QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Secretary Zinke famously said that ‘Not one square inch’ of public land has been sold off under his watch. Now it’s clear he meant to add… yet.”
–Senator Maria Cantwell responding to the Trump administration considering selling off parts of the former Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
“This is absurd. Climate change is absolutely playing a role in these wildfires. We should all be able to agree on that and move on to a conversation about what we can do to reduce the harm it’s causing our communities.”
–Senator Kamala Harris pushing back against Secretary Zinke’s absurd claim that her state’s wildfires are not caused by climate change
“The biggest environmental challenge facing California is climate change. From rising sea levels to changing weather patterns to the forest fire epidemic, we can already see the impact of global warming on our state.”
–Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, reminding us that climate change is the defining issue of our time
LCV IN THE NEWS:
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
LCV’s state affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
Western Queens Gazette (NY): NYLCV Releases 2018 State Environmental Scorecard
Wisconsin Gazette (WI): Wisconsin conservationists launch campaign to reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript (NH): Recreation fund in jeopardy
San Francisco Chronicle (CA): California wildfires raising environmental issues for vulnerable GOP
81 DAYS UNTIL the midterms, and vulnerable, anti-environmental candidates are trying to greenwash their records, including Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03), Rep. Mia Love (UT-04) and Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06). LCV Victory Fund polling has shown that many of these candidates have an increased vulnerability due to their environmental records, indicating that environment is going to play a major role in the midterms.
BUT FIRST…17 DAYS UNTIL the Senate begins holding hearings on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. This week, LCV announced our biggest Supreme Court campaign yet: a $200,000 initiative to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination. We’re in this because Kavanaugh’s record shows he is a threat to our health, our environment, and our democracy.
KAVANAUGH’S DIRTY DECISIONS: As a part of this initiative, we are launching a “Dirty Decision of the Day” series, highlighting one decision every day that shows Kavanaugh’s dangerous record. Check out the first four cases here.
BREAKING: Trump will soon reveal his proposal to replace President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, destroying years of progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. According to an unpublished draft obtained by Politico, the new plan would allow states to set their own regulations for coal plants, however weak or ineffective those regulations may be.
MEANWHILE… As Trump plans to roll back one of our best policies in reducing climate change, this week he claimed at a Cabinet meeting that the wildfires in California are “not a global warming thing.” Earlier this week, Zinke also doubled down on his false claim that “extreme environmentalists” are to blame for the wildfires. During his visit to California, Zinke said in a television interview that the state’s forest management is responsible for the flames.
AT LEAST SOME ARE FACING THE FACTS: Natural gas titan PG&E has joined the scientific community in naming climate change as the culprit behind California’s wildfires. The company’s CEO made the announcement via email, saying: “Climate change is no longer coming, it’s here.”
THE EP-NO WAY! The Trump/Wheeler EPA is in the process of rigging its rulemaking process in favor of the fossil fuel industry. By altering its cost-benefit analysis methods, the agency will underestimate the value of environmental regulations on public health. Initiated by disgraced former Administrator Scott Pruitt, the move follows a series of attempts by this administration to hand over our environment to big polluters.
SCIENCE, SILENCED: A survey of federal scientists shows that many censor their own research to avoid the wrath of Trump’s anti-fact administration. Nearly a third of EPA scientists called the agency’s political appointees “a top barrier to scientific decision making.”
NOT IN MY WHEELHOUSE: Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler appeared in a Sinclair TV broadcast to promote Trump’s Clean Car Standards rollback, alleging that the new plan will save both lives and money. Studies show the exact opposite: Trump’s cuts to auto emissions standards will actually make our roads less safe and more expensive.
MORE THAN EMISSIONS: Trump’s rollback of vehicle emissions standards is about more than just cars — it’s about human lives. After the recent #CleanRide4Kids rally at the National Governors Association, one mother spoke out voicing her concern for the way Trump’s policies will affect her son’s asthma — a disease plaguing more than 6 million children nationwide.
CLEAN WATER WIN: This week a federal judge in South Carolina issued a nationwide injunction on the Trump administration’s delay of the Clean Water Rule, meaning the rule protecting wetlands and small waterways is now in effect in 26 states.
CALIFORNIA SCHEMIN’: In the midst of Trump’s attempt to slash the Clean Car Standards, California lawmakers are planning new ways to fight pollution at the state level. By subsidizing electric vehicles and limiting access to those that run on gasoline, California can effectively sidestep Trump’s authority.
DON’T FORGET: California is already leading the effort to fight Trump’s clean car rollbacks in the courts.
FLIP-FLOPS AND STUNTS: Back in January, Zinke promised to keep Florida “off the table” for offshore drilling. This was a bit of a stunt to help boost Governor Rick Scott’s bid to unseat Senator Bill Nelson, who has been a champion of opposing offshore drilling for decades while Scott has advocated for more drilling and gutting funding to protect Florida’s waters. Well, news out this week tells the real story: despite Zinke’s announcement, big oil and gas industries are close to getting Florida lawmakers to agree to allow offshore drilling right off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico.
WHICH IS IT? Rick Scott’s messaging conveniently shifts whichever way the political winds are blowing. Back in 2011, Scott cut $700 million from water management districts. He touted those “savings,” but now he’s paying for those cuts. Florida’s waters are suffering from toxic algal blooms and red tide, and Rick is trying to blame…the water management districts. In reality, he’s the one who oversees the budget and appoints managers, and cuts $700 million from efforts to help the waterways.
WEEKEND READ: Trump’s disastrous climate policies affect all of us, but their effects on children are particularly dire. Here’s why.
SEPTEMBER 4 — Kavanaugh hearings begin
SEPTEMBER — Trump administration expected to release their Dirty Water Rule, which will severely rollback Clean Water Act protections for waterways our families and communities depend on
SEPTEMBER 30 — Expiration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the nation’s best parks program
Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, www.lcv.org, and not authorized by
any candidate or candidate’s committee.