This Week In Climate Action


May 3, 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.


“The EPA’s actions today are telling us that they heard our stories and are protecting workers.”

Wendy Hartley, whose son died from exposure to methylene chloride, on the EPA’s decision to restrict all consumer uses and most industrial and commercial uses of the toxic solvent.

“The President protecting these beautiful lands is a gift to future generations..”

Anthony Roberts, Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation on President Biden’s expansion of Berryessa Snow Mountains National Monument.

“We’re taking decisive action to catalyze America’s offshore wind industry and leverage American innovation to provide reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, all while addressing the climate crisis.”

— Secretary of the Department of the Interior Deb Haaland on the proposed offshore wind energy auctions off the coast of Oregon and in the Gulf of Maine.


BIDEN EXPANDS TWO NATIONAL MONUMENTS IN CALIFORNIA: On Thursday, President Biden expanded two national monuments: Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in Northern California and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in Southern California. Combined, the expansions will provide permanent protection for 120,000 acres of land that are culturally significant to tribal nations.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “The Biden-Harris administration has done more for conservation than any other first-term president in history. They have protected a historic 41 million acres and counting, and are continuing to deliver on community-led conservation with this latest expansion of San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountains National Monuments. With these expansions, the administration is increasing equitable access to the outdoors in one of the country’s most populated areas while protecting clean water sources, healthy ecosystems, and vital cultural resources in Southern California. Expanding Berryessa Snow Mountains National Monument to include Molok Luyuk also honors its cultural importance to the Yocha Dehe Wintun peoples, as well as other California Tribes, and conserves the region’s incredible biodiversity.

National monuments are a win-win to permanently protect our cultural and natural resources and advance equity in the outdoors. We join local partners and Tribal leaders in celebrating these expansions, and we look forward to supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to protect even more places worthy of national monument designation.”

CEV TAKE: California Environmental Voters CEO Mary Creasman said, “The expansion of our national monuments and protection of our public lands are key nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. These additions to the San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monuments include must-protect areas that provide communities with critical drinking water, create access to greenspaces for underserved communities, hold historical and cultural significance to California Tribes and Indigenous community leaders, and serve as wildlife corridors and habitats for imperiled animals and native plants. We thank President Biden for his leadership and urge him to look to additional places in California for national monument designation, so we can make more progress towards our 30×30 goals.”

Alongside this historic announcement, LCV is also launching a digital ad campaign to run throughout the DC metro area thanking the Biden-Harris Administration for this action. Ads will focus on the administration’s leadership to protect clean water, local tribal communities, and equitable access to nature for both the Berryessa Snow Mountain and San Gabriel Mountains monuments.

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $3 BILLION TO REPLACE LEAD PIPES: EPA announced it will invest $3 billion to help states identify and replace lead drinking water pipes. Communities of color and communities of low-wealth are disproportionately impacted by drinking water contaminated by lead pipes, which causes adverse health effects including damage to the brain, soft tissue, and organs.

OUR TAKE: LCV Healthy Communities Program Director Madeleine Foote said, “The Biden-Harris administration today took another important step in delivering on its historic clean water agenda by investing $3 billion to remove lead pipes in communities across the country. There is no safe level of lead in drinking water, and for too long, too many communities, especially low income communities and communities of color, have suffered the devastating public health and economic impacts of this dangerous pollutant. Everyone, regardless of where they live, should be able to turn on the tap and not have to worry if that water will harm their family. President Biden and his administration have made critical strides to make this goal a reality and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure all families and communities have access to clean, safe water.”

BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION RELEASES FINAL TAX CREDIT RULE: The Biden-Harris administration has released its final rule on the eligibility of electric vehicles for tax credits that lower the cost of new and used electric vehicles for qualifying U.S. consumers.

OUR TAKE: LCV Government Affairs Advocate Darien Davis said, “We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for continuing their historic action on climate and clean energy with finalized rules to use an interagency approach and make clean vehicles more accessible for all consumers across the country. These final rules will ensure consumers have a wide range of new and used clean cars to choose from, while saving consumers money and cutting tailpipe pollution in communities, especially historically excluded communities of color and communities of low wealth. Investments from the transformational and popular Inflation Reduction Act will help combat the climate crisis at the scale and pace science requires while putting our country on the path to a clean energy future.”

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ANNOUNCES TWO OFFSHORE WIND AUCTION PROPOSALS: On Tuesday, the Department of the Interior announced two offshore wind energy auction proposals off the Gulf of Maine and the coast of Oregon. The two projects have the combined potential to power over 6 million homes and create good-paying clean energy jobs.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Government Affairs Advocate David Shadburn said, “LCV applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to work in partnership with Tribes, local communities, and stakeholders to ensure the equitable deployment of offshore wind through the creation of community benefits and good-paying union jobs. Today’s announcements for Maine and Oregon demonstrate that the energy transition is a comprehensive reality that will move us away from fossil fuel reliance and towards a clean energy future, with the opportunity to benefit the residents of over 5 million homes and support displaced energy workers in the process.”

MCV TAKE: Maine Conservation Voters Climate and Clean Energy Director, and New England for Offshore Wind Maine State Lead, Lucy Hochschartner said, “After a winter of storm damage and record-breaking temperatures, this summer promises to be one focused on solutions. Today’s proposed sale notice from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is an exciting step toward a future of good jobs and clean energy using the biggest lever we have — offshore wind.”

OLCV: Oregon LCV Executive Director Lindsey Scholten said, “Local communities impacted most by the climate crisis must be centered as we build offshore wind off of Oregon’s coasts, especially Indigenous communities, communities of color, and communities with low wealth, and these announcements from the Biden-Harris administration are a step in the right direction. During the 2024 session, OLCV helped create and pass an Offshore Wind Roadmap, which will help our state develop a process for offshore wind in Oregon and engage stakeholders while putting us on the path towards a clean energy future. We look forward to these projects benefiting communities with clean energy jobs and lower energy costs.”

CEQ FINALIZES NEPA RULES: On Tuesday, the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) released their final updated rules for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of clean energy permitting, accounting for climate emissions and cumulative impacts of pollution, as well as engagement with affected communities.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy and former EPA scientist Matthew Davis said, “Finalizing these rules for NEPA is another major step from the Biden-Harris administration to include every community in their whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis and environmental injustice. We must ensure we’re building a more equitable and just clean energy future centering historically excluded communities, especially communities of color and communities with low wealth. LCV applauds the Biden-Harris administration for restoring common-sense protections in the NEPA process after they were gutted by former president Trump, and we look forward to coordinated federal project reviews providing greater transparency and meaningful engagement with communities to efficiently advance necessary clean energy projects and protect our health and environment for future generations.”

EPA BANS MOST USES OF METHYLENE CHLORIDE: The EPA has banned all consumer, and most commercial and industrial, uses of methylene chloride, a toxic solvent used in a variety of products including paint stripper, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants.

OUR TAKE: LCV Healthy Communities Program Director Madeleine Foote said, “The Biden-Harris administration is continuing to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the health of our families and workers by banning most uses of methylene chloride, a toxic chemical solvent that can cause liver damage, multiple types of cancers, and even death. No one should lose a loved one because they took on a home renovation project or were simply doing their job. Until now, our regulation of hazardous methylene chloride has fallen short, making this a reality for too many families. LCV commends the Biden-Harris administration for delivering on the promise of chemical policy reform and taking our country in a direction that protects public health, not the pocketbooks of the chemical industry.”


MAGA REPUBLICANS VOTE TO ROLL BACK ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS: Extreme MAGA Republicans in the House spent the week trying to roll back environmental safeguards and cater to their Big Polluter allies. On Tuesday, the House voted to pass H.R. 3397 which would block DOI’s new public lands conservation rule; H.R. 615, to limit wildlife-saving and health-protective regulations on lead in hunting and fishing gear; H.R. 764, to ban the gray wolf from being listed under the Endangered Species Act; and H.R. 3195 which would reverse protections for Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The bills are not likely to be considered by, or make it through, the Senate, and the administration has expressed opposition to all four.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “The Biden-Harris administration spent Earth Month building on their already-impressive environmental record with even more bold, historic action to tackle the climate crisis and environmental injustice, create jobs, lower energy costs, reduce pollution, and protect public lands. Extreme MAGA Republicans were back in session for less than a day before attempting to start rolling that progress back. These extreme bills are a gift to Big Polluters and would have devastating impacts on our country’s public lands and waters, and wildlife at the expense of the climate and our communities.”

On Wednesday, the House also passed H.R. 6285, reversing the Biden administration’s decision to ban oil and gas development in the Western Arctic.

TAKE 2: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “Extreme MAGA Republicans are continuing to put Big Polluters over people and attack progress to tackle the climate crisis, pollution, and environmental injustice. The Biden-Harris administration took historic action during Earth Month to continue delivering on the most ambitious conservation and clean energy agenda ever, including finalizing new protections for a record 13 million acres of the Western Arctic. We are disappointed but not surprised by extreme MAGA Republicans giving extreme handouts to Big Polluters with their relentless attempts to roll back the Biden-Harris administration’s historic progress to protect our communities, public lands, and clean air and water for future generations.”

Also on Wednesday, the House at least temporarily rejected H.R. 2925, which would permanently hand over public lands to mining companies for a nominal fee and without proof of available minerals, precluding all other uses, such as recreation, clean energy, and conservation. This is the first time in decades that a Motion to Recommit was approved in the House, technically sending the bill back to committee. Earlier in the week, LCV sent a letter to the House urging members to vote “no” on H.R. 6285, H.R. 3397, H.R. 3195, H.R. 2925, H.R. 764, and H.R. 615.

TAKE 3: From the letter, “LCV urges you to vote NO on a suite of bills and any related amendments which would undermine protections for public lands and wildlife by advancing the interests of polluters. If enacted, these extreme bills would roll back the progress the Biden-Harris administration has made to advance protections for our lands, waters, and wildlife at the expense of the climate and our communities.”

52 ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING: LCV co-led a coalition letter from over 50 public-interest organizations to the Hill urging appropriators to fully fund the President’s appropriations request for critical election systems in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget. President Biden has called for long-overdue funding for the nuts and bolts of our democracy, requesting a funding level of $5 billion over 10 years, including an allocation of $1.625 billion in FY25.

COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “Decades-old election infrastructure in the U.S. is ever more vulnerable, just as demands on and threats to election administration are increasing, all at a time when voting is getting harder, especially for communities of color. State and local election administrators desperately need federal resources to ensure they can conduct safe, secure, accessible elections. We urge you to treat our elections as the critical infrastructure they are and fund them robustly and consistently.”


MADISON MAYOR DECLARES MAY 1 “KERRY SCHUMANN DAY”: May 1 is now “Kerry Schumann Day” in Madison, Wisconsin! Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway dedicated the day to honor Kerry Schumann, executive director of Wisconsin Conservation Voters and LCV board member, for her leadership in the environmental movement in Wisconsin and beyond.

OUR TAKE: LCV VP of Governance & Affiliate Services Curt Coffing said, “This honor recognizes Kerry’s two decades of leadership at Wisconsin Conservation Voters/Voices and the important work she has done to grow the organizations into the powerhouses they are, and to mentor so many leaders in the movement and beyond. Over the past 20 years, Kerry’s strategic vision, seemingly endless energy, and dedication to making the world a better place has inspired many of us in the Conservation Voters Movement. She has propelled her talented and powerful team to champion community-informed policies, programs, and initiatives, defend and restore democracy, elect conservation and climate champions, and effectively collaborate with community and elected leaders across the state.”

WCV TAKE: In a tweet, Wisconsin Conservation Voters said, “The City of Madison and @MayorOfMadison have proclaimed today, May 1, 2024, Kerry Schumann Day! Thank you for all your work to protect Wisconsin’s environment!’

CONNECTICUT STATE HOUSE PASSES CLIMATE PROTECTION ACT: After four-and-a-half hours of debate, Connecticut’s state house passed HB 5004, the Connecticut Climate Protection Act, this week. The bill would declare a climate crisis in Connecticut, update the state’s emissions reduction targets to reach net-zero by 2050, and reduce reliance on methane gas.

CTLCV TAKE: Connecticut LCV Executive Director Lori Brown said, “We applaud House Speaker Matt Ritter for making climate a priority this year. This legislation has been a long time in the making with the dedicated leadership of Representative Christine Palm and will help put our state back on the path toward our climate goals.”

ENVIRONMENTALISTS, OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY STRIKE DEAL IN COLORADO: Colorado’s state legislature is expected to pass two bills to strengthen air quality standards and raise millions of dollars for transportation projects in the state. Conservation Colorado was instrumental in working to finalize these bills, which represent the first major agreement between environmental groups, the oil and gas industry, and Colorado Democrats in 10 years.

CONSERVATION COLORADO TAKE: Conservation Colorado CEO Kelly Nordini said, “We support the legislation as very important progress to address Colorado’s serious air quality challenges, provide more transit opportunities and protect lands and wildlife. We appreciate the Governor, legislative leadership and the sponsors’ work to avoid potentially devastating ballot measures that could have rolled back a decade of climate progress in Colorado.”

NEW YORK IMPROVES CLEAN ENERGY TRANSMISSION: In the FY2025 state budget, New York enacted the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment (RAPID) Act which streamlines the permitting process for clean energy transmission lines, making it easier to bring clean and renewable energy online. However, the final budget failed to include the NY HEAT Act, which would have helped accelerate the phase out of methane gas.

NYLCV TAKE: New York LCV Communications Director Devin Callahan said, “There is no clean energy transition without transmission, and so we applaud the Governor and the Legislature for passing the RAPID Act, which will help ensure we are able to deliver wind, solar, and hydro power to homes and businesses across the state.”

CHISPA AZ EMPOWERING MONUMENTAL REPRESENTATION: Chispa Arizona teamed up with EcoFlight and other organizations under the Respect the Great Bend coalition last week to organize aerial tours for elected officials and tribal leaders, providing them a firsthand view of a proposed monument area. Chispa AZ is eager for Arizonians to continue joining us in these efforts, gaining insights, and advocating for inclusivity and representation. Check out Chispa AZ’s Instagram post about their experience!


ON THE BLOG: If you’re like us, you aren’t quite ready for Earth Month to end. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Continue the celebration by heading to The Power Source Blog to learn about the history of Earth Day and the Biden-Harris administration’s historic climate action record! Also, read our round-up of this month’s Top 5 stories, including how federal investments in clean energy are benefiting families nationwide, new clean vehicles rules, advancements in offshore wind, state level clean energy wins, and LCV’s largest ever election investment. Finally, check out this article on the intersections of disability and environmental policy, and don’t miss the money- and planet-saving tips in this post on clean energy tax incentives!

ON OUR SOCIALS: From celebrating the expansion of two national monuments in California (including with a special guest!) to laying out the clear choice between President Biden and Donald Trump and holding Republicans accountable for votes during their Dirty Energy Week 2.0, our social team covered it all this week. Be sure to follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Threads for more!


THIS MONTH: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

MAY 12: Mother’s Day.

MAY 27: Memorial Day.