QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Mandating approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is a disturbing and profoundly disappointing addition to this bill. Condemning Appalachian communities to generations of pollution and pain is a legacy that no one should be forced to vote for.”
–Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona on the last minute addition of the Mountain Valley Pipeline approval to the debt limit deal
“The restoration of voting rights, while simple in what it will do, has profound impacts on the day to day lives of millions of people in this country. Restoring the right to vote means giving more power back to the people who have been systemically disenfranchised.”
– Eliot Clay from the Illinois Environmental Council on the organization’s fight to restore voting rights to individuals with a felony conviction.
“The cost of taking his anti-climate record to the national stage as president would be catastrophic.”
-Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice-President of Campaigns, in response to Ron DeSantis launching his campaign for president while saying he rejects the “politicization of the weather” and questions whether hurricanes hitting his home state of Florida have been worsened by climate change.
IMPLEMENTATION IS UNDERWAY: In a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, former director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, who served for the first two years of the Biden administration, explains how the Inflation Reduction Act is already improving the economy, spurring climate action, and bringing jobs across the country. Deese highlights how at least 31 new battery manufacturing projects are now underway, enough to support the manufacture of 10 million to 13 million electric vehicles per year, and investments in production of clean energy are at a scale that will power nearly 20 million homes. These investments are benefiting states all over the country, even Red states governed by extreme MAGA Republicans who oppose the Biden-Harris Administration’s affordable clean energy plan.
DEESE TAKE: Former Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said, “The investment appetite is defying geographic and political boundaries. From Oklahoma and Ohio to North Carolina and Nevada, new investment is breathing economic life into communities that have seen their economies decline. This is in part because the I.R.A. provides an explicit incentive to invest in places with contaminated industrial sites, communities with a significant economic reliance on traditional fossil fuel production or those with shuttered coal mines or coal-fired power plants.”
THE LATEST ON DELIVERING CLIMATE ACTION AND JOBS IN RED STATES: Oklahoma will now be home to a solar panel and cell factory, the largest economic development project in the state’s history and the latest example of the Inflation Reduction Act’s benefits to Red states and communities formerly or currently reliant on a fossil fueled economy. Read more here.
BIDEN, MCCARTHY STRIKE DEAL ON DEBT CEILING: Over the weekend, President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy came to a deal to avoid a catastrophic debt default caused by extreme MAGA Republicans holding our nation’s economy hostage while making outrageous demands. While this deal avoids or blunts the most extreme of MAGA Republicans’ agenda, like draconian funding cuts for environmental programs, undercutting long-standing environmental laws, and repealing the clean energy tax credits and other vitally important provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that have already created more than 140,000 jobs and saved people money, it still includes egregious provisions. Notable among those harmful provisions were rollbacks to future assessments of the environmental impact of fossil fuel and other major projects and the approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The pipeline will lock us into decades of climate pollution, threaten water quality, and jeopardize communities in West Virginia and Virginia, especially low-income, elderly, Indigenous, and Black communities that live near the pipeline’s path. LCV supported efforts to strike MVP from the bill, including with a letter sent to Congress signed by over 170 organizations in support of Senator Kaine’s amendment, which failed last night on a vote of 30-69. Read the full letter here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “It’s unconscionable that extreme MAGA Republicans have driven our nation to the brink of economic catastrophe while making outrageous demands, including draconian funding cuts for environmental programs, undercutting long-standing environmental laws, and repealing the clean energy tax credits and other vitally important provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that have already created more than 140,000 jobs and are saving people money.
While this deal avoids the most extreme Republican demands as they held our nation’s economy hostage, it includes harmful provisions. It is especially egregious to mandate approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which locks in decades of climate pollution, threatens water quality, and jeopardizes communities in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, especially low-income, elderly, Indigenous, and Black communities that live near the pipeline’s path. Other damaging provisions could exacerbate the siting of fossil fuel and other hazardous projects in communities of color and low-wealth communities and cut funding for vital environmental programs via destructive spending caps over the next two years.
LCV will continue to hold extreme MAGA Republicans accountable for manufacturing this crisis and voting to Default on America. We will work to ensure effective and equitable implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, minimize the negative consequences of amending the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and secure the strongest possible funding for environmental programs through the appropriations process.”
SECRETARY HAALAND FINALIZES PROTECTIONS FOR CHACO REGION: Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Biden-Harris administration have finalized protections for the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the public lands surrounding it. The new public land order withdraws public lands within a 10-mile radius of the park from new oil and gas drilling and mining claims for the next 20 years.
The Greater Chaco region holds enormous historical and cultural significance for Pueblo and Tribal Nations, who have been fighting for these protections for decades and were consulted extensively on the land order.
OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “LCV joins tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples and many others in celebrating Secretary Haaland and the Biden-Harris administration’s decision to protect the lands and cultural resources in the Greater Chaco Region from new oil and gas drilling. The Chaco region is home to current and historical tribal communities, countless sacred sites, and spectacular wildlife and ecological resources. This withdrawal is a critical first step in supporting Indigenous and locally-led efforts to permanently protect the greater Chaco landscape for generations to come.”
CVMN TAKE: CVNM Board Director and member of the Pueblo of Acoma Theresa Pasqual said, “There are many reasons to be thankful to Secretary Haaland for the moratorium on new drilling in the Greater Chaco region. It acknowledges the reality that there hasn’t been a new lease in the area in a decade, and it will begin to lessen the health impacts on the people forced to breathe toxic air and the damage to the environment that we all depend on. But most importantly, the moratorium is the beginning of a larger conversation on the conservation and restoration of a cultural landscape that puts the living essence of Chaco and its descendants at its heart.”
HAALAND TAKE: Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said, “Efforts to protect the Chaco landscape have been ongoing for decades, as Tribal communities have raised concerns about the impacts that new development would have on areas of deep cultural connection. Today marks an important step in fulfilling President Biden’s commitments to Indian Country by protecting Chaco Canyon, a sacred place that holds deep meaning for the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors have called this place home since time immemorial. I value and appreciate the many Tribal leaders, elected officials, and stakeholders who have persisted in their work to conserve this special area.”
IL MUST TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT CLEAN, HEALTHY WATERWAYS AFTER DEVASTATING SACKETT V. EPA SUPREME COURT DECISION: Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jennifer Walling wrote a recent op-ed urging Governor J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois legislature to act immediately to protect the state’s wetlands following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Sackett v. EPA case that rolled back decades of federal protections under the Clean Water Act. Read Walling’s piece here.
IEC TAKE: Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling said, “Illinois must act quickly to claim statewide authority to protect isolated wetlands and mitigate impacts to them. The federal government can help by resourcing state governments to regulate and protect wetlands. The governor should consider executive orders that can protect as many Illinois wetlands as possible; the Illinois Department of Natural Resources should introduce protective rules and chase down any funding source possible; and finally, the Illinois Legislature, as soon as possible, should pass legislation that maintains the former federal level of wetlands protection. Pritzker is a leader on climate solutions. By protecting wetlands, Illinois has an opportunity to wisely expand our approach to confronting the climate crisis by embracing nature-based climate solutions.”
MINNESOTA LEADS NATION WITH BOLD CLIMATE ACTION: Last week, Minnesota wrapped up a strong legislative session that positioned the state firmly as a national leader in climate action. This year, state lawmakers passed more than 40 climate initiatives that have direct transformational impacts on Minnesotans. The state’s historic climate action plan will reduce fossil fuel emissions and help protect Minnesota from the impact of climate change for decades to come, while also providing funding to help workers acquire new skills through apprenticeship programs for good paying, clean energy jobs.
GOV WALZ TAKE: Minnesota governor Tim Walz tweeted, “I ran for Governor with a promise to take bold, decisive action to combat climate change – and this year, I signed over 40 climate initiatives into law. We’re reducing greenhouse gasses and preparing Minnesota communities for the impacts of climate change for decades to come.”
CHISPA ARIZONA ORGANIZES COMMUNITY TO PROTECT WETLANDS: Chispa Arizona and community leaders continue their efforts to protect and conserve the natural areas around the Salt River in Phoenix by doing monthly community clean-ups in the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. Through this work, Chispa AZ is helping restore the native wetland and riparian habitats of the historic Rio Salado, which once flowed year-round through Phoenix. Check out Chispa AZ’s post about the clean up here!
CHISPA MARYLAND IS SHAPING THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW: Last week, Chispa Maryland began its new training program to educate volunteers to become leaders in their communities and enact social and environmental change in Baltimore. Through this program, Chispa MD continues to build their base and educate the Latinx community in Maryland as they take action for environmental justice. Check out a glimpse of future community leaders here!
ALL OF JUNE: Pride Month
ALL OF JUNE: Immigrant Heritage Month
JUNE 19: Juneteenth