have once again forced a harmful vote that would undermine investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and eliminate the commonsense and narrow Buy America waiver for EV charging equipment. Despite forward momentum on federal and private investments that will create good paying, clean energy, union jobs across the country, Congressional Republicans backed by Big Oil donors are making every effort to roll back a clean energy transportation future. Fortunately, President Biden has rightly pledged to veto this resolution. Congress must make every effort to combat the climate crisis and stop attacks on the beneficial investments of the affordable clean energy plan that President Biden and Congressional Democrats delivered last Congress.”

LCV also sent an opposition letter to Congress earlier this week urging representatives to vote “no” on the CRA.

TAKE 2: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “LCV urges you to vote NO on S.J. Res. 38, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to eliminate the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) temporary, targeted waiver of Buy America requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which would revert charging equipment to a broader, endless waiver. This resolution would undermine efforts to expand our nation’s EV charging network, while hurting U.S. manufacturing workers and communities.”

LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSES TOM SUOZZI IN UPCOMING NY-03 SPECIAL ELECTION: LCV Action Fund, along with New York LCV’s Federal Fund, NRDC Action Fund, and Sierra Club have announced their endorsement of former Congressman Tom Suozzi in the upcoming special election for New York’s third congressional district. Suozzi has earned an impressive 98% lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard.

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Thomas Suozzi has a proven track record fighting for the environment and for our communities during his time in Congress. New York is experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis first hand, from deadly heat waves to flooding to smoke from massive wildfires in the north, and New Yorkers deserve leaders who will put people over polluters and special interests. LCV Action Fund is proud to support Suozzi to fight for a more sustainable future for all.”

NYLCV TAKE: President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Federal Fund Julie Tighe said, “Whether it was orchestrating major cleanups of Superfund and brownfield sites as Mayor of Glen Cove, or investing in water quality and open spaces as Nassau County Executive, or securing federal funds for water infrastructure and the Long Island Sound as a congressman, Tom Suozzi has a long and successful track record of using public service to protect the environment. We were proud to name Tom Environmentalist of the Year in 2008 and we’re thrilled to endorse his candidacy for the NY-03 congressional seat in 2024.”

SUOZZI TAKE: Former Congressman Suozzi said, “I am grateful to the New York League of Conservation Voters Federal Fund, the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, the NRDC Action Fund, and the Sierra Club for recognizing my three decades-long commitment to preserve, protect and clean our air, land, and water. Just the other day, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, and on that day, I saw an eagle fly across the sky in my hometown of Glen Cove. The hard work of a lot of dedicated people can produce results!”

LCV VICTORY FUND ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN NY-03 SPECIAL ELECTION: On Wednesday, LCV Victory Fund announced an opening $350,000 investment in a canvass program that will knock on 32,000 doors in Flushing, Queens to mobilize and persuade voters in NY-03 to vote for Tom Suozzi in the upcoming special election. The program will also recruit mobilizers from the district to engage and turn out their friends and family to vote for Suozzi.

OUR TAKE: LCVVF Senior Vice President for Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “We’re excited to talk to the voters of Nassau and Queens about how Tom Suozzi has consistently fought for a cleaner, safer and thriving community. Voters are eager to move past the toxic environment in the House that George Santos contributed to, and another supporter of the MAGA agenda who won’t hold Big Oil and other polluters accountable is not going to cut it.

“Meanwhile, as a mayor, county executive, and Congressperson for the district, Tom Suozzi has a long history of investing in job-creating, cost-saving renewable energy to combat climate change, protecting clean water, and preserving open spaces. We’ll go door to door to tell the story about Tom Suozzi’s work for cleaner air and water, and the threat MAGA Republicans would pose.”

EPA PROPOSES WASTE EMISSIONS CHARGE RULE: Today, EPA announced its proposed rule to reduce methane and other toxic emissions from the oil and gas sector.

OUR TAKE: LCV Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “The Biden-Harris administration’s proposed Waste Emissions Charge rule is an important piece of the administration’s bold, multipronged approach to reducing toxic methane pollution and achieving the Inflation Reduction Act’s goals to address the climate crisis. After the hottest year on record where communities across the country suffered from the devastating impacts of extreme weather, it is more important than ever to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the damage they have caused to our climate, public health, and environment.

“This critical rule will not only reduce methane, a climate super pollutant, but also other toxic air pollutants that jeopardize the health of communities living on the front lines of oil and gas drilling, all in a way that is achievable for the industry. We urge EPA to quickly finalize a strong rule that reduces harmful methane pollution and helps protect all our communities from the impacts of climate change.”


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

RURAL UTAH PROJECT COMPLETES INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE BUILDINGS WITH ADDRESSES IN UTAH’S NAVAJO NATION: This week, Rural Utah Project completed a four-year effort aimed at providing all homes and businesses in Utah’s Navajo Nation with Google Plus Code addresses, which are used for buildings in areas with no street names or numbers. The addressing initiative began as a way to ensure voters were registered in the correct precinct and received a valid ballot for where they lived, and has a multitude of other benefits including shortened response time for emergency services, easier deliveries, and access to in-home health care, loans, social services, and satellite internet. Read more about the initiative in the Salt Lake Tribune or in this feature from their local public radio station.

RURAL UTAH PROJECT TAKE: Rural Utah Project’s addressing specialist Daylene Redhorse said, “When I found out that you couldn’t vote without a physical address, that got to me. We are Utahns, we are part of Utah. Now we have a say in our state. I got out there every day, and now my family, community and my friends’ voices are heard.”

WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF FAIR MAPS: The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps were unconstitutional and ordered new maps to be drawn ahead of the 2024 elections.

WCV TAKE: Wisconsin Conservation Voters Executive Director Kerry Schumann said, “We are excited about the opportunity this ruling presents to establish legislative districts that are fair and allow people to have a voice in a representative democracy.

“For more than a decade, Wisconsin has suffered under one of the most extreme gerrymanders in the country. Without accountability to their constituents, legislators have ignored issues that impact people’s everyday lives like clean air, clean water, and our freedom to vote. We are excited about the opportunity to see real change that will drastically affect communities around the state.”


NEW ON THE POWER SOURCE BLOG AND SOCIALS:

ON THE BLOG: This week, we published a deep-dive into the implications of the upcoming Supreme Court cases Relentless v. Department of Commerce and Loper Bright Inc. v. Raimondo, which are scheduled to be heard by the Court next week.

ON OUR SOCIALS: On our Instagram and Threads, find out what Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift were really gossiping about at this year’s Golden Globes.

And, as every state in the contiguous U.S. contends with hazardous weather alerts, LCV reminded audiences everything is, in fact, not fine an updated version a classic meme.


COMING UP:

JANUARY 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

JANUARY 15: Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus

JANUARY 16: Lead and Copper Rule public hearing

JANUARY 17: Join LCV and United for Democracy partners at 8:30am outside the Supreme Court for a rally to stop the MAGA justices’ RELENTLESS power grab. RSVP to attend!

JANUARY 17: SCOTUS hears oral arguments for Relentless, Inc. v. Dept. of Commerce.

JANUARY 18: Join LCV and Just Majority partners on zoom at 12pm for a digital round table on Relentless, Inc. v. Dept. of Commerce and the threat it poses to public-interest agencies like the EPA. RSVP to attend!

JANUARY 21: 14th anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision