This Week In Climate Action


May 23, 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.


“Please keep in mind, the most powerful climate change solution is the one you already have in the palm of your hands: the right to vote.”

Steve MacLaughlin, NBC6 meteorologist, on extreme weather in Florida and Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to strip references to climate change from state legislation.

“With the IRA support and continued implementation of the climate smart technical support and capacity building addressing the volatile aspects of farming, cost of equipment, growing practices and soil development, the next generation has a better future and opportunities at sustainability.”

Denise Jamerson, farmer at the Legacy Taste of the Garden, on protecting climate-smart conservation in the Farm Bill.

“Such an obvious policies-for-money transaction reeks of cronyism and corruption.”

Senate Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a letter to nine Big Oil company executives


SECRETARY HAALAND VISITS PROPOSED CHUCKWALLA NATIONAL MONUMENT: On Monday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland visited the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument to meet with federal, state, Tribal, and local officials, as well as community members to discuss the national monument proposal. The land of the proposed monument is of immense cultural and spiritual significance to several local Tribal nations.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “Secretary Haaland’s visit builds on the efforts of Tribal and local leaders who have advocated tirelessly for protections for the cultural, ecological, and recreational resources in the California desert. The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument is a great example of how we can best advance our shared conservation and clean energy goals. LCV appreciates Secretary Haaland’s leadership and dedication to protecting these resources, and applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to locally-led conservation and clean energy. President Biden has protected more than 41 million acres to date, which puts him on track to conserve more lands and waters than any President in history. We urge President Biden to build on his already-historic conservation legacy by swiftly protecting this landscape as Chuckwalla National Monument.”

ENVIROVOTERS TAKE: California Environmental Voters Political and Organizing Director Mike Young said, “The California desert is one of our state’s vibrant treasures and is home to a wide range of unique plants and wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It’s undeniable that protecting these lands can maximize the desert sector’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions. The proposed expansion is an opportunity to enhance the resources dedicated to preserving this irreplaceable wildspace, aligning with President Biden’s ambitious goal to conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030. We thank Secretary Haaland and the Biden Administration for their visit and interest in hearing from Tribal and local communities on the importance of Chuckwalla. We’re eager for President Biden to protect this space where Californians come to relax, explore, and celebrate their cultural history.”

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ENDS NEW FEDERAL COAL LEASING IN POWDER RIVER BASIN: The Biden-Harris administration has decided to end new coal leasing on federal land in Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, a region which currently produces 40% of American coal.

While the decision will have little impact on production or emissions in the short term, it is one step closer to ending coal production on public lands in the Powder River Basin and reducing emissions from burning coal in the future. Over time, the climate implications of the decision to end new federal coal leasing in this region could be significant, as about half of all energy related emissions on federal lands in recent years have come from burning coal.


HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE CONVENES ON 2024 FARM BILL: The House Committee on Agriculture marked up Chair G.T. Thompson’s Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024.

OUR TAKE: Ahead of the vote, LCV Healthy Communities Program Director, Madeleine Foote said, “Chair Thompson’s proposed 2024 Farm Bill would strip critical ‘climate guardrails’ from the Inflation Reduction Act’s investments in USDA conservation programs. These requirements benefit farmers, ensuring those who want to employ climate-smart agricultural practices are prioritized in funding decisions and that the investments go towards practices that reduce pollution, improve soil health, and increase the resiliency and sustainability of our farms. By wasting time on a bill that has no chance of becoming law, extreme MAGA Republicans in the House have proven once again that they are not serious about protecting our farmers, communities, and environment. We urge all House Agriculture Committee members to oppose this legislation and for Chair Thompson and his counterparts in the Senate to come back to the table to advance a bipartisan Farm Bill that works for farmers, our climate, and our families now and for generations to come.”

LCV also joined 12 environmental groups in sending a letter to members of the House Committee on Agriculture urging them to reject the bill.

TAKE 2: From the letter: “Removing the critical climate guardrails from the IRA’s conservation provisions undermines American agricultural producers’ significant contributions to solving the climate crisis.  We urge members of the House Agriculture Committee to oppose this legislation because it fails to stand up for farmers, ranchers, and foresters who are doing their part to stabilize our climate and our food supply.”

SENATE PASSES BILL REPEALING GAS FURNACE EFFICIENCY STANDARDS: The Senate narrowly passed S.J. Res. 58, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to undo the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) final, money-saving rule on gas furnace efficiency standards and block any future rules setting energy efficiency standards for household gas furnaces. The Biden-Harris administration said in a statement that they would veto the CRA.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy and former EPA scientist Matthew Davis said, “Extreme MAGA Republicans have routinely prioritized the wants of Big Polluters over the needs of families across the country. Today’s vote to repeal efficiency standards for gas furnaces that will save families hundreds of dollars on their energy bills, is yet another example of extreme MAGA Republicans valuing polluter profits over people and the planet. While Congressional Republicans are actively working against the best interests of our families, communities, and climate, the Biden-Harris administration has consistently shown its commitment to lowering energy costs, creating good jobs, and building a clean energy future for us all.”

LCV also sent a letter to the Senate early this week urging Senators to reject the bill.

TAKE 2: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Despite federal law requiring that the DOE periodically review efficiency standards for appliances like furnaces, the new furnace efficiency standard is the first meaningful increase since Congress established them in 1987. Under a court-approved settlement, DOE was required to finalize a new furnace standard by 2016 but did not do so until now. This rule is long overdue and will save households money while cutting pollution and safeguarding our climate.

We urge you to REJECT S.J. Res. 58, the resolution disapproving of DOE’s final rule on residential gas furnace efficiency standards.”

LCV URGES SENATE TO OPPOSE SEC CRA: LCV sent a letter to Senators urging them to oppose S.J. Res. 72, disapproving of SEC’s final climate risk disclosure rule. The vote on that rule has been delayed until June.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “The SEC requires publicly traded companies to make all manner of disclosures about financial risks as part of its mission to protect investors and ensure fair markets. The climate risk disclosure rule does just that and is well within the agency’s authority; it is a basic step to ensure that investors understand the climate risks posed to and by the company so that people can make the best financial decisions while saving for their retirements. In fact, 99% of institutional investors who submitted comments on the rule supported requiring disclosures of greenhouse gas emissions from company-owned and purchased resources, and 95% supported requiring disclosure of emissions reduction targets and goals.”

TRUMP FUNDRAISES WITH BIG OIL (AGAIN): Donald Trump met with Big Oil executives on Wednesday to fundraise for his campaign.

LCV VICTORY FUND TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Donald Trump is telling us who he is, again. He is enthusiastically bartering away the progress Joe Biden has made creating clean energy jobs, lowering costs and protecting the planet for future generations in exchange for campaign cash from Big Oil. He has already asked oil executives for a billion dollars for his campaign, we can only assume this week’s meeting is to haggle over exactly what they will get in return.  Lawyers for oil executives have started drafting executive orders for Trump to sign if elected to roll back the monumental strides Joe Biden has made on building a clean energy future. Two things are clear, the oil and gas industry will do everything in their power to roll back the historic climate progress made by Joe Biden to build the clean energy economy and finally hold polluters like Big Oil accountable; and Trump will always put Big Polluters and Big Oil ahead protecting our families, our communities and our planet.”

LCVAF ENDORSED CANDIDATES WIN PRIMARY ELECTIONS: LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates in Georgia, Oregon, and Kentucky emerged victorious in their respective primary elections.

TAKE 1: On the Georgia primary, LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Congratulations to Representatives Nikema Williams and Lucy McBath, who have worked tirelessly to hold Big Polluters accountable and to protect our communities, our planet, and our democracy. They have both been incredible champions for climate action, environmental justice, voting rights and so much more, and LCV Action Fund is thrilled to support them and other candidates who will fight for a clean energy future and a stronger, more equitable democracy for all.”

TAKE 2: On the Oregon primary, LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Congratulations to Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas on their victories in Oregon. These climate champions are committed to a clean energy future and more resilient infrastructure while creating good paying jobs, and tackling the climate crisis and environmental injustice. LCV Action Fund is all-in to support them and other candidates who will fight for our communities, clean air and water, and our future generations.”

TAKE 3: On the Kentucky primary, LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “LCV Action Fund congratulates Representative Morgan McGarvey on his victory tonight!” said LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “Representative McGarvey has spent his career in public service fighting for communities and to address the climate crisis and increasing extreme weather across Kentucky and the country. We’re thrilled to support Representative McGarvey to continue fighting for climate justice and a clean energy future.”

View a full list of all LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates here.

SENATE DEMOCRATS CELEBRATE 200th JUDGE CONFIRMED DURING BIDEN ADMINISTRATION: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), other senators, and civil rights leaders celebrated the 200th lifetime judicial confirmation under the Biden Administration. Watch the full press conference here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “The confirmation of President Biden’s 200th lifetime judicial appointee is a major milestone in building a judiciary that works for the people, not just big polluters and special interests. President Biden and Democratic Senators have done an incredible job picking judges that look like America and have demonstrated commitment to the public interest. These appointees include more women, more people of color, and more public-interest lawyers than those of any prior administration. LCV is proud to join Chair Durbin, Leader Schumer, and so many other champions for fair courts as we celebrate this historic achievement and redouble our efforts to fill every vacancy on the federal bench with qualified, ethical, personally and professionally diverse judges appointed by President Biden.”

SCOTUS UPHOLDS SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL GERRYMANDER: In a 6-3 decision on party lines, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the gerrymandered South Carolina congressional map in Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy. It is the right that protects all other rights, including the right to clean air, clean water, and a sustainable future. It includes the right to equal representation free from political manipulation. But today, the extremist MAGA Justices who dominate our Supreme Court have once again twisted the law to harm voters of color and roll back the right to equal representation.

Over the past decade, these Justices have gutted the Voting Rights Act and ruled that the Constitution does not protect the people from partisan gerrymandering. Now, this partisan majority of Justices uses the partisanship of South Carolina’s gerrymander as a shield to protect its racism. And they do so at a time when there are widespread and real concerns about the ethics of these extreme Justices, including the appearance of support by certain Justices for the January 6 insurrection. We cannot continue this way. We need Congress to protect and expand the fundamental right to vote by passing the Freedom to Vote Act, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Washington, DC Admission Act, and the Judiciary Act to expand and rebalance this captured and corrupted Supreme Court.”


ON THE BLOG: Meet Mary Anne Mushatt, an LCV Candidate Academy alumna, who last year ran as a Democratic challenger in a conservative district.

ON OUR SOCIALS: We’re doubling down on Supreme Court ethics, Republican accountability (here and here), and Donald Trump’s big deal with Big Oil, but also finding a lot to celebrate, including President Biden’s 200th confirmed judge and the 10 year anniversary of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument.


THIS MONTH: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

THIS MONTH: Jewish American Heritage Month.

MAY 27: Memorial Day.

JUNE 1: First day of Pride Month.

JUNE 19: Juneteenth