This Week In Climate Action


Sep 29, 2023

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.


“Calling Republican leadership a clown show is doing a disservice to actual working clowns.”

Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) on Republican control in the House of Representatives.

“Our communities are suffering, our health is at risk, and our planet is calling for our protection. The time for action is now.”

— Juan Carlos Guardado, a Las Vegas resident and community organizer with Chispa Nevada, in his testimony at the NHTSA hearing urging the administration to finalize strong corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.

“We have to stand up for our Constitution and the institutions of democracy because MAGA extremists have made clear they won’t. History is watching. The world is watching. Most important, our children and grandchildren are watching.”

President Joe Biden in his remarks on democracy during a speech in Tempe, Arizona on Thursday.


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS RELEASE TRACKER OF IRA REPEAL VOTES: In just one year since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed, House Republicans have voted more than 16 times to repeal the landmark climate and clean energy plan and other provisions of the law. In the past 24 hours, that number has grown significantly as the government spending fight continues in the House. This week, LCV, Climate Power, and Climate Action Campaign released a document detailing every time congressional Republicans have tried to repeal provisions of this historic climate legislation. View the tracker to stay up-to-date on the latest Republicans’ attacks on the IRA, and read LCV’s press release here.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “It seems the only thing the House MAGA Republicans can come together on is doing the bidding of Big Oil. Instead of keeping the government working and supporting popular programs that are tackling climate change, creating jobs and lowering costs, the extreme House Republicans keep reverting to Big Oil’s playbook of rolling back clean energy incentives, environmental safeguards, and support for the communities most impacted by decades of pollution and racism, including low income and communities of color. Instead of more chaos and cuts, Congress should be focused on supporting the Biden-Harris affordable clean energy plan and the ways it is helping people across the country.”

CLIMATE POWER TAKE: Climate Power’s Executive Director Lori Lodes said, “While MAGA Republicans have unleashed chaos and demonstrated their complete inability to govern, one thing has united them: opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act and the national clean energy economic boom it has unleashed. MAGA Republicans have voted over and over to end the clean energy boom and eliminate popular provisions that take on Big Oil greed. President Biden and Democrats are focused on creating jobs and growing the middle class while the only thing Republicans can agree on is tanking the economy.”

CLIMATE ACTION CAMPAIGN TAKE: Climate Action Campaign Director Margie Alt said, “In just the last few months, Republicans in Congress have voted dozens of times to stop the clean energy transition in its tracks. They voted to end the climate and clean energy job creation boom, to endanger our health, and, most appalling, to continue a legacy of environmental racism. Now, they are threatening to shut down the government if they do not get their way. What this country needs is just the opposite: more action to slash the pollution causing climate change and more action to protect vulnerable communities and the health of families that live on the frontlines of pollution. We cannot and will not tolerate more policies that pad big polluter profits and let them off the hook for the damage they inflict on all of us. Climate can’t wait and neither can we.”


SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN PASSES AWAY AT 90: Last night, Senator Dianne Fienstein, the first woman to lead the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to serve as San Francisco mayor, and one of the first women to represent California in the Senate, as well as the longest-serving woman Senator in history, passed away at the age of 90. Feinstein will be remembered for blazing a trail for women in leadership as well as for her decades of advocacy for the environment, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, and more.

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinksi and California EnviroVoters CEO Mary Creasman said, “Today we mourn the passing of Senator Feinstein and are immensely grateful for her trailblazing and storied service to San Francisco, California, and our entire country. Throughout her remarkable career, Senator Feinstein broke barriers for women in politics and left a tremendous legacy of environmental accomplishments, from her work to protect millions of acres of California deserts, to safeguarding the Pacific coast from oil drilling to her landmark legislation on cleaner cars, and more. Our thoughts are with the Feinstein family during this difficult time.”

DOI RELEASES 5 YEAR OFFSHORE DRILLING PLAN: The Department of the Interior released its final 2024-2029 5 year offshore oil leasing program, which includes three planned lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director America Fitzpatrick said, “It’s disappointing that the Biden-Harris administration issued a final five-year plan that includes new leasing that could lead to decades more fossil fuel dependency and climate pollution. While three lease sales is fewer than what was initially proposed and fewer than previous five-year plans, LCV remains firmly opposed to Congress tying the expansion of offshore wind development to more oil and gas leasing off our coasts. We stand with frontline and coastal communities in calling on the Biden-Harris administration to do everything they possibly can to protect our coasts, our health, and our climate.”

CHISPA TX TAKE: Chispa TX Program Director Elida Castillo said, “Our country is feeling the impacts of increased costs as we continue the practice of exporting our natural resources, while placing our coastal communities in harm’s way through more offshore drilling. We bear the brunt of the impacts to our health and environment. We need more protections that will mitigate the warming of our oceans, rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes, and the decimation of our aquatic ecosystems, which sustain our fishing and tourism economies. Public waters belong to the public, and we should do more to protect our oceans and communities and prioritize investments in proven renewable energies and conservation.”

NHTSA FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS HEARING DRAWS STRONG SUPPORT FOR CLEANER CARS: On Thursday, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a hearing on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards that drew 150 people from communities across the country and representatives of public health, environmental justice, conservation, and industry groups who spoke on the importance of finalizing the strongest possible CAFE standards. Between LCV and our state affiliates, our network organized nearly 50 individuals to testify at the hearing. Read more testimonies in the ICYMI.

OUR TAKE:  LCV Government Affairs Advocate Darien Davis said, “The Biden-Harris administration has already finalized strong short-term clean cars standards – now it’s time to finish the job. I urge NHTSA to create the strongest possible fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks. Ideally, this would align with the option that would increase passenger car stringency six percent a year, and light-trucks by eight percent.”

EPA OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR 2023 CLEAN SCHOOL BUS REBATE PROGRAM: The EPA has opened applications for school districts to receive funding to replace diesel engine school buses with low or no-emission models through the Clean School Bus Program. Replacing dirty diesel buses will provide a range of health benefits for children, drivers, and communities by reducing exposure to toxic emissions. This is the second year of the 5 year program, which awarded $965 million to nearly 400 schools in its inaugural year.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS OPPOSE FY24 APPROPRIATIONS BILLS: Ahead of the looming government shutdown, House Republicans attempted to jam through appropriations bills calling for draconian funding cuts to various sectors of government loaded with attacks on environmental, public health, equity, and climate justice programs and policies. LCV led various coalitions of environmental groups in opposing the most egregious of those bills, including H.R. 4367, the 2024 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act and its amendments; H.R. 4665, the 2024 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act; H.R. 4368, the House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.

LCV ACTION FUND ANNOUNCES SENATE ENDORSEMENTS: This week, LCVAF announced its endorsements for several U.S. Senate seats. Those endorsements include Lucas Kunce for Missouri, Ruben Gallego for Arizona, Colin Allred for Texas, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for Florida.

Endorsement of Lucas Kunce to the U.S. Senate representing Missouri:

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Lucas Kunce has been a champion for protecting Missouri farmland, creating next-generation energy jobs, and conserving the state’s natural resources, and will continue to do so for communities across Missouri and the country. As a national security leader, Kunce understands the threats of the climate crisis and the need for clean energy independence. We’re proud to endorse Lucas Kunce’s campaign because he will work to put people over polluters and fight for a more just and equitable democracy for all.”

KUNCE: Lucas Kunce said, “Politicians in Washington have let Big Oil and Big Ag strip our communities for parts, ship our jobs overseas, send us to forever wars, and obliterate the middle class. I saw it as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I see it as a Missourian. I’m proud to be supported by an organization that is committed to fighting back.”

Endorsement of Representative Ruben Gallego to the U.S. Senate representing Arizona:

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Vice President of Political Affairs Craig Auster said, “From his leadership to protect our public lands and waters to his advocacy for good-paying clean energy jobs, Representative Ruben Gallego has relentlessly fought for environmental justice and has championed the environment as a top priority during his time in Congress. Ruben Gallego is a tremendous advocate for our clean energy future and for a more just and equitable democracy. With Arizona on the frontlines of the climate crisis, LCV Action Fund is thrilled to endorse Gallego’s campaign for the Senate to continue to fight for a sustainable future for all.”

CHISPA AZ TAKE: Chispa Arizona Executive Director Vianey Olivarria said, “Our communities in Arizona deserve leadership like Representative Gallego who will put people above big polluters and special interests, and has a proven record of fighting for communities of color and low-wealth communities who suffer the most from extreme weather, pollution, and environmental injustice. After the hottest summer on record, we must take every action to combat the climate crisis at the scale science demands to meet our climate goals. Ruben Gallego will continue to fight for clean energy, jobs, and justice, and we’re proud to support his campaign for Senate.”

GALLEGO: Representative Ruben Gallego said, “This unprecedented summer in Arizona — the hottest on record with dangerous stretches of extreme heat — made clear why we need bold leaders in the Senate who are willing to address climate change head-on. I’m proud to be endorsed by LCV Action Fund and will continue to fight alongside them as we work to secure Arizona’s water future, preserve our public lands, and protect Arizonans from rising temperatures. Together, we’ll work with everyone — Republicans and Democrats alike — to deliver common-sense solutions and build a better future for the generations to come.”

Endorsement of Representative Colin Allred to the U.S. Senate representing Texas:

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Representative Colin Allred has a proven record of fighting for the environment and to strengthen our democracy. On the heels of the hottest summer on record, continued electric grid issues, and constant attacks on our voting rights, Texans deserve leaders like Colin Allred who will prioritize fighting the climate crisis and protecting our democracy, especially in communities already at the forefront of extreme weather and pollution. We’re proud to endorse Colin Allred’s campaign to continue to lead on clean energy, clean air and water, and a more free and fair democracy.”

ALLRED: Congressman Colin Allred said, “From flooding in Harris County, to catastrophic statewide ice storms, to scorching drought killing crops in the Panhandle, Texans are already feeling the effects of climate change, and with Texas leading the nation in wind energy production and is second in solar energy production, we are already seeing the good-paying jobs that come with supporting clean energy initiatives that help combat climate change. LCV has consistently supported efforts to tackle the climate crisis and ensure we pass on a healthy state to future Texans, which is why I’m honored to have their support. Texas is an energy state, and in the Senate I’ll do everything I can to make sure we continue to lead the world in energy production, taking an all of the above approach while creating thousands of jobs here in Texas.”

Endorsement of Debbie Mucarsel-Powell to the U.S. Senate representing Florida

OUR TAKE: LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has a fantastic record of championing environmental justice in a state at the forefront of the climate crisis. We know that Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will prioritize the health and rights of Florida communities over polluters and special interests, especially communities of color and communities with low wealth who carry the greatest burden from extreme weather and pollution. LCV Action Fund is thrilled to endorse Mucarsel-Powell’s campaign for Senate to protect our rights to clean water, clean air, and a free and fair democracy.”

FCV TAKE: Florida Conservation Voters Executive Director Aliki Moncrief said, “The climate crisis is here in Florida, and this summer’s unprecedented extreme heat, coral bleaching, fish kills, toxic algal blooms and more are all clear signs that we need leaders who will fight for climate action and environmental justice. Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell understands this and has a clear track record of championing our clean air, clean water and coastal economies.”

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Representative Debbie Mucarsel Powell said, “I’m honored and excited by this endorsement. In Florida, our environment is at the heart of everything, from the health of our children to the strength of our economy. Floridians deserve a Senator with a record of protecting our environment and taking on the special interests who put partisanship and profits ahead of our environment. In Congress, I was proud to work across the aisle to deliver funding for Everglades restoration and take on climate change. In the Senate, I’ll make sure Floridians are ready to face the challenges of a warming climate — unlike Rick Scott, who banned saying the words ‘climate change’ — and make sure that our environment will still be just as vibrant for our children and the next generations.”

LCV ACTION FUND ANNOUNCES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ENDORSEMENTS: LCVAF announced endorsements for 13 candidates for seats in the House of Representatives in key districts. Those endorsements include U.S. Representatives Julia Brownley (CA-26), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Scott Peters (CA-50), Lucy McBath (GA-07), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) and candidates Andrei Cherny (AZ-01), Christina Bohannan (IA-01), Monica Tranel (MT-01), Tony Vargas (NE-02), Gabe Amo (RI-01). LCVAF also endorsed Representative Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07) for reelection. LCVAF and California Environmental Voters additionally endorsed Lateefah Simon for CA-12 and Laura Friedman for CA-30, two open seats in California.

OUR TAKE:  LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “LCV Action Fund is just getting started on our efforts to support environmental champions running for Congress, and are thrilled to endorse these candidates who will put people over polluters and work to protect our right to a free and fair democracy. In the wake of the hottest summer on record, devastating extreme weather events across the country, and more attempts than ever to subvert our most fundamental rights, we must have members of Congress who will prioritize all of our communities, especially those who have been historically excluded from our democracy and who bear the brunt of climate impacts and toxic pollution. We are proud to support leaders who will prioritize the fight against the climate crisis and environmental injustice, and fight for a more just and equitable democracy.”

LCV ACTION FUND CALLS FOR THE RESIGNATION OF SENATOR BOB MENDENDEZ: Following the indictment of Senator Menendez (D-NJ) on federal corruption charges, LCV Action and New Jersey LCV have called for Menendez to resign, and LCVAF rescinded their endorsement of the senator for re-election.

OUR TAKE: LCVAF Vice President of Political Affairs Craig Auster said, “While we believe that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, we also believe that it is important to hold ourselves and those we support to high standards. Based on the significance of the allegations, we are urging Senator Menendez to resign and we are rescinding his endorsement.”

NJ LCV TAKE: Ed Potosnak, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director, said, “It is with a heavy heart that we join the chorus of a growing number of voices, both in New Jersey and across our nation, in asking Senator Menendez to step down. The disturbing allegations leveled against him by federal prosecutors make it simply impossible for him to effectively represent our state at this time. While Senator Menendez will be putting his entire efforts into preparing for his defense, New Jersey is facing a climate crisis, with record heat waves and increased flooding and wildfires. We need a U.S. senator who can be solely focused on addressing these existential threats, not one whose attention is divided by an unfolding scandal.”

LCV JOINS CALL FOR SCOTUS RECUSALS: LCV, along with over 40 pro-democracy organizations, signed onto a letter led by Accountable.US detailing Supreme Court Justices’ ethical violations and calling for Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito to recuse themselves from cases with which they have proven conflicts of interest.

COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “The months-long Supreme Court ethics crisis has proven that countless damning examples of improper relationships between justices and powerful forces tied up in the Court likely exist outside of the public eye and are yet to be revealed — making lasting accountability and reform all the more urgent. Recusals are a critical step in this direction…When justices do recuse themselves from cases, it is often on the basis of conflictual stock holdings. Any reasonable person would agree that justices hearing a case brought to the Court by parties with whom they have longstanding personal relationships — or worse, from whom they have accepted lavish gifts and travel — ranks a far more serious ethical offense than a small holding in a widely-traded stock.

“Until now, the Supreme Court’s ethics crisis has been defined by its refusal to establish and enforce strong standards — standards to which every other federal judge is required to adhere. Now is the time for action to ensure our nation’s highest Court is held to the highest standards of ethics and impartiality. Our democracy depends on it.”

70 ORGANIZATIONS TO HOMELAND SECURITY: SUSPEND DEPORTATION FLIGHTS TO HAITI: LCV joined over 70 organizations in calling on the Department of Homeland Security to suspend forced deportations to Haiti in accordance with a November 2022 UNHCR announcement which called for the suspension of all forced return of Haitians to their country. Since then, the U.S. has sent nine deportation flights to Haiti.

COALITION TAKE: From the letter, “The undersigned organizations call on you to suspend the scheduled September deportation flight to Haiti and all future U.S. deportation flights to Haiti until the United States, in consultation with UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is assured that generalized conditions of violence and insecurity in Haiti no longer represent a credible risk of serious harm to anyone forcibly returned to that country. We further call on you to investigate possible harms that people deported from the United States to Haiti since November 2022 may have experienced since their deportation, and to rectify, to the extent possible, those harms, including by facilitating humanitarian parole applications for those having experienced harm.”

LCV, CEV JOIN CALL FOR CHUCKWALLA MONUMENT DESIGNATION: Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-25) and local advocates called for President Biden to designate nearly 700,000 acres in California as the Chuckwalla National Monument.

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “LCV joins the growing chorus calling on the Biden-Harris administration to protect the cultural resources, vital species and habitats, and recreation opportunities in the California desert by designating the Chuckwalla National Monument. We applaud Representative Ruiz for his leadership and collaboration with local leaders to protect this critical area in California. This national monument will honor the homelands of the Cahuilla, Quechan, Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Mojave peoples and better facilitate Tribal collaboration for the stewardship of the landscape, while preserving access to nature and popular sites for outdoor recreation. The Biden-Harris administration has already worked with local communities and Tribal Nations and designated national monuments in Arizona, Nevada and Texas, and we look forward to working together to build on this conservation record, including the Chuckwalla National Monument.”

CEV TAKE: California Environmental Voters’ Political and Organizing Director Mike Young said, “The California desert is one of our state’s vibrant treasures and is home to a wide range of unique plants and wildlife that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Additionally, these 700,000 acres serve as a space where Californians come to relax, explore, and celebrate their cultural history. This expansion would be a fantastic opportunity to provide additional resources that protect and preserve this unique wildspace, while moving closer toward the President’s commitment to conserve 30% of America’s wildspaces by 2030. We celebrate the leadership of Representative Ruiz and are proud to be part of a diverse coalition that is working to protect our biodiversity and wildspaces.”


MICHIGAN RALLIES FOR CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE: Michigan LCV and partners hosted the Climate Rally For Our Future on Tuesday with hundreds of attendees. Students from around the state were bussed into the capital for the youth-led event calling on the Michigan legislature to pass 100% clean energy legislation. Michigan LCV also organized over 100 lobby meetings following the rally. View Michigan LCV’s post about the event!

MLCV TAKE: Michael King, Michigan LCV organizer and Grand Valley University student said, “The reason why we are here today is because of urgency… we have to make sure that we are standing up for a sustainable future. We have to try to be beacons of change… we cannot let this bill of 100% clean energy pass us by because we have to make sure and ensure a positive clean, renewable future for generations to come.”

CVPA HOSTS GREEN GALA WITH CLIMATE CHAMPIONS: Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA) connected with climate leaders, celebrated climate successes, and engaged with other climate organizations at their annual Green Gala in Philadelphia this week. In attendance was Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, State Representative Liz Fiedler, and Pennsylvania Special Deputy Secretary of Environmental Justice Fernando Trevino. Pennsylvania’s Climate Action team also attended to engage with stakeholders and collect petition signatures at the event.

NCL CELEBRATES PUBLIC LANDS DAY: In partnership with Nevada’s Climate Action team, Institute for a Progressive Nevada, and Indigenous Voices of Nevada, the Nevada Conservation League hosted a Public Lands Day park cleanup and festival. Attendees enjoyed free food, activities, and swag giveaways as they heard from speakers including NV Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannazarro and other community leaders. The Climate Action NV team collected dozens of petition signatures in support of protecting green agricultural funding for farmers, eliminating harmful tactics like gerrymandering to make voting more accessible, and passing legislation to ensure that climate funding makes it into the communities most affected by environmental issues.

CHISPA NV HOST COMMUNITY CELEBRATION FOR NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY: On Saturday, Chispa Nevada led a trail clean up with community members on Frenchman Mountain to ensure the space stays clean and safe for visitors. During the hike, attendees learned about the history of the land from a local guide. Check out Chispa NV’s pictures and videos from the hike.

CHISPA NV AND LEADERS WELCOME NEW PROGRAM DIRECTOR AUDREY PERAL: Last night, community members in Nevada came together to welcome Audrey Peral, Chispa Nevada’s new Program Director. The night was filled with meaningful one-on-one conversations and updates on the work being done in the state. Check out pictures and videos from the community event and celebration here.


ON THE BLOG: With September coming to a close, LCV published our monthly Top 5 stories on the Power Source Blog. This month, we celebrated Hispanic and Latinx activists as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as the latest climate win in California, discussed how federal clean energy benefits are benefitting New Hampshire, and showed our support for climate champions running for office in the upcoming Virginia elections. Read the full stories on the blog!

ON OUR SOCIALS: The LCV social team channeled Drake, Anchorman, and their inner Survivor contestant in their response to the second Republican primary debate, and highlighted the impacts of the looming #MAGAShutdown and of House Republicans’ proposed cuts on our socials this week. And so our followers didn’t get too discouraged, we cleansed the timeline by celebrating LCVAF’s endorsements of Gabe Amo (RI-01), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Laura Friedman (CA-30), Monica Tranel (MT-01), and others, as well as #MICleanEnergyFuture Day of Action 


SEPTEMBER 15 – OCTOBER 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

SEPTEMBER 30: Government funding expires

OCTOBER 18: Clean Water Act 51st anniversary