“Folks, this is what climate change looks like. Only, it looks worse if we don’t do something now.”
–President Joe Biden addressing LCV’s members at its annual Capital Dinner, where Biden was endorsed jointly for the first time ever by four leading environmental and climate organizations.
“As voting rights come under assault across the country, it is only fitting that we elevate one of the country’s top voting rights experts to safeguard our democracy and preserve our fundamental rights as U.S. citizens.”
–Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking on Dale Ho’s recent confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“Like many other people who are pushed to the margins of society, LGBTQ+ people are disproportionately impacted by climate change. But on the flip side, I believe that the LGBTQ+ people have a lot to offer to the climate justice movement. We bring lived experience of developing resilience, dissolving boundaries, supporting each other, and pushing for chance.”
–Lalia Atalla, Senior Associate at the Rocky Mountain Institute, speaking on the connections between fighting for the LGBTQ+ community and climate justice this Pride Month.
FEDERAL CLEAN ENERGY PLAN MAKING TAX INCENTIVES MORE ACCESSIBLE: On Wednesday, the Treasury Department issued proposed guidance on elective pay and transferability mechanisms established under the Inflation Reduction Act that would help states, tribal and local governments, schools, non-profits like churches and community associations, and other eligible entities access clean energy tax credits. Making clean energy tax credits elective or direct pay would allow these entities to have new, more accessible tools through which to deploy clean energy projects, especially within communities that have not yet been able to access the benefits of the nation’s clean energy boom. This update, in conjunction with grants and loans, would multiply clean energy tax credits’ impact and help communities realize the promise of clean, affordable, and renewable energy. Read more about expanding the reach of clean energy tax credits through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda here.
LEADING ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE ORGANIZATIONS ENDORSE PRESIDENT BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS FOR REELECTION: On Wednesday at LCV’s 2023 Capital Dinner with its membership, four leading environmental and climate organizations — LCV Action Fund, NextGen PAC, NRDC Action Fund and the Sierra Club — endorsed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for reelection. This is the first time the four groups have ever jointly announced a presidential endorsement. President Biden accepted the endorsements in-person at the Capital Dinner joined by representatives of each organization. The Biden-Harris administration has done far more to address the climate crisis and environmental injustice than any administration in our nation’s history. Read more about the Biden-Harris administration’s achievements so far here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Since Day One, President Biden and Vice President Harris have cut through the division in Washington to prioritize and deliver transformational progress on climate, jobs, and justice, and have jump-started our transition to a more equitable clean energy future. We are so grateful for their leadership and are all-in to help reelect President Biden and Vice President Harris so they can finish the job.”
JUNETEENTH READING: This upcoming Monday is June 19th, or Juneteenth. A celebration of Black resilience, independence, and community, our country now officially commemorates Juneteenth as the day when the nation’s last enslaved people received the news of their long overdue emancipation. Today, Black people continue to fight for the rights of full citizenship, including leading the charge to break down barriers to voting. Read about Juneteenth, key moments in the history of Black voting rights, and how this fight is continuing at the state and federal level here.
SENATE CONFIRMS DALE HO: On Wednesday, the Senate voted to confirm Dale Ho to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Dale Ho is a supremely qualified judge who will work for the people, not special interests.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “Today’s long-awaited confirmation of Dale Ho is another critical step by President Biden and Senate Democrats to appoint a historic roster of personally and professionally diverse, highly qualified judges who work for the people, not special interests. Our environmental laws need judges who will enforce them and our courts need judges who believe in equal justice for all, not just the wealthy and powerful. Ho has a distinguished track record of fighting for a more fair and equitable democracy for all of our communities, especially those who are historically excluded. Now, the White House and Senate must continue their exceptional progress to fill every federal judicial vacancy.”
OPPOSING REPUBLICANS ATTACKING POPULAR COST-SAVING CLEAN ENERGY INCENTIVES: The markup of the inaccurately named Build It in America Act, H.R. 3938, in House Ways and Means shows just how tied MAGA House Republicans are to their fossil fuel allies.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy Matthew Davis said, “The ink wasn’t even dry on the deal to avoid a catastrophic debt default before MAGA House Republicans turned around and tried to go after the same popular, job-creating and cost-saving clean energy provisions they failed to cut. This time the move reveals even more of their true motivations as they attempt to enrich their fossil fuel allies and billionaires by cutting their taxes. The impact of this bill would be fewer jobs and higher energy costs for people in exchange for tax breaks for polluters. We will continue to hold House Republicans accountable for voting against their constituents‘ interests and the desires of the public to advance clean energy investments and reduce dependence on volatile, costly fossil fuels.”
STRENGTHENING PROPOSED CARBON POLLUTION STANDARDS FOR FOSSIL FUEL-FIRED POWER PLANTS: This week, David Shadburn, LCV senior government affairs advocate, testified in favor of strengthening carbon pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants. In his testimony to EPA, he recommended five ways to strengthen the rule: read them here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Government Affairs Advocates David Shadburn said, “ I commend EPA for proposing much-needed limits on climate pollution from power plants and encourage you to finalize limits that cut pollution faster and at a greater number of new and existing plants.”
LNG IS NOT A ‘CLEAN’ FUEL: EXPOSING THE MASSIVE CLIMATE IMPACTS OF FOSSIL FUEL GAS EXPORTS: This week, the future of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) was discussed in light of FERC’s authority and recent approvals of new LNG infrastructure at a hearing held by the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Read more about why LNG expansion would have devastating climate impacts in LCV’s latest memo here, which includes a letter sent last month by Senator Merkley, Representatives Huffman, Barragan, Grijalva, and 40 other members of Congress to the Council on Environmental Quality’s Chair Brenda Mallory opposing the continued expansion of LNG infrastructure and capacity.
CAMPAIGN ‘UNITED FOR DEMOCRACY’ LAUNCHES TO HIGHLIGHT THE SUPREME COURT: On Wednesday, over 100 organizations launched a campaign, “United for Democracy,” which will work to spotlight the impact that the United States Supreme Court has on our families, our communities, our freedoms, and our democracy in order to drive the urgency for Congress to act.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Judiciary and Democracy Director Doug Lindner said, “Speaking of the climate crisis, last year, these same right-wing justices made up a vague new principle so they could curtail EPA authority to fight climate change under the Clean Air Act. Next year, they’ll consider upending one of the most fundamental doctrines that allows the EPA and other agencies to make decisions based on science and expertise and laws passed by the people’s representatives instead of the ideological agendas of unaccountable judges. That one case is a threat not just to our environment, but to every issue that involves a federal regulatory agency—healthcare, labor, consumer protection, financial regulation, education, and so much more.”
NJ WILL KEEP UP THE FIGHT FOR CLEAN AIR, EVEN AFTER THE SMOKE CLEARS: With smoke from Canadian wildfires flooding New Jersey, the need to improve air quality has been top of mind for many residents. Executive Director of New Jersey LCV Ed Postonak hopes the attention climate policies are receiving will help make a case in New Jersey for reaching 100% clean energy by 2035, expanding the use of electric vehicles, and holding companies that pollute overburdened communities accountable.
NJ LCV TAKE: NJ LCV Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “Similarly after Hurricane Sandy, we talked a lot about what got us to the place where we could have a superstorm like that. What climate change looks like and how fossil fuels are leading to more intensive frequent storms. The extremes, right? Really wet, really dry, really hot, really cold, fires that are way off the charts, air quality like New Jersey has never seen.”
NJ LCV AND STATE LEGISLATORS GATHER AT STATE HOUSE TO CALL FOR SWIFT ACTION TO REACH NJ’S CLEAN ENERGY GOALS: NJ LCV joined other advocates this week to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would empower Governor Murphy’s recent executive order that puts the state on a path to 100% clean energy by 2035. Watch Ed Potosnak speak at the press conference here.
NJ LCV TAKE: NJ LCV Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “One of the provisions in the legislation refers to incinerators as qualifying for the definition of clean energy. The smoke today is a reminder that when you burn something, it’s not clean. And we don’t think that should fit in the definition of clean energy.”
CHISPA MARYLAND CONTINUES THE FIGHT FOR A #CLEANRIDE4KIDS: Chispa MD volunteer Lucia Islas joined fellow Chispa volunteers and staff to testify at Baltimore County’s Board of Education meeting, encouraging the county to move from polluting diesel buses to clean electric school buses. Check out their post here.
MICHIGAN TAKES ANOTHER STEP CLOSER TO 100% CLEAN ELECTRICITY: This week Michigan State House Democrats introduced a bill to transition the state to 100% clean ELECTRICITY by 2035. This mirrors a similar bill already introduced in the state Senate.
MI LCV TAKE: Michigan LCV Government Affairs Director Nick Occhipinti said, “We have a moment like never before here in Michigan to invest in our people, protect our air and water, create clean energy jobs, and join the fight to tackle climate change. Clean air, reliable energy, creating good-paying jobs and our clean economic future right here in Michigan — those are kitchen table issues. Michiganders across the state are demanding action on climate change. We stand with lawmakers in moving Michigan toward 100% clean energy.”
ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month
ALL OF JUNE: Immigrant Heritage Month
JUNE 19: Juneteenth
JUNE 22: Just Majority Bus Tour: 9am in front of the U.S. Supreme Court
JUNE 25: Route Zero Relay (Baltimore) – event will celebrate the federal investments in the drive to our zero emissions transportation future
JUNE 27-28: Route Zero Relay (D.C.) – event at EPA Headquarters to deliver tens of thousands of comments in support of strong cars and trucks standards to help drive us to a zero emissions transportation future