This Week In Climate (In)Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION *T Swift Album Release Edition* – August 23, 2019

Aug 23, 2019

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook and Twitter.




“… I’ve been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I’ve never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball.”

— Washington Governor Jay Inslee while announcing his decision to drop out of the 2020 presidential primary


“Even out here in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean I hear about the record amount of devastating fires in the Amazon. My thoughts are with those affected. Our war against nature must end.”

— Greta Thunberg via Twitter, en route to the U.S. for the September 20 Youth Climate Strike on a sailboat


“We’re a democracy – at least, we’re supposed to be – where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate. I really think that [Donald Trump] thinks this is an autocracy.”

— Taylor Swift got political in an interview with the Guardian this week






New York Times: Jay Inslee, Dropping Out of 2020 Race, Will Run for Governor Again

Think Progress: The impact of Jay Inslee’s climate-focused 2020 candidacy

Politico Morning Score: LCV Action Fund is wading into the potential Massachusetts Senate primary

Politico Morning Energy: LCV PUMPS $250K INTO McCREADY ADS



LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:


AM New York (NY): President of NY LCV Julie Tighe – Micromobility is big thinking

New Jersey Herald (NJ): Experts offer ways to combat algal blooms

Michigan Advance (MI): House Dems announce clean air legislation

The Free-Lance Star (VA): Bye-bye beer? Adventure Brewing adapts to climate change






CLIMATE ON THE TRAIL: 2020 candidates are prioritizing climate change. Check out this week’s roundup of what candidates have said and done to put climate action front and center.


THE (green) MAN: Two-term Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who ran his presidential campaign on a commitment to bold climate action, dropped out of the 2020 presidential primary on Thursday. While he’s officially out of the race, Inslee won’t stop ringing the alarm on climate in the presidential campaign — the governor told Rachel Maddow that he intends to, “help all the other candidates raise their level of ambition on this.”

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “Governor Inslee set an incredibly high bar when he launched his presidential campaign with a central focus on climate action and he has continued to demonstrate that leadership with strong proposals for climate action right up to earlier today … We have no doubt that Governor Inslee has played a crucial role in elevating the climate crisis to the top of the agenda within this primary.”


IT’S NICE TO HAVE A FRIEND (in NC): Almost a year after an illegal absentee ballot fraud scheme in favor of the Republican candidate in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District derailed the 2018 election, early voting has begun for the upcoming September 10th special election to fill the seat. LCV Victory Fund announced a new $250K digital ads and direct mail campaign in support of Democrat Dan McCready this week.

OUR TAKE: Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund SVP of Campaigns said, “Dan Bishop always puts polluters over people. Bishop took thousands in campaign contributions from Big Oil, and sided with the special interests by voting to allow them to pollute our air which could make our kids sick. Dan Bishop is everything that’s wrong with Washington.”

NC LCV’S TAKE: Dan Crawford, North Carolina LCV Director of Governmental Relations said, “Dan McCready is the environmental champion we need in the Ninth District. McCready puts our country first — he fought for us as a Marine combat veteran, and now he’s fighting for our earth as the climate crisis gets more and more severe. North Carolinians are already suffering from climate-fueled extreme weather, and we need leaders like McCready who will act on climate to protect our families and our future.”


I THINK HE KNOWS (how to make a climate plan): Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign released his ‘Green New Deal’ Thursday — a $16.3 trillion plan to fight the climate crisis that declares climate change a national emergency. Sanders says the plan would create 20 million jobs.

OUR TAKE: LCV’s SVP of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “We are excited to see a strong climate plan from Senator Sanders that focuses on creating family sustaining jobs in the clean energy economy and investing in frontline communities who have been hit first and worst by climate change–including under resourced groups and communities of color.”


DEATH BY A THOUSAND (coughs): Trump’s EPA released final guidance to states for the next round of Regional Haze Rule plans this week. The change would roll back an effective Obama-era program to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas and instead give coal plants and other polluters a break on required pollution control technology.

OUR TAKE: LCV’s Legislative Director Matthew Davis said, “Once again, the Trump administration is threatening the health of Americans and our national parks to line the pockets of former clients’ air polluting industries. Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler signed EPA guidance that would no longer require coal-fired power plants and other air polluting industries to adopt the best technology to reduce pollution that triggers heart and asthma attacks and blocks views at national parks. This is yet another textbook example of ethical failings in the Trump administration and the weekly summertime recess actions to weaken environmental rules to line the pockets of former clients.”


YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN: The New York Times pulled back the curtain on the chaotic inner workings of an “enraged” President Trump and his administration’s ongoing attempts to roll back clean car standards despite opposition from states and the auto industry itself. The Times quotes former Republican EPA Administrator William K. Reilly: “I don’t think there is any precedent for a major industry to say, ‘We are prepared to have a stronger regulation,’ and to have the White House say, ‘No, we know better.’”


THE ARCHER (National Wildlife Refuge): Speaking of the New York Times, on Wednesday, they published an article detailing how the Trump Administration put a “positive spin” on oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge when they touted that the Treasury would gain $1.8 billion from opening up the land, while other studies have shown that it could yield as little as $45M in the next decade. Although the numbers aren’t new, they cited a brand new report from the Taxpayers for Common Sense showing just how little revenue is to be gained by destroying one of America’s most iconic landscapes in the face of opposition from the native Gwich’in people. Meanwhile, Joe Balash, the DOI Assistant Secretary, resigned on Tuesday. He was the top official at the department leading the charge on the oil lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. No reason has been cited yet for his departure, but he will only be there until the end of the month.


IT’S (also) NICE TO HAVE (these friends): (look it’s not easy to make every header a Taylor Swift song title ok?) At this year’s Lake Tahoe Summit, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto focused on the importance of climate action in the state–hosting a summit on wildfires, calling for collaborative solutions, and highlighting opportunities to invest in clean transportation at a forum. And in New Hampshire, Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster led a round table on how the climate crisis is impacting the forestry and outdoor recreation industries in the state.






CRUEL SUMMER (NJ): Toxic algae blooms fueled by hot summer temperatures have been confirmed in lakes and ponds across the United States in recent weeks. In North Carolina and Georgia four pet dogs died recently from swimming in contaminated waters. The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters hosted a special informational meeting about algal blooms this week that drew a crowd over over 300.

THE CVM’S TAKE: Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, moderated the event and called for more funding to manage the situation in NJ, “We stand at Lake Mohawk which remains open in contrast to Lake Hopatcong which remains closed. And a lot of things have happened here because there have been financial investments. And without funding, we’re gonna continue to have impacts like the harmful algae blooms.”


(starting to see) DAYLIGHT (MI): The Michigan League of Conservation Voters announced its support for a legislative package aimed at preventing air pollution.The legislation is focused on improving public health by increasing protections, curbing emissions and holding corporate polluters accountable.

THE CVM’S TAKE: Bob Allison, deputy director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, said, “Every community in our state should have clean air to breathe and safe, affordable water to drink, and this legislation would establish much-needed protections to hold big polluters accountable. It’s time to put citizens first – those directly impacted by the dangerous pollution spreading sickness and contributing to climate change.”


COMING UP (Ready For It?): 


September 4: CNN Presidential Climate Forum

September 9-13: Potential for full U.S. House votes to restore protections for the Arctic Refuge and ban new oil and gas drilling off our coasts

September 12 (and maybe 13): Third Democratic Presidential Debates in Houston

September 19-20: MSNBC Presidential Climate Forum

September 20-27: Global Climate Strike Week