This Week In Climate (In)Action


Jun 9, 2017

Ariana Valderrama,, 202-454-4554

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 and Twitter.



“They know this is a critical issue for voters, and they’re competing to see how green they can be. I think the decision underscores even more, when you look at the 2020 election, what’s truly at stake in terms of whether we’re going to be going forward or backward.”

–       LCV President Gene Karpinski on in the Washington Post on electoral impacts of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement


“On a day when we should be celebrating the anniversary of the law used to protect places like the Grand Canyon, Zion, and the Statue of Liberty, it’s outrageous that we’re facing down an unprecedented attack on our national parks and monuments by President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke…That’s why state LCVs from all across the country will be joining members of Congress to call for the protection of our treasured public lands at a rally during LCV’s June 14 Lobby Day.”

–       LCV President Gene Karpinski on the 111th anniversary of the Antiquities Act


“LCV is thrilled to congratulate Congressman-elect Jimmy Gomez on his victory last night. Gomez will be a strong voice in Congress, fighting for clean energy jobs, environmental justice and healthy communities. Gomez is a recognized environmental leader, and we know he will continue to lead the way in Congress. He understands the importance of standing up for the basic rights of clean air and water, which are critical to the health of all families.”

–       LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld on Congressman-elect Jimmy Gomez’s victory in California



Washington Post: Democrats see political opportunity in Trump’s decision to abandon Paris climate deal

Huffington Post: As Law That First Saved Grand Canyon Turns 111, Trump Takes Aim At Its Legacy



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:

Asbury Park Press (NJ): Activists want NJ to fight climate change without feds

Daily Tar Heel (NC): Trump will withdraw U.S. from Paris Climate Accord

The News and Observer (NC): More NC homeowners could have rooftop solar panels with leasing deals

Keene Sentinel (NH): NH congresswoman to speak about federal budget impacts in Peterborough

Keene Sentinel (NH): In face of Paris withdrawal, local companies vow to press forward with green policies

Des Moines Register (IA): Oil is flowing in the Dakota Access Pipeline, but Iowa opponents still think they can shut it down

Detroit Free Press (MI): Straits pipeline report raises fears of disaster; Embridge says oil, gas lines supported


NEVADA VOTES FOR SOLAR: Public outcry over the rollback of Nevada’s clean energy policies over the last two years is turning into big wins for climate, but Governor Sandoval still has one huge decision to make in the next few days on a renewable energy bill passed on the final day of the session this week. Nevada’s legislature passed one of the nation’s strongest clean energy bills on Monday. Governor Sandoval has yet to make a decision on AB206 which commits Nevada to 40 percent renewables by 2030 and would guarantee Nevada’s clean energy leadership. Signing the bill would put him in the company of a bipartisan group of governors vowing to keep acting on climate despite the president’s withdrawal from Paris.

Nevada Public Radio: Sandoval Weighs Bills For Clean Energy, Medicaid For All

KKOH Radio (NV): Lawmakers Hope to Restore The Solar Industry in Nevada


PHIL MURPHY WINS ON CLEAN ENERGY IN NEW JERSEY: On Tuesday, New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy won the primary. Murphy has long been considered the frontrunner to replace Governor Chris Christie, and he has built his campaign calling for 100 percent clean energy. LCV’s New Jersey affiliate supported Murphy in the primary. Phil Murphy tells N.J. ‘It is time for a governor who has your back’

New Jersey Spotlight: With Democratic Governor, Garden State Would Be Much Greener

Asbury Park Press: EDITORIAL: New Jersey has environmental war on its hands

NY Times: Phil Murphy and Kim Guadagno Win Primaries in New Jersey Governor’s Race

“DID WE NOT LEARN ANYTHING AFTER FLINT?”:  Lawmakers in Michigan are set to approve big cuts to core environmental programs and especially the ones protecting lakes and waterways. A new report from the Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan League of Conservation Voters highlights the impacts. “This report shows that irresponsible, sweeping cuts at the state and federal levels will have real-world impacts from Menominee to Monroe, Taylor to Traverse City,” said Lisa Wozniak, Michigan LCV executive director. “This report is a wake-up call. We urge our elected officials in Lansing to pump the brakes and stop rushing to pass a budget that will only exacerbate our race to the bottom when it comes to the environment.”

 THE PARIS EFFECT: Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement was met immediately with strong rebuke from voters, businesses, foreign policy experts, international leaders and politicians on both sides of the aisle. The wildly unpopular decision has only continued to inspire a new wave of resistance in the movement. Here’s the latest:

CITIES AND STATES: In the wake of Trump’s decision, over 200 cities rejected his reckless withdrawal, pledging to remain committed to the standards set in the accord. More than 1,600 U.S. governors, mayors, investors, universities, and companies have pledged to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement as part of the “We Are Still In” campaign.

PITTSBURGH AND PARIS TO TRUMP, ‘TRY AGAIN’: In his announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Trump attempted to rationalize his decision, saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” This statement was immediately rejected by Mayor Bill Peduto, and this week he and Mayor Ann Hidalgo of Paris co-wrote an op-ed in the New York Times discussing the commonalities shared by their cities and their mutual commitment to progress on climate change.

U.S. ACTING AMBASSADOR RESIGNS: Career foreign service officer and acting ambassador to China David Rank left his post in Beijing this week. Rank resigned after expressing his strong disapproval of the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

2020 VISION: The Washington Post wrote about the political consequences Trump’s decision will have on 2018 and 2020 elections. The majority of voters want action on climate change, and Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the agreement will be a vulnerability for climate denying Republicans in upcoming elections.

EPA CHIEF’S BIG JOBS LIE: Last weekend, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt joined Sean Spicer for a press briefing to defend Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement. Pruitt attempted to rationalize the reckless abandonment of the agreement by claiming it would add jobs to the economy. Pruitt repeated this refrain on Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday, where he also claimed the coal industry has grown by 50,000 jobs since Trump became president. This is a boldfaced and dangerous lie – fact checkers assert that the coal industry has a total (not growth) of 51,000 jobs.

 ITS 1984 2017 AND “ALTERNATIVE FACTS” FILTER INTO SCHOOLS: Teachers across the U.S. have been receiving books and DVDs in the mail, which claim there is no scientific consensus on climate change. The materials are being distributed by a group called the Heartland Institute, and more than 300,000 teachers have received the materials. Four U.S. senators sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos inquiring about any relation between the department and the Heartland Institute. This past week, when asked about her views on climate change, Secretary DeVos responded: “I think the climate, certainly, the climate changes.”



Tomorrow– Secretary Ryan Zinke has until tomorrow to make a recommendation about the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Thursday, June 15 – EPA Director Scott Pruitt will testify before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on Thursday, June 15th, on the proposed budget for the EPA.



 Wednesday, June 14 – LCV’s annual Lobby Day and Capital Dinner are Wednesday, June 14th. Activists from around the country will fly in to urge federal lawmakers to protect our environment and move forward with measures to combat the harmful effects of climate change.

On Wednesday at noon, LCV will join members of Congress and state affiliates to announce a new campaign focused on protecting our national monuments and defending the Antiquities Act from administrative and congressional attacks. More details can be found here.

On Wednesday night, LCV will host its annual Capital Dinner featuring Ellen Burstyn, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, and former EPA Administrators Carol Browner and Gina McCarthy. The dinner will focus on resistance efforts and recent successes at the state and local level. More details can be found here.