“Republicans and their Big Oil allies tried to change the subject from abortion, in particular. And they thought they could do it in the context of clean energy. They were wrong. They were dead, flat wrong.”
— Pete Maysmith, LCV senior vice president of Campaigns, in E&E’s ClimateWire, responding to Republicans’ failed attempts to undermine clean energy in Tuesday’s elections.
“Tomorrow is the first day of a new Virginia.”
— Virginia House Minority Leader Don L. Scott Jr., who, following Tuesday’s elections, stands to become the state’s first Black Speaker of Virginia’s House.
“The Republican leadership of the House of Representatives is catering to over-the-top, irresponsible parts of their party. And they do so clearly at the peril of our planet, and also at the political peril of many of their incumbents.”
— Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV senior vice president of Government Affairs, speaking with Living On Earth’s Jenni Doering about Republican Speaker Mike Johnson’s environmental record.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY VOTERS TURNED OUT FOR PROVEN CLIMATE LEADERS: This week, environmental champions across the country won their elections, continuing a trend we’ve seen over the last several elections. Voters elected state and local candidates who have chosen bold clean energy leadership and rejected cynical, baseless attacks from Big Oil and their political allies.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Year after year, voters continue to tell their leaders, if you tackle climate change and stand for clean energy we will stand with you. LCV’s state affiliates worked tirelessly to support candidates dedicated to protecting our environment and democracy. Up and down the ticket big oil spent millions trying to convince us to turn our backs on a clean energy future but voters once again rejected their lies.”
CONSERVATION MAJORITY IN VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin led an unprecedented campaign promising to establish a Republican trifecta in the state. Despite this wave of attacks, including a late effort to attack electric vehicles, climate champions held the state Senate and flipped the House of Delegates, ensuring a new conservation majority and a backstop against the governor’s extreme anti-science, anti-climate agenda.
VALCV TAKE: Virginia LCV Executive Director Michael Town said, “Tonight, voters sent a clear message: they want to see a Virginia that works for them, not big, corporate polluters. With a Conservation Majority headed to the General Assembly we have the opportunity to continue pushing forward policies that protect clean air and water, address the climate crisis, grow the green economy, protect communities, and make Virginians’ lives better. Our Governor will now have a choice in the closing two years of his term: will he continue to side with his dirty fossil fuel donors or do what’s right for our Commonwealth? We intend to do everything we can to put bills on his desk to find out just that.”
EXPANDED TRIFECTA IN NEW JERSEY: For months, fossil fuel companies have funded astroturf organizations to undermine support for offshore wind. But pro-clean energy candidates overcame an avalanche of anti-wind spending and won across the state, returning an expanded Democratic trifecta to Trenton.
NJLCV TAKE: New Jersey LCV Executive Director Ed Potosnak said, “Congratulations to our environmental champions on their wins. They stood strong in spite of MAGA candidates’ opposition to clean energy initiatives around the state. New Jerseyans understand that we’re in a climate crisis and we can’t wait to make the changes needed to secure a safe and healthy future. We’re extremely proud of our endorsed candidates who won their races, but the real winners tonight are New Jersey families who will have clean air, safe drinking water, green spaces in urban areas, and workers who’ll have good-paying union jobs in a clean energy economy.”
PRO-DEMOCRACY, PRO-ENVIRONMENT STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN PENNSYLVANIA: Judge Dan McCaffery comfortably defeated Republican Carolyn Carluccio after a nearly eight figure race. McCaffery’s win could go a long way to protecting our democracy from outside attacks and ensuring climate action programs, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative get a fair hearing.
CVPA TAKE: On X/Twitter, @ConservationPA said, “THIS IS HUGE – @JudgeMcCaffery, our most heartfelt congratulations on this incredible victory!!! We are beyond proud to stand behind Judge McCaffery and know that he will protect our democracy, enforce our state’s pro-environment constitution, and hold polluters accountable!”
PRO-ENVIRONMENT BOISE MAYOR LAUREN MCLEAN REELECTED: Boise Mayor Lauren McLean earned 55% of the vote over three opposing candidates. Mike Masterson, McLean’s well-funded opponent, vowed to roll back McLean’s climate policies. Our state affiliate, Conservation Voters for Idaho Action Fund, ran an unprecedented $518,000 campaign engaging hundreds of thousands of Boise voters. See CVI’s full recap here.
CVI TAKE: Conservation Voters for Idaho Executive Director Rialin Flores said, “Mayor Lauren McLean has served as a tireless and impactful leader – and valued conservation partner – for Boise for years, and we are pleased to have worked on her behalf to guarantee four more years of direct action and concrete progress for Boise.”
PRO-ENVIRONMENT TUCSON MAYOR REGINA ROMERO REELECTED: Tucson Mayor Regina Romero won with over 60% of the vote. In Romero’s first term, she helped Tucson become a conservation leader in the Southeast by tackling contamination in water and reducing the city’s consumption from the Colorado River and Lake Mead. Our state affiliate, Chispa Arizona PAC, ran a $35,000 paid media program including radio and digital ads in support of Romero.
CHISPA AZ TAKE: On X/Twitter, @ChispaAZ said, “Chispa Arizona PAC congratulates @TucsonRomero, a clean air, clean politics re-elected official, as she continues her legacy as City of Tucson’s Mayor, fighting for our Earth and always putting nuestra gente over profit.”
LCV CONGRATULATED GABE AMO IN RHODE ISLAND IN U.S. HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTION VICTORY: On Tuesday, Rhode Island voters elected Gabe Amo to represent the state’s First District in the House of Representatives. LCV Action Fund endorsed Amo and environmental donors contributed to Amo’s campaign via GiveGreen, a partnership between LCV Victory Fund and NRDC Action Votes that helps grassroots donors directly contribute to pro-environment candidates.
OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Gabe Amo’s victory is a historic win for the people of Rhode Island as they elected their first Black Representative to Congress, and he will fight for people over polluters every step of the way. We are excited to work with him in the House and fight together for progress towards clean energy, environmental justice, and good paying jobs for communities across the state and the country.”
MAGA REPUBLICANS CONTINUE ATTACKING THE IRA: MAGA Mike Johnson and House Republicans remain united around one goal: doing Big Oil’s bidding by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, even though many Republican lawmakers are celebrating IRA projects in their districts. As of November 6, House Republicans had voted to repeal the law in whole or in part 31 times. LCV and Climate Power are continuing to track Republican attacks on the historic climate bill on our IRA Repeal Votes Tracker.
GSA ANNOUNCED IRA INVESTMENT IN PROJECTS USING CLEANER BUILDING MATERIALS: The Biden-Harris administration announced that its General Services Administration (GSA) would use $2 billion of its IRA money to fund more than 150 building projects that use clean construction materials. These projects, which are located across 39 states, will prioritize the use of materials that have fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production, use, and disposal. Not only will this investment help tackle the climate crisis, it will also help create good paying jobs in clean manufacturing.
LCV RELEASES MAGA MIKE ADS: As House Republicans steer the country toward another government shutdown and continue passing some of the most extreme cuts to environmental protections in our nation’s history, LCV launched a new six-figure ad campaign in Washington, DC, highlighting new House Speaker Mike Johnson’s connections to Big Oil and his record of climate denial. Watch the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Speaker Johnson’s role as an architect of election denial in 2020 is perhaps better known, but his willingness to deny climate science and do Big Oil’s bidding at the cost of clean energy jobs, lower prices, and climate action are no less dire. The public needs to know that MAGA Mike Johnson and all the extreme House Republicans following his lead are refusing to hold Big Oil accountable and are instead prioritizing holding back clean energy progress and the good jobs and lower costs that come with it.”
PRESIDENT BIDEN ANNOUNCED PASSENGER RAIL FUNDING WHILE HOUSE REPUBLICANS PULL TRANSPO APPROPS BILL FROM FLOOR: This week, President Biden announced that $16.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) would go toward passenger rail projects in the Northeast, our country’s busiest train corridor. In contrast, House Republicans’ Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, which was pulled from the floor before final votes this week, would, among many things, deprive our country of adequate funding for rail infrastructure. These extreme cuts would make rail travel less safe, result in the elimination of services people rely on, and have negative impacts for rail workers and the environment. The takeaway: The administration continues to work for people and communities across the country while House Republicans’ extreme and unpopular positions repeatedly fail.
LCV OPPOSED FY24 FSGG APPROPS BILL, 2ND BILL PULLED FROM THE FLOOR THIS WEEK 👀: LCV led a letter with 15 environmental organizations urging the House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 4664, the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2024. The letter also advised opposition to anti-environmental amendments that would damage the environment, harm investors, and put taxpayer dollars at risk. Also, just noting that when the FSGG bill was pulled from the floor, it marked the second time just this week that House Republicans have failed to gain support for their extreme positions.
SENATE PASSED HARMFUL CRA ON EV CHARGERS: The Senate passed Republicans’ Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval, which would eliminate requirements for electric vehicle chargers and their components to be, over time, manufactured in the United States. Senate Republicans’ CRA will hurt our country’s leadership in manufacturing EV technology and hinder the build out of a strong EV charging network across the nation.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy Matthew Davis said, “We are disappointed in the Senate’s passage of this resolution, which would remove the targeted Buy America waiver for certain EV charging equipment and revert to a broad waiver on manufactured goods. This important and commonsense waiver, which governs funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, has the potential to create good paying union jobs across the country by ensuring that over time, EV chargers and their components are made in the U.S. On behalf of their Big Oil donors, Congressional Republicans are waging a political war on EVs at the expense of the union workers that build and maintain these cleaner vehicles and their charging equipment. LCV strongly opposes this resolution, and urges members of Congress to stand up against attacks on cleaner electric vehicles.”
PRESIDENT BIDEN VISITS AUTO WORKERS IN BELVIDERE IL: Yesterday, President Biden visited UAW workers at a manufacturing plant in Belvidere, Illinois, that is reopening as a result of UAW’s recent strike, after being shuttered in February this year. In addition to building pickup trucks, the plant will manufacture batteries for electric vehicles, which will more than double the number of workers employed at the plant, to 5,000 over four years. President Biden’s affordable clean energy plan is driving historic investments in clean energy manufacturing, which translates into historic investments in communities across the country.
SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS NATIONAL MONUMENT EXPANSION: Representative Judy Chu (D, CA-28), Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), and local advocates are calling for President Biden to expand the boundary of California’s San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by more than 100,000 acres. Following a recent public meeting, LCV and our state affiliate, California Environmental Voters, weighed in with our support too.
OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “LCV is thrilled that the Biden-Harris administration prioritized this week’s public meeting to hear from local communities about their strong support for the expansion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. This proposal builds on efforts to increase equitable access to the outdoors in the greater Los Angeles area, one of our nation’s most densely populated areas, while protecting clean water sources, healthy ecosystems, and vital cultural resources in Southern California. We thank Representative Chu and Senator Padilla, as well as the local advocates, who have long championed this expansion, for their leadership to protect this critical area. LCV urges the Biden-Harris administration to move swiftly to expand protections for San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.”
CEV TAKE: California Environmental Voters Senior Political & Organizing Director Mike Young said, “Angelenos have come together to ask the Biden Administration to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and protect an additional 109,167 acres. This area is a hub for biodiversity and a local treasure for people of color to get access to outdoor space and recreation areas. Community members agree that monument expansion is essential to our 30×30 conservation goals, our local businesses, and our way of life. We look forward to the San Gabriel Monument’s expansion.”
ENVIRO ORGS CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY FROM CORPORATIONS ATTENDING COP: A group of environmental organizations, including LCV, sent a letter the co-chairs of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calling for greater transparency from companies and industry associations attending Conference of Parties (COP). In recent years, more and more fossil fuel interests have attended COP, and this year, the CEO of the United Arab Emirates national oil company will preside over the summit. To ensure the public can continue to trust in one of the most important international forums for addressing the climate crisis, the letter urges three disclosure steps the UNFCCC ought to require of corporate participants.
ENVIRO TAKE: In the letter environmental organizations sent to the UNFCCC it said, “We believe that by requiring such clear and verifiable disclosures of corporate actors, the UNFCCC can enhance public trust in the COP process and ensure that it is not abused by corporate actors seeking to undermine climate action or greenwash their reputations.”
COALITION OPPOSES OIL MERGERS: LCV joined a coalition letter to the Federal Trade Commission insisting that it investigate and block separate acquisition proposals from both ExxonMobil and Chevron, two of the largest oil companies in the world. ExxonMobil’s desire to purchase Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s plans to take over Hess would solidify and further concentrate their control over oil production in the U.S., and could allow them to price-gouge consumers while making it increasingly difficult for clean energy producers to join the market. Read the full letter here.
COALITION TAKE: In the letter, the coalition writes, “Now, as scientists and world leaders urge us to move away from fossil fuel reliance, we must guard against attempts by dominant firms to consolidate their industries and wield their corporate power against the growth of different competitive energy sources.”
CHISPA MARYLAND LEADERS SPEAK UP AT THE MONTGOMERY COUNTRY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: Chispa Maryland community leaders testified at today’s Montgomery County Public School Board meeting. They ask the School Board not to change direction and continue with the promise of electric school buses. Check out their post here!
CHISPA NEVADA INVITES THE COMMUNITY TO FIGHT FOR OUR PLANET DURING THE DAY OF THE DEAD: Chispa NV made a strong impact at the Springs Preserve Dia de Muertos celebration by actively engaging the community. They introduced themselves, emphasizing their vital role in environmental advocacy, educating attendees about their mission and the critical work on polluter accountability in the state. Through engaging conversations, they successfully highlighted the significance of their initiatives and gathered signatures for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Check out Chispa NV’s Day of the Dead altar here!
ON THE BLOG: Read our weekly round-up of Good Climate News on the blog!
ON OUR SOCIALS: After voters across the country chose pro-environment and pro-democracy candidates in Tuesday’s elections, we’ve been elevating the results from Virginia to New Jersey to Pennsylvania to Rhode Island. And with the 2024 elections just a year away, we’ve outlined actions that the Biden administration can take in their continued efforts to protect our democracy and our rights to vote.
Bonus: While Maga Mike and House Republicans’ extreme Transportation-HUD appropriations bill failed to gain support in their own chamber, the Biden-Harris administration announced the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak. Here’s Sponge Bob’s take.
ALL OF NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month
NOVEMBER 17: Government funding stopgap expires