QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
“Looking forward to holding a series of climate change hearings in the new Congress. It is time that Congress acts on the recent and alarming climate change reports and ensures that the US is a world leader in addressing global warming.”
-Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell tweeted about how the new majority in the House of Representatives plans to start taking immediate action on climate change
“Strong federal protections are essential if we are to have healthy waters for our children and grandchildren. We all depend on safe and healthy waters, so we must pay attention when the Administration rolls out its new water rules.”
-Former EPA Water Protection Division Director James D. Giattina wrote in an op-ed calling for a strong, federal Clean Water Act while highlighting the dangers of weakening existing protections
LCV IN THE NEWS:
BuzzFeed: Trump Is Tapping Andrew Wheeler To Formally Lead The EPA
E&E News: Poliquin unseated in Maine House contest
Washington Post: Pelosi moves aggressively to snuff out challenge to her bid for House speaker
Huffington Post: Protecting Public Lands Was A Winning Platform In Elections Out West
Politico Morning Energy: Looking at the lame duck
National Geographic: What do the 2018 midterms say about climate action in the U.S.?
E&E News: In Minn., a GOP climate booster is out. Green Dems are in
Inside Climate News: 5 Election Winners to Watch on Climate as Environment Crusaders Head to Congress
Roll Call: How House Majority PAC Helped Deliver a Democratic Majority
Scientific American: Scientist–Politicians Rack Up Wins on Election Day
KTUU: Anchorage judge to decide whether Trump can overturn Obama order on offshore leasing
Daily Herald: What the 6th District race can teach vulnerable Republicans on climate change
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:
Arizona Daily Star (AZ): Arizona voters reject Glassman again, from new angle
CALmatters (CA): My turn: Voters made clear that climate change matters
Portland Press Herald (ME): What Maine’s new government will mean to you
Nevada Independent (NV): A moderate governor and a Democratic Legislature: What the election means for the environment
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS!: Fresh off last week’s numerous victories for clean energy, clean air, clean water and public health champions, LCV was proud to welcome many of our new members of Congress to Washington, including the 54 new members endorsed by LCV Action Fund (check out our New Member Guide for the full list). This was the culmination of our largest electoral program in our history and our largest investment ever at $80 million. Our highlight video from the midterms can be viewed here.
MORE ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPS WIN: Over a week since Election Day, and we’re continuing to bring home wins across the country. A few we’re still celebrating:
ARIZONA: Environmental ally and LCV Action Fund-endorsed Kyrsten Sinema was declared the winner in the Arizona’s Senate race – a historic win making Sinema the first openly bisexual Senator and the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona. She defeated Martha McSally, who was named to LCV Victory Fund’s infamous Dirty Dozen because of her record of siding with polluters over Arizonans. Sandra Kennedy also won a statewide seat this week on the Arizona Corporation Commission, a key position for deciding utility rates and clean energy investments.
CALIFORNIA: LCV Victory Fund swept all five California House races we invested in this year. Last night, Congresswoman-elect Katie Porter officially unseated Mimi Walters, who was named to the Dirty Dozen. Pro-environment candidates Josh Harder and Harley Rouda’s races were called this week, too.
MAINE: Congressman-elect Jared Golden also officially flipped Maine’s 2nd district on Thursday. Golden joins Governor-elect Janet Mills as a strong supporter for climate action, which has become a decisive issue in the coastal state.
FLORIDA: We’re keeping a close eye (along with most of the nation) on the Florida recount, where Bill Nelson is in a narrow battle against Rick Scott, who earlier this year was named the first member of the Dirty Dozen.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE WINNING ISSUES: Voters across the country rewarded candidates who made environmental issues some of their top priorities. Winners of competitive races like Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis argued that bold and ambitious climate action is necessary for our future. Here’s some of the progress that’s already happening as a result:
HOLDING CLIMATE DENIERS ACCOUNTABLE: As a result of pro-environmental candidates winning across the country, critical House committees will be chaired by champions who unveiled plans to kick off their chairmanships by holding two days of hearings on the grave threats climate change pose and need for action early next year.
NEW CLIMATE CRISIS COMMITTEE: Nancy Pelosi was the most pro-environment Speaker of the House in our nation’s history. Now, before the new Congress begins, she is already calling for a “select committee to address the climate crisis,” adding that “House Democrats ran on and won on our bold campaign for a $1 trillion investment in our infrastructure that will make our communities more resilient to the climate crisis, while creating 16 million new good-paying jobs across the country.”
NEW LEADERSHIP: For the first time in nearly a decade, the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology will be led by someone who believes in climate science, Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: The deadliest and most destructive wildfire recorded in California state history is currently burning through hundreds of thousands of acres of lands and cities, and has taken far too many lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families who have lost loved ones. LCV is committed to taking action on climate change to curb its extremely harmful impacts. This fire’s strength was multiplied by a much drier fall season caused by climate change, and schools throughout the Bay Area have been forced to temporarily close due to the toxic air pollution.
SHAMEFUL RESPONSE: Instead of addressing one of the root causes of the wildfires, Trump shamefully misled the public in his response to the natural disaster by casting blame on forest management. He even threatened to cut off federal funding to California for managing the crisis while the fires still rage and thousands are still grappling with losing their homes and loved ones.
WEAKENING METHANE STANDARDS: On Wednesday, the EPA held its sole public hearing on its plan to weaken protections against methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet spoke out against the rollback, saying ahead of the hearing that “a well-crafted rule for fugitive methane can protect and improve public health and strengthen the economy without harming oil and gas production.”
CORRUPTION AT EPA… AGAIN: The EPA under Trump has been riddled with corruption stories. Now there’s another character in the mix: EPA Regional Administrator Trey Glenn. Glenn has been charged with violating Alabama’s ethics laws for taking money from a lobbyist while leading the state’s Department of Environmental Management. The jury is still out on whether former lobbyist and acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler will take action because he hasn’t “had a chance to look into the matter or talk to him personally yet.”
BREAKING: Trump indicated on Friday that he’d nominate Wheeler to head the EPA permanently. We swiftly called on the Senate to reject his nomination, noting that voters last week overwhelmingly elected candidates who will prioritize public health and the environment over polluter profits.
AN IMPORTANT RESOURCE FOR ALL MEDIA: This past year has proven how deadly hurricanes can be. LCV teamed up with The Weather Channel to produce this valuable resource on how to cover hurricanes and the link between hurricanes and climate change. Check it out here.
January 3 – New Congress begins