“When the Supreme Court gets it wrong, it’s Congress’ job to clean up the mess. And we will.”
– Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA) on the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA and the Clean Water Act of 2023, introduced at a press conference on Wednesday.
“It’s a massive undermining of the effort to tackle climate change. We are paving the path to climate oblivion.”
– Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on the now FERC-approved methane gas pipeline expansion in the Pacific Northwest.
“We cannot afford the hydrogen tax credit to serve as yet another subsidy for the fossil fuel industry.”
– Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in a letter urging the Treasury Department to enact strong rules in regard to hydrogen tax credits.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $100 MILLION FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT UPGRADES IN LOW-INCOME HOUSING: The Biden administration has announced it will invest over $100 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the IRA to improve the energy efficiency and climate resiliency of the homes of more than 1,500 low-income families. Energy efficient home upgrades can help curb up to 37% of emissions that stem from operating buildings, such as emissions from heating and cooling, while also saving families money. The investment is part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and will help the administration to reach its goal of reducing the cost of decarbonizing new and existing buildings by 50% in the next 10 years.
GOP SPEAKERSHIP BATTLE RAGES ON: Seventeen days after Kevin McCarthy was stripped of the speakership, House Republicans have yet to come to an agreement on his successor. This week, the party nominated Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), and subsequently voted down his nomination.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld told Politico’s Morning Energy, “Congressman Jordan has an extreme record across the board and his views and his votes and his positions when it comes to climate and clean energy and environmental justice are no exception. They are truly as extreme and fringe and radical as it gets.”
LCV LAUNCHES AD CAMPAIGN FOR STRONG CAR AND TRUCK STANDARDS: LCV announced a $200,000 digital ad campaign to both celebrate members of the U.S. House working to protect strong cleaner cars and trucks standards and hold other House members accountable for their recent votes blocking progress and cleaner vehicles on H.R. 1435. The first round of static ads supporting cleaner vehicle champions started on October 5th and will run through the end of the month, and the second round of ads highlighting five members blocking progress towards cleaner vehicles started yesterday and will run until later next week in-district on programmatic platforms including: YouTube, connected TVs and streaming devices.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Federal Policy Matthew Davis said, “The pollution from cars and trucks that run on oil harms communities and cuts short the lives of people across our country, especially in communities of color and communities of low wealth. The only ones who benefit from dirtier cars and trucks are the Big Oil executives lining their pockets with the profits. Electric cars and trucks deliver cleaner air for our communities and save families money, while helping drive forward our manufacturing jobs and our clean energy future. Extremist MAGA House Republicans and their polluter-abetting cronies are trying to block progress on cleaner vehicles, but fortunately dozens of House members are speaking out and pushing back. We urge members to keep fighting for strong cleaner cars and trucks standards, which will mean cleaner air and lower costs for communities across the country.”
HOUSE DEMS INTRODUCE THE CLEAN WATER ACT OF 2023: On Wednesday, the 51st anniversary of the original Clean Water Act, Representatives Rick Larsen, Grace Napolitano, Don Beyer and Melanie Stansbury along with an additional 114 House Democrats, introduced the Clean Water Act of 2023. The new bill is an attempt to undo the damage of the Supreme Court’s Sackett v. EPA decision earlier this year – in that decision the Court gutted protections for waters our communities rely on for drinking, recreation, and fueling local economies.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Because of the original Clean Water Act, our rivers are no longer on fire and many of our water bodies have become safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing again. However, water crises in too many communities across the country, especially in Tribal communities, low wealth communities, and communities of color make it painfully clear that we still have so much more to do to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe water. We urge Congress to pass the Clean Water Act of 2023 to safeguard our wetlands and streams and ensure clean water for all.”
TAKE 2: LCV Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “For over 50 years, the Clean Water Act helped clean up and protect our waters, but last spring, the U.S. Supreme Court upended these protections in their decision in Sackett v. EPA by ruling in favor of polluters’ interests over the health and safety of our families and communities.
“We greatly appreciate Representatives Rick Larsen, Grace Napolitano, Don Beyer, and Melanie Stansbury for leading the charge, and the additional 114 House Democrats who joined them to introduce the Clean Water Act of 2023. This important legislation would fix the damage done by the Sackett decision and restore federal safeguards to the waters that are critical to our health and the health of our environment. Clean water is a basic human right, and we urge Congress to swiftly pass the Clean Water Act of 2023 to protect our wetlands and streams and ensure that everyone, no matter their zip code, has access to the clean water they need to thrive.”
CLIMATE ACTION TEAMS CONNECT WITH COMMUNITIES: Climate Action Teams across the country hosted community events this week to build their volunteer networks and get the word out about various issues. In New Hampshire, the Climate Action Team welcomed over 30 community members to their “Sip and Soar” event which featured a presentation from Tailwinds, a raptor conservation organization, at a local brewing company. The Nevada team hosted an event called “Pumpkins and Our Planet” at a local park where participants painted pumpkins and enjoyed cider and snacks while learning about harm reduction and how small actions can make a big impact. The team also tabled at a stop on Vice President Kamala Harris’ Fight For Our Freedoms tour and participated in a resource fair to teach community members how they can tap into the benefits of the IRA.
CHISPA PROGRAMS SPEAK OUT ON EXTREME HEAT, METHANE GAS: On Tuesday, Chispa Nevada brought together community members for a conversation with Southern Nevada Heat Resilience Lab and the Nevada Office of Minority Health and Equity for a discussion on how extreme heat impacts their neighborhoods and day-to-day life.
Additionally, Chispa Texas Program Director Elida Castillo attended and spoke on a panel at a Beyond Gas conference last week. She was joined by several other Gulf leaders and European allies who are fighting the expansion of LNG in the U.S. and overseas.
ON THE BLOG: Read our weekly round-up of Good Climate News on the blog! And, check out our affiliate Chispa Texas’ blog for a story about a group of community leaders from Gregory, Texas who traveled to D.C. to raise awareness of the impact of the methane gas industry on their communities and their lives.
ON OUR SOCIALS: The social team uplifted content from congressional champs who this week introduced the Clean Water Act of 2023 to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Clean Water Act and address the damage done by the recent Supreme Court decision Sackett v. EPA. Additionally, we tapped into the “cinnamon roll” trend on Instagram with a clean energy take on the viral audio.
OCTOBER 26: Vote Early Day
NOVEMBER 7: Election Day
NOVEMBER 17: Government funding stopgap expires