“This month was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist – absolutely gobsmackingly bananas.”
— Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather on global temperature data for the month of September, 2023.
“Their combination of dysfunction and catering to their polluter allies at every step has been a complete disaster.”
— Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, on House Republican leadership.
“We need to strengthen efforts to prepare communities, protect children at risk of displacement, and support those already uprooted.”
— Catherine Russell, executive director of UNICEF, in a statement following a report that found climate disasters and extreme weather events have displaced more than 43 million children since 2016.
TREASURY ACTION MAKES EV TAX CREDITS MORE ACCESSIBLE: The Treasury announced that EV consumers will be able to receive eligible tax credits under the IRA at the point of purchase as of January 2024, rather than waiting to receive the credit when filing their taxes.
OUR TAKE: LCV Climate & Clean Energy Government Affairs Advocate Darien Davis said, “Today, Treasury is turbocharging tax credits for electric vehicles so that consumers can get them at the point of purchase, rather than waiting to receive them when filing taxes. This is an exciting step toward making EVs more accessible. With this decision, the Biden administration continues to deliver on its affordable clean energy plan and its promise of creating a path toward a more just, clean energy future.”
CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Director Estefany Carrasco-Gonzalez said, “Making tax credits for electric vehicle purchases available to consumers immediately will make purchasing an EV much more accessible for those who may not have been able to afford to pay the full upfront cost of the vehicle. Today’s Treasury announcement to ensure immediate access to these benefits will allow more people to purchase EVs, resulting in cleaner, safer, healthier air for our communities.”
LCV LAUNCHES 5-FIGURE CAMPAIGN: Following last month’s six-figure Farm Bill ad campaign, LCV announced a new $56,000 campaign celebrating members of Congress who are working to protect the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate-smart agriculture investments. The ads will run in late October in Washington D.C. and seven other districts across the country. Watch the ads here and here!
OUR TAKE: Deputy Legislative Director Madeleine Foote said, “Farmers across the country deeply understand and experience the impacts of extreme weather and pollution on our communities, and can be a critical part of innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis through climate-smart agriculture practices. The bold investments in climate-smart agriculture included in the Inflation Reduction Act are critical to increase resiliency and help protect our farmers, food supply, and communities. These members of Congress know that investments in the USDA’s conservation programs will benefit not only our farming and rural communities, but also our economy, our environment, and every community across the country experiencing impacts from the climate crisis.”
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS OPPOSE FY24 ENERGY AND WATER APPROPRIATIONS BILL AMENDMENTS: LCV led 19 environmental organizations in a letter to the House of Representatives urging Members to oppose amendments to H.R. 4394, the House Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “We…write to express our disapproval of the self-executing amendment in the rule that cuts $1 billion from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE plays a critical role in saving businesses and families billions of dollars, developing the U.S. clean energy sector, and reducing pollution. This amendment sends a dangerous message to our international competitors that we’re willing to cede our global leadership on clean energy innovation, and signals of uncertainty around federal funding that will cast a pall over the US clean energy industry and job growth.
“We further wish to express our disapproval of amendment #21 Peltola (AK), which was included in Fleischmann En Bloc #1. This is a messaging amendment that supports DOE providing a federal loan guarantee for the massive Alaska LNG Project, a $38 billion pipeline and fossil gas export terminal with lifecycle emissions ten times worse than the Willow Project. It is past time to put an end to Big Oil subsidies, including by opposing new giveaways to Alaska LNG and any other fossil fuel projects.”
ACTIVISTS CALL ON CONGRESS TO FIX “BROKEN” SUPREME COURT: As the U.S. Supreme Court began its new term on Monday, LCV joined our partners in the United for Democracy coalition for a rally outside the Court, calling on Congress to rein in the far-right justices’ corruption and extremism.
OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Judiciary and Democracy Doug Lindner said, “Over the last few years, the new 6-3 MAGA supermajority Supreme Court has wasted no time rolling back our rights and protections for our environment. If Congress does not act, this pattern will continue, not just this year, and next year, and the year after that, but for generations to come. As the oceans continue to rise, and our democracy continues to backslide. We cannot continue this way.”
GOVERNOR NEWSOM APPOINTS LAPHONZA BUTLER TO CALIFORNIA U.S. SENATE SEAT: Following the passing of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Laphonza Butler, former EMILY’S List president, to the state’s vacant Senate seat.
OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Congratulations to Laphonza Butler on her historic appointment to the U.S. Senate. Laphonza has been a great partner during her time at California SEIU and EMILY’s List, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the Senate, fighting for climate action, environmental justice, clean energy jobs, and a strong democracy.”
CEV TAKE: California EnviroVoters Political and Organizing Director Mike Young said, “We extend major congratulations to Laphonza Butler on her historic appointment, making her California’s first openly LGBTQ Senator and only the second Black woman to represent our state in the Senate. As president of EMILY’s List and a former labor leader, Butler is a known advocate and we look forward to working with her on the progressive values she’s represented throughout her career.”
DHS TO WAIVE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS FOR DAMAGING BORDER WALL: The Department of Homeland Security announced that they will be constructing a new section of the border wall in Texas, and circumventing multiple environmental laws in the process, as instructed by Congress in previous Appropriations.
OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President for Federal Policy Matthew Davis said, “We have long opposed the construction of this inhumane wall, and its massive environmental costs are at odds with protecting our communities from the climate crisis, extreme weather, pollution, and environmental injustice. DHS waiving critical environmental laws intended to protect people, water, land, and endangered species will only continue to harm communities on both sides of the border already experiencing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Any and all Congressional mandates to continue this misguided border wall project must be repealed, and the protections of our environmental laws must be enforced.”
CHISPA TAKE: Chispa National Director Estefany Carrasco-Gonzalez said, “There’s no question that this decision to waive these critical environmental laws will harm our comunidades. While DHS is claiming the need for a border wall is for ‘high illegal entry’, they have already spent enormous resources to use inhumane methods against migrants and refugees at the border, create miles of fencing, border patrol agents, concertina wire, in addition to the U.S. and Mexican troops stationed there. Congress must defund this harmful border wall and ensure respect for our comunidades as well as our environmental laws.”
CEV TAKE: California EnviroVoters Political & Organizing Director Mike Young said, “We are deeply disappointed and concerned by the decision to waive dozens of environmental laws to expedite the construction of a border wall. These environmental laws were put in place to safeguard our communities, natural resources, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems. Not only does this raise significant environmental concerns, but it also sends a troubling message about our commitment to human rights, environmental protection, and ethical governance. It is critical that we work towards an approach that aligns with our nation’s core values and includes local communities and environmental advocates in the construction process to ensure it is conducted with consideration for those most affected.”
OFFSHORE WIND GETS A BOOST IN NEW ENGLAND: Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced plans to jointly consider bids for offshore wind development in an effort to lower costs to developers and drive renewable energy development in New England.
ELM TAKE: The Environmental League of Massachusetts said, “By joining forces for #OffshoreWind procurement, MA, RI & CT will leverage collective buying power & reduce project cost & risk. This is an important step toward reaching our #ClimateGoals & increasing #EnergyEfficiency & project follow-through.”
A BUSY WEEK FOR NC CLIMATE ACTION TEAM: This week, LCV’s Climate Action Team in North Carolina canvassed with students at University of North Carolina (Charlotte) and Central Piedmont Community College and got signatures on their Freedom to Vote Act petition. The team also co-hosted a community dinner with Raleigh United Mutual Aid Hub (RUMAH) to bring together community activists and learn about local issues, as well as a presentation with the Umstead Coalition on the history of the RDU Quarry that drew 40 attendees. Finally, the team unveiled “This Week”, a documentary series about the emotional journey activists face and brainstormed ways to reach local high school audiences.
CLIMATE ACTION NV DRIVES SUPPORT FOR EVS: The Climate Action Team in Nevada attended Drive Electric, an event hosted by Clark County and the Climate Reality Project which centers around the benefits of electric vehicles, public transportation, energy efficient home modifications, and more. The team got petition signatures and informed community members of upcoming volunteer opportunities.
CHISPA AZ HOSTS COMMUNITY GARDENING CLASS: Chispa AZ’s gardening class is bringing the community together to understand more of the natural processes and ecosystems, and to promote environmental stewardship.
ON THE BLOG: As we enter fall and are starting to see cooler temperatures, LCV took a look back at the summer of 2023 (and the extreme weather that characterized it) in the newest entry on The Power Source Blog.
ON OUR SOCIALS: Coinciding with the beginning of the new Supreme Court term, the social team renewed LCV’s call for an expanded Supreme Court by uplifting congressional champs and through our original content. We also took advantage of last week’s meltdown in the House to hold Republicans accountable for their dangerous votes to cut funding for hundreds of vital programs.
SEPTEMBER 15-OCTOBER 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
OCTOBER 9: Indigenous People’s Day
OCTOBER 18: Clean Water Act 51st anniversary
NOVEMBER 17: Government funding stopgap expires