NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

Here’s what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:We're with them.

Clinton-Kaine are the clear choice– Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine gives voters a clear choice in November when it comes to climate action and building a clean energy future. (NRDC Action Fund)

One-sided arguments in the 2016 election?– The GOP convention was largely silent on issues such as climate change and reproductive rights, but those issues are front-and-center at the Democratic gathering in Philadelphia. (Newsweek)

The lone mention of climate change at the RNCTrump’s potential energy secretary, Harold Hamm, admits climate change is a problem but denounces it’s a primary one.  (Grist)

Climate change is intensifying U.S wildfire seasons–  The unnatural changes in scale, timing, frequency and intensity of fires in the US are symptoms of climate change. (The Guardian)

Climate change is making Americans hotter nationwide– Federal forecasters say all 50 US states will see above-average temperatures for the first time during next 3 months. (USA Today)

Filmmaker James Cameron believes we need to act on climate– James Cameron’s film at the DNC shows support for Hillary Clinton and discusses how global warming loads the dice for extreme weather. (Politico)

America’s growing consensus on climate change– Stark divisions in the Republican Party exist on the  issue of climate change but the emerging consensus is that it is an issue. (E&E Publishing)


NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Did the tobacco industry learn its denial from big oil?Green groups find that the tobacco industry’s efforts to deny the dangers of its product all started with denial in big oil. (The Hill)

Cleveland is not the place for climate denial– Environmental justice and climate change has been mocked and teased at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as the city struggles with pollution and poison. (Think Progress)

Trump and Pence are running on climate denial– Donald Trump’s VP pick, Governor Mike Pence, is also a climate denier, calling global warming a “myth.” (Mother Jones)

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Labor and climate groups team up to fight Trump– Labor and climate groups launch a $10 million anti-Trump campaign, aimed at electing Hillary Clinton and having one-on-one conversations with voters about environmental justice and citizenship for immigrant families among other topics. (The Hill)

Obama announces expansion of solar programs– The Obama administration launches Clean Energy For All initiative to expand access to and lower the cost of solar for low-income households. (Bloomberg)

The effects of the GOP’s anti-climate platform- The Republican Party platform adopted Monday night would bring a total about-face on U.S. energy and climate policy, committing to withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord and deregulating carbon dioxide emissions. (Washington Post)

A Trump presidency would threaten our public lands – The GOP’s new platform proposes to get rid of national parks and forests and give them away to the highest bidder. (Think Progress)

Trump Picks Pence as VP, Spelling Double Trouble for the Environment

The reality show that was the GOP VP nominating process is now at an end. Trump to Mike Pence: You’re hired.

Many Republican strategists hope this is good news for the party’s prospects in November up and down the ballot. For Americans who care about clean energy and the environment, it’s more trouble ahead.

Part of the narrative about Pence is that he balances the ticket by being more temperamentally moderate than Trump and yet more ideologically reassuring to conservatives on issues such as trade. But let’s be clear on the implications for clean energy and environmental policy, Donald Trump has doubled-down on his dirty positions where the extremist Pence is no moderate.

The following is a first-take view of Pence’s record on key environmental policies.

He’s a climate denier. Here Pence’s double-play on Trump is undeniable. Like Trump he does not believe the science on climate change warrants action to fight it. Instead he calls the science “mixed” as a way of justifying inaction, and then like Trump has called for scrapping Obama’s plan to clean up old, dirty coal-fired power plants and for getting the polluting Keystone XL tar sands pipeline built.

He was a consistent opponent of environmental protection as a member of Congress. He has a career record of voting for the environment only 4% of the time in the U.S. House of Representatives, as scored by the League of Conservation Voters. What more can you say? This includes a bewildering history of voting at times against cleaner air and water, increased safety for potentially hazardous chemicals, and reduced taxpayer subsidies for polluting industries.

He let progress on clean energy get whacked as governor. Environmental policy hasn’t been in the forefront of state politics during his three-and-a-half years as governor, but he has shown his colors when he has had a chance. In March of 2014 he allowed the legislature to repeal Energizing

Photo Credit: Krista Kennell

Photo Credit: Krista Kennell

Indiana, a program that had helped utility customers cost-effectively reduce their energy consumption while creating 19,000 jobs, according to an independent study.

He is into the pockets of big polluting donors. Given that Pence is a reliable vote for electric utilities and other coal interests, it’s not surprising that companies and individuals with a vested interest in these matters have channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to him in the past year. Look for this amount to balloon as the Trump-Pence ticket moves to the general election.

Maybe it was too much to hope that Trump would balance the ticket by getting someone with at least an open mind about how a clean environment and a healthy economy can go together. If nothing else, though, the Pence choice makes doubly clear what the pro-environment choice is this fall.

Hillary Clinton: The Leader We Need

Over the next two weeks, Republican and Democratic leaders will gather in Cleveland and Philadelphia for the quadrennial exercise in partisan persuasion and political soapboxing we call the national presidential nominating conventions.

Behind the boisterous clamor for air time and the furious competition for votes, the conventions serve a high purpose: to lay out competing visions of our country’s future so that we might decide, come Election Day, which road holds out greater promise for our nation.

The season can feel divisive, but one thing that unites us is our common dependence on the health of the natural systems upon which all life depends.

Barbara Kinney, Hillary for America

Barbara Kinney, Hillary for America

Unfortunately, our politics doesn’t reflect that fact?—?far from it. After a century in which both parties, to varying degrees, recognized the need for responsible environmental safeguards, we’ve seen the reckless abandonment of that core American value by congressional leaders in the GOP.

That’s why the NRDC Action Fund endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on May 31. In the weeks since then, the case for Clinton has become stronger by the day. She’s demonstrated a deep understanding of the environmental challenges we face and a commitment to taking the action we need. The contrast between her party’s record and her opponent’s could not be more stark.

When Rep. Bill Johnson, R-OH., called the work of the Environmental Protection Agency “un-American” during a House hearing last week, he was merely putting into words what many of his GOP colleagues have repeatedly expressed through votes that would undermine protections for our water, air, wildlife and lands and cripple our efforts to fight global climate change.

Far from repudiating those measures and claims, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, has added fuel to the fire,denouncing climate change as a hoax?—?except when rising seas threaten his golf courses. He’s said it was invented by the Chinese, only to claim later he was joking. If elected, Trump would be the only national leader in the world to reject what the science tells us about climate change. And he’s threatened to tear up or “renegotiate” the global agreement among the United States and more than 185 other countries in Paris last December to hasten the shift away from the dirty fossil fuels that are driving climate change and toward cleaner, smarter ways to power our future.

We don’t need to turn back the clock on hard won gains in the fight against climate change. We need to move forward with concrete action that turns the promise of Paris into the progress we need.

We need a president who will build on the advances President Obama has made to cut the carbon footprint from our cars, trucks and workplaces. We need to clean up our dirty power plants. We need to invest in efficiency, so we can do more with less waste, build the world’s best all-electric and hybrid cars and power them with more clean energy from the wind and sun. We need to get our government out of the oil, gas and coal business?—?for good. And we need to ensure environmental justice for every American.

That, in large part, describes the policies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic candidate the NRDC Action Fund has endorsed.

She understands what it means to have just finished the hottest June ever recorded in the contiguous United States?—?3.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average. She knows its no hoax that last year was the hottest since global record keeping began in 1880, the first five months of this year were hotter still, and 19 of the hottest years on record have occurred in the past two decades. She understands that, when the most authoritative climate scientists in the world tell us we’re facing a crisis, it’s time to stop making jokes and start making progress.

She understands, too, the folly of investing, as a nation, in the very dirty fuels we know we have to move away from to protect our children from the worst impacts of climate change. She’ll back Obama’s freeze on new leases for coal production on federal lands, knowing existing leases can produce coal for many years to come. She’ll protect precious Arctic and Atlantic waters from the risk of a blowout or catastrophic spill, by taking those waters off the table for oil and gas development. And she’ll work with those of us calling for an end to new leases on all federal lands and offshore waters for the production of fossil fuels, appreciating that, here again, existing leases can produce such fuels far into our future, while we transition to cleaner, safer ways to power economic growth.

Finally, she’s committed to environmental justice for every American.

We all pay a price for dirty air and water, polluted lands and wildlife at risk. Some of us, though, bear a greater burden?—?people living in low income communities, African-Americans, Latinos and other people of color.

At the NRDC Action Fund, we reject the notion that some Americans are entitled to greater environmental protections than others simply because of their race, neighborhood or income. We believe the pursuit of justice lies at the heart of who we are and what we aspire to become as Americans. We believe Hillary Clinton has shown, throughout the course of her public career, a willingness to fight to expand justice and equity for all of our people, to stand and take care of our own.

The stakes in this election are high, for our country and all we hold dear. We are working at the NRDC Action Fund to restore the bipartisan majority for common sense environmental safeguards. We look to the day this becomes, once again, not an issue that divides us red state and blue, but a core value that unites us as Americans.

Until that day, we’ll need someone to stand strong against the special interests in the fossil fuel industry and their handmaidens on Capitol Hill. We’ll need a leader who takes seriously our obligation to protect future generations from the growing dangers of climate change. We’ll need someone who shares our belief in environmental justice for every American.

That candidate is Hillary Rodham Clinton.

NRDC Action Fund’s Weekly News Summary

This is what the NRDC Action Fund has been reading this week:

Democratic U.S.  presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand together during a campaign rally. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders stand together during a campaign rally. Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary, uniting over climate change– Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton, saying “this election is about climate change” and unifying Democrats over the issue. (Grist)

Clean energy creates jobs in California– California’s push for renewables is creating well-paying jobs in economically distressed parts of the state. (LA Times)

Fossil fuel group endorses Trump– American Energy Alliance, tied to the conservative Institute for Energy Research, backs Trump for president in its first-ever endorsement. (The Hill)

According to Republicans coal is clean energyGOP draft platform declares coal to be a clean energy source for Americans. (Think Progress)

The Democrats’ draft platform is strong on climate– Climate experts are calling The Democrats’ draft platform on climate change a ‘monumental victory’ and a chance for Hillary Clinton to run on the strongest climate platform in history. (The Guardian)

‘Web of climate denial’ infects US Congress– US senators detail the destructive forces of fossil fuel industry-funded climate denial that stretches all the way to Australia. (The Guardian)

Global warming is a growing concern among Hispanics– Growing concern about global warming could determine who Hispanics vote for in the presidential election. (Sun Sentinel)