THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE (IN)ACTION – July 21, 2017

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.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“Harmful and toxic algal blooms in western Lake Erie have contaminated drinking water, closed beaches, and hurt our fishing and tourism industries… NOAA’s forecast reminds us that Lake Erie’s algae problem has not gone away and that we can’t just hope for dry springs as a solution. Unfortunately, Michigan seems to be determined to do just that, missing every opportunity to craft a plan that stands a chance at bringing this Great Lake back to health.”

  • Charlotte Jameson, government affairs director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters

“The House Republican leadership’s budget echoes Trump’s budget in attacking the most vulnerable in our society while rewarding Big Oil and other corporate special interests. Its cruel cuts to domestic programs would likely mean fewer cops on the beat to protect communities disproportionately impacted by pollution in our air and water, degraded national parks and other public lands that fuel our outdoor recreation economy, and a hit to the growing clean energy sector. And it contains a huge gift to Big Oil in a thinly veiled provision that aims to open up to drilling the pristine and sacred Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and possibly other public lands and waters.”

  • Alex Taurel, deputy legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters, on the House Budget Resolution

 

LCV IN THE NEWS:

Huffington Post: New Studies Show How The 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Still Starves Fish At Sea And Plants On Shore

Inside Climate News: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Faces New Drilling Risk from Congress

Washington Times: California passes cap and trade extension with GOP support

Huffington Post: Hunting And Fishing Groups Are Starting To Turn On Trump’s Interior Secretary

Huffington Post: At Interior, Foxes Now Run the Hen House

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Union Leader (NH): NH mayors will sign pledge to uphold Paris climate agreement

Valley News (NH): Mayors Pledge to Back Climate Goals

Alt Daily (VA): Chasing Coral: Because an Entire Ecosystem is at Risk without It

Brooklyn Reader (NY): BP Adams Releases Recommendations for Fueling Brooklyn’s Future with Clean Energy

WHTC (MI): Environmentalists call on Upton to save EPA

Capital Gazette (MD): Conservation group endorses Annapolis mayor for re-election

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STATES TAKE THE LEAD ON CLIMATE: States are continuing to lead in the Trump era, even on an international stage. Governors and mayors from both sides of the aisle have been working to combat climate change as the Trump administration refuses to take a leadership role and continues to deny the science of climate change.

CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: California is once again leading the nation in the battle against climate change by extending the state’s cap- and-trade program to 2030 with bipartisan support this week. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the cap-and-trade program would lower greenhouse gases, improve air quality and provide revenue to the state. “Republicans and Democrats set aside their differences, came together, and took courageous action,” Governor Brown said in a statement before holding a celebratory bipartisan press conference in the Capitol. “That’s what good government looks like.”

VOTERS SPEAK OUT: A new Politico-Harvard poll out this week shows that voters are wary of the Trump administration’s lack of leadership on climate issues. Among likely Democratic voters, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement ranks as one of the top two issues, along with the administration’s shady dealings with Russia.

MIXED MESSAGES: Someone might want to send the poll over to the White House. Despite voters’ strong opposition to the Trump administration’s attacks on climate and the environment, the administration is touting their “progress” on rolling back environmental protections.

PRUITT FACES BACKLASH IN THE STATES: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt embarked on a “Waters of the U.S.” tour this week – a ham-handed attempt to distract from his administration’s work to roll back clean water protections. During the tour, Pruitt faced questions over the administration’s draconian cuts to the EPA. On his most recent stops in Utah, Minnesota and Arkansas, governors, voters and environmental groups alike all pressed Pruitt on the impact of the drastic budget cuts and his plan to roll back regulations that safeguard clean air and water.

DON’T MISS: Pruitt and his EPA getting the late night treatment on Seth Meyers this week.

SCIENTISTS SILENCED: In an op-ed in the Washington Post this week, one of the Interior Department’s top scientists blew the whistle on the Trump administration. Joel Clement, previously the Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the Interior Department, was recently reassigned to an accounting job. In his piece, Clement explains how the Trump administration is using undesirable reassignments to force employees to quit. Clement has been outspoken on the issue of climate change and the impacts to Alaskan native communities, and believes his illogical reassignment was retaliation.

BONUS READ: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Glacier National Park last week, and he was supposed to meet with the area’s top climate scientist to learn about the effects of climate change at the park. Days ahead of the visit, Interior officials told the climate scientist he was not to participate in the meeting.

LATINO CONSERVATION WEEK: Last week, LCV participated in Latino Conservation Week – a celebration that helps break down barriers for Latinos and works to involve the community in the enjoyment and protection of public lands. More than 100 events were organized nationwide. LCV has been instrumental in working to protect public lands and monuments through the Our Lands, Our Vote campaign and last week, LCV’s Chispa worked to inspire participants to push forward policies that protect our public lands. Read more about the week here.

RESPECT MY VOTE: A broad coalition of advocacy and civil rights organizations rallied outside the White House this week to protest the administration’s attack on the fundamental right to vote. LCV’s judiciary program director, Desiree Tims, spoke to the crowd and highlighted how the commission is a threat to our democracy and the environmental movement.

“Any threat to participation is not only a crisis for the people experiencing climate change firsthand, but a threat to the entire environmental movement.  A strong democracy means a strong, powerful environmental movement that reflects the values, priorities and leadership of low-income communities and communities of color.

Today, I stand here as a representative of the League of Conservation Voters to tell you that we are ALL IN on this fight. We are ready to push back in county elections offices, in state houses, in Congress, at the door, on the phone, in the news and here today in Lafayette Park. We are ready to stand with everyone here and the many more communities across the country that will defend the fundamental right to vote.” – Desiree Tims, League of Conservation Voters Judiciary Program Director

Read her full remarks here.

GOP vs. YOUR DOCTOR: THE SMOG DAYS OF SUMMER: This week, the House of Representatives passed the “Smoggy Skies Act,” legislation that would delay efforts to reduce smog included in the Clean Air Act. What are people saying? Well, more than a dozen major health organizations opposed the bill, including the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association. Harold P. Wimmer, the President of the American Lung Association, said the bill would “lead to asthma attacks and premature deaths that could have been prevented.” Sara Jordan from the League of Conservation Voters called the legislation “yet another attempt by President Trump’s allies in Congress to dismantle bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act,” and noted, “LCV will continue to fight against every egregious attempt by this Administration and Congress to undermine vital public health protections.”

ADMIN USES BUDGET TO PUSH ARCTIC REFUGE DRILLING: The House GOP’s budget proposal released this week dog whistled the Trump administration’s intention to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas drilling. The budget asks the Natural Resources Committee to report legislation generating $5 billion over 10 years, a clear sign that Republicans in Congress are paving the way to open the pristine and sacred Arctic Refuge for drilling. Such a proposal has been repeatedly defeated in Congress with bipartisan support over the last few decades, and today 67% of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

COMING UP:

July 26-29 – The Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah takes place next week as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke puts public lands at risk with the administration’s review of national monuments. We look forward to seeing the outpouring of support for our country’s national treasures, including at the “This Land is Our Land March for Public Lands” on July 27.

August 24 – Deadline for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to make decisions on the monuments under review. LCV is continuing to put pressure on the administration through the Our Lands, Our Vote campaign to listen to the will of the people who submitted 2.7 million comments in support of preserving our national parks and monuments.

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