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.
“Our friends and partners around the world — chief among them, the United States — are investing heavily to build clean economies and the net-zero industries of tomorrow.”
— Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Finance Minister, who presented the Canadian government’s response to the Biden-Harris administration’s affordable clean energy plan with a federal budget that offers billions of dollars of investments in Canada’s clean energy future.
“While Republicans continue to fight the energy battles of the past, Democrats delivered historic climate and clean energy wins last year with the Inflation Reduction Act. After making significant progress last year, we simply cannot go back. Fortunately, this bill stands no chance at ever becoming law.”
— Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member, speaking about H.R. 1 and how congressional Republicans made their dirty alliance with the fossil fuel industry clear by making the Polluters Over People Act their number one legislative priority.
“That entire school is surrounded by toxic sites and toxic contaminants […] The businesses that have been polluting in this community should be cleaning it up.”
— Phoenix Armenta, activist and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area commenting on the environmental hazards around McClymonds High School in West Oakland. Climate change is exacerbating the rise of toxic groundwater, which disproportionately affects the clean drinking water of predominantly Black communities in Oakland.
LCV AND COALITION MEMBERS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN SUPPORTING EV PRODUCTION AND EDUCATION: In April, LCV and coalition members are launching Route Zero, a nationwide campaign supporting investments in electric vehicles (EVs) across the country made possible by last year’s clean energy plan passed by Congress and President Biden. Just today, the Biden administration proposed guidance to help build out domestic EV manufacturing and battery supply chain and determine vehicles eligible for the EV tax credit – namely, definitions and minimum thresholds for domestic battery material inputs and components. Our public-facing campaign to highlight these and other actions, Route Zero, will also highlight how EVs mitigate pollution and are key to transitioning to the clean, affordable energy future people want. Read more about this campaign and other investments in electric vehicles here.
REPUBLICAN-LED HOUSE PASSES POLLUTERS OVER PEOPLE ACT: This week, the Republican-led House of Representatives made their priorities perfectly clear by passing a dirty energy package, over bipartisan opposition, that would worsen the climate crisis and keep us addicted to fossil fuels that harm the health of our communities and families, especially low wealth communities and communities of color who often live on the frontlines of pollution. Read LCV’s letter encouraging members of Congress to vote NO on H.R. 1 here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “House Republicans just passed their biggest legislative priority — a disgraceful package of bills that will raise costs, perpetuate the climate crisis, and worsen environmental injustice. Who wins in this bill? Big Oil CEOs that are already raking in sky high profits at our expense. The Polluters Over People Act would lock the country into harmful fossil fuel production for decades and allow destructive oil and gas pipelines to be built without critical community input. Despite Republicans’ misnomer for the legislation, the Polluters Over People Act will actually raise costs for consumers, including by ending popular, cost-saving clean energy rebates and investments, and it would raise the deficit to boot. Put simply, this package will enrich Big Oil CEOs at the expense of communities, especially communities of color, who are disproportionately exposed to health-harming toxic pollution.”
CHISPA’S TAKE: Senior Vice President of Community and Civic Engagement Sandra Pérez González said, “Chispa LCV condemns the passage of this destructive energy package that does not offer real solutions to high energy costs and would lock us into decades of dirty fossil fuels, perpetuate the climate crisis, and cut out our communities from the process. The last thing our communities need is more dirty and dangerous pollution in the air where we work, play, live, learn, and spend time with our families. The extreme MAGA Republican-controlled House is completely out of step with the vast majority of people in this country who support affordable, clean energy.”
LCV, HOUSE MAJORITY FORWARD LAUNCH SIX-FIGURE AD BUY AGAINST HOUSE MEMBERS WHO VOTED FOR POLLUTERS OVER PEOPLE ACT: Yesterday, LCV and House Majority Forward launched a six-figure ad campaign targeting seven House members in California and New York who voted for the Polluters Over People Act, which anti-environment Republican leadership designated H.R. 1. Watch the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “These members’ votes show they are beholden to extreme MAGA leadership in the House and their oil and gas donors; they are completely out of step with their California and New York constituents who clearly rejected a pro-pollution, pro-oil agenda. This harmful and backward-looking package of bills is a huge giveaway to polluters that locks us into new fossil fuel production that will exacerbate the climate crisis, increase costs, worsen environmental injustice, and increase toxic pollution that threatens our health.”
EPA REAFFIRMS ADVANCED CLEAN TRUCK STATES’ AUTHORITY: Today, the EPA reversed another anti-environmental Trump policy and restored waivers for California’s clean truck standards. These standards go beyond national clean truck protections and were first adopted in California but have now been passed in Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont – covering 20 percent of the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market.
OUR TAKE: LCV Climate and Clean Energy Advocate Darien Davis said, “We are happy to see Administrator Regan make this crucial decision to allow states to further protect public health and tackle climate pollution from trucks. We know diesel tailpipe emissions are a major source of upper respiratory disease, asthma, and cancer and transportation is the nation’s largest source of climate pollution. State leaders across the country are stepping up to protect their communities. This decision reaffirms their rights to use the tools they need to save lives and fight the climate crisis.”
CHISPA LCV TAKE: Senior Vice President of Community & Civic Engagement Sandra Peréz González said, “This is a victory for communities across the country who want to breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives. States like California have led the way to reduce dangerous diesel pollution. There is much more work to do to ensure every community breathes clean air but this ruling allows state and local elected officials the opportunity to step up and lead.”
SENATE PASSES ANTI-CLEAN WATER CRA: The Senate passed a Congressional Review Act joint resolution that would block the Biden-Harris administration’s Clean Water Restoration Rule, a.k.a. the Waters of the United States rule. While we expect President Biden to veto the bill, this vote nonetheless puts big polluter profits ahead of the health of our families and communities.
OUR TAKE: Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “This dangerous legislation would severely weaken the Clean Water Act by revoking important protections for critical waters and allowing unregulated pollution and destruction of everything from small streams to rivers to wetlands. Since the Act’s passage over 50 years ago, polluters and their allies in Congress have tried to roll back the important safeguards it provides, but polling continues to show that voters want Congress to do more, not less, to protect the waters our families, communities, and economy depend on. We look forward to President Biden’s veto of this harmful legislation and urge Congress to work to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, zip code, or income, has access to clean, safe water.”
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UNVEILS NEW PUBLIC LANDS RULE: BLM’s Public Lands Rule proposes new protective measures, tools to promote climate resiliency, and restoration leasing options for public lands, strengthening its commitment to conservation efforts.
OUR TAKE: Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “In the face of the climate crisis, it’s more important now than ever to make sure our public lands are part of the climate solution. We applaud the Bureau of Land Management’s Public Lands Rule, which would rebalance the management of our public lands, and urge the BLM to continue partnering with Tribal nations and use its administrative tools to protect our land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources.”
LCV JOINS DECLARATION FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY TO DISCUSS BUILDING A BETTER DEMOCRACY FOR ALL: Ahead of the White House Summit for Democracy this week, Declaration for American Democracy held a panel discussion with LCV, Common Cause, CREW, Stand Up America and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to discuss national and state Democracy priorities. State Democracy Policy Director Amanda Gnaedinger represented LCV in the conversation. You can watch a recording of the panel here.
MD GOVERNOR WES MOORE ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS IN OFFSHORE WIND: At the Business Network for Offshore Wind International Partnering Forum, Maryland governor Wes Moore announced a goal to develop 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind – quadrupling the state’s existing goal. This target is at the center of the Promotion of Offshore Wind Energy Resource (POWER) Act which is currently being considered in the state legislature and is a priority of Maryland LCV. The bill includes comprehensive solutions for offshore wind, from generation to transmission to procurement, and would help Maryland get on track to reaching Governor Moore’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035.
MDLCV TAKE: Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble said, “Offshore wind represents one of the most reliable renewable energy sources we have in Maryland. To reach 100 percent clean energy by 2035 and to successfully implement the Climate Solutions Now Act, the state’s landmark climate legislation, Maryland will need to bring more wind online as part of our energy mix… Maryland LCV applauds Gov. Moore’s leadership on offshore wind and his consistent support for positioning the state as a national leader in clean energy solutions. We urge the Maryland General Assembly to pass the POWER Act to help Maryland meet its climate goals.”
WARRIORS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: CHISPA’S COMMUNITY OF WOMEN: As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we’re spotlighting two incredible volunteers from Chispa Arizona’s team: Guadalupe and 12 year-old Yaritze. Both activists are fighting for clean air for their community in Phoenix, Arizona. Read Guadalupe’s story and watch a video of Yaritze in English here and Spanish here.
ACTIVIST TAKE: Chispa Arizona volunteer Guadalupe said, “Unity is strength. Only together can we achieve great change. I know that there is a desire out there to improve, but nothing happens on its own. We have to act, inform ourselves, lose our fear, and fight alongside our legislators so that our laws reflect our desires. I ask that you join in and be a part of the change, first in yourselves, in your homes, and then in your communities and with us – whether that’s with Chispa or with any organization that reflects your thinking. Go out and act and make your voice heard. Make your vote count!”
ACTIVIST TAKE 2: 8 year old activist Yaritze said, “ It felt good [to stand up for my community] because I care about my community… My father told me a story that some nights when he would wake up, he couldn’t breathe sometimes. And that made me scared for people out there that do have asthma, that cannot breathe sometimes. I care about Mother Earth, I care about Mother Nature, I care about people. And I care that people stop air pollution.”
NCLCV SPEAKS ON REHEARING OF GERRYMANDERING CASE: North Carolina’s Supreme Court is rehearing Harper v. Hall, a decision that deemed gerrymandering against the state constitution and upheld fair redistricting and election integrity by striking down a GOP-drawn partisan map initially approved last year.
NCLCV’S TAKE: North Carolina LCV Executive Director Carrie Clark said, “Our belief throughout this process is that every voter has the right to cast a ballot for the environment in free and fair elections and have their voice heard. The North Carolina Supreme Court originally ruled that the legislature had violated our state constitution and that the gerrymanders must be replaced. We don’t believe anything in our state constitution has changed and hope the current Supreme Court doesn’t take an unprecedented step of overturning its prior decision. Our constitution and laws spell out judicial oversight of redistricting, which ensures free and fair elections. Ultimately, this is how lawmakers are held accountable and how our organization stands up for clean air and water for the people of North Carolina.”
GEORGIA CONSERVATION VOTERS CELEBRATES LATE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LEADER REP. NAGHISE: At the Environmental Justice Day last Tuesday, Georgia Conservation Voters (GCV) and partners posthumously awarded Georgia State Representative and former member of the GCV Education Fund team Tish Naghise the Environmental Justice Vanguard award. LCV and GCV celebrate the life of Representative Tish Naghise and mourn her passing earlier this month. Read GCV’s statement here.
GCV TAKE: Georgia Conservation Voters Executive Director Brionte McCorkle said, “Tish was a passionate and dedicated community organizer and leader. I admired her strength and resilience in the face of life’s challenges and feel I still had so much more to learn from her. It was an honor to work with her as she took on the role of State Representative. I will miss her and am deeply grateful for the time I did have with her.”
PROTEGETE COLORADO HOLDS 17TH ANNUAL LATINO/A ADVOCACY DAY: For the 17th year, the Latino/a Advocacy Day brought together people from across Colorado to Denver for a weekend of learning and advocacy around issues affecting Latino communities. Through the Colorado Latino Policy Agenda, Protégete and partners identified priorities and policy needs discussed at the event. Learn more about Latino/a Advocacy day here and see Protégete’s Instagram post about the event here.
CHISPA NEVADA CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMISSION: This Tuesday, Chispa Nevada leaders and other community members came together to speak out about the need for low-income and communities of color to have a say in environmental decision-making. Proposed state legislation, AB312, will create a Nevada Commission on Environmental Justice to ensure that environmental justice considerations are considered by state agencies and historically underserved communities have a voice in state policy.
APRIL 4: WI Supreme Court General Election and State Senate Special Election
APRIL 22: Earth Day