QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“In some cases, farmers needed to go over their permits to keep their crops alive. Nobody wants to have to pump as much as we did. We all understand rules and regulations are there for a reason. We all want to follow them. I truly believe we did the best we could with the tools we had and climate we were given.”
–Jake Wildman, president of the Irrigators Association of Minnesota, speaking about how Minnesota farmers pumped 6.5 billion more gallons of water than their permits allowed during a devastating drought that hit the area in 2021.
“The president has made addressing environmental injustice a priority. And rules like the revision of the ozone health standard will be an important test to see if the policies are going to match the rhetoric.”
–Paul Billings, National Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the American Lung Association, talking about the important health benefits of the “Good Neighbor Plan” that cracks down on smog-causing industrial facilities and the downwind smog that pollutes the air of neighboring communities.
“President Biden has promised to provide federal protection for Avi Kwa Ame by designating it as a national monument, news that elated tribes and conservationists across the Southern Nevada region. We cannot afford another day to pass without federal protection for Avi Kwa Ame and we look forward to working with President Biden, the Interior Department, and lawmakers in Nevada to see long-awaited action to designate the monument.”
– Executive Director of Indigenous Voices of Nevada Taylor Patterson. This week, Indigenous Voices of Nevada paid for trucks to be stationed outside the offices of Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen in Las Vegas as well as to circle Capitol Hill, the National Mall, and the White House, playing a video advocating for Avi Kwa Ame’s designation as a national monument.
HIGHLIGHTS IN INFLATION REDUCTION ACT IMPLEMENTATION:
NYLCV HOSTS INFLATION REDUCTION ACT TOWNHALL WITH REP. BOWMAN: The New York League of Conservation Voters hosted a town hall with Representative Jamaal Bowman this week to speak with the public about what the Inflation Reduction Act means for New York’s people, community, and climate. At the event, which was hosted at New Rochelle High School, Rep. Bowman and other speakers highlighted how the incentives made available by the Inflation Reduction Act will help people save money on their energy bills as we transition to clean, affordable energy. Click here to watch a recording of the event.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
BIDEN-HARRIS ADMIN’S CONOCOPHILLIPS’ WILLOW PROJECT IS DISAPPOINTING: The Biden-Harris administration made the disappointing final decision to allow ConocoPhillips’s Willow Project to move forward this week. The ConocoPhillips Willow Project will bring serious public health risks to Indigenous peoples living nearby and lock us into more fossil fuels for decades when we should be investing in a clean energy future.
OUR TAKE: Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “We are extremely disappointed that the Biden-Harris administration has decided to grant ConocoPhillips’ dirty and dangerous Willow Project permission to move forward. This is in direct conflict with the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, and it’s now all the more important they double down on executive action that maximizes climate and conservation progress. The new protections announced for the threatened Arctic are important, but they do not make up for Willow’s approval.”
EPA’S FIRST-EVER PROPOSED NATIONAL DRINKING WATER STANDARDS FOR PFAS: On Tuesday, the EPA proposed to establish the first-ever national drinking water standards for six PFAS, a major win for communities across the country.
OUR TAKE: Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “These first-ever national drinking water standards are a huge win for communities all across the country whose health has been jeopardized by toxic ‘forever chemicals.’ We commend the Biden-Harris administration for following the science that continues to link PFAS to health problems including certain cancers, thyroid disease, neurological development issues, weakened immune systems, and more. Chemical companies have known and hidden the risks that PFAS pose to our health and environment for decades, and we must ensure that the costs of these critical safeguards fall on them, not consumers, and that they are held accountable for the damage they have done. We urge the administration to quickly finalize these important drinking water protections and continue taking other actions, like imposing limits on additional PFAS, to protect our health from these dangerous chemicals.”
GOP DIRTY ENERGY BILL WILL RAISE COSTS, PERPETUATE CLIMATE CRISIS: House Republicans released their expensive, dirty energy package on Tuesday. The plan will lock our country into fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources for years to come.
OUR TAKE: Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “House Republicans are lying to their constituents to pad the pockets of their polluter friends at a time when Big Oil raked in more than $400 billion in profits last year. This destructive energy bill does not offer real solutions to high energy costs and would lock us into decades of dirty, volatile fossil fuels, perpetuate the climate crisis, and cut out communities from the process. With the Inflation Reduction Act on the books, our communities already have affordable, clean energy headed their way – this fossil fuel handout is the last thing our children and families need.
It is especially atrocious for Republicans to reward this package with its most coveted slot of ‘H.R. 1.’ Democrats have historically reserved the priority bill number for just, equitable legislation to improve peoples’ lives like the historic pro-democracy ‘For The People Act.’ The contrast between Democrats’ policies for the people and House Republicans’ policies for polluters could not be more stark.”
SECRETARY HAALAND PROTECTS ALASKA’S IZEMBEK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: On Tuesday, Secretary Haaland withdrew the Trump-era land exchange that threatened the vast wildlife and resources of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The previous administration planned to build a road through the Refuge, disrupting and destroying the tundra.
OUR TAKE: Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “We applaud Secretary Haaland for withdrawing the illegal, Trump-era land exchange that would have put at risk the lands, waters, and resources of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Izembek is one of America’s most ecologically significant Refuges, home to world-class wetlands that support millions of migrating birds, fish, and caribou. It should be protected for future generations.”
EPA’S FINAL ‘GOOD NEIGHBOR PLAN’: This week, the EPA released their final ‘Good Neighbor’ Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) that would require reductions in smog-forming, health-harming pollution at power plants and industrial facilities across 23 states.
OUR TAKE: Senior Director of Government Affairs and former EPA health scientist Matthew Davis said, “We’re thrilled to see Administrator Regan reverse detrimental Trump policy and deliver this important win for our children and families who deserve to breathe clean, healthy air. With the Good Neighbor rule in place, we can expect to see health benefits later this year and up to $15 billion in total public health benefits each year going forward, and prevention of over 1,000 premature deaths and at least one million asthma attacks per year by 2026. The final rule underscores the EPA’s important role as a federal backstop when states do not fulfill their responsibilities to protect communities from fossil fuel-burning power and industrial facilities. Paired with the administration’s historic affordable clean energy plan and continued executive action on climate, the Good Neighbor Plan is a critical part of advancing environmental justice for communities of color disproportionately exposed to fossil fuel pollution and our transition to a healthy clean energy future.”
IN OTHER NEWS: Check out LCV’s new website HERE!
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:
PHASING OUT GAS-POWERED CARS IN MD: This week, Maryland Governor Wes Moore made a historic step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by joining the California Zero-Emission Vehicles standard, which would phase out new gas-powered car sales by 2035 and is expected to go into effect in September after the Maryland Department of the Environment’s approval. Maryland LCV applauds Governor Moore and Secretary McIlwain for taking consequential and bold action to ensure Maryland is a national leader in fighting the impacts of climate change.
ALL OF MARCH: Women’s History Month