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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – October 28, 2022

Oct 28, 2022

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.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“[The violent attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi] shows us the danger that our democracy is in and it also makes me angry thinking of my Republican colleagues who attempt to minimize what happened Jan. 6 and who ignored the hate speech, the violent speech that is going on right now.”

— California Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) in response to the violent attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband and home by a man who amplified right-wing conspiracy theories. 

“We are working tirelessly, around the clock, to ensure that we come out of the next election with pro-environment majorities, because we have seen that historic progress is possible when Democrats are in the majority and come together and get something like the Inflation Reduction Act done. I think the fact that every single Republican voted against the Inflation Reduction Act … tells you everything you need to know about where Republicans stand when it comes to climate change. They stand in the way of progress at every opportunity.”

— Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, told Yahoo News.

“Shell oil announced today that they made $9.5 billion in profits, the second highest profits that they have ever had…They are exploiting a war and a pandemic at the expense of Granite Staters. And here’s the thing: my opponent stands right with Big Oil.””

Senator Maggie Hassan on Shell’s price gouging and where Don Bolduc’s loyalties lie in the recent New Hampshire Senate Debate.

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CVNM STATEMENT FOLLOWING POLITICALLY-CHARGED ATTACK ON THEIR OFFICE: Between the horrifying attack on Paul Pelosi and other increasing election related threats and violence — including at our New Mexico state affiliate, it is a challenging time to work in politics and the media. We hope you are all taking care of yourselves in the final days before the election.

LCV VICTORY FUND LAUNCHES $300,000 IN SPANISH LANGUAGE TV AND RADIO ADS IN SUPPORT OF DR. YADIRA CARAVEO AND IN OPPOSITION TO BARBARA KIRKMEYER IN CO-08: This week, LCV Victory Fund launched $300,000 in Spanish language TV, OTT, radio, and streaming radio ads in support of Dr. Yadira Caraveo and in opposition to Barbara Kirkmeyer in the race to represent Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District. The new ads highlight Kirkmeyer’s support for Big Oil over the health and well being of Colorado children, and Dr. Caraveo’s record of standing up to the oil and gas industry, fighting for more clean energy jobs, and protecting children’s health as a pediatrician. Watch “Ayudemos” here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Regional Campaigns Director Eva Estrada said, “The choice in Colorado’s 8th district could not be more clear: A candidate funded by the oil and gas industry who voted to allow dirty fracking near a school, versus a pediatrician who takes on Big Oil. Coloradans have a proven champion for clean air, clean water, and healthy families in Dr. Yadira Caraveo – let’s send her to Washington.”

LCV VICTORY FUND, BLACKPAC LAUNCH $500,000 PRO-CHERI BEASLEY RADIO ADS IN NC SENATE RACE: This week, LCV Victory Fund and BlackPAC are up with $500,000 in new radio ads in support of Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate and in opposition to Rep. Ted Budd, who is a member of LCVVF’s 2022 Dirty Dozen list of the worst anti-environment and anti-democracy candidates. These ads are LCV Victory Fund’s first investment in the North Carolina Senate race this year. The ads highlight Beasley’s commitment to protecting the environment, lowering costs, protecting voting rights, and protecting reproductive freedom. They also contrast Beasley with extreme Trump candidate Ted Budd, who said the insurrection on January 6 was, “just patriots standing up.” Watch “We Choose” here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Regional Campaigns Director Eva Estrada said, “North Carolinians have the opportunity to send their first Black female Supreme Court Chief Justice, a proven environmental champion who has spent her entire life fighting for justice, to the U.S. Senate – we’re thrilled to work with BlackPAC in support of former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. Dirty Dozen member and climate and election denier Rep. Ted Budd, on the other hand, is not just dirty – he’d be an extraordinarily dangerous senator for North Carolina and the country.”

EDF ACTION VOTES & LCV VICTORY FUND ANNOUNCE GOING BACK ON AIR IN SUPPORT OF REPS. MIKE LEVIN AND ABIGAIL SPANBERGER IN CA-49 & VA-07: EDF Action Votes and LCV Victory Fund announced Monday that they are back on air to support Reps. Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District and Mike Levin in California’s 49th District. In CA-49, “Solar” features a solar business owner who highlights Congressman Levin’s support for the solar industry while contrasting it with Brian Maryott’s support for a plan that raised taxes on middle class California families. In VA-07, “Makes Me Sick,” featuring Bobby Mathieson, former police officer of 25 years and U.S. Marshal for eight years, who sternly criticized candidate Yesli Vega’s defense of January 6th rioters. Watch the ads here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “We aren’t leaving anything to chance when it comes to maintaining a pro-environment, pro-democracy House majority. Brian Maryott, Yesli Vega , and anti-environment, anti-democracy Republicans on the ballot across the country are itching to roll back this Congress’ progress to build a healthier, more equitable, and more affordable clean energy future – we won’t stand for it.”

CHISPA LCV STATEMENT ON EPA’S CLEAN SCHOOL BUS REBATES AWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the recipients of the inaugural $965 million Clean School Bus Program rebates. The Clean School Bus Program, created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, will invest $5 billion over five years in clean school buses. The 2022 rebates will fund approximately 2,500 new school buses for 400 school districts across all 50 states, 30 Tribal Nations and multiple U.S. territories. The overwhelming majority of funds go to electric school buses, given the strong demand for zero-emission bus funding. The Alliance for Electric School Buses Coalition, which includes LCV and Chispa LCV, released this statement, and Chispa LCV’s statement here.  

AESB TAKE: Alliance for Electric School Buses Coalition Manager Carolina Chacon said, “The Alliance for Electric School Buses is excited to see this transformational program provide funding for hundreds of school districts across the country to purchase electric school buses. We are especially elated to see that over 90% of winners will be investing in electric school buses, the cleanest and healthiest option for children… As we have noted previously, there is still urgent work to do to ensure this program prioritizes and reaches the communities breathing the dirtiest air and who desperately need relief: low-income communities and Black, Indigenous and communities of color. We also urge EPA to adopt measures for subsequent funding rounds that promote the creation of high-quality, family-sustaining jobs for school bus drivers, mechanics, manufacturing workers and electricians. We will continue pushing to secure funding, equitable financing and inclusive utility investment programs for school districts looking for additional opportunities to deploy electric school buses.” Read the full statement here.

OUR TAKE: Chispa National Senior Director Johana Vicente said, “Chispa members and madres promotoras across the country have been fighting for a clean ride for kids since 2017. The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program is an important step to ensuring that communities get the investments they need to transition to clean transportation. With over 95% of the initial funding going to electric school buses, the EPA’s initial efforts are a historic investment for pollution-free communities. Air pollution affects low-income communities of color disproportionately across the country; we are excited to see this program become a reality, but we know that our work does not end here. Chispa will continue to push for stronger equity indicators like race and air pollution to be part of the EPA’s prioritization criteria for future funding, and for all of these public dollars to be invested in zero-tailpipe-emission school buses that will clean up our air. As the EPA prepares to release their grant program in 2023, we look forward to working with them to make sure communities of color breathing the dirtiest air benefit the first and the most.”

CHISPA AZ TAKE: Chispa Arizona Federal Climate Organizer DJ Portugal said, “Chispa AZ is excited to see that more than $11 million will be invested in clean school buses in Arizona. We are grateful that a majority of the 8 school districts awarded today are considered prioritized school districts that serve low-income communities of color who have been historically disenfranchised. We understand that communities of color are on the front lines of the climate crisis and are statistically more likely to suffer from air pollution-related health conditions. We applaud school districts for taking advantage of this opportunity to work towards transitioning to zero-tailpipe-emission buses and are glad that the majority of this funding will go to electric school buses in particular. We recognize that this will not only improve the air our children breathe but subsequently will also improve their quality of life, including their academic experience, as research shows they will experience reduced health-related absences as air quality improves. Chispa AZ would also like to acknowledge that this progress would not be possible without the ongoing advocacy of Chispa AZ members who, through our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign, continue to push for the electrification of school buses in their communities year after year.“

CHISPA MD TAKE: Chispa Maryland Director and Maryland LCV Deputy Director Ramon Palencia said, “Investing in electric school buses is an investment in clean air and most importantly, our school children. These buses have the potential to be transformational for Baltimore City Public Schools, eliminating toxic chemicals in the air that our children and communities breathe and providing quieter rides, better health, and fewer school absences due to preventable respiratory illnesses. We are calling on school boards and elected officials across Maryland to put the health of our youth and communities first by transitioning the state’s school bus fleet to clean, zero-emission electric school buses.”

JEFF ETTINGER AND AL LAWSON EARN LCV ACTION FUND ENDORSEMENTS: LCV Action Fund, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, announced the endorsement of Jeff Ettinger (MN-01) and Al Lawson (FL-02).

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Jeff Ettinger is the kind of forward thinking and courageous leader Southern Minnesotans need to address climate change that is already impacting the outdoor traditions Minnesotans enjoy. Ettinger supports growing our clean energy economy because he understands that this is the best way to bring down energy costs for families. We need leaders like Jeff Ettinger who will help ensure Southern Minnesota continues to lead on clean energy, clean air, clean water and healthy communities.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Representative Al Lawson has always prioritized the health of Northern Florida’s communities and environment. He is a longtime advocate for an equitable expansion of our clean energy economy and investing in clean water infrastructure. We are proud to support Representative Lawson for re-election because he has dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida and is an important partner in our work to address climate change, create jobs and protect public health.”

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

NORTH CAROLINA CUTS TRUCK POLLUTION: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order directing the state Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to develop the first Advanced Clean Trucks program in a southern state, requiring sales of cleaner diesel trucks and increasing sales of electric medium- to heavy- duty vehicles. Cooper cited the public health impacts of transportation pollution – particularly on low income communities and communities of color – and highlighted new opportunities to utilize Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds. The order instructs NCDEQ to consult a wide set of stakeholders in the rule development process and implementation including local governments, environmental justice organizations and communities, public health experts and environmental groups. Additionally the state Department of Health was charged with publishing a report on the public health and environmental justice impacts of transit emissions in North Carolina.

MEMO: THE MOST IMPORTANT STATE AND LOCAL RACES TO DEFEND OUR ENVIRONMENT AND DEMOCRACY IN 2022: Until this year’s landmark passage of the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest federal investment in climate action in history – nearly all major progress on climate and clean energy was made by state and local leaders who are tackling the climate crisis head-on. It’s critical that leaders who are committed to climate action are elected to all levels of government. Click here for a list of state races up and down the ticket across the country that are major priorities for LCV Victory Fund’s state affiliates. These are the most important 2022 races for improving our environment, protecting our democracy, and building the cleaner, healthier future every community deserves.

STORIES FROM THE FIELD: “YOU GOT A DAMN RIGHT TO SAY ‘I MATTER’”: This week, we are sharing the story of Bob M., an LCV member volunteering with LCV’s 2022 GreenRoots program. Galvanized by the current growing threats to our democracy, Bob is pouring his energy into electing Florida candidate for U.S. Senate, Val Demings this cycle. Bob is now one of 2,000 LCV members who have collectively made tens of thousands of calls to eligible voters across the country on the importance of getting out to vote this November.

GREENROOTS VOLUNTEER TAKE: LCV 2022 GreenRoots volunteer Bob M. said, “I could turn and say, ‘hey, I’ve made my money, I did my thing, I voted; I don’t want to get involved.’ But I couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t try to help save our nation. There’s no way I’m going to walk away into the dark and leave my country behind. It’s too vital for us. I do it because you young people deserve a country.”

GETTING OUT TO VOTE WITH CHISPA NEVADA: On Thursday, Civic Engagement Director Guillermo Baahona led a discussion, Civics con Chispa, in collaboration with Carolina Pena from EcoMadres. View the event here.

COMING UP:

ALL OF OCTOBER: LGBTQ+ History Month

OCTOBER 28: Vote Early Day 

MONTH OF NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month 

NOVEMBER 8: Election Day!