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QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“The majority of Americans are demanding bold action to fight the crisis and preserve our planet.”
–Speaker Nancy Pelosi at LCV’s 2019 Capital Dinner on Wednesday.
“I am incredibly proud to be part of this new freshman class, a freshman class that looks more like America in diversity, age and background and a class that is working boldly to address the existential threat of climate change…Our class knows that we cannot punt this for the next Congress or next generation. This issue impacts all of us and it should be included in every aspect of our legislating,
–Representative Joe Neguse at LCV’s 2019 Capital Dinner on Wednesday.
LCV IN THE NEWS:
Bloomberg Environment: Pelosi Calls on Senate to Consider Paris Climate Bill
Transportation Today News: Clean School Bus Act proposes acceleration of national school bus fleet electrification
Press of Atlantic City: Van Drew to announce bipartisan act for land and water conservation funding
Mid Hudson News: Delgado endorsed for second term
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
Utility Drive (ME): Maine steps up clean energy turnaround, tees up 80% RPS, pro-solar bills
Crain’s New York Business (NY): NY better get rolling on micro-mobility
Las Vegas Sun (NV): Nevada lawmakers tackled multiple environmental issues this year
CLIMATE ON THE TRAIL: 2020 candidates are prioritizing climate change. Check out this week’s roundup of what candidates have said and done to put climate action front and center.
HICKENLOOPER RELEASES CLIMATE PLAN: This week Governor John Hickenlooper released his climate change plan. The Democratic presidential candidate’s strategy includes the creation of a carbon tax, which would go back to taxpayers to offset energy cost increases, and rejoining the Paris climate agreement. However, it lacks targets for reducing greenhouse gases and omits support for the Green New Deal.
OUR TAKE: Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Rejoining the Paris Agreement, investing in smart infrastructure, clean energy jobs, and efficiency standards are necessary steps, but overall this plan falls short of the mark. The scale and urgency of the climate crisis requires a bold, ambitious, and clear vision for how to achieve a net-zero carbon future, as well as a just and equitable clean energy economy that works for everyone.”
LCV’S SO GOOD VERY BIG WEEK: Every summer, the Conservation Voter Movement comes together in Washington to lobby Congress on priority issues, and celebrate the environmental victories of the last year. Check out some of this year’s big week highlights below.
CAPITAL DINNER FEATURING SPEAKER PELOSI: On Wednesday night, LCV hosted its annual Capital Dinner, where speakers included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Joe Neguse, and former EPA Administrator and LCV Board Chair Carol M. Browner. In her remarks, Pelosi said, “Thank you LCV for taking the lead from sea to shining sea. Thank you for your advocacy and unaltering partnership…to protect this beautiful planet that we call home.” At the dinner, LCV honored three state partners for their significant clean energy victories. The John Hunting Winning for the Environment Award, which recognizes state partners who exemplify the growing power of the Conservation Voter Movement, was awarded to Conservation Voters New Mexico, Conservation Voters for Idaho, and Chispa Arizona. These three state partners all made critical progress in advancing Clean Energy for All.
LOBBY DAY BRINGS TOGETHER THE CONSERVATION VOTER MOVEMENT: On Wednesday, over 200 people from across the Conservation Voter Movement, including many young activists, joined us in D.C. for our 13th annual LCV Lobby Day, where they partook in over 150 meetings in both the House and Senate. Representative Antonio Delgado, who spoke at the kick-off breakfast, said via Twitter, “The need for clean air and water is not up for debate—we are overdue to invest in our future and must #ActOnClimate. Appreciate the energy this morning from @LCVoters. I’m ready to partner with you all to address #ClimateChange.”
YOUNG CLIMATE ACTIVISTS PREPARE TO LOBBY CONGRESS: On Tuesday more than 70 young activists from across the country attended the LCV Rising Leaders Training, where they learned strategies for advocating for their issues and prepared to share their experiences with members of Congress during LCV’s Lobby Day. Rising Leader Rene Candelaria, a volunteer with LCV’s Climate Action Virginia and rising senior at Old Dominion University, spoke at the LCV Capital Dinner. He said, “Next year, when I graduate, I don’t know what my future will look like. But, I’m hopeful that I will have a long career tackling whatever big problems arise on this planet, because right now we are fighting the climate crisis together.”
NEW FACT SHEET AND VIDEO SHOWCASE STATE PROGRESS TOWARD CLEAN ENERGY: Momentum continues as more states advance towards 100% clean energy. As LCV President Gene Karpinski wrote in a Medium post, “in the Spring of 2019 we are seeing the most productive state legislative sessions for clean energy and climate action in history.” Check out our new fact sheet that summarizes all of the clean energy progress that has been made in 2019 alone and our new video on Clean Energy for All. For a deeper dive, you can read our report on the first 100 days of the governors who made commitments to 100% clean energy.
SHOT: The Washington Post reported that senior White House officials removed comments about the “possibly catastrophic” nature of climate change from State Department testimony for a House Intelligence Committee hearing. Trump administration officials allegedly objected to the use of the phrase “tipping point,” calling it a “propaganda slogan for the scientifically illiterate.”
CHASER: Following reports of White House officials diminishing climate change in State Department testimony, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff ordered intelligence agencies to produce documents showing the White House’s efforts to hide the science. Chairman Schiff demanded the materials be handed over by June 21.
ICYMI: POMPEO TELLS CLIMATE CHANGE VICTIMS TO MOVE: In a Friday interview with the Washington Times, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo downplayed concerns over climate change because “people will move to different places.” The long-time climate denier added that he is “convinced that we will do the things necessary as the climate changes.” Thus far, he has done none of the necessary things.
HOUSE DISCUSSES PRICE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: On Tuesday, the House Budget Committee held a hearing on the financial impact of climate change. Experts who spoke at the hearing warned lawmakers that the effects of climate change will be far-reaching and could cost trillions of dollars. Solomon Hsiang, an expert on the topic, warned that climate change will slow economic growth, worsen inequality, and lead to higher mortality rates.
HOUSE BILL TO FUND LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION EFFORTS: This week Representative Jeff Van Drew, House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, and a bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers introduced the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. The legislation would ensure LWCF receives $900 million of funding every year and protect public lands and open spaces. Representative Van Drew said, “If you keep open space, if you keep greenways, if you keep waterways, then you are also going to help with climate change and all the challenges that it makes.”
OUR TAKE: During LCV’s annual Lobby Day, our Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld joined an event with the bill sponsors and had this to say, “The Land and Water Conservation Fund was permanently reauthorized because people across the country overwhelmingly support LWCF and the benefits it provides to communities. Now it’s time to keep up the momentum and ensure LWCF gets the funding it deserves. ”
LCV CALLS FOR EMPHASIS ON CLIMATE IN FIRST DEBATE: Ahead of the first scheduled Democratic primary debate later this month, LCV called on the recently announced debate moderators to prioritize climate in their questions for candidates. “It is clear that the climate crisis is one of epic proportions, and it is imperative that climate change be front and center at the upcoming debate in Miami and in every presidential debate,” said LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “We urge these esteemed moderators to ask the candidates about their plans to confront climate change beginning on day one of their presidency and continuing throughout it. The 2020 election is our last, best chance to address the climate crisis and voters deserve media coverage that takes it incredibly seriously.”
LCV URGES YES VOTE ON CLEAN ENERGY SPENDING BILL: On Tuesday LCV President Gene Karpinski wrote a letter to the House Representatives urging them to vote “yes” on the appropriations minibus currently being considered on the House floor. In the letter, Karpinski wrote, “The bill’s significant increases for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and scientific research respond to rising concerns about climate change and support for action to address the crisis. We also support the bill’s rejection of the administration’s request to fund the risky and unwanted Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.”
WHEELER — MORE TRASH, LESS CLIMATE: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has decided that he will focus his efforts at the upcoming Japan G20 summit on reducing marine trash, not on stopping climate change. “That’s where the problem lies,” said Wheeler, apparently not referring to the ongoing climate catastrophe. In the past, the Trump administration has fought measures to curb marine trash.
TRUMP SHOWS NO LOVE FOR POLAR BEARS: Trump’s Interior Department will move forward with a plan to search for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The plan requires using a low-flying plane to survey the area, which scientists note might cause polar bears and caribou to flee the area. Despite the risks involved, the Trump administration also has no plans to undergo a review of the environmental risks involved with the survey.
IOWA VOTERS PRIORITIZE CLIMATE: A CNN poll released Monday shows that about 75% of Iowa Democratic caucus-goers report that recognizing climate change as the “greatest threat to humanity” is a must for any candidate who wants their support. In addition, 42% of caucus-goers under 35 reported that supporting the Green New Deal is a requirement for any candidate.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES: While Trump continues to undermine and rollback important environmental protections, state and local leaders are moving forward with climate action and helping us transition to a clean energy economy. Here are some highlights:
COLORADO: Conservation Colorado released a new report on Senator Cory Gardner’s voting record, which delves into his dismal record on the environment. As the report says, “Senator Gardner has voted against policies to protect clean air and water, supported the interests of fossil fuel companies above Colorado’s taxpayers, fought against common-sense laws to limit carbon and air pollution, and helped swing open the doors to America’s public lands for mining and drilling operations.”
UPCOMING: Next week, the legislatures in both Oregon and Maine are expected to take big clean energy votes for their states…stay tuned.
June 17 – Leaking Talent: How People of Color Are Pushed Out Of Environmental Organizations at the National Press Club
June 20 – House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on Clean Car Standards
June 26-27 – First Democratic primary debates