Clean Air

July Newsletter: Highlighting Community Resilience & Environmental Justice Work

As July and the heat rolls in, we want to highlight our community’s resilience in the face of extreme weather challenges, and our commitment to clean air for our kids by securing funding for electric school buses. Our ongoing efforts to safeguard impacted Latine and communities of color from the harmful impacts of LNG also continue, reflecting our dedication to environmental justice. Join us this month as we continue the fight for cleaner air and healthier neighborhoods for all. Read more below and unite with us in making a positive impact! July Events:  Join Chispa TX for a Town Hall on Ammonia Production and Tax Breaks! Join Chispa Texas and Texas Campaign for the Environment for a crucial community discussion on the risks associated with ammonia production and the proposed tax breaks from Robstown. RSVPs are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Limited door prizes will be available! Mark your calendar for July 18th, 2024, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd, Robstown, TX 8380. We look forward to seeing you there! RSVP HERE! Applications Are Now Open for Electric School Bus Funding:                                                      Nearly $1 billion in funding is now available, including $652 million earmarked for school districts to upgrade to clean, electric buses, replacing aging diesel models. The Biden-Harris administration, supported by the EPA and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Clean Bus Planning Awards, is committed to assisting districts in securing these funds for cleaner transportation solutions. Grant proposals for the EPA Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program are due July 25, 2024. EPA will conduct informational webinars and welcomes inquiries at cleanhdvehicles@epa.gov throughout the application period. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring electric school buses to your community! Urge your school district to apply now! For help contacting your school district and urging them to apply for funding, check out the Alliance for Electric School Buses! News ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!)  Extreme Heat Protections for Workers and Communities This week President Biden and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration proposed new extreme heat protections for workers and communities, including worker protections that are vital for anyone who works outdoors. Without a standard in place, all workers’ including Latine workers’ lives are at risk during these increasingly frequent heat waves – from farm workers to firefighters and solar installers, to construction crews. It’s time to take action and ensure their safety! Read our full Chispa statement with LCV here. Washington, DC Fly-In Leaders from Chispa Arizona, Chispa Nevada, Chispa Texas and Chispa national gathered in Washington DC June 11-14  to attend this year’s Conservation Voter Movement Fly-in. Our Chispa programs, along with community leaders, lobbied key Administration officials and elected officials on critical issues including support for a continued LNG pause, clean energy, offshore wind, land protection, electric school buses, and clean energy rebates from the Affordable Clean Energy Plan. Chispa leaders discussed clean air and water, electric vehicle infrastructure, heat islands, and maximizing clean energy tax credits. Check out Chispa TX’s, Chispa NV’s, and Chispa AZ’s posts of their time advocating for our gente in D.C.! And read our press release here. Meet Enviro-Net! Chispa Nevada’s First Digital Committee Our Digital Organizer, Crystal, and Chispa Nevada members officially launched the digital committee at the Chispa NV office! They spent their time together discussing what digital organizing means to them, brainstorming new content ideas, discussing digital practices and tools, and mapping out Chispa Nevada’s digital future. These digital leaders can’t wait to elevate our three campaigns: polluter accountability, clean air and transportation, and federal, and they can’t wait to help Chispa Nevada grow! Interested in learning more about social media, digital tools, and digital organizing? Send Chispa Nevada a DM today! Chispa NV Joins Community Advocates Opposing NV Energy’s Plan to Triple Northern Nevada Basic Service Charge “For many in our community, every dollar counts,” said Astrid Martinez, Community Organizer for Chispa Nevada. “NV Energy tripling fixed charges would hit Latine families and other vulnerable groups the hardest, making it difficult for our families to manage our budgets effectively. This would be the highest fixed charge in the country. We cannot allow this to happen without a fight. We call on the PUCN to protect consumers and reject corporate greed.” Read the full coalition press release here. Chispa Arizona Launches New Website Chispa AZ is thrilled to announce the launch of their new website! Experience seamless browsing with a focus on language justice for both English and Spanish speakers, as well as Disability Justice with settings catering to various needs. To celebrate their launch, they’re hosting a feedback raffle! Participants of the feedback survey have a chance to win a camping starter kit valued at nearly $500! Take the survey today to enter and visit their brand new website here at chispaaz.org. **This drawing is only open to residents of Arizona** Chispa AZ Launches Voter Registration Drive Across Three Counties! In June, Chispa AZ launched its new voter registration program in Pima, Maricopa, and Yuma counties! Despite the scorching heat, they’ve already begun building crucial relationships, sharing pan dulce, and hitting the pavement to achieve our ambitious goal of registering 40,000 voters. Nicole Morales, Democracy Director at Chispa AZ, emphasizes, “Without a robust democracy, our advocacy for Mother Earth cannot flourish.” Join Chispa Arizona here! Chispa AZ’s Annual Grand Canyon Adventure! Chispa AZ’s annual member-exclusive Grand Canyon trip was a transformative experience, blending adventure, stargazing under pristine skies, captivating theater performances, deep community connections, and profound insights into our connection with Madre Tierra! See more pics and videos from the trip here! Chispa Maryland holds Environmental Justice Workshops The Chispa Maryland team was happy to hold community workshops in June in Langley Park (pictured) and in Baltimore on what #environmentaljustice means for our communities and how we can make the air we breathe, the parks we play in, the water we drink, and the neighborhoods we live in cleaner, healthier and better for all! See Facebook

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LCV Statement on Western District Of Louisiana Ruling on LNG Pause

For Immediate Release July 2, 2024 Contact: Kelci Hobson, khobson@lcv.org Washington, D.C.: In response to the U.S. District Court for Louisiana issuing a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by 16 Republican Attorneys General challenging the Department of Energy’s pause on permits for new LNG export authorizations, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Chispa Texas released the following statement: “President Biden heeded the calls of young people and frontline communities in pausing the development of new liquefied methane gas export facilities. This historic step to take on the greedy Oil and Gas CEOs was the right thing to do for consumers, our communities, and our environment. Unfettered LNG exports raise energy bills, pump toxic pollution into the air that further threaten the health of communities neighboring these massive facilities, and fuel the climate crisis,” said Leah Donahey, Senior Federal Advocacy Campaigns Director at League of Conservation Voters. “Despite the ruling, the Department of Energy can and should continue its much-needed, common sense evaluation of whether or not these dangerous LNG exports are in the public interest. This lawsuit was filed by 16 Republican Attorneys General and is a blatant attempt to aid Big Oil and Gas CEOs who will stop at nothing to line their pockets while harming people, our pocketbooks, and the planet.” Previously, LCV launched a $2.5 million campaign in support of the Biden administration’s pause on permitting for LNG export facilities. This included a DC cable buy thanking President Biden for this latest decision in an unprecedented string of action to tackle the climate crisis and digital ads focused on the young people who have been pushing for this kind of bold action. For more information, see  LCV’s LNG fact sheet.  *** “Our communities along the Gulf Coast have suffered from toxic air pollution from fracked methane gas facilities in our backyards, endangering our health with illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, and cancer,” said Chispa Texas Program Director Elida Castillo. “The LNG pause is an opportunity for our Department of Energy to study these harmful effects and fulfill its public duty. But at every turn Big Polluters, and our state leaders who are supported by them, continue to seek irresponsible growth that prioritizes profits over the lives and livelihoods of people and the beautiful spaces we need and love. As our nation literally experiences record-breaking heat everywhere, it’s extremely disappointing that this much-needed action to combat the climate crisis and environmental injustice is facing these hurdles from those in the pockets of the oil and gas industry. Our communities most harmed by emissions of formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and other toxins from these facilities should not continue to suffer, so fracked methane gas exporters can post record profits quarter after quarter. Our path forward to bring down energy costs for everyone and confront the global climate crisis begins with this pause and not the false narrative being sold to bring more destructive methane gas projects online.” ###

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ICYMI: Chispa, Chispa AZ, Chispa NV, and Chispa TX meet with Members of Congress in D.C. to discuss Clean Energy Benefits under IRA and IIJA in Latine Communities Extreme Heat, Clean Air, Electric School Buses, LNG Pause also Discussed

For Immediate Release June 14, 2024 Contact: Elena Gaona, egaona@lcv.org, 202-907-9717 Washington D.C. – Members and community organizers with Chispa National, Chispa Arizona, Chispa Nevada, and Chispa Texas visited Washington, D.C. this week (June 11-14) to meet with their Members of Congress and key Biden-Harris Administration officials to discuss environmental concerns and clean energy investments in Latine communities across the nation. The discussions took place as a total of 80 advocates from 29 League of Conservation Voters state partners from around the country convened in D.C. for an advocacy week to highlight Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) investments transforming communities. Chispa members focused on continued investments and solutions for clean air, clean water, clean land, and extreme heat, such as electric school buses and a continued pause on new LNG facilities in places like the Texas Gulf Coast. They highlighted how investments from the Biden-Harris administration’s affordable clean energy plan are making clean energy and cleaner air a reality by helping fund home energy and vehicle upgrades, and creating good-paying clean energy jobs across the country. The clean energy plan is also saving consumers money as temperatures continue to rise, while combating the climate crisis and environmental injustice. “In my community it can reach 120 degrees. Having this funding and communicating about the opportunities is a matter of life and death,” said Vania Guevara, Advocacy and Political Director, Chispa Arizona, who participated in meetings and also attended a roundtable that included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Chair Debbie Stabenow. “No matter where you live, no matter how much money you make, everyone should have access to clean air, clean water, and public lands. We want a clean energy transition but that cannot come at the expense of our indigenous communities, our working class, or our environment.” WATCH: Roundtable on Inflation Reduction Act Benefits in Local Communities “Our Chispa Texas members had an important opportunity to speak directly to their Members of Congress and administration officials about the issues affecting their daily lives, like stopping out-of-control LNG and hydrogen facilities expansion in their backyards, and access to clean water and clean air,” said Chispa TX Director Elida Castillo. “We were glad to meet with the Department of Energy, EPA and Environmental Justice champions from Texas. Our elected officials got to hear directly from the people, and we hope to continue the conversations for more impactful change brought about by the people, that benefits all our communities immediately and into the future.” View Chispa TX Instagram post. “It was important for my whole family to travel to our nation’s capital because our communities are impacted by poor air quality and heat in Nevada, and we want to raise our voice on behalf of our neighbors and families,” said Guadalupe Lyn, a Chispa Nevada member who traveled to DC with her spouse Rojan Lyn, and teenage son, Nathaniel Lyn. “We met with our representatives and they listened. We discussed electric school buses, charging infrastructure, clean air, clean water, and climate investments that can lower our energy bills and bring good jobs to Nevada. We requested that our federal delegation create a big climate coalition, including Tribes, to learn more about survivorship under this extreme heat and climate change. And we also discussed justice for our community because we want to make sure all these programs are accessible to everyone.” View Chispa NV Instagram post. # # #

ICYMI: Chispa, Chispa AZ, Chispa NV, and Chispa TX meet with Members of Congress in D.C. to discuss Clean Energy Benefits under IRA and IIJA in Latine Communities Extreme Heat, Clean Air, Electric School Buses, LNG Pause also Discussed Read More »

June Newsletter: Voices of Change, Celebrating Environmental Justice & Pride Month

As June arrives, we’re thrilled to spotlight the voices of our communities taking action for environmental justice, coinciding with the celebration of Pride Month. This month, we focus on the power of collective action and the need for clean air in our neighborhoods to ensure healthy communities. Read on and join us in these efforts! Chispa June Events:  Washington, DC FLY-IN: Our Chispa states are gathering in Washington DC this month to attend this year’s Conservation Voter Movement Fly-in. Our Chispa programs, along with community leaders, will lobby key Administration officials and elected officialson several critical issues includingsupport for a continued LNG pause, clean energy, offshore wind,land protection, and clean energy rebates from the Affordable Clean Energy Plan. We will also discuss clean air and water, promoting electric vehicle infrastructure, heat islands, and maximizing clean energy tax credits. Keep an eye on our socials for updates! More news ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!) Chispa NV and Community Leaders Urge Berkshire Hathaway to Invest in Clean Energy: Chispa NV joined community leaders from Iowa and Nebraska in calling on Berkshire Hathaway, the parent company of Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power (NV Energy), to stop polluting our air with methane gas. Our leader, Maria Prentice, had the opportunity to ask a question during the meeting. She stated, “I’m a retiree from Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m here today as a member of Chispa Nevada, a group that’s developing Latine leaders for environmental justice. I’m also here representing many Latine families in Nevada who are struggling to pay their utility bills and want access to affordable, clean electricity. I want to ask today why NV Energy, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, is building new gas plants instead of investing in solar energy when Nevada is one of the sunniest states in the country?” Join Nevada in its polluter accountability efforts, and follow them on Instagram for updates and opportunities to get involved! Chispa AZ’s Nicole Morales Joins Poderistas Panel to Amplify Latina Voices During Election Year: Chispa AZ’s Democracy Director, Nicole Morales, joined a panel for Poderistas to discuss issues important to Latinas, especially during an election year. They listened directly to the women of Arizona about the most urgent issues for them, their families, and their communities in this election cycle and beyond. This event was recorded at the Telemundo studios with Eva Longoria! Check out their post here! Environment and faith panel: “Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Latino Priorities: Hearing the Cry of Earth and the Poor”  Chispa’s communications director, Elena Gaona, participated in the Latino Leader gathering on “Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and Latino Priorities: Hearing the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor” hosted by the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. Speakers included Mark Hugo Lopez (Pew Research Center), Silvia Foster-Frau (Washington Post), Christian Soenen (Georgetown Initiative), Auxiliary Bishop Evelio Menjivar (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington), and Bishop Joseph Tyson (Catholic Climate Covenant). An engaged live audience attended, and hundreds watched the live stream and recorded video. Elena shared stories from Chispa’s work and outlined how Latino communities experience environmental crises—their urgency, their physical effects, and their closeness to environmental justice and to the spirit for people of faith. Religion News Service ran an article about the event.   Protégete Colorado Unites With Latino Leaders at the GreenLatinos Summit: Chispa leaders and staff from several states, including Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González attended the GreenLatinos summit this year in El Yunque, Puerto Rico. In addition, Beatriz Soto, Director of Protégete, and Rebeca Medrano, Manager of Strategic Alliances, participated in a panel at the National GreenLatinos Summit. This dynamic event united the vibrant Latino environmental community, passionate climate justice champions, influential community leaders, and dedicated policy advocates, all striving towards a future of environmental justice. Check out photos from the panel and summit! Debunking LNG Myths: Why Biden’s Pause on Gas Exports Benefits People and the Planet: It’s been nearly five months since President Biden paused approvals for all new liquefied methane gas export projects, but misinformation about the decision still looms large. LCV breaks down the impacts of LNG and why the pause is a win for people, communities, and the planet this week on The Power Source Blog.    Carmen Hernandez, a Comadre from Gregory, Texas, emphasized the importance of taking action: “We want to keep on living for as long as we can. The future of our children is at stake.” New Analysis on President Biden’s Climate Action: A new analysis from Climate Power and 20 other climate groups including Chispa highlights President Biden’s significant climate actions. According to the report, Biden has taken more than 320 environmental actions to address climate change. Lori Lodes, Climate Power’s executive director, stated, “The analysis identified more than 300 meaningful climate actions that are creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs, lowering energy costs, protecting our lands, and holding Big Oil accountable. President Biden made climate action a priority from Day 1, and he’s just getting started.” Read more here! Y en español aquí, por Telemundo.   Celebrating World Environment Day with Corazón Latino short films: We celebrated World Environment Day yesterday by watching the award-winning Corazón Latino (in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, JPixx, and Heart Theatre) short films, “Addressing Our Future Now: The Environmental Justice Lens in the Forest Service Mission through DEIA – A JEDI Project.” The films highlight the crucial role of diversity and inclusivity in environmental justice and public lands. The films (available here) are a strategic effort to fulfill the USDA Forest Service’s obligations under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Justice40 Initiative. The effort includes three films (more to come), focusing on African-American, Latino, Indigenous, and Asian American perspectives in public lands management and how forests and public lands are experienced by different communities.. Revolutionizing School Transportation: EPA’s Clean School Bus Program Winners Announced!: The EPA unveiled the winners of the highly anticipated Clean School Bus

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Declaraciones de LCV y Chispa sobre las nuevas inversiones del programa de autobuses escolares limpios de la EPA

Para publicación inmediata 29 de mayo del 2024 Contacto: Elena Gaona, egaona@lcv.org , 202-907-9717 Washington, D.C.— En respuesta al anuncio de hoy de la administración Biden-Harris de la inversión de casi $900 millones en distritos escolares, en forma de reembolsos del Programa de Autobuses Escolares Limpios de la EPA, Chispa y la Liga de Votantes por la Conservación (LCV)  emitieron las siguientes declaraciones: “El éxito y la demanda por más fondos para autobuses escolares eléctricos muestra que estas inversiones son un paso fundamental para que los niños en todo el país tengan acceso a viajes a la escuela más saludables y limpios, sin importar sus ingresos o su código postal”, dijo la directora senior de Chispa, Estefany Carrasco-González. “La contaminación tóxica de los tubos de escape de vehiculos daña a nuestros niños de color y a los niños de comunidades de bajos recursos, que ya son los más afectados por la crisis climática con tasas más altas de enfermedades respiratorias y otros problemas de salud. Chispa continuará organizándo para garantizar que todas las comunidades, especialmente las de color, vivan un futuro energético más saludable y limpio”. *** “Más del 60% de los fondos de estos premio ayudarán a garantizar que las comunidades tribales, rurales y de bajos ingresos (comunidades históricamente excluidas de inversiones y afectadas por la contaminación tóxica del aire) están en camino a un aire más limpio y más empleos de energía limpia y bien remunerados, al mismo tiempo que protegemos nuestro planeta para las generaciones futuras”, dijo la Asociada de Asuntos Gubernamentales de LCV sobre Cambio Climático y Energía Limpia, Darien Davis. “A medida que la demanda por autobuses de cero emisiones continúa aumentando, las inversiones más recientes de la administración Biden-Harris son casi el doble de la cantidad planificada y se unen a los premios anunciados por la EPA a principios de este año, para que más niños en todo el país tengan un viaje más limpio a la escuela. LCV aplaude a la administración Biden-Harris por continuar cumpliendo sus compromisos para abordar la crisis climática y garantizar que las comunidades con bajos ingresos tengan prioridad en estas inversiones críticas”. ### En inglés: https://chispalcv.org/lcv-and-chispa-statements-on-latest-epa-clean-school-bus-program-rebate-investments/

Declaraciones de LCV y Chispa sobre las nuevas inversiones del programa de autobuses escolares limpios de la EPA Read More »

LCV and Chispa Statements On Latest EPA Clean School Bus Program Rebate Investments

For Immediate Release May 29,  2024 Contact: Mika Hyer, mhyer@lcv.org, 940-783-2230 En Español: Elena Gaona, egaona@lcv.org, 202-907-9717 Washington, D.C.— In response to today’s announcement from the Biden-Harris administration to invest nearly $900 million in school districts from the EPA Clean School Bus Program rebates, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Chispa released the following statements: “More than 60% of this award funding will help ensure low income, rural, and Tribal communities — communities historically excluded from investments and impacted by toxic air pollution — are on track to cleaner air and more good paying, clean energy jobs while protecting our planet for future generations,” said LCV Government Affairs Advocate on Climate Change & Clean Energy Darien Davis. “As demand for zero-emissions buses continues to surge, the most recent investments from the Biden-Harris administration are nearly double the amount planned and build on awards announced by EPA earlier this year, so more children across the country have a cleaner ride to school. LCV applauds the Biden-Harris administration for continuing to deliver on their commitments to tackle the climate crisis and ensure communities with low wealth are prioritized in these critical investments.” *** “The success and demand for the electric school bus funding shows that these investments are a critical step for children across the country to have access to healthier, cleaner rides to school, no matter their income or zip code,” said Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González. “Toxic tailpipe pollution harms our children of color and children in low-wealth communities who are already the most impacted by the climate crisis with higher rates of respiratory illness and other health issues. Chispa will continue to organize to ensure all communities, especially communities of color, lead a healthier and cleaner energy future.” ###

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Why we must include our comunidad in the growing green economy: clean energy jobs, lower energy costs, and a healthier climate future

I recently had the honor of visiting the White House during Earth Month and participating in the Roundtable on Latino Economic Empowerment Through Climate Action. The roundtable discussed the historic (in scope and size) number of clean energy investments being made into the U.S. economy right now, and how our Latine communities can be part of this fast-growing green economy. In representing Chispa, I joined two dozen other climate leaders and influencers, plus key Biden-Harris administration and staff, for the discussion. It was not lost on many of us in the room that “we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” as my seat partner, Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker, Associate Vice President at Moms Clean Air Force and Director of EcoMadres, said. “I thought so much of my mother and her dreams as an advocate for Latino economic empowerment (having come from Cuba with nothing, struggling to start a business, ultimately becoming a voice for the community) and how much she was with me in that room.” My own story is that my mother, an immigrant from Mexico, cleaned houses for decades in Dallas. She eventually became a successful small business owner with my father, and they also served as leaders in the community. But how do we include more families and communities into the middle class and beyond, out of “barely making it”? We have a monumental opportunity, right now, to bring everyone along into a new green economy that offers dignified good green jobs, lower household costs and reliable energy, and clear benefits to our health and the planet on top of that. With the Affordable Clean Energy Plan front and center, the Biden-Harris administration has done more to protect our climate and move environmental solutions forward than any other administration in American history. At the White House Roundtable we discussed this opportunity, and the moment we have to change the course for generations to come.  Good News: There are Clean Energy Jobs, Jobs, Jobs When we discussed how the green economy can be inclusive of the Latine community, the first thing we discussed was jobs. With announcements such as $7B in grants for the Solar for All program, communities have the opportunity to develop solar projects that will offer clean and reliable energy in their homes. This will offer families more stable prices for their energy, but “the beauty of it,” as a senior administration official put it, is that it also creates well-paying jobs. The large influx of investments is also an opportunity for this green economy sector to be developed sustainably with fair wages, labor standards, and equity. The Affordable Clean Energy Plan (the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act)  amounts to $369 billion! These resources are being invested in solar and wind all across the U.S., clean transportation, clean energy manufacturing of batteries and other products, and more. The plan is comprehensive and includes many elements important to Latine communities: Community Change Grants fund environmental and climate justice activities to benefit impacted communities through projects that reduce pollution, increase community climate resilience, and build community capacity to address environmental and climate justice challenges.  Direct pay is a program where tax-exempt and governmental entities – such as school districts, local governments, Tribes, territories, and nonprofits – can receive up-front payments to help fund qualifying clean energy projects. These include community solar projects to bring clean energy to neighborhood families; geothermal heating; electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure; and clean vehicles for city fleets. The Justice40 Initiative establishes the goal that 40 percent of the benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments in the Affordable Clean Energy Plan, must go to communities dealing most with underinvestment and pollution. All of the clean energy projects being created through these historic investments mean jobs for electricians, mechanics, construction workers, technicians, support staff, and thousands of others. Since the Affordable Clean Energy Plan became law in 2022, companies have announced a total of 271,713 new jobs related to 523 new clean energy projects, and over $352 billion in investments across the U.S., according to Climate Power. Latine workers are well represented in the clean energy and clean transportation sectors, and our numbers are growing. Latine workers represent nearly 17 percent of the clean energy workforce. And within the solar installation space alone, roughly one-third of the workers are Latine (31.7%). Finally, the American Climate Corps, a service and workforce training initiative designed to employ youth in addressing climate impacts and building local resilience, will hire 20,000 people, according to the White House. The program represents an excellent opportunity to engage our Latine youth in skill-building in the climate space.  Our families have many opportunities to get into and stay in the middle class with all these jobs and internships for new careers – all while promoting clean air, clean water and a better environment. Cost Savings: The other economic benefit under the Affordable Clean Energy Plan During conversations with climate leaders at the White House, I shared that my teacher friend in Texas received a $900 electric bill in January! Many of the families and communities Chispa works with across the country are finding their skyrocketing utility bills unaffordable. Chispa NV members have even told us they have to choose between utility bills or food or medicine. This is not right. Current tax incentives under the Affordable Clean Energy Plan mean cost savings (in the form of tax rebates or tax credits, plus lower energy bills) for your family when you make clean energy changes such as conducting a home energy audit, upgrading your appliances or installing a heat pump to lower energy cost. The Affordable Energy Plan does two things: it makes it more affordable to install clean energy in your home, with small investments like the more energy efficient appliances, or funding for bigger solutions we know work such as solar panels, and it then means your family has cheaper and more reliable energy for many years to come = real cost savings to

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Congressional Letter Latest to Support Review of LNG Exports & Urge DOE to Incorporate Key Issues into Public Interest Determination

Groups Show Support For Members Of Congress Speaking Out Against Fossil Fuel Interests – Lead by Sierra Club May 7, 2024 Contact Shannon Van Hoesen, shannon.vanhoesen@sierraclub.org Washington, DC — Today, more than 70 members of Congress sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary Granholm thanking them for pausing the approval of applications for new liquefied methane gas (LNG) exports while the Department of Energy considers the criteria used to determine whether new exports are in the public interest. The members of Congress write in the letter:  “Once again, thank you for taking this important step to put public health and economic well-being first by pausing the approval of new LNG export authorizations to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. This is an overdue opportunity to examine whether the LNG export boom creates value for the American people or, as we suspect, results in harm while primarily benefitting oil and gas companies that want to ship American LNG overseas for higher profits.” Key priorities that these members of Congress want to see incorporated into the public interest determination include a test for the economic effects LNG export approvals will have on U.S. consumers, an evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions along the entire LNG export supply chain, on international and domestic climate targets, and for new considerations of LNG exports to follow the spirit of President Biden’s Executive Order on Revitalizing our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All. This letter builds on the support from a broad coalition of frontline residents, environmental groups, and stakeholders for the Biden Administration’s pause on new LNG export approvals. In the past year, dozens of members of Congress, national security experts and former senior military leaders, environmental organizations, Gulf Coast residents, scientists, and healthcare professionals all sent letters to the Administration showing support for the pause and calling for an end to new LNG export facilities as they are not in the public interest. Gulf Coast advocates and environmental groups issued the following statements in support of the letter from members of Congress: “We applaud these Congressional leaders for sending the Biden Administration a letter celebrating the pause on new LNG export approvals while the Department of Energy considers the full impacts this dangerous fossil fuel has on the public’s health, our economy, and our climate and environmental justice goals,” said Roishetta Sibley Ozane, Founder and Executive Director of the Vessel Project of Louisiana. “For too long, communities forced to live near the petro-chemical industry have faced the disproportionate effects of pollution and climate change, seeing little to no supposed benefits of having these companies operate in their neighborhoods. This pause presents an opportunity for the Biden Administration to prioritize environmental justice and climate action going forward when making decisions about new LNG export approvals. We thank these Congressional leaders for urging the Biden Administration to use this moment to truly chart a new course towards a more sustainable and just future.” “We are glad to see such strong Congressional leadership in support of the Biden Administration’s commonsense decision to pause new LNG export approvals so the Department of Energy can re-examine the impacts these exports have on our climate and environmental justice goals, as well as our economy,” said Mahyar Sorour, Sierra Club Director of Beyond Fossil Fuels Policy. “The oil and gas industry has been polluting our communities and raising our energy prices, all while making record-breaking profits at the expense of public health and safety. It is time to change the status quo and put people over these polluting companies.” “Study after study has shown just how harmful LNG exports are to our climate, health, financial well-being, and national security. The Biden administration has begun to pave a new path forward by reviewing the criteria used to determine if new gas exports are in the public interest,” said Joanie Steinhaus, Ocean Program Director for Turtle Island Restoration Network. “Now we need that path to lead to real change by ensuring DOE is using updated studies and incorporating factors like environmental justice into their decisions. We are grateful to members of Congress who understand what is at stake for our communities and stand with us.” “We applaud members of Congress for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Biden’s historic decision to pause approvals for new LNG export terminals. Communities in the Gulf have long led the fight against LNG expansion and unjustly borne the brunt of pollution that the federal government has failed to wholly consider in previous LNG infrastructure approvals,” said Mattea Mrkusic, Evergreen Action’s Senior Policy Lead for Energy Transition. “Studies have repeatedly found that LNG is far worse for the climate than previously thought, and pausing approvals of new terminals is a no-brainer to allow decision-makers to fully take stock of their climate impacts. President Biden and the Department of Energy’s LNG review is a deeply necessary step toward accurately measuring the damaging cost of LNG expansion to environmental justice, climate, public health, and American pocketbooks.” “Progress Texas celebrates action from the Biden Administration and Secretary Granholm acknowledging Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports’ harm to American citizens and the environment. We have an interest in ensuring prices stay affordable here at home, that our families are safe from the high and long term costs of LNG on our health and local economies, and of course, not adding more fuel to the fire of our already scorching climate. Sec. Granholm said it best: ‘I understand that some in the industry who may have pending authorization requests are not happy… But our review is in the public interest, and not in the interest just of the oil and gas industry,’” said Kathleen Thompson, Progress Texas Executive Director. “LNG’s glossy job promises starkly contrast with the grim reality—minimal sustainable jobs and significant ecological and community harm. Our local fishermen are sidelined as LNG facilities ravage marine habitats and deplete fishing grounds. The true cost? Devastating long-term impacts on both our environment and community fabric. We invite the Department of Energy and all congressional offices to visit Louisiana and the Gulf Coast to witness firsthand the false narrative that economic prosperity follows LNG construction, especially in communities already

Congressional Letter Latest to Support Review of LNG Exports & Urge DOE to Incorporate Key Issues into Public Interest Determination Read More »

LCV and Chispa Statements on Biden-Harris Administration Transportation Announcements

Washington, D.C.— Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced new clean vehicle initiatives, including the first-ever goal to transition to a zero emission freight sector and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of a $1 billion grant competition to help replace dirty diesel trucks and buses with clean, zero-emission ones. In response to today’s announcements, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Chispa released the following statements: “The Biden-Harris administration is, once again, delivering on their clean energy plan by swiftly implementing the clean energy investments for cleaner trucks and buses in the Inflation Reduction Act,” said LCV’s Government Affairs Advocate for Climate & Clean Energy Darien Davis. “These announcements are a huge step toward electrifying trucks and buses across the country, especially in communities disproportionately impacted by toxic tailpipe pollution. The Clean Heavy Duty Vehicle program will not only help replace old heavy-duty vehicles – it will fund workforce development, critical charging infrastructure, and additional project implementation for zero-emission trucks and buses. We congratulate the Biden-Harris administration for their continued leadership and urge the EPA to continue the momentum by granting California’s Advanced Clean Trucks waiver to further advance the adoption of electric heavy-duty vehicles.” *** “We are excited to welcome this new Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program funding that can be used for electric school buses for our children to have healthier commutes and cleaner air. Our Chispa communities, parents, and students have organized for years to ensure a transition away from dirty diesel buses to protect the health of children suffering from asthma and those overexposed to polluted transportation corridors,” said Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González. “We know electric school buses produce zero tailpipe pollution, perform well and have a lower total cost of ownership. With this new funding and IRA tax credits for clean vehicles, there’s never been a better time to replace aging diesel buses with a clean ride for kids, and we look forward to working with our communities and school districts to access this money.” ###

LCV and Chispa Statements on Biden-Harris Administration Transportation Announcements Read More »

LCV and Chispa Celebrate Biden-Harris Administration Earth Day Announcements

Washington, D.C. — In response today’s speech from President Biden in Virginia to announce the $7 billion in funding for Solar for All grant recipients and new announcements expanding the American Climate Corps, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Chispa, and Chispa Nevada released the following statements: “President Biden has done more than any president in history to deliver on tackling the climate crisis and pollution, and we’re excited for the Biden-Harris administration’s continued commitment on clean energy and environmental justice the President announced for this year’s Earth Day,” said Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo. “The historic Solar For All investments are a major step towards lowering energy costs for families across the country, helping combat the climate crisis at the scale and rate science requires, and putting us on the path for a clean energy future for all of our communities, especially in communities of color and those with low wealth. The Biden-Harris administration is continuing to invest in our youth and future generations with high-quality jobs to tackle the climate crisis through the American Climate Corps. We’re all in with the Biden-Harris administration to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our communities, our climate, and our future.” *** “Today’s Solar for All announcement is a welcome relief for our communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and rising energy costs for far too long,” said Chispa Senior Director Estefany Carrasco-González. “Chispa congratulates all the community-led winners who will soon be in a stronger position to lead us into a healthier and better energy future by expanding access to clean, local, affordable and reliable energy for all.” *** “Chispa Nevada is proud to congratulate the Nevada Clean Energy Fund on winning Solar For All funding for low-income and multi-family housing,” said Audrey Peral, Program Director for Chispa Nevada. “As we approach the Nevada summer, with electricity rates at an all-time high and our families living in neighborhoods with the hottest temperatures, our community needs urgent access to programs that will lower our utility bills and reduce climate pollution. We look forward to working with NCEF to develop solar projects that will transition Latine families, including renters and low-income households, to clean and local solar energy.” ### These announcements build on major progress announced by the Biden-Harris administration in advance of Earth Day to protect clean air and water, advance clean energy and clean energy jobs, hold Big Polluters accountable, protect public lands, ensure historic protections for the Arctic, and more.

LCV and Chispa Celebrate Biden-Harris Administration Earth Day Announcements Read More »

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