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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – JANUARY 26, 2024

Jan 26, 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:

“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.”

— President Joe Biden in his official statement announcing a pause on all liquefied methane gas export project approvals.

“This is a BFD — a BIG FOSSIL DEFEAT. Kudos @POTUS and @SecGranholm for awesome climate leadership!”

— Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV SVP of Government Affairs, in a tweet on the Biden administration’s announcement that they will delay the approval of new liquefied methane gas (LNG) export projects.

“It is not a coincidence that Big Oil supports politicians and judges who constantly try to stop climate action, who roll back protections for clean drinking water, and who are pushing the biggest wave of voter suppression since Jim Crow.”

Doug Lindner, LCV Senior Director of Judiciary and Democracy, at an event hosted by Declaration for American Democracy outside the White House marking the 14th anniversary of the terrible SCOTUS decision in Citizens United and urging the Biden administration to do more on democracy.

“This choice is clear: Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker. If our endorsements must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.”

Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), during a speech announcing the union’s endorsement of President Joe Biden for reelection in the November election.


HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORIC CLIMATE ACTION:

To date, no president has done more on climate action than President Biden. From the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to today’s decision to pause approvals in order to adequately consider whether LNG exports are in the public interest, Biden is following through on his commitment to slash climate pollution, speed cheap, renewable energy, and transition away from fossil fuels. Some climate action highlights from Biden’s presidency so far include:

  • Passing the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in climate and clean energy in history.
  • Launching the American Climate Corps.
  • Enacting a strategy to tackle methane emissions.
  • Protecting 26 million acres of waters and lands.
  • Advancing an environmental justice agenda, and
  • Pausing liquefied methane gas (LNG) exports in order to evaluate the climate, economic, and other impacts.

IN NATIONAL NEWS: 

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PAUSES LNG EXPANSION: This morning, the Biden-Harris administration announced it will be issuing a pause on considering permits for liquefied methane gas (LNG) export projects while the Department of Energy reevaluates the process through which it determines if those projects are in the public interest, citing the need to update how the Department considers impacts on our climate and costs for families and businesses.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “This is huge. The Biden-Harris administration’s decision to take a deeper look at all the impacts of LNG exports is a major step forward towards protecting our families, our communities, and our climate. This decision sends a clear signal that the administration is taking the global commitment reached in December to transition away from fossil fuels seriously. No president has done more on climate, from day one executive orders to the historic investments in the Inflation Reduction Act to today’s announcement, President Biden is slashing climate pollution, increasing affordable, renewable energy, and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

“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. Meanwhile Big Oil is willing to say and spend anything to pad their already record profits. Our future must be powered by clean energy, not the polluting, volatile and unreliable fossil fuels of the past.”

CHISPA TAKE: Chispa Texas Program Director Elida Castillo said, “We thank the Biden-Harris administration for listening to our communities experiencing the devastating impacts of massive oil and gas exports firsthand. This is a hopeful and critical step forward to prioritize people over polluters for our future generations and our communities along the Gulf coast. After record-breaking heat across the country last year, this major action is crucial to combat the climate crisis and environmental injustice, especially for our communities most harmed by toxic pollution from oil and gas extraction. For too long, Big Polluters have been allowed to export more fossil fuels year after year regardless of the cost to communities who are living with even more consequences from toxic pollution, consumers across the country already facing higher costs and unreliable energy sources, and more impacted communities by our reliance on fossil fuels. Despite what Big Oil wants us to believe, renewables are bringing down the energy costs for everyone. This is the path to a more sustainable and equitable clean energy future that stabilizes our economy and supports our domestic energy security.”

EPA RELEASES NEARLY $11 MILLION FOR WILDFIRE SMOKE PREPAREDNESS: This week, EPA announced nine grant applicants that will receive a total of $10.7 million for projects aimed at protecting and preparing communities in the West to deal with the effects of wildfire smoke. Smoke pollution from wildfires can cause a variety of health issues, including asthma attacks, heart problems, hospitalizations, and even death. The funding will provide communities, many already overburdened by pollution, the resources they need to provide critical public health protections from wildfire smoke in their public buildings.

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION MOVES FORWARD ON ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE: Last week, the Biden-Harris administration made significant progress in advancing its electric vehicle agenda. Treasury released guidance clarifying who qualifies for the electric vehicle charging infrastructure tax credit; the Department of Transportation announced over $150 million for upgrading and servicing publicly available EV chargers; and the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its first EV charging station in Georgia.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

LCV RELEASES 2023 CONSERVATION VOTERS MOVEMENT STATE DEMOCRACY REPORT: LCV has released a report detailing democracy wins from our state affiliates across the Conservation Voter Movement (CVM) in 2023, including advancing 54 pro-voter policies and blocking 84 anti-voter policies. Check out the full report for more!

NEW JERSEY AWARDS TWO NEW OFFSHORE WIND PROJECTS: On Wednesday, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded contracts to two new offshore wind projects, Leading Light Wind and Attentive Energy Two. Together, the two developments are expected to generate enough energy to power nearly 2 million homes and almost $7 billion in revenue for the state economy.

NEW JERSEY LCV TAKE: Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Ed Potosnak said, “The projects announced [Wednesday] don’t just demonstrate continued strong interest from the private sector in wind off the Jersey coast, they also represent a down payment in the fight against climate change and cleaning up our air, improving public health, and creating thousands of local union jobs that will strengthen New Jersey’s economy.”

NCLCV FOUNDATION LAUNCHES INFLATION REDUCTION ACT TOOLKIT: North Carolina LCV Foundation and partners launched Energy Funds for All, a resource guide to help residents of North Carolina and South Carolina understand and take advantage of federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act for clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The website includes regularly updated fact sheets and resources that break down what funding streams are available, what they can be used for, who qualifies, and how to apply, and are tailored for different types of applicants.

NCLCV TAKE: Michelle “Meech” Carter, toolkit co-creator and Clean Energy Campaigns Director for North Carolina LCV, said, “We want this toolkit to both provide information to folks in need and empower them to apply for funding their tax dollars have already paid for. So many people in our communities struggle with high energy bills and are vulnerable to natural disasters. This toolkit provides the information people need to learn more about these funds and opportunities to get help if they don’t know where to start.”

CTLCV EDUCATION FUND HOSTS 2024 ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMIT: Over 300 people attended Connecticut LCV Education Fund’s annual Environmental Summit, which featured Governor Ned Lamont as a speaker. The Summit highlighted environmental priorities for the state’s 2024 legislative session, which begins February 7. This included a strong call to action to adopt California’s vehicle emissions standards, a top priority of the governor’s administration.

GOVERNOR LAMONT TAKE: Speaking at the 2024 Environmental Summit, Connecticut governor Ned Lamont said, “This is no time to turn back now.I need your help to remind the legislature it’s worth doing. I remind everybody in this room: we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do… With your help, we’re going to get it done. I want you to hold our feet to the fire until we get it done.”


NEW ON THE POWER SOURCE BLOG AND SOCIALS:

ON THE BLOG: Check out this week’s edition of Good Climate News on the Power Source Blog!

ON OUR SOCIALS: News that made our socials this week: a huge announcement from the Biden administration on LNG, Big Oil’s very little commitments to clean energy (and their simultaneous plot to stall the clean energy transition), and National Run for Office Day.


COMING UP:

FEBRUARY 5: EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule public comment period closes.