This Week In Climate (In)Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – September 21, 2018

Sep 21, 2018


“These things [environmental issues] became voting issues, people didn’t want to live next to a toxic waste site. People didn’t want to have water that makes you sick.”

– Former Secretary of State John Kerry championing environmental protections on Pod Save America


“Some people evidently can still deny the reality [of climate science] – it’s a little bit harder to deny the 3,000 deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria last year.”

– Former Vice President Al Gore reminding us that the incomprehensible frequency and intensity of these natural disasters are not coincidence, but climate change


“People who deny climate change… I just think it’s the most stupid thing ever.”

– Paul McCartney explaining why we should all just Come Together and acknowledge the very real threat of climate change



The Hill: Green group targets California GOP House candidates in new ads

Yahoo News: Do Americans value climate action enough to vote for it?

Politico: First in Score – Web Wars

National Journal: Key Conservation Fund Set to Expire As Greens Go for Broke

Pacific Standard: California is America’s climate hero. But who gets the credit?

Marie Claire: The Midterm Elections Can Be Confusing—Here’s What You Need to Know About Them

Roll Call: Ocelots, Butterflies in Path of Border Wall

E&E News: 32 House races to watch on energy, environment

KJZZ: Arizona Gets Federal Money For Outdoors Projects, But Needs Reauthorization



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:

Treasure Coast News (FL): Andrew Gillum: Algae and other environmental problems need science-based solutions

Denver 7 (CO): Urgency grows in Colorado over Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund

Shepherd Express (WI): Why Josh Kaul Should Be Our Next Attorney General

Hartford Courant (CT): Editorial: Weathering The Storms To Come

Beaumont Enterprise (CT): Connecticut League of Conservation Voters endorses 3 Middlesex County candidates for office

Wilton Bulletin (CT): Wilton legislators recognized for environmental voting

Leader-Telegram (WI): EC County Board addressed on proposed moratorium for large livestock facilities

Capital Gazette (MD): Robert Gallagher: Kincey Potter’s success shaped Anne Arundel environmental community

San Francisco Chronicle (CA): Gavin Newsom, John Cox a world apart on environmental issues


FINAL COUNTDOWN: With just 46 days until the midterms and as the world continues to feel the effects of climate change through disasters like Hurricane Florence, LCV Victory Fund is hard at work to elect candidates who will protect our environment. This week, we announced a $275,000 digital campaign against three Californians: Representatives Steve Knight (CA-25) and Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), and candidate Diane Harkey (CA-49). All three repeatedly put polluter profits above the health and safety of Californians and our environment.

TESTER ON PUBLIC LANDS: Senator Jon Tester took to Twitter yesterday to criticize his challenger, fake rancher Matt Rosendale, for taking money from the billionaire Wilks brothers who are notorious for cutting off access to public lands. Tester then went through Rosendale’s long history of pushing to transfer federal public lands to the state, which was the centerpiece of his 2014 House campaign against current Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Rosendale’s extreme views on public lands are out of touch with Montana.

HELL-ER HIGH WATER: The environment’s worst enemy — Donald Trump — endorsed Senator Dean Heller during a Las Vegas rally on Thursday. Like Trump, Heller is a pawn for corporate polluters and has repeatedly sided with Big Oil over Nevada’s 25,000 clean energy jobs, earning him millions in campaign support from polluters and the Koch brothers.

DIRTY DOZEN LIST GROWS: Through our Dirty Dozen list, LCV Victory Fund is calling out some of the most dangerous, climate change-denying candidates on the ballot. This week, Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart, who doubled down on his climate change denial at a forum on Tuesday, joined the likes of Florida’s Rick Scott and Pennsylvania’s Lou Barletta. One other thing they have in common? None of them belong anywhere near the U.S. Senate.

A HOUSE DIVIDED: For the first time ever, LCV Victory Fund is expanding the signature Dirty Dozen list to include a separate list of 12 House candidates. At $15 million for the House alone, we’re making our biggest investment in House races in response to the most anti-environmental Congress in our 50-year history. The first three House members of the Dirty Dozen for 2018 include Reps. Mike Coffman (CO-06), Jason Lewis (MN-02) and Tom MacArthur (NJ-03).

CHANGE OF TIDE: A previous inductee of our Dirty Dozen list, Florida Governor and Senate candidate Rick Scott, continues to receive criticism for his “environmental malpractice.” Scott is challenging Senator Bill Nelson, who on Wednesday said that the environment is “going to be a major issue in this campaign,” especially since Scott has “systematically dismantled the environmental agencies and their funding.” Scott canceled a campaign event after protestors confronted the governor for his handling of the toxic algal bloom in Florida, which has been killing marine life and exacerbating respiratory issues among some residents.

CAROLINA IN MY MIND: Less than a week after Hurricane Florence, Moody’s Analytics estimates that Hurricane Florence caused $17 to $22 billion in damage. This makes Hurricane Florence among the top ten costliest U.S. storms. Climate change made Hurricane Florence worse, demonstrating once again that the climate crisis is not a problem of the future but one we’re facing now. Last year, ocean heat content reached the highest levels ever, and this year is trending even hotter, which means increased rainfall and storm surge during these extreme weather events and more devastation in our communities.

WORST IS STILL TO COME: Hurricane Florence caused historic rainfall in the Carolinas and raised river levels to unprecedented heights. In Wilmington, Duke Energy activated a high-level emergency alert at a retired coal-fired power plant. Floodwaters from the nearby Cape Fear River rose over an earthen dike at the power plant, flooding a large lake and threatening to dump coal ash pollution into the river. Since last weekend, Duke Energy has had two ash spills at different sites that have spread toxic ash into the surrounding environment. At the same time, the Trump administration is in the middle of multiple rulemakings to rollback regulations on coal ash, including delaying requirements that companies close these types of pits and move the waste to a safer location that won’t threaten drinking water. If the case for not delaying these new regulations wasn’t clear before, Florence should make the administration reverse course immediately.

DIVE DEEPER: Just over a year ago, the Brookings Institution warned that extreme weather events disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. Florence was no exception.

MARIA ANNIVERSARY: Thursday was the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, but a year after the storm, Puerto Rico continues to struggle to recover, with power outages common and an electrical grid that is vulnerable to the next storm or even a simple mishap. According to analysis done by McClatchy earlier this year, federal aid to Puerto Rico after the storm has been slow to arrive, with contracts going to inexperienced bidders. As Trump denies the deaths caused by Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans continue to mourn and work to rebuild.

THIS LAND IS OUR LAND: This week, LCV released a video highlighting why it’s so important for Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) before it expires on September 30. In the video, a CHISPA organizer and Dreamer describes how running through public lands on his high school cross country team gave him new opportunities that remain with him today. Running through parks across Arizona gave him the opportunity to go to college on a scholarship, which is one reason why the LWCF is worth fighting for.

KAVANAUGH NOMINATION: We already knew what Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination would mean for the environment – more pollution, more corruption, and fewer checks on Trump’s anti-environment agenda. Now Dr. Christine Blasey Ford deserves to be heard.

OUR STATEMENT: As an organization committed to the health and safety of all people, we also believe it is important to take allegations of sexual assault extremely seriously — never more so than when a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court is at stake. LCV condemns sexual harassment and sexual violence of any kind and we believe that, like all survivors, Dr. Ford deserves to be respected and heard. The Senate should not consider or vote on this lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court without first allowing a fair, thorough and safe process for the full story to be told.

DOUBLING DOWN ON METHANE: This week, as the impacts of a monstrous, climate-fueled hurricane are still unfolding, the Trump administration finalized another rollback of protections against dangerous methane pollution, the first of what will be a two part process to gut the BLM’s Methane Waste Prevention Rule. Zinke’s new rule will loosen commonsense requirements around leak detection and repair, increasing methane pollution that will jeopardize our climate and threaten local communities with more air pollution. This is just another way Zinke is ensuring the government will “work for” oil and gas companies, not the people.

BIRD? PLANE? SATELLITE! At the recent Global Climate Action Summit in California, Governor Jerry Brown announced his intent to launch his “own damn satellite” to measure and pinpoint carbon dioxide emissions and methane leaks. Having accurate data is vital to how we quantify climate change.



SEPTEMBER — Trump administration is 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

OCTOBER 1 — Dirty Power Scam hearing in Chicago



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