Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly newsletter about FCNL’s environmental work, ways to engage members of Congress, and stories that impact our work.
The Great American Outdoors Act Becomes Law
President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act (H.R. 1957/S.3422) into law this week. The bill, which had broad bipartisan support in both chambers, will provide $900 million in oil and gas revenues for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). It will also commit $20 billion to address the maintenance backlog at national parks and public lands.
This bill is a victory worth celebrating for the environmental movement, especially during this pandemic. The fund was created by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and our cultural heritage.
Administration Finalizes Harmful Changes to NEPA
The Trump administration finalized its proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) this month. The new regulations shorten the time span for agencies to complete environmental impact statements, create a new category of activities that would not need an environmental assessment, and eliminate the need for agencies to understand the proposed project’s impact on climate change.
Republican COVID-19 Relief Bill Doesn’t Go Far Enough
On July 28, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) proposed what is likely to be the final COVID-19 relief package of the year. The $1 trillion package has few of the crucial environmental provisions included in the House-passed Heroes Act.
It does, however, include $1.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps millions of low-income families afford heating and cooling. As negotiations continue, we are urging Congress to recognize the need for a comprehensive sustainable recovery, especially for communities that are most impacted.
In 2020, there are 14 senators in the Climate Solutions Caucus
News and Updates
Two Pipeline Victories for Environmental Advocates
On July 5, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they would cancel the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline after lawsuits by the environmental community threatened its construction. In the same week, a federal judge ruled that the controversial Dakota Access pipeline must be shut down by Aug. 5.
Fossil Fuel Companies Took Billions in COVID-19 Relief
More than 5,600 fossil fuel companies have received between $3 billion and $6.7 billion in COVID-19 relief. We should think of ways to sustainably recover from the COVID-19 pandemic rather than bolster our dependency on fossil fuels.
Millions Unaware of Flood Risk
At least 6 million homeowners are unaware that they are in what’s known as a “100-year” flood zone. These homes are not recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as flood-prone areas. Thus, they are not eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Global Temps May Cross 1.5 Degree Threshold
The World Meteorological Organization suggests that there is a 20% chance that global temperatures will be 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels for at least one year between 2020 and 2024. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that exceeding this cap, agreed upon in the Paris Climate Agreement, will result in catastrophic and possibly irreversible damage to the planet.
Fossil Fuel Companies Tied to Police Foundations
An investigation has revealed that fossil fuel companies, such as Chevron and Shell, help fund powerful police foundations. These polluting industries, which disproportionately harm communities of color, are funding systems rooted in racism.
Join our regular “Call to Conscience on Climate Disruption” on the third Thursday of each month. This call helps people build relationships with their members of Congress to advance bipartisan action on climate change. Email me to learn more.