THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“This is a huge win for our health, our clean air, and our climate, and shows that President Trump’s plans to unravel hard-won environmental protections are not a foregone conclusion. We thank each and every Senator who stood up against big polluters today and defended these commonsense safeguards from methane pollution. The battle for a clean, safe environment is far from over, and we will continue to stay vigilant, but today is a victory for all those who are raising their voice in resistance to the anti-environmental Trump administration, Republican leadership and Congress.”
“We were surprised and thrilled to win on this. This is clearly a huge win for our health and our climate.”
“We should be of good intent. If we stay at the table, it should be with the intent of achieving measurable reductions [of greenhouse gases]. Any idea that we stay at the table so we can disrupt what the rest of the world is attempting is really outrageous on our part. And the rest of the world will see it.”
LCV IN THE NEWS:
New York Times: In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule
Los Angeles Times: Senate fails to kill Obama methane rule that had looked doomed
Teen Vogue: Senate Votes to Keep Obama Rule to Control Release of Methane
Think Progress: GOP fails to repeal Obama methane rule after John McCain, 2 other Republicans defect
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Deadline passes on law Trump used to reverse Obama-era regulations
Mother Jones: What the Hell Is Going on With Trump’s Delay on the All-Important Paris Decision?
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
More than 28 of LCV’s state leagues are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
HOT AIR: Senate Rejects Repeal of Methane Regulation
In a blow to the Trump administration and polluters, the Senate unexpectedly rejected an attempt to appeal Obama era methane regulations.
SIREN: Trump Admin Makes Moves Towards Voter Suppression?
Trump signed an executive order yesterday creating a presidential commission on “election integrity,” which aims to investigate his already debunked claim that millions voted illegally in 2016. Evidence suggests that voter fraud is either nonexistent or so rare that there’s no possibility it would bring into question the integrity of an election. Putting Vice President Pence and Kris Kobach in charge of a commission on election integrity is particularly troubling–both of these men have led efforts to disenfranchise and intimidate voters and make the right to vote more difficult and cumbersome for low income and communities of color.
DIAMONDS ARE THE WORLD’S BEST FRIEND?: Tiffany’s Supports Paris Agreement
Joining other large businesses like Apple, Google, and DuPont, Tiffany & Co. urged President Trump to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. The jeweler made the case to President Trump through an Instagram post and an ad in the New York Times on the same day.
DISMISSED EARLY: Pruitt Dismisses 5 Scientists from Board of Scientific Counselors
This week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed five scientists from the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), shortly after removing scientific data about climate change from the EPA website. Pruitt is reportedly considering appointing replacements to the BOSC from the very industries the EPA is tasked with regulating. EPA spokesman J.P. Freire explained this move as Pruitt’s desire to “have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community.” Today two more advisors resigned in protest of the dismissals.
WORSE THAN SPILLED MILK: Major Pipeline Blocked after 18 Leaks and Major Spill
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced that it halted work on natural-gas pipeline in Ohio. The owner, Energy Transfer Partners, which also built the Dakota Access Pipeline, reportedly had 18 leaks and spilled more than 2 million gallons of drilling materials during construction. The Rover pipeline is a $4.2 billion project that would link Appalachia to Michigan and Ontario, but its fate, and the fate of many other pipelines, lies in the hands of FERC.
Trump Reschedules Paris Agreement Discussion
Trump postponed a meeting with his top advisors to discuss whether the U.S. should stay in the Paris Climate Agreement on Tuesday. This was the second time a meeting on this topic between his top aides has been delayed and Trump has not announced a new date for the meeting. Following the delay, Trump announced that he will not announce his official decision on the Paris Climate Agreement until he returns from the G7 Summit in June. Advocates for the Agreement hope that other heads of states will be able to use this time to turn up the pressure on Trump.
TUESDAY: Sen. Mazie Hirono Joins LCV Call Releasing National Environmental Scorecard Report on Congressional Caucuses of Color
On Tuesday, Senator Mazie Hirono will join LCV, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus and Cristobal Alex of Latino Victory Project in a tele-press conference to release a special report on the 2016 National Environmental Scorecard and present LCV’s new analysis of the scores of the congressional caucuses of color. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more on the call-in information. More information on the scorecard can be found here.
THURSDAY: Environmental Attacks in the Senate
The Senate will mark up Sen. Portman’s regulatory reform legislation on Thursday. Under the guise of requiring more scrutiny, analysis and reviews of any regulations made on companies, the bill poses a serious threat to the ability to protect basic health and safety, including through safeguards for clean air and drinking water.
THURSDAY: DRAIN THE SWAMP? Bernhardt Confirmation Hearing
David Bernhardt, whose conflicts of interest and habit of being close to several Bush-era scandals at the Department of the Interior are already raising red flags, will appear before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for his confirmation hearing on Thursday, May 18th as Deputy Secretary for the Department of the Interior.