Democrats push White House to boost environmental sanitation efforts

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Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Today we’re back in your inbox after a week-long hiatus. A lot happened while we were abroad, including Staff changes in the White House Climate Office. But first:

Exclusive: Top Democrats Urge Biden Administration To Intensify Environmental Sanitation Efforts

Top Democrats in Congress demand the Biden administration To reinforce its commitment to environmental justice and ensure that Inflation Reduction ActIts climate investments help disadvantaged communities, according to details shared exclusively with The Climate 202.

in Message sent Tuesdayurged more than 60 Democrats White House To promote the implementation of Justice40 . initiativewhich seeks to send at least 40 percent of the benefits of federal climate investments to communities burdened by pollution, climate change and other environmental risks.

Lawmakers have made the following four demands for the Biden administration:

  • Keep in mind that the 40 percent target in the Justice40 initiative is a “floor” rather than a “ceiling” for investments in disadvantaged communities.
  • Ensure programs covered by Justice40 “do no harm” in disadvantaged communities by increasing pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ensure that programs covered by Justice40 provide well-paid jobs with good benefits, with an emphasis on employing members of disadvantaged communities.
  • establish Office of Climate Justice and Equality within White House Office of Management and Budget To oversee the “whole government” approach to justice 40.

“To maximize benefits and correct chronic underinvestment, we strongly recommend that implementation guidelines clarify that the initiative’s 40% target is a minimum funding requirement, not a ceiling,” the lawmakers wrote. “We also recommend that the guidelines apply this target to investments in underserved communities, not just to public benefits in these communities.”

The message was led Senator Edward J. Markey (Requiem), chair Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety; Representative Caroline B. Maloney (New York), chief Parliament’s Oversight and Reform Committee; MP Ro Khanna (California), president House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Reform on the Environment; And the representatives. Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Corey Bush (Moe).

“Our movement is supported by the frontline communities and youth most vulnerable to the existential threat of climate change, and my job in Congress is to ensure that federal resources reach the Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities who need them most,” Markey said. a permit.

He added, “The Inflation Act has the potential to shape a generation of climate action that can build health and wealth in disadvantaged communities, but only if we develop and use a robust Justice40 framework to right the historical wrongs of environmental injustice.”

The message is addressed to Brenda Mallorychair Environmental Quality Council; Shalanda Youngboss Office of Management and Budget; And the Jenna McCarthyThe Outgoing White House National Climate Adviser.

In response to a request for comment, a senior administrative official said in an email: “President Biden’s Justice Initiative 40 is the most significant entire government effort to advance environmental justice in our nation’s history, and we look forward to moving this critical work forward in partnership with members of Congress, and our House.” Interagency White House, and [White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council] and environmental justice advocates across the country.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.

Environmental justice in the inflation reduction law

The Inflation Control Act contains a record investment of $60 billion in environmental justice, including several new grant programs that Markey has endorsed.

to secure a vote Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.), however, the Democratic leadership has made some Privileges It could extend the life of fossil fuel infrastructure in frontline communities.

  • Requires measure Interior Department New oil and gas lease sales contract in the Gulf of Mexico for at least 10 years.
  • Democratic leadership too Agree to continue Separate legislation to reform the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects, including mountain valley Natural gas pipeline.

Bush, who was a Black Lives Matter Movement An activist before coming to Congress in 2021, she said she believed the Inflation Cut Act would benefit communities of color disproportionately burdened with pollution — as long as the law is implemented with Justice40 in mind.

“We’ve seen a lot of money invested in climate in [new law]”But we need additional assurances that this money will be distributed fairly,” Bush said in an interview. “We need to make sure that these protective barriers are in place to ensure that 40 percent investment is in place.”

Bush added that she plans to urge her colleagues to oppose the permitting side agreement made by Manchin and the Senate Majority Leader. Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.).

“Just because two people got together to work on the deal, I won’t allow the St. Louis vote for granted,” she said. “It’s the black, brown, indigenous and low-income people who will pay the heaviest price.”

Exclusive: LCV Action Fund Supports Independent Evan McMullen in Utah Senate Race

The Conservation Voters Association Action Fund He throws his support behind independence Evan McMullin In the Utah Senate race, indicating extraordinary support for the influential environmental PAC, The Climate 202 has learned.

McMullen, the former Republican who launched a long-running presidential campaign in 2016, received unexpected support from the party. Utah Democratic Partywhich agreed not to operate its filter. He’s competing to unseat the Republican Party Senator Mike Lee In what Politico call it “The Strangest Race in America’s Senate.”

on him campaign websiteMcMullin lists “protecting air and water” as one of his top five priorities. Lee, who has 8% result for life From the Conservation Voters Association, argue The solution to climate change is to increase the population of the United States, rather than reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“I am grateful to the Conservation League Constituents Labor Fund for their support and focus on the vital relationship between a strong democracy and a healthy environment,” McMullen said in a statement. “Protecting air and water is a critical responsibility that affects our health, prosperity, and quality of life.”

Craig OsterLCV, vice president of political affairs, said the group typically backed Democrats, even though they backed re-election bids. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) in 2014 and Angus King (I-Maine) in 2018. But McMullen, who pledged not to hold a caucus with either party, has emerged as an environmental champion, he said.

“Evan really does embrace environmental issues and the importance of protecting public lands,” Oster said. “Mike Lee has been on the wrong side of these issues over and over again, and it would be a huge transformation to have Evan in the Senate instead.”

How Biden Can Help America Reach Climate Goals On His Own

while the Inflation Reduction Act It is set to drastically cut US emissions, and it probably won’t be enough to reach the Biden administration’s climate goals. But President Biden It could take a large number of executive actions to help reach its goal of halving the country’s emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, according to the The report was released on Monday by turnstile project, An initiative by the Center for Liberal Thought Center for Economic and Political ResearchAnd the Washington Post Alison Chew reports.

The report found that White House Federal and federal agencies can take the following actions on their own:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency can rely on Clean Air Act To close loopholes that allow fossil fuel companies to underreport emissions, and lower the required reporting threshold for methane emissions.
  • The power circuit‘s Loan Programs Officefor which the Inflation Reduction Act authorizes new financing, It can support clean energy projects nationwide.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Authority can finish Suggested rules On the transmission lines, which can carry clean electricity to urban centers.

Heat pumps fire up in coal-loving Poland amid war in Ukraine

Poland has relied heavily on coal for its energy needs, but concerns about energy independence amid the war in Ukraine are pushing the population to embrace clean energy before winter. stickers Michael Birnbaum reports.

A few weeks after Moscow invaded Ukraine, Joanna Bandera, the Polish energy expert, replaced her gas stove with an electric range and signed a contract for an electric heat pump. She threw a party to celebrate these moves, cooking borsch and pierog with Ukrainian refugees.

“The celebration was that we removed Russian gas,” said Bandera, a company director. Energi . Foruma Warsaw-based think tank advocating a Polish transition to renewable energy.

Like Pandera, many Poles, angry at Moscow and sympathetic to Ukraine, have installed heat pumps and other climate-friendly technologies in recent months — achieving in record time the years when calls for action by climate advocates could not.

The Senate is in session, but the House of Representatives won’t return until September 13. Here’s what will be shown this week:

Wednesday: The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works He will hold a hearing on multiple bills that would amend Clean Air Actincluding by establishing a grant program to mitigate the health and environmental impacts of wildfire smoke.

  • The Senate Subcommittee on Environment and Public Works on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety He will also hold a confirmation hearing for candidates to Tennessee Valley Salad group of directors. include William RenickAnd the Adam White And the Joe Rich.

Thursday: The Subcommittee on Natural Resources in the House of Representatives for Energy and Mineral Resources He will be holding a field hearing in Morro Bay, California, on the deployment of offshore wind energy along the West Coast.

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