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This Week In Climate (In)Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – September 28, 2018

Sep 28, 2018

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“We believe her.”

-Millions across the nation, standing with Dr. Blasey Ford and other survivors of sexual assault this week

 

LCV IN THE NEWS:

C-SPAN Washington Journal: Gene Karpinski on League of Conservation Voters’ Role in Campaign 2018

E&E: 5 election fights featuring green ads

E&E: Greens launch $1M drive to unseat N.J. Republican

Politico: Bishop offers warning shot ahead of Senate LWCF markup

TCPalm: Endorsements: Brian Mast wins Bullsugar, Lauren Baer wins League of Conservation Voters

The Hill: How the Trump tax law passed: GOP adds sweeteners

 

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:

Herald-Tribune (FL): Red tide emerges as issue in Florida’s District 16 congressional race

Florida Politics (FL): David Shapiro bashes Vern Buchanan over red tide crisis

Tampa Bay Reporter (FL): Environmental Group Endorses Hunter for U.S. House

5280 (CO): What You Need to Know About Amendment 74

Patch (CT): Rep. Devlin Endorsed By Environmental Group

Fairfield Sun (CT): CTLCV endorses Brenda Kupchick

Capital Gazette (MD): Mike Shay: If elected to the House of Delegates, I will work to preserve quality of life in south county

Associated Press (NC): Advocacy groups begin campaigns against all 6 referendums

 

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KAVANAUGH MUST WITHDRAW: Like so many who watched Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, we were moved by Dr. Blasey Ford’s bravery and courage. The credible allegation of sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh, combined with the unprecedented refusal of the administration and Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans to reopen the FBI background investigation, clearly disqualify Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court. Trump should immediately withdraw Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination out of respect for survivors of sexual assault, the rule of law, and to avoid further demeaning the integrity of the Court.

THE FIGHT CONTINUES: Following a contentious Judiciary Committee meeting Friday, Kavanaugh’s nomination was advanced on an 11-10 party line vote, but with a request from Senator Jeff Flake that the FBI background investigation be reopened prior to a floor vote. It’s unclear how this will proceed, but we will continue to oppose this troubling nomination.

39 DAYS TO GO: This week, LCV Victory Fund teamed up with other environmental organizations — including  EDF Action, Environment America Action Fund and Clean Water Action to launch a comprehensive, $1 million campaign to defeat pro-polluter Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-03). The campaign will unleash television ads, digital ads and door-to-door canvassing in MacArthur’s district until Election Day. Watch our first ad, “Here”.

DIRTY DOZEN LIST GROWS: Through the Dirty Dozen list, LCV Victory Fund is calling out some of the worst candidates who pose threats to our water, air, land and health that are on the ballot in the midterm elections. This week, LCVVF added two Senate candidates and a House candidate to the Dirty Dozen lists:

JIM RENACCI: Ohio Senate candidate Jim Renacci took over $300,000 in oil and gas contributions while repeatedly voting to slash funding to protect clean drinking water and supporting cuts to the EPA.

MATT ROSENDALE: Montana Senate candidate and Maryland land developer Matt Rosendale was added because he threatens public lands and the state’s way of life. Rosendale and Senator Jon Tester have their first debate tomorrow.

BARBARA COMSTOCK: Representative Barbara Comstock made the list this week after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from polluters and voting to weaken climate change and environmental protections, all despite being a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus.

THE TAKEAWAY: Renacci, Comstock, and Rosendale join the likes of Virginia’s Corey Stewart, Florida’s Rick Scott, and Colorado’s Mike Coffman. One other thing they have in common? None of them belong anywhere near the U.S. Congress.

OVERHEARD ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL: This cycle, we’ve seen that the environment is a winning issue for candidates across the country and at all levels of government. Pro-environment candidates hear voters loud and clear: we are tired of the constant attacks from Congress and Trump on the safeguards that protect our air, water, and outdoor heritage. So they’re talking more and more about environmental issues on the campaign trail. LCV Action Fund’s Craig Auster rounded up some of the best examples of ads on the environment so far this year. Some of our favorites:

FIERCE: Senator Tom Carper released an ad “Fierce,” promising to stand up to the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plans and attacks on the environment.

CLEAN ENERGY: Mike Levin, clean energy entrepreneur and environmental lawyer, put out the ad “Clean Energy,” touting his work with environmental organizations and on clean energy in the race for CA-49.

NOT FOR SALE: Senator Jon Tester, a strong advocate for public lands, released the ad “Not for Sale,” highlighting his record championing protections for public lands and the outdoors.

OCEAN STATE: Incumbent Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo released an ad, “The Ocean State,” that touts the environmental and economic progress under her leadership, including a new offshore wind project.

RED TIDE: In Florida, where climate change has fueled algae growth, more intense hurricanes and sea level rise, candidates in both parties know that the environment needs to be at the top of their priorities if they want to win. Here’s what we’ve seen just this week:

HMMM…: Republican incumbent Representative Vern Buchanan (FL-16) released a misleading ad on Monday about red tide — but Buchanan’s actual record on the environment is poor, with votes that weaken our ability to assess the effects of climate change and undermine the environmental review process for water projects. He has a 19 percent lifetime score from LCV. Buchanan is trying to score political points with voters, but he can’t run away from his true anti-environmental record.

REAL TALK: Buchanan’s pro-environment challenger David Shapiro — who LCV Action Fund endorsed for his commitment to protecting Florida’s beaches, waterways, and coastal economies — released a response ad, “Clean,” calling out Buchanan’s double standard. In the ad, Shapiro notes that Buchanan voted to weaken regulations that help prevent pollution that makes red tide worse.

TOXIC MAST: This week, Lauren Baer, who is challenging incumbent Republican Representative Brian Mast (FL-18), launched a website detailing all the ways Mast has voted to make Florida’s water and land toxic. Despite Mast’s campaign promises to protect Florida’s water, he has failed to draft any meaningful legislation to do so. In the 19 months Mast has been in office, the toxic algae covering Lake Okeechobee has more than tripled from 200 square miles to 950 square miles. Mast has voted in favor of special interests that pollute our water and destroy our lands, including voting to eliminate clean water safeguards and voting to allow open drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

SAVE OUR LANDS: With the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) set to expire on Sunday, the House is leaving town without a vote. Across the country, local elected officials, residents, advocates, business leaders, and others have repeatedly called for Congress to renew and fully fund LWCF, which has bipartisan support. Lawmakers, conservation groups, and constituents took to Twitter this week, calling on Congress to #SaveLWCF and discussing why it is so important for their communities.

OUR STATEMENT: From LCV President Gene Karpinski: “LWCF has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. Its expiration is a clear failure of leadership, starting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to even schedule votes. Communities need Congress to fix this and save America’s best parks program.”

OFFSHORE DRILLING: With the Trump administration’s massive offshore drilling expansion still under review, on Thursday the Interior Department announced new safety rollbacks to ease requirements that independent third parties certify the safety of devices for operation in extreme conditions. Instead, they’re allowing oil companies to internally review the devices and document the process.

OFFSHORE ON THE BALLOT: Some vulnerable House Republicans, like Representative Scott Taylor (VA-02), have attempted to walk back their support for offshore drilling since Trump announced his deeply unpopular expansion. Will they come out against this latest safety rollback, or side with Big Oil?

U.N. TALKS CLIMATE: This week, global leaders met for the annual U.N. General Assembly. With the backdrop of rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, and a fast-approaching year-end deadline to shore up the Paris Agreement, climate change was a major point of discussion during the Assembly. Leaders from the Pacific Islands described how climate change threatens the stability of their national security and marine resources. Despite Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the agreement lives on. He said that climate change is not a decision made by heads of states and argued that trade deals should not be made with countries that don’t respect the agreement.

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS: Following the General Assembly, international businesses pledged to step up and make investments to address climate change, as the Trump administration continues to fail. While Trump bows to polluters and fossil fuel interests, cutting edge companies and state and local lawmakers continue to lead and show that being green is good for the planet, business, and our communities.

WEEKEND READ: The Guardian published a piece that estimates that climate change will cause mass migration in the United States by the end of the country — and no state will be unaffected. People across the nation are already feeling these changes and hundreds of thousands of homes will be chronically flooded because of climate change. Florida, Louisiana, California, New York, and New Jersey will have to address millions of people moving away from rising tides, which some experts say will be comparable to the turmoil and transformation caused by the Great Migration.

NO BREATHING IN BASEBALL?: We all know there is no crying in baseball, but a new study shows that air pollution may be making it harder for umpires to breath, increasing their bad calls. The peer-reviewed study concluded that even short-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide and airborne particulate can cause MLB umpires to make more mistakes when making calls. Climate change and pollution know no borders, even breaching America’s favorite pastime.

 

COMING UP:

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

OCTOBER 2 — LCV’s Annual New York Dinner

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