THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION(!) – OCTOBER 8, 2021

Mika Hyer, mhyer@lcv.org, 940-783-2230

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:

“There are agricultural workers who go to work, get paid at piece rate, and the faster you work, the faster you fill up barrels, the more you get paid. It’s in direct conflict with what you’re supposed to do if you’re experiencing a potential heat illness. Then, the worker goes home, and they have a residence where they don’t have access to a cooling system or maybe they don’t have electricity, so they don’t have access to a fan or a cooling system.”

— Ana Padilla, executive director of the University of California, Merced, Community and Labor Center in a PBS article, “What will it take to keep workers from dying of heat? Enforcement and trust, advocates say.”

“This is not the time for regressive voting policies. It is time to make voting as easy as possible for eligible voters, especially those in hurricane-prone regions. Unwillingness to do that means that some people, namely people of color, will be unable to participate fully in the franchise of voting.”

— Nsé Ufot, founding member of the Black Southern Women’s Collective and executive director of the New Georgia Project, writing how, “Without Intervention, The Climate Crisis May Result In Voter Suppression.”

“You’ll notice in Black and Brown communities in New York City and across the country that major sources of pollution tend to be concentrated in those communities.”

— Blaze Jones-Yelling, an environmental justice professor at John Jay College, who spoke to community members during trolley tours to raise awareness about environmental racism in New Rochelle.

“Creating equitable access to the outdoors for people of color and addressing environmental injustice requires conversation and collaboration.”

— Interior Secretary Deb Haaland tweeted after speaking at a virtual event with Latinx and Hispanic elected leaders and conservationists.

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LCV IN THE NEWS:

USA Today: Hailing from coal country, Sen. Joe Manchin could determine how Joe Biden confronts climate change
E&E News: Farm groups fear being left behind as budget bill shrinks
WisBusiness: U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Introduces bill to empower fossil-fuel workers to train, find jobs in changing energy industry

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

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:

New York Times (AZ): Kyrsten Sinema Wants to Cut $100 Billion in Proposed Climate Funds, Sources Say
Nevada Public Radio (NV): With much to discuss, immigrant rights groups gather in Las Vegas
NJ.com (NJ): Barriers keep Hispanics from becoming involved with environmental causes | Opinion
Sun Journal (ME): Kathleen Meil, Grant Provost and Mary Kaszynski: Build Back Better: Common ground is common sense
NJ.com (NJ): The defeat of the PennEast project is a long-awaited victory | Opinion
River Reporter (NY): Money Flowing into the Delaware
NC Capitol (NC): ‘Bold step’: Bipartisan support for energy bill as some worry over costs, ‘ambiguities’
Farm And Dairy (OH): Ohio House passes bill to deregulate ephemeral streams
Daily Kos (NY): The Right To Life, Liberty and A Clean Environment.
The Spokesman (WA): Poll finds most Washington voters support plan to breach Snake River dams

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LATINX HERITAGE MONTH CONTINUES: LCV and Chispa continue to honor Latinx Heritage Month  — this week, Chispa released a new video showing how some of our youngest generation already know that we can’t wait to take action for our communities and our planet. Children who rely on public transportation to get to school suffer from aggravated lung health and increased risk of asthma attacks — a leading cause of school absences — and disproportionately impacts educational opportunities in communities of color and communities with low wealth. See the video, “Children Are The Future,” HERE, and see Chispa’s latest petition to call on Congress to take immediate action on the climate crisis for communities who have been historically excluded HERE.

OUR FUTURE GENERATION’S TAKE: The children in the video represent children across the nation that simply want to breathe clean air and drink clean water. They know the importance of taking action to save the planet because they will be the ones affected the most as the crisis continues to get worse year after year — they know, “we need everyone’s help to fix our planet.”

CA OIL SPILL DISASTER SPURS SUPPORT FOR BLOCKING NEW DRILLING: Last weekend, a disastrous oil spill off the coast of California leaked over 126,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean — a devastating event for the already fragile ecosystem, local communities, and local fishing economy. Extreme weather, which is exacerbated by the fossil fuel industry, has made dangerous pipelines even more precarious — 55 oil spills were reported within two weeks of Hurricane Ida. These spills are disastrous for not only our planet, but also for the communities already on the frontlines of the climate crisis, who are too often communities of color and communities with low wealth. Congress must take action to include provisions banning new offshore drilling in the Build Back Better Act to help prevent future disasters. Read our memo from LCV Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel highlighting the climate champions who are taking the lead to put people over polluters HERE.

SENATOR PADILLA TAKE: Senator Alex Padilla tweeted, “We’ve seen time and time again how damaging offshore oil spills are to our coastal ecosystems as well as to our economy. We have the power to prevent future spills—that’s why I’m committed to ending offshore drilling.” 

REPRESENTATIVE PORTER TAKE: Representative Katie Porter stated, “Big Oil’s offshore drilling puts the health of our communities, our local economies, and our planet at risk. Cleaning up this spill is not enough; we need to stop these disasters from happening in the first place.”

REPRESENTATIVES MIKE LEVIN, ALAN LOWENTHAL, AND 77 COLLEAGUES’ TAKE: “Dead birds and dead fish are already washing ashore, local beaches have been closed, boaters are being asked to stay away, and all fishing is curtailed for the area. Oil pollution threatens the more than $2 billion in wages and $4.15 billion in gross domestic product generated by the marine economy in Orange County,” members wrote in a Dear Colleague letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer. “We urge you to retain the offshore oil and gas related provisions in the Build Back Better Act, including the provision that invests in the long-term protection of coastal communities by ending new federal oil and gas leasing off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico […] Congress has a crucial opportunity to end new offshore oil and gas leasing in the Build Back Better Act. We are confident your leadership will help us pass a budget that invests in protecting our coastal communities.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel stated, “Offshore drilling harms coastal economies and communities, wildlife, and our climate. With the Build Back Better Act, Congress has the opportunity to make investments to prevent future oil spill disasters, act on climate at the scale that science and justice require, create good-paying jobs, and reduce costs for families. We strongly support the calls by a large and growing segment of Congress to invest in coastal communities by retaining provisions in the final Build Back Better Act to ban new offshore oil and gas leasing in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.”

MONUMENTAL RESTORATION!: This week, the Biden administration fulfilled its promise to restore protections to the sacred lands of Bears Ears, which the Trump administration reduced by 85%, Grand Staircase-Escalante, which was cut by nearly half, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monuments, where protections were entirely removed. Bears Ears contains cultural and natural heritage for five tribal communities who make up the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition (BEITC) — the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni — who have and continue to lead the protection and preservation of these sacred spaces from corporate pollution and environmental racism. Check out our blog from LCV Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel on how the restoration of the Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts national monuments are a crucial next step for conserving 30% of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030.

BEITC MEMBER TAKE: BEITC member and Hope Tribe Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva stated, “Thank you, President Biden and Vice President Harris for upholding your commitment to restore Hommuru (the Bears Ears monument), which is the birthplace of many Hopi and other Native peoples. Through this action, the history of our people, our culture, and religion will be preserved for future generations.”

CHAIR GRIJALVA TAKE: House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raul Grijalva stated, “It’s time to put Trump’s cynical actions in the rear-view mirror, restore rightful protections, and restart the Bears Ears co-management arrangement with the tribes who have held this place sacred since time immemorial.” 

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski stated, “We stand in solidarity with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition who came together to advocate for the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument and celebrate this important step toward fulfilling their vision for safeguarding their sacred sites and ancestral lands. President Biden’s moves restore health and economic protections to the communities that live and work near these lands and waters and provide economic certainty to other communities that rely on national monuments to power their outdoor recreation and tourism businesses. Thank you to Secretary Haaland for her detailed review of the cultural, historical, and scientific importance of these national monuments. This is exactly the type of whole of government approach required to achieve racial justice, respect for Tribes, and address the climate crisis, while rebuilding a more equitable economy and creating good-paying jobs.”

RESTORING NEPA!: This week, the Biden-Harris administration’s Council of Environmental Quality proposed a rule to restore some key provisions for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that the previous administration gutted in their 2020 rule. This move is an important first step to reinstituting meaningful environmental review in the consideration of major projects and is an important action to protect the health and hear the voices of all communities, especially communities of color. 

CEQ CHAIR TAKE: Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory stated, “The basic community safeguards we are proposing to restore would help ensure that American infrastructure gets built right the first time, and delivers real benefits – not harms – to people who live nearby. Patching these holes in the environmental review process will help reduce conflict and litigation and help clear up some of the uncertainty that the previous administration’s rule caused.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Director of Government Affairs Matthew Davis stated, “Today, the Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory is taking an important first step toward restoring environmental protections in the consideration of major projects – a critical action for advancing environmental justice. We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that NEPA analyses take climate impacts and cumulative health effects into account when considering and assessing infrastructure projects and their potential alternatives. For far too long, climate change pollution and the effects of multiple harmful sources of contamination on communities have been ignored, and this proposed rule would help make sure these concerns are addressed, and alternative approaches seriously explored, so that we truly can Build Back Better.”

JOHN LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ACT HEARD!: On Tuesday, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) was reintroduced in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy, and on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing regarding the advancement of the bill. In this hearing, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke presented evidence of voter discrimination and strongly urged the Senate to advance and pass the bill, which would restore the critical voter protections from the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We cannot have a healthy environment without a healthy democracy — it is imperative that the Senate takes up and passes both the VRAA and the Freedom to Vote Act, to ensure an equitable redistricting process and free and fair elections in 2022. This year, at least 19 states have enacted 33 laws that make it harder for people to vote, particularly Black voters and voters of color, who voted in record numbers in key battleground states last election. 

BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE TAKE: Brennan Center for Justice Vice President for Democracy Wendy Weiser submitted oral testimony for the hearing, stating, “States have piled voting restriction upon voting restriction, passing new ones as soon as old ones are struck down, in what amounts to legal whack-a-mole. For instance, the new Georgia and Texas voter suppression laws, the worst in the country, come after years of earlier voting hurdles in those states. Safeguarding our democracy and protecting voting rights is one of the most sacred responsibilities this body has. The House has passed this bill. It’s now up to the Senate to act — without delay — to pass both the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.”

COMPETES ACT INTRODUCED: On Thursday, Senator John Hickenlooper introduced the Competitive Onshore Mineral Policy via Eliminating Taxpayer-Enabled Speculation (COMPETES) Act, which would prevent leasing of taxpayer-owned public lands to oil and gas companies for diminished rates. Currently, these public lands are leased and managed for oil and gas production and are not managed for outdoor recreation or conservation purposes — which takes opportunities and benefits away from local communities.

SENATOR HICKENLOOPER TAKE: Senator John Hickenlooper stated, “Non-competitive leasing encourages speculation on public lands at taxpayers’ expense. Westerners lose out when large swaths of land are set aside for speculation instead of conservation or recreation.”

COCO TAKE: Conservation Colorado Deputy Director Jessica Goad stated, “Public lands are critical to our fight against climate change and will be a solution to solving the crisis. The practice of leasing public lands for drilling at bargain basement prices in a noncompetitive process directly conflicts with our national climate and conservation goals. We’re thrilled that Senator Hickenlooper is leading this effort. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management must advance reforms to the oil and gas program to align our dual climate and conservation goals and the U.S. Senate should pass this good bill right away.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Senior Government Affairs Advocate Ben Alexandro stated, “For too long oil and gas industry CEOs have reaped the benefits of a broken leasing system that is rigged in favor of oil industry executives and leaves our public lands, waters, and communities to pay the price…These lands could be opened for conservation, recreation, as well as other uses, and provide invaluable benefits to communities across the country including protecting public health, clean water, and air. We applaud Senator Hickenlooper for his leadership in proposing the COMPETES Act and urge Congress to include common sense reforms like this in the final Build Back Better Act to make oil and gas companies pay their fair share for exploiting taxpayer-owned resources.”

THE TIME TO TAKE ACTION IS NOW!: This week, Climate Power hosted an installation calling on Congress to Build Back Better, kicking things off with a night display of climate advocates emphasizing that we are in a “code red for climate.” Our communities can no longer wait for action — we need Congress to pass the full Build Back Better Act to put our nation on the path to clean energy while creating jobs and addressing the climate crisis and environmental injustices.

OUR TAKE: LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo tweeted, “The time for bold climate action is NOW. It is costing lives, livelihoods and our health. We have the solutions and the public support. NOW is the time to pass the #BuildBackBetter Act with the investments that science and justice require.” 

BIDEN IN MICHIGAN: On Tuesday, President Biden travelled to Michigan to speak on how investments in the Build Back Better Act are critical to creating jobs and economic growth for working families while putting our country on the path to address the climate crisis. Michiganders have seen the devastating impacts from the climate crisis and crumbling infrastructure firsthand — see stories our field team heard from Michiganders below and HERE.

PRESIDENTIAL TAKE: President Biden stated, “Our infrastructure used to be the best in the world, literally not figuratively. Today, according to the world economic forum, we rank 13th. … All those investments that fueled a strong economy, we’ve taken our foot off the gas. These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They’re about opportunity versus decay. They’re about leading the world or continue to let the world pass us by, which is literally happening.”

MICHIGANDER STORIES: Michiganders from Plymouth to Lansing to Holland have shared their concerns about extreme weather, climate injustice, and the overall health of the planet and they are stepping up by calling their representatives and demanding climate action now. And as President Biden heads to the Great Lakes State to talk about the importance of passing the Build Back Better Act with all of the current climate provisions intact, the people of Michigan are on his side and agree with the need for bold climate action. See more stories from Michigan HERE and highlights from stories from advocates across the country HERE.

IN LANSING: Nicole was forced to leave her home in Flint, Michigan because of the water crisis. Now, with the state of the climate and the amount of chemicals going into our water, she fears others will share this same fate. 

IN PLYMOUTH: Kathleen is frustrated that her children and her children’s children will most likely have to inherit a climate crisis even though we’ve known about climate change for over a generation now. Kathleen has been conscious of the need to slow the effects of climate change since she first voted when she was 18, and she hopes that her representatives in Congress will take action in a truly transformative way now to address the climate crisis while also addressing our infrastructure needs.

IN WARREN: Ken is concerned about the need to improve drinking water and ensuring all communities in Southeast Michigan have equal access to clean, safe, affordable water. He used to live in Flint, giving him a personal understanding of the importance of this issue. He hopes Congress takes action on environmental issues now.

FREEDOM TO VOTE RELAY PREVIEW!: LCV is collaborating with Public Citizen, Black Voters Matter, DC Vote, League of Women Voters, Drum Majors for Change, Declaration for American Democracy and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda for the Freedom to Vote Relay later this month, which will highlight the need to pass legislation to protect voting rights for all Americans and help make the United States a more just and representative democracy. This legislation includes the Freedom to Vote Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which was recently reintroduced in Congress (see above!). The relay will take place October 20th to October 23rd, with participants travelling by various modes of transportation from West Virginia to DC. 

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski stated, “A healthy environment and a healthy democracy are inextricably linked. It is no coincidence that the communities most affected by climate change and pollution are the same Black, Brown, Asian-American, Native, disabled, and immigrant communities that are targeted by voter suppression. We’re proud to join fellow conveners and marchers from West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia to call on Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood, and fight for a healthy, functioning democracy where all people can participate freely and equitably.”

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY PREVIEW!: In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, Chispa will be centering Indigenous climate activists at the forefront of the fight for protecting people and the planet. Indigenous communities are some of the most impacted by the climate crisis and pollution, and are also fierce leaders in calling for climate action and adapting to changes exacerbated by the climate crisis. See accounts for 7 Indigenous climate activists to support and follow on Twitter below!

Tara Houska @zhaabowekwe
Dallas Goldtooth @DallasGoldtooth
Princess Daazhraii Johnson @ArcticDaazhraii
Bernadette Demientieff @bernademientief
Winona LaDuke @WinonaLaduke
Jade Begay @_jadebegay
Dr. Elizabeth Hoover @bluefancyshawl

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

INDIGENOUS ALASKANS CALL ON A FROZEN CONGRESS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE PREVIEW!:  LCV state affiliate The Alaska Center, Native Peoples Action, and an Alaska based Indigenous activist, Sophie Swope, will unveil a new art installation on Saturday, October 9 in Washington DC. A video will be projected on a 9,000 pound ice sculpture depicting salmon in the Diamond Teague Park along the Anacostia River beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. AK. The event, in advance of Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, is a message to Congress to share the ways that Indigenous Alaskans are deeply impacted by the climate injustice and the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, a crisis that needs federal action now. The installation features testimony from Alaska Native peoples facing the calamitous economic, health, and communal impacts of climate change through short films captured by Alaskan videographer Chris Ho. RSVP with Mika Hyer at mhyer@lcv.org.

NYC IS ON BOARD WITH ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES!: This week, The New York City Council passed Intro 455-A to transition the city’s school bus fleet to entirely electric buses by 2035. This victory will help children breathe cleaner air while creating more clean energy jobs, and addressing the disproportionate impacts of fossil fuel pollution from transportation on environmental justice communities.

NYLCV TAKE: NYLCV President Julie Tighe stated, “The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Daniel Dromm, and City Council for getting on board the electric bus! Today, we pushed forward important legislation to switch the largest school district in the country to clean electric school buses, a landmark measure Mayor de Blasio’s committed to earlier this year. This has been a priority for the League for several years, and we’re thrilled to see climate action that will reduce transportation emissions and keep our children healthy. Thank you to all the Council Members that have advocated for the bill and all our partners in the NYC Clean School Bus Coalition that have contributed to creating a cleaner, healthier future for all of New York City’s children. We look forward to Mayor de Blasio signing this important bill in the coming days.”

DEFENDING IMMIGRANT RIGHTS IN NV: This week, immigration and refugee rights organizations gathered in Las Vegas at the 2021 National Immigration Integration Conference. Among the topics discussed was the urgency to pass the Build Back Better Act to address the infrastructure needs of immigrant and refugee communities and the disproportionate effects they face from the climate crisis. 

CHISPA NV TAKE: Chispa Nevada Program Director Rudy Zamora stated, “Climate change is important to everyone in Nevada, but in particular immigrants. We have to make sure that the air that we’re breathing is clean; most of the immigrant communities and low-income families live in areas of the state that are the most polluted. We have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), we have TPS (temporary protected status), we have other things, but none of those are a clear pathway to citizenship. And there’s so many people in this country that deserve a pathway to citizenship. I myself was a (DACA) dreamer at one point, and I’m fortunate enough to be a citizen now, but DACA is just the initial step.”

🏈FROM THE FIELD🏈: LCV’s organizers on the ground continue to knock on doors and build support for climate action across the country. So far, our field team has knocked on almost 270,000 doors, made nearly 380,000 calls, and mobilized over 9,500 businesses across 11 states to support climate action and clean energy jobs! 💪 See people across the nation share why they want climate action now, and read stories from climate advocates across the country HERE.

ACTIVISTS CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION AT AXNE TOWN HALL: In Iowa’s third congressional district, residents showed up to Rep. Cindy Axne’s town hall to voice their concerns about the climate crisis and demand action. Representative Axne reiterated her support for the Build Back Better Act and urged the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass the legislation, which makes major investments in green energy job creation and puts the country on the path to be carbon neutral by 2050.

ICYMI, CROP ART ACTIVATION IN NJ: In case you missed it, last week, local artist Suki Dewey, along with New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, organized a community crop art activation to call for immediate climate action. Dewey and New Jersey LCV made a statement by spelling out the word “NOW” in a soybean field — there is no time to waste when it comes to addressing the climate crisis. Action must be taken now, our people and planet cannot wait. See photos and video of the crop art from Dewey HERE.

ARTIST TAKE: Local artist Suki Dewey stated, “These fields are my canvas and with this installation I wanted to simply underscore the urgency of this very moment. It is clear that we need climate action and we need it NOW. And I hope my art, thanks to the help of community activists, can serve as a reminder to voters, members of Congress, everyone —  we have no time to waste. Our planet is on fire. We need Congress to boldly move forward to address the climate crisis at the scale that science and justice demands.” 

NJ LCV TAKE: New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Ed Potosnak stated, “At a time when New Jersey is seeing the effects of climate change firsthand we want to thank members of Congress who are taking action to fight climate change, particularly those who are committed to passing President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Residents in New Jersey whose homes have been damaged by flooding need to know that Washington stands with them and is doing everything it can to build a green energy future. The time for action is now.” 

BUILDING BACK BETTER IN MAINE: Maine Conservation Voters teamed up with local labor and veteran groups to call on Maine’s federal delegation to support the Build Back Better Act alongside the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. Not only would this  legislation make major investments in Maine’s infrastructure, but it would also create green energy jobs and protect our planet — delivering the bold climate action we need. The bill also has provisions that would benefit VA hospitals and other investments to bolster the economy.

MAINE CONSERVATION VOTERS TAKE: In a joint op-ed the groups released, MCV Director of Policy Partnerships Kathleen Meil and representatives from both a local union and VoteVets said, “A more sustainable planet, thriving economy, and stronger communities are just a few votes away from becoming a reality. We urge Maine’s entire federal delegation to support the Build Back Better Act alongside the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. We have the power to truly transform our nation with these pivotal bills. We hope they see it that way, too”.

VICTORY! PLUG PULLED ON PENNEAST PIPELINE IN NJ: After seven years of fighting the proposed PennEast pipeline, landowners and activists achieved a major win when the developers officially canceled the project. The pipeline would have stretched from Northeastern Pennsylvania to New Jersey, disrupting hundreds of miles of land, threatening the health and safety of local communities and the environment. Activists, including New Jersey LCV, have been on the forefront of this fight pressuring legislators to deny permits and encouraging the public to express concerns about the project. 

NJLCV TAKE: New Jersey LCV Executive Director Ed Potosnak wrote an op-ed stating, “The PennEast project was unneeded and unwanted. This project would have damaged the lands and polluted the water in the impacted communities, and significant natural resources, historic sites, pristine protected streams and endangered species would have been at risk.”

WASHINGTONIANS SUPPORT RESTORING SALMON RUNS: Washington Conservation Voters released a new survey showing that a majority of Washington state voters support plans to restore vital salmon runs in the area. These efforts would breach the Lower Snake River dams, allowing the local salmon to flourish. In May, the Nez Perce Tribe released a study highlighting the catastrophic impacts of dams on salmon runs in the Snake River Basin which threaten the salmon population to extinction and  go against promises to the Tribal communities who rely on them.

NEZ PERCE TRIBE TAKE: Last month, the Nez Perce Tribe announced the launch of the Salmon Orca Project, which calls on the Biden administration to take action to support replacing dams along the snake river. Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee Chairman Samuel Penney stated, “We are battling for the future of a sacred way of life for many in our region. The United States and native nations signed treaties-treaties that were to ensure the existence and protection of salmon in perpetuity.  But, our salmon are going extinct. Treaties have not been honored. As a result, our people and our culture and our very way of life face extinction. That’s why we stand united as Tribal Nations and call on the Biden Administration to honor the treaties made between our sovereign nations.  We call on this Administration to work with us to replace the Lower Snake River Dams. And we call on the Administration to do so now, not tomorrow or two years from now. The time to act is now.”

WCV TAKE: Washington Conservation Voters CEO Alyssa Macy stated, “What we learned from this is that voters across Washington are adamant that they do not want salmon to go extinct.”

RAMPING UP FOR VIRGINIA’S ELECTIONS: This week, VALCV PAC announced significant campaign ramp-up in final weeks of 2021 race, including major investments in mail, digital, and field campaigns to ensure that Virginia’s current conservation majority is protected and progress will continue being made to pass pro-environment policies that improve the quality of life for all Virginians.

VALCV PAC TAKE: VALCV PAC Campaign Director Michael Town stated, “This election is absolutely pivotal to protecting and building on the incredible progress we’ve made in recent years addressing the climate crisis, transitioning to a clean energy economy, and safeguarding our environment. We are committed to doing everything we can to win on Nov. 2, which starts with letting voters know exactly what’s at stake for clean air, clean water and Virginia’s future.” 

 

COMING UP:

SEPTEMBER 15 – OCTOBER 15: Latinx Heritage Month
OCTOBER 9: Alaskans for Climate Justice Ice Installation
OCTOBER 11: Indigenous Peoples Day
OCTOBER 20-23: Freedom to Vote Relay

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