This Week In Climate (In)Action


Sep 7, 2018



“We know that climate change isn’t just coming. It is here. So Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like increasing gas mileage in our cars, which I did and which Republicans are trying to reverse, but on good new ideas like putting a price on carbon pollution.”

— Former President Barack Obama in a speech at the University of Illinois


“Republican interests want Kavanaugh on the court so badly that Republicans trampled so much Senate precedent to shove him through. No wonder the American people feel the game is rigged.”

— Senator Sheldon Whitehouse reflecting on the rigged Kavanaugh hearings





Forbes: Supreme Court: Kavanaugh Stinks And The Process Is Rigged, Say Critics

E&E News: 4 takeaways from Kavanaugh’s first day

Florida Politics: New digital ad says Rick Scott’s ‘dirty politics’ led to dirty water

ThinkProgress: Brett Kavanaugh’s anti-environment record merits attention at Senate confirmation hearing

Colorado Politics: Conservation group launches six-figure ad campaign targeting Coffman

E&E News: Federal policy vacuum spurs ambitious state ballot measures



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:


AP (NM): Conservation group takes aim at GOP candidate for governor

Arizona Republic: Who is Jon Kyl? John McCain liked him, but his conservative record is drawing fire

Albuquerque Journal: Op-ed: Keep score on important issues like environment

Nevada Independent: ‘It’s more of the same:’ As warming trend continues in Nevada, Las Vegas breaks record for summer temperature

Stamford Advocate: Environmentalists question safety of state’s weed-killing program

Baltimore Sun: Maryland environmental groups back Jealous campaign for governor



RIGHT NOW, TODAY: The Kavanaugh hearings have come and gone, steamrolled and rubber stamped by Senator Chuck Grassley. After hours of proceedings and weeks of our Dirty Decisions series, we still don’t have all the information on his record, but we certainly know enough about the type of justice he would be: a consistent friend to big polluters. We watched all week as Kavanaugh refused to answer the most critical and even the most basic questions about his anti-environment, anti-climate, anti-clean water, anti-clean air, anti-health, and anti-democratic record.


THE STAKES: What little we do know about Kavanaugh’s record hasn’t left us hopeful. He has ruled for corporate polluters 91 percent of the time.


GREENWASHING GRIEVANCE: Kavanaugh tried to argue that he upheld the EPA in “a large number of cases,” and that “in many cases I’ve ruled for environmental interests.” We can’t find those “many” or “large number” of cases, and in fact even some of the cases Kavanaugh listed don’t support his argument.


FOR EXAMPLE: He highlighted his ruling in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA as an example of ruling for environmental interests, despite the fact that he ruled against NRDC in three out of four issues. In fact, we already listed this case as one of his dirtiest decisions, and the attorney who argued the case before Kavanaugh made clear this was not a pro-environment decision.


60 DAYS UNTIL the midterms, and we’re hard at work to elect a pro-environment House, protect our champs in the Senate and make climate progress in the states. Just this week, LCV entities and our affiliates released three new ads:


COME ON, COUGH-MAN: Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado’s 6th congressional district is a five-term incumbent whose time is running up — and his campaign is attempting to spruce up his environmental record in a desperate attempt to save his seat. Not so fast: on Tuesday, LCV Victory Fund released a $663,000 ad campaign exposing Coffman’s record of siding with corporate polluters over public health. His campaign’s response? Aside from writing us off as hippies, they pointed to a single vote on methane — a recent flip — and his do-nothing membership in the Climate Solutions Caucus.


PEARCE NAMED TO STATE DIRTY DOZEN: In New Mexico, gubernatorial candidate and current congressman Rep. Steve Pearce was named to Dirty Dozen in the States, a list of 12 of the most anti-environment candidates nationwide who state LCVs are working to defeat. Meanwhile, Verde Voters Fund launched a $500,000 ad buy highlighting Pearce’s record of siding with polluters and opposing New Mexico’s public lands.


SCOTT SPINS ALGAE: As Rick Scott continues to spin the facts on his environmental record, we partnered with American Bridge to say enough is enough. Our new digital ad checks Scott’s own words, calling the climate denier out for cutting $700 million from water management and contributing to the current toxic algae crisis.


THE VILE JON KYL: Jon Kyl, former U.S. senator from Arizona, has been chosen by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to replace the late-Senator John McCain. Jon Kyl has a long, abysmal record on environmental issues as an elected official, which earned him an appalling eight percent lifetime LCV score.


OUR TAKE: Chispa Arizona Executive Director Laura Dent said: “With this choice, Governor Ducey has let down every Arizonan who wishes to breathe clean air and drink clean water. Kyl is leading efforts to confirm a Supreme Court nominee that puts our environment and public health at risk. We deserve a Senator who will stand up for all Arizonans, including Latinos and other under-represented communities most affected by dirty energy.”


FAIR PLAY AT THE EPA: The EPA inspector general plans to investigate how politics impacts scientific integrity at the agency. This decision follows a poll in which eight in 10 EPA scientists strongly agreed that their research has been hindered by political influence.


WHEELS UP, WHEELER: Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler has hit the road to discuss the administration’s environmental policies. The problem? His route just happens to take him to places where vulnerable Republicans are facing tough challengers who oppose the administration’s attempts to undermine and destroy our environmental and public health protections. If you’re like Iowa’s Rep. David Young and have a lousy 3 percent LCV score, not sure that a Scott Pruitt prodigy will be much help cleaning up your image — but kudos for trying?


THE ART OF THE DE(NI)AL: Trump intends to name William Happer as an advisor of emerging technologies on the National Security Council. Happer has, in the past, refused to call carbon dioxide a toxic pollutant, and he has referred to the Paris Climate Agreement as “silly,” saying that it “should be canceled.” Our message to Trump: we need scientists, not skeptics.


COAL-POWERED COURTS: In a dramatic reversal this week, a federal court walked back its previous order that the EPA immediately begin enforcing safety regulations for chemical plants. If the EPA doesn’t really care about safety, we find it strange that…


SAFETY-FIRST SCOTT: A new report reveals that the EPA spent an average of $10,800 per day on Scott Pruitt’s security detail last year, more than two times what was spent on his predecessor. The inspector general concluded that there was no “documented justification” for the bloated expenses.


WEEKEND READ: Donald Trump’s environmental policies are bad news for everyone, including the people whose lives he promised to improve. Read more about how Trump’s pollution rules are hitting coal country.


AND, WHILE YOU WATCH THE U.S. OPEN FINALS: Read this interesting piece about the effects of climate change on players like Roger Federer during this year’s U.S. Open. It’s been a hot one.




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



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