Washington Weekly: February 9, 2022
This Week’s Headlines
- Global Majorities Support Climate Action: Recent polling shows that majorities of voters across the globe are concerned about the climate crisis and believe governments and large companies must do more to address it. Globally, people are experiencing accelerating climate impacts and feel as though they are being left to fight climate change alone.
(Credit: @DJBlakito via Twitter)
- Postal Fleet Electrification Hits Speed Bump: The United States Postal Service is moving forward with a deal to purchase 165,000 vehicles from defense contractor Oshkosh Defense. However, only 10% of the vehicles are planned to be electric, which led the EPA to call on the USPS to re-evaluate its contract citing the climate crisis. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy claims the USPS does not have the funding for EVs. Currently, funds for postal fleet electrification are locked up in the stalled Build Back Better Act.
- House Passes America COMPETES Act: The House passed their version of the manufacturing competitiveness bill aimed at competing with China. Designed to fund semiconductor development and shore up supply chains, the bill also included the following environmental provisions: $3 billion to bolster U.S. solar manufacturing; $150 million annually for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to combat illegal wildlife trafficking; and up to $53 million annually to protect coral reefs from climate change.
- Russia-Ukraine Climate Implications Continue: President Biden announced the large natural gas pipeline connecting Russian natural gas to Germany, Nord Stream 2, will be shut down if Russia invades Ukraine.
- Strange Bedfellows? Two coalitions of groups released letters this week signaling support for the climate portions of the Build Back Better Act. One group dubbed the Clean Incentives Coalition, consists of environmentalists like the League of Conservation Voters. The other group endorsing climate action was a coalition of fossil fuel companies and utilities, including giant British Petroleum (BP) and Michigan’s Consumers Energy.
- Capitol Hill Staff Unionization Effort Growing: Today Michigan Rep. Andy Levin introduced a resolution with 130 co-sponsors to move forward with unionizing congressional staffers, who are often underpaid and overworked.
A Deeper Dive: Polling Shows Strong Support for Climate Action
Public opinion and attitudes on the need for climate action has never been stronger, as demonstrated in poll after poll. A recent POLITICO Morning Consult Global Sustainability Poll found the majority of adults in 13 countries surveyed (including the United States) believe their governments and the private sector are not doing enough to address climate change. Furthermore, strong majorities responded that they are experiencing the accelerating impacts of climate change, and want to see bold climate action.
More polling from Evergreen Action also suggests that U.S. voters are concerned – 81 % of voters believe the federal government and large corporations have a responsibility to address the climate crisis – while 73% of voters see climate change as a threat to the U.S. economy.
It’s clear that taking bold climate action is top of mind for many Americans, and that the Build Back Better Act is still seen as a viable path forward: 61% of voters support the Build Back Better Act’s major provisions and 56% support “a significant amount of money to deal with climate change” as part of the bill.
Although the flame of Build Back Better dwindles, bold climate action is not a lost cause. Over the coming months, Democrats in Congress will have a chance to pass robust climate legislation under a new name and secure the investments we need to meaningfully address climate change.
The Michigan LCV Difference
Despite uncertainty surrounding the path forward for Build Back Better, Michigan LCV and climate action partners continue to work to build support for bold climate action in Washington.
On Saturday, February 12th from 1 – 2 PM, Michigan LCV is joining Moms Clean Air Force and Sierra Club for a Valentine’s Day rally on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing to show support for the Build Back Better Act and the elected climate champions who support it.
We encourage you to sign up and bring your climate action signs and swag as we make our voices heard. We hope you can join us!