Written By: Madison Mayhew, IPL Federal Policy Advocate
Congress has a full agenda for the final weeks of the year during the lame duck period. A major goal is passing the FY23 fiscal year package. After passing the short term funding package in September, Congress has until December 16th to enact a final FY23 bill, pass another continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded, or risk a partial government shutdown. Hopefully, any Thanksgiving turkey-induced-comas have long faded, and Congress will be fully awake to pass a strong and meaningful appropriations bill!
IPL joined a coalition of environmental groups in support of a clean budget, and increasing overall funding for U.S. foreign assistance and international climate finance. We will continue to identify opportunities for action in the coming days as negotiations progress!
The Latest on Climate Policy
Dirty Deal / Permitting Reform
Last week IPL and our faith partners sent this letter that sent to Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi (thanks CIPL!) last week calling on them to oppose the dirty deal and permitting reform changes that would gut bedrock environmental laws and restrict community input. Here’s a tweet you can amplify. Please consider sharing the letter with your contacts in your House/Senate offices as well in the coming weeks.
National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act
The National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy Act (NCARS) would require the federal government to produce a National Climate Adaptation and Resilience Strategy to increase the resilience of frontline communities. This bill will be before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in early December. If it passes the committee, it could be included in one of the must pass funding bills this year. If not, it will need to be taken up again next year. If any of your Representatives are on the House E&C committee please call them and ask them to support NCARS. Or, if you are in a state with a chief resiliency officer or where resiliency is particularly salient, call your resiliency officer and ask them to weigh in with your members of Congress.
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA)
The House passed RAWA earlier this year, and there is still hope to get it across the finish line during the lame duck session. The bill would provide historical levels of funding to protect wildlife on the verge of extinction, while also creating a significant number of jobs that support the outdoor economy and other key sectors. It additionally supports Tribal Nations, the original stewards of this land, in implementing their own conservation efforts. Check out our most recent action alert on RAWA here!
EPA Announced Methane Supplemental Rule
On November 11th, the EPA released an updated rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations. This proposal builds on the draft rule released by EPA in 2021. The EPA’s rule mandates producers to closely monitor operations, identify methane leaks and complete routine checks at well sites. The new rule also aims to reduce flaring or burning of methane at well sites.
EPA will take comment on the supplemental proposal until February 13th and will hold virtual public hearings on January 10th and 11th with the intent to issue a final rule in 2023. IPL supports the EPA in acting on a moral opportunity to address the climate crisis and better protect the millions of people living on the frontlines of oil and gas development. Stay tuned as IPL will send an action alert to support comments to the EPA. If you are interested in giving testimony at one of the public hearings, please contact Bill Bradlee – Bill@Interfaithpowerandlight.org
The Supreme Court is hearing a redistricting case from North Carolina next week called Moore v. Harper. This case is important because it could hand state legislators the power to manipulate our elections and undermine our votes. In Moore, North Carolina lawmakers argue state legislatures should have near absolute power to run federal elections, with no checks and balances from the courts. North Carolina lawmakers base their case on the “independent state legislature theory” (ISLT), an extreme idea being pushed by a fringe group of politicians hoping to prevent responsive voting maps and fair election rules.
As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to protect and promote our democracy. We cannot uphold environmental protections and take action on climate without a healthy democracy.
Big things are happening in the auto accountability space! National IPL is excited to be partnering with Michigan IPL and Texas Impact/Texas IPL to deliver letters calling on GM and Toyota to reach 100% electric vehicles no later than 2035. These letters are supported by more than 15,000 people of faith and conscience around the world. Earlier this month, IPL launched these digital ads at the LA Auto Show to tell Toyota that we need them to commit to EVs now– their outdated hybrid technology is holding the whole automotive industry back. We have even more exciting news to share in the coming weeks– stay tuned! Transportation is the number one source of climate pollution in the US. There’s no more time to wait. Add your name to our letter urging automakers to go 100% EV by 2035 and share it with your faith community!
What do the midterm election results mean for climate action in 2023? Join us for a post-election briefing on Dec. 12th to learn what the results might make possible for future climate action, and to discover how you can take bold and just action with IPL to contribute to climate progress in 2023. Register at http://ow.ly/Zgkl50LMnHc.
Voting is a sacred duty – however, too many Georgians of faith and conscience are unlikely to vote in their state’s Dec. 6th U.S. Senate runoff election. Their voices matter, and with your help, they can make themselves heard. Register today to send text messages to Georgia faith voters who don’t vote often and are alarmed by the climate crisis. In the Peach State’s December 6th runoff, voters will decide between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker for the U.S. Senate. Register here.
We’re rounding out the year with many opportunities to advance strong climate policy! We’ll keep you posted on ways to engage in faithful advocacy.