“We have to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short term profits are not worth more than the future of our planet.”
— Senator Bernie Sanders, speaking at an event introducing the members of the EPA’s first National Environmental Youth Advisory Council.
“This is the Industrial Revolution of our time. The single most important thing the U.S. government can do right now is ‘lean in’ to the process of implementing these laws to accelerate massive investments in the American clean energy supply chain”
— Roxanne Brown, LCV board member and international vice president at large of the United Steelworkers, discussing the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, IRA, and Chips and Science Act in her Time 100 interview.
“We have a very real opportunity to reach folks where they are across the country and together help formulate solutions to create and maintain a healthier planet.”
— Leslie Hinkson, LCV Chief Officer for Racial Justice and Equity, discussing climate and racial justice with host Christian Nunes, the President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), on the Feminist NOW podcast.
BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION RELEASES NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT, ANNOUNCES INVESTMENTS IN CLIMATE RESILIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: The Biden-Harris administration released the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), which indicates that every region of the country is already feeling the impacts of climate change and outlines the disastrous impacts climate change will have on every aspect of our lives. Despite this bleak outlook, the report also shows that every region of the U.S. is already seeing the ambitious climate action needed to avert such catastrophes. In coordination with the release of this report, the administration also announced investments of more than $6 billion in climate resilience and environmental justice projects across the country.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “The latest National Climate Assessment shows how climate impacts are worsening across the country, especially in historically excluded communities disproportionately burdened by the climate crisis and toxic pollution. Even after the hottest summer on record, rampant wildfires, flooding, and extreme weather this year, extremist MAGA Republicans have continued to attack critical climate and clean energy investments that benefit their constituents, including those passed in the Inflation Reduction Act. We commend the Biden-Harris administration for its continued leadership in fighting the climate crisis and welcome today’s announcement about investing $6 billion in climate resilience and environmental justice, and look forward to seeing those investments in action.”
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS OPPOSE FY24 LABOR-H APPROPRIATIONS BILL AND REPUBLICANS PULL IT FROM THE FLOOR: This week, LCV led 15 environmental organizations in sending a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to oppose H.R. 5894, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024. The letter also advised opposition to poison-pill riders and amendments that would defund important climate and democracy initiatives, ranging from clean workforce development plans to increasing access to voting. Notably, Labor-H is the third appropriations bill House Republicans have pulled from the floor because they have failed to gain enough support for their extreme positions to pass.
COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “Devastatingly, the underlying bill and many of its proposed amendments include attacks on our rights and freedoms, reproductive health care, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrant communities, and workers of all types, among others. These and other poison pill riders go against our values and have no place in the appropriations process.”
COALITION OPPOSES COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE APPROPRIATIONS AND REPUBLICANS FAIL ON RULES VOTE: LCV joined 36 organizations in a coalition letter sent to members of Congress urging them to remove anti-democracy poison-pill riders from the H.R. 5893 – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024. In what’s becoming a trend, Republicans failed again to gain enough support for their extreme appropriations bill – this time, they couldn’t even muster the votes to bring the bill to the floor. In fact, extremist Republicans tanked the CJS bill in protest of the bipartisan continuing resolution that will keep the government open for two months, again underscoring the extreme nature of the House Republican caucus.
COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “The existing and proposed radical riders would deeply damage our already fragile democracy by restricting access to voting, disarming our defenses against foreign influence over U.S. elections, and severely compromising law enforcement anti-corruption investigations.“
SCOTUS RELEASES INEFFECTIVE CODE OF ETHICS: The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that justices will abide by a code of conduct. However, the code of ethics released by the Court is weak and unenforceable, and doesn’t make any meaningful progress toward restoring public trust or combatting the high levels of corruption we have seen within this Court.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “After so many shocking revelations about the corruption of Justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, a Supreme Court code of ethics is long overdue, but the one they just announced is too little and too late. This weak, unenforceable attempt at damage control does not represent meaningful progress. The Court even began its own announcement by acknowledging that most of their code is not new. At a time of well-deserved cratering confidence in the high court’s integrity, the Justices should be getting serious about ethics instead of downplaying the need for Congress to act. We cannot have a healthy environment without fair courts led by ethical judges free from the corrupting influence of Big Polluters and special interests, and yet Justices Thomas and Alito keep making anti-environment rulings despite their ties to the fossil fuel industry. Our people, our planet, and our democracy deserve a Supreme Court we can trust. Congress must swiftly pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, which will impose real, binding ethics rules on our nation’s highest court.”
LCV SIGNS ON TO CREATE IMMIGRATION PATHWAYS FOR CLIMATE-DISPLACED PERSONS: LCV joined more than 100 climate and migrant justice organizations in endorsing the Climate Displaced Persons Act, which was introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) on Thursday.
COALITION TAKE: From the letter to House and Senate leadership signed by more than 100 climate and migrant justice organizations endorsing the bill, “As climate change accelerates, it is essential that we protect the rights of people to stay safely in their homes and communities, by reducing emissions and increasing resilience and adaptation. But when the impacts of the climate crisis, often compounded by other factors such as fragility, conflict, repression, and economic instability, make it impossible for someone to stay in their home, people also have the right to leave to seek refuge elsewhere and should have the resources and support to do so. Despite the burgeoning links between climate change and cross-border migration, our domestic or international migration policies do not reflect the realities of climate-related displacement. The Climate Displaced Persons Act would strengthen both areas of U.S. policy.”
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGE DOE TO REEVALUATE LNG LICENSES: Senator Jeff Merkley and Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), and Jennifer McClellan (D-VA-04) led a bicameral letter with 60 additional members of Congress to the Department of Energy urging the agency to reevaluate and update how it determines whether issuing new LNG export licenses is in the interest of the public.
LCV BOARD MEMBER NAMED TO TIME 100 LIST: LCV board member and international vice president at large of the United Steelworkers Roxanne Brown was named to this year’s Time Magazine 100 Climate list, which features the 100 most influential climate leaders of 2023. As part of the list, Roxanne joins the likes of Bill Gates, James Cameron, and John Kerry, and tops the list’s “Leaders” section for her work in ensuring the concerns of skilled labor were considered in the creation and passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, and for her continued work centering union workers in the clean-energy transition.
LCV RELEASES 2023 ELECTION RECAP: While 2023 was an off-year for federal elections, hundreds of elections still took place at the state and local levels. LCV and our state affiliates invested heavily in several of these races, and released a report outlining our impact and the results of some key elections from this cycle.
OUR TAKE: From the report, “One week after election day, full results show that voters across the country showed up for environmental candidates and rejected big oil’s cynical attacks. Together, the League of Conservation Voters and our state affiliates invested $7 million into the most important state and local races that were critical to building a clean energy future.
“Our state league partners invested in over 220 races around the country and 72% of the candidates they supported won. This includes investments in everything from city council races, to securing pro-environment majorities in the legislatures in Virginia and New Jersey.”
ON THE BLOG: Read this week’s round-up of Good Climate News on the blog!
ON OUR SOCIALS: During this hectic and volatile week in D.C., the social team stayed busy providing followers with “blow-by-blow” updates on issues ranging from the release of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, to a letter on LNG licensing, the Supreme Court’s “code of ethics”, the need for strong EPA rules for cleaner cars, and a promising pipeline announcement.
We also highlighted tweets from our very own Matthew Davis and Tiernan Sittenfeld on EPA administrator Michael Regan’s announcement introducing the members of the first-ever National Environmental Youth Advisory Council.
ALL OF NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month
NOVEMBER 23: Thanksgiving Day
NOVEMBER 28: Giving Tuesday