“I can’t imagine Republicans’ total inaction on the climate crisis can get any worse, but if it can, I’m confident Speaker Johnson will do his best to make it happen.”
– Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) on the election of Representative Mike Johnson as the new Speaker of the House.
“The science is clear — there is no safe level of lead exposure, especially for children.”
– Michael Regan, EPA administrator, on the organization’s commitment to removing all lead service lines in communities across the country.
“The Energy and Water appropriation bill before us is completely inadequate. It does not meet our country’s needs in this new era of climate change.”
– Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) on the Energy and Water appropriations bill passed by the House this week.
CLEAN ENERGY TAX CREDIT PROGRAM RECEIVES ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME: A program under the Inflation Reduction Act that offers tax credits for clean energy projects in low-income communities received a high level of interest when it opened for application submissions this week. The program, which aims to increase clean energy production in low-income and frontline communities, collected 725 program applications within one day of opening for submissions. Treasury has previously said that they expect the program to receive 100,000 applications in its first year. Learn more on energy.gov.
HOUSE ELECTS MIKE JOHNSON AS SPEAKER: Over three weeks after Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker, the House has elected Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be his successor. Johnson is the most inexperienced representative to serve as speaker since the 19th century, and will preside over an extremely chaotic and divided Republican caucus, and chamber.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “MAGA Mike Johnson has an appalling LCV lifetime score of just 2% and has already taken hundreds of thousands from the oil and gas industry during his career in the House. According to opensecrets.org, no one has given more money to Johnson than the oil and gas industry. Johnson has led attacks on our elections, denied that climate change is a result of fossil fuels and polluters, and appears poised to continue to cater to Big Oil and Gas allies as Speaker. The last three weeks of chaos caused by extremist House Republicans is just another demonstration of how willing they are to grind the country and economy to a halt instead of moving towards a more equitable and just democracy and clean energy future.”
ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ISSUE VOTE RECOMMENDATIONS ON FY24 APPROPRIATIONS: LCV led three coalitions in letters to Congress this week containing vote recommendations for amendments to the Senate’s minibus and the amendments and underlying bills for the House’s Energy and Water and Interior Appropriations bills.
COALITION TAKE: From a letter signed by 61 organizations urging members to oppose the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior Appropriations bill, “There are so many outrageous attacks on our environment in this bill that it would be impossible to name them all. The bill proposes a draconian 40% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, back to levels not seen in more than 30 years. It completely zeroes out spending on environmental justice programs. It slashes basic clean air and water protections and environmental cleanup programs. It rescinds funding for critical Inflation Reduction Act programs like the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Poison-pill policy riders would doom imperiled species to extinction and mandate fossil fuel lease sales in a bill that is supposed to fund environmental protection. This legislation is as outlandish as it is dangerous for our environment, and must be rejected.”
Against the wishes of LCV and the 24 other organizations that joined an opposition letter, the House passed the FY24 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill on Thursday along strict party lines.
TAKE 2: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo said, “New Speaker MAGA Mike Johnson didn’t waste any time before working to do Big Oil’s bidding. Within hours of having a new leader in place, extremist House Republicans turned to drastic cuts to critical protections for clean air and water, gave even bigger handouts to their Big Polluter allies, and included racist and homophobic riders targeting communities already facing the greatest impacts from pollution and the climate crisis. The harmful amendments House Republicans passed will continue to raise energy prices and put even more burdens on historically excluded communities. Congress must instead fully fund programs to protect our communities and put us back on track towards fighting the climate crisis and environmental injustice.”
THE FIGHT FOR CLEAN TRUCKS IS HEATING UP: This week, Senator Padilla (D-CA) led a letter to the joint office of transportation urging Secretaries Pete Buttigieg and Jennifer Granholm to prioritize the deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle infrastructure. LCV joined a letter led by Evergreen complimenting Padilla’s letter and encouraging “immediate, strong action” to finalize a strong truck rule, ensure federal funds will be coordinated to drive infrastructure deployment in ways that cut pollution the fastest, and establish a National Strategy for Freight Electrification to secure progress we have made and ensure it continues moving forward.
COALITION TAKE: From the coalition letter, “The President has been clear that climate action is a core tool in building America’s economy, making it fairer, and serving communities that have too long been left out. This effort would realize that vision in the freight system at the core of our economy. We urge you to act fast to increase regulatory ambition on trucking and align funds to support it, and engage the public in crafting a clear National Strategy for Freight Electrification.”
VALCVEF HOSTS VOTE-A-RAMA: This evening, Virginia LCV Education Fund is hosting their Fall Fest Vote-A-Rama event where guests will enjoy free food, games, entertainment, and the opportunity to learn about how and when to vote and make a voting plan.
CHISPA MD LEADERS IN ACTION: Chispa Maryland community leaders were in Baltimore City this week inviting community members to join their efforts. They gave information about the Chispa MD program and how to join the fight for climate justice. Check out Chispa MD leaders and staff!
ON THE BLOG: Read our weekly round-up of Good Climate News on the blog!
ON OUR SOCIALS: Yesterday we shared our schedule for National Vote Early day, which we also highlighted earlier in the week on both Instagram and X/Twitter. We also marked National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week this week by calling on the EPA to #GetTheLeadOut and uplifting congressional champions (here, here, and here).
And of course, with MAGA Mike Johnson emerging victorious from the prolonged and chaotic speakership race in the House, the social team worked to shed some light on the relatively-unknown representative’s toxic donor base and extreme policy positions.
OCTOBER 30: SCOTUS Ethics Press Conference in front of the Supreme Court (10am EST). RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER 7: Election Day
NOVEMBER 17: Government funding stopgap expires