D.C. Legislative Update: Sept 20-24, 2021

Check here for the 2021 Senate Calendar
Check here for the 2021 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings 

  • House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 10am EST: “Full Committee Hearing to Consider Pending Nominations” including Laura Daniel-Davis to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Land and Minerals Management), Camille C. Touton to be Commissioner of Reclamation, and Sara Bronin to be Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
    • Tuesday, September 21 at 3pm EST: Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion hearing on “Legislative Solutions to Revive Travel and Tourism and Create Jobs.”
  • Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 9:30am EST: “Business meeting to consider several of President Biden’s nominees, legislation to rename federal buildings, and several General Services Administration resolutions. Immediately following, the committee will hold a hearing on the importance of promoting a circular economy.”
  • Senate Finance Committee
    • Wednesday, September 22 at 10am EST: “Hearing to Consider the Nominations of Christi A. Grimm, of Colorado, to be Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services and Neil Harvey MacBride, of Virginia, to be General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury”
  • Senate Judiciary Committee
  • House energy and Commerce Committee
  • House Agriculture Committee
  • House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
    • Thursday, September 23 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Environment hearing on “Advancing Earth System Science and Stewardship at ” This hearing will feature witness testimony from the Honorable Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee

Congressional News  

  • Last week, components of the Build Back Better Act (budget reconciliation) bill passed out of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees. See here for NWF’s press release on passage through Ways and Means outlining support of the committee’s work to strengthen clean energy and technology. Additionally, see here for NWF’s tweet in support of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s work on the Build Back Better Act to advance climate action.
  • NWF sent this letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in support of Laura Daniel Davis’ nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Lands and Minerals Management. Davis, NWF’s former s Chief of Policy and Advocacy, brings the leadership, skills, and experience needed for the role, and NWF supports her swift confirmation.

Administrative News  

  • Last week, NWF sent out a statement urging Congress to pursue needed and overdue reforms to the National Flood Insurance See here for NWF’s press release.
  • See here for White House resources, including a comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other topics.

What’s Happening This Week  

  • Both chambers are in session this week. The House is expected to focused on a C.R. for FY2022 – to keep the government funded past the September 30 deadline and into, likely, December, 2021 – as well as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • The Senate is expected to work on judicial nominations this In addition, we are expecting this week a cloture and full Senate vote on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning for Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
  • As Congress continues to work to advance budget reconciliation, infrastructure, and appropriations, please feel free to share NWF’s 117th Congress National Policy Agenda.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Brown County State Park, July 14, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF 2021 Summer Intern

Who needs the Indiana Wildlife Federation?

YOU do—that’s who!

For generations, Indiana has provided a diverse landscape for all who love to be outdoors.  Whether its hiking, biking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, photography or wildlife watching—Hoosiers love to be outside.   As the population in Indiana grows, so does the pressure on our natural resources to support these cherished activities.

The mission of the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF) is to promote the conservation, sound management and sustainable-use of Indiana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.  For over 82 years, IWF has been the statewide voice; loud, clear and strong speaking out for the interests of Indiana conservationists and for the preservation of our outdoor heritage so it may be enjoyed by generations to come.

Emily Wood and Aaron Stump pose after a long, wet day planting trees  and native woodland perennials at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve. Indianapolis, June 2, 2021. Photo by Abbie Gressley, IWF Summer Intern

How do we do it?  Through our 3 pillars of focus: Education, Advocacy and Action.  We work across Indiana delivering free environmental education programs that provide clear calls-to-action that encourage everyone to be better stewards of our natural resources and habitats.  IWF is also an agency watchdog in which our board and staff are frequently called upon to give views on bills pending before the legislature, on the actions of resource management leaders and on activities bearing upon our lands, forests, waterways or environment.  We also work to add habitat and expand access through on-the-ground volunteer projects that engage and activate a conservation network across the state.

If you are among those of us that love being outside, then you know it is more than just fresh air and sunshine.  It’s about clean water, healthy ecosystems, abundant habitat and a deep respect for the natural world. If that sounds right to you—then join us and add your support to the growing number of Hoosiers that value Indiana wildlife.

We invite you to join as a member or explore our website to find out more about upcoming events, campaigns, workshops, lecture series or projects that you can get involved with. Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay connected!

New Video Indiana Climate Change: Fishing the White River

Indiana Wildlife Federation’s “Fishing the White River” shows the threat of climate change to the White River and the current impacts on some of Indiana’s best fly fishing locations.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 23, 2021) – A new 4 min short video released this week explores how fly fishing on the White River in central Indiana has been impacted by climate-driven severe weather over the years. The film focuses on the ways that seasonal flooding and temperature increases are changing White River habitats and other Indiana river systems. Fishing the White River, was released by the Indiana Wildlife Federation (IWF), and features local fly fishing guide Jason DeArman of Two Forks Guide Service.

In addition to the video IWF has added online resources at www.indianawildlife.org/climate outlining how equitable policies and programs can create jobs, tackle climate change, and harness the power of nature to enhance long-term health for people and wildlife alike.  “Hunters and anglers are often times the first to notice changes in the environment because of their intimate knowledge of a natural place,” says Emily Wood, executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation. “As heavy rain events, hotter summers, and milder winters, become more frequent throughout the Midwest, the IWF hopes to galvanize these outdoor users to take action for climate before these places are gone.”

This video was filmed, produced, and edited by Leslie Lorance of Indianapolis and supported by a grant from the National Wildlife Federation.

Fishing the White River can seen below or viewed on YouTube and the Indiana Wildlife Federation’s Facebook Page.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is A Good Step, but Much More is Needed on Climate

The bipartisan infrastructure bill, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, is being debated and voted on in the Senate. While the bill touches on many urgent infrastructure needs, it does not directly address climate change at nearly the scale needed. That is why Congress must also pass a larger package that tackles climate change head on.

  • The bipartisan bill does have some good things for climate:
    • Helps reduce climate pollution from cars and trucks and funds electric vehicle charging infrastructure
    • Upgrades the electric grid and transmission system to prepare for new wind and solar as well as smart metering and EVs
    • Helps plug orphan oil and gas wells that are major sources of methane pollution and reclaim abandoned mine lands so they can be restored for nature
    • Invests in carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) and direct air capture (taking CO2 out of the air directly so it can be used or stored underground) and the pipelines and other infrastructure needed to move CO2 from where it is captured to where it will be stored or turned into a useful product like concrete
    • Puts some needed funding into ecosystem restoration, wildfire prevention and management, and Western water management.

However, while measures like EV infrastructure, grid upgrades, and CCUS investments help enable future climate gains, there is a lot more needed from Congress to address climate now.  On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to come out with another update on our warming planet, and will sound the alarm that climate impacts are already widespread and severe in the U.S. Emissions must come down swiftly for the globe to have a chance at keeping within a 1.5-degree warming limit – the point after which impacts become disastrous.

  • Climate items that are not included in the bipartisan bill that are badly needed through a larger budget reconciliation package include:
    • A plan to move electric utilities off of coal and gas in favor of clean power sources by 2035
    • A robust extension of tax credits for installing and producing clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency upgrades, and electric vehicle purchases
    • Tax credits for new transmission lines that will carry electricity from new wind and solar plants to the communities where it will be used
    • Tax incentives for the production of clean energy machinery and electric vehicles so America is leading the way in manufacturing these things at home
    • Investments in ecosystem restoration and resilience that fully meet the need and empower nature to thrive and help draw down CO2
    • A 21st century Civilian Conservation/Climate Corps to tackle climate change, restore our lands and waters, make our communities more resilient, and create jobs

The science is clear: We need to act now if we are going to prevent a climate disaster. This moment is the time to go big and act decisively. Congress must pass the bipartisan bill that sets the stage, then move on to the main event.

Tell Hoosier senators to act on climate now by supporting the inclusion of these items!

EMAIL SENATOR YOUNG
CALL: 202-224-5623
TWEET @SenToddYoung

EMAIL SENATOR BRAUN
CALL: 202-224-4814
TWEET @SenatorBraun

 

DC Legislative Update: May 10-14, 2021

DC Legislative Update

May 10-14, 2021

Check here for the 2021 Senate Calendar
Check here for the 2021 House Calendar

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

Senate Agriculture Committee

Senate Rules Committee

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

  • Tuesday, May 11 at 10am EST: Hearing on “Equity in Transportation Infrastructure: Connecting Communities, Removing Barriers, and Repairing Networks across America.”
  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10am EST: Hearing on Interior and EPA Nominees, including Shannon Estenoz to be Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks of the Department of Interior, Radhika Fox to be Assistant Administrator for Water of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Michal Freedhoff to be Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention of the Environmental Protection

Senate Commerce Committee

House Agriculture Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10am EST: Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing on “Title II Conservation Programs: Exploring Climate Smart Practices.”

House Appropriations Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 10:30am EST: Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on “The Fiscal Year 2022 HHS ”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 10am EST: Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on “The Clean Future Act: Superfund Proposals to Advance Cleanups, Equity, and Climate ”

House Natural Resources Committee

  • Wednesday, May 12 at 1pm EST: Office of Insular Affairs hearing on “Legislative Hearing – Insular Cases Resolution.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 10am EST: Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States
    Subcommittee hearing on “Oversight: Environmental Justice in Indigenous Communities.”
  • Thursday, May 13 at 1pm EST: Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on “Legislative: Protecting Coastal Communities and Ocean Resources from Offshore Drilling.”

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Congressional News

Last week, Susie Lee [D-NV] introduced the “End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2021” with the purpose of preventing leasing on public lands that have little to no energy development potential. See NWF’s press release here.

On May 4, Rep. Williams [D-GA] introduced the Water Infrastructure Sustainability and Efficiency (WISE) Act to make permanent a requirement that states direct at least 20% of their Clean Water SRF for projects that incorporate the use of green See NWF’s tweet in support here.

On April 30, Rep. Blumenauer’s [D-OR] office announced their support of Rep. Simpson’s new framework on Northwest infrastructure with a focus on investment planning for salmon recovery, jobs, and clean See NWF’s press release here.

Administrative News

Last week, Biden released the administration’s “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful” 2021 plan – here – laying out a comprehensive ten year plan to restore 30% of national lands and See NWF’s press releases for more:

Biden’s Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Will Restore Wildlife Habitat, Enhance Sporting Opportunities Historic Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Plan Prioritizes Collaboration, Restoration, and Job Creation

On Thursday, the Interior Department released a proposal to review the previous administration’s rollbacks, and to restore protections for bird populations, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Administration released initial information about the President’s fiscal year 2022 discretionary budget request with specific provisions to highlight the all-of-government approach to climate change and related issues. The full budget request is expected later this month.

See here for President Biden’s comprehensive list of Executive orders to address COVID, the climate crisis, and environmental justice, among other

What’s Happening This Week

NWF expects continued work around appropriations and budget requests as Congress aims to conclude committee hearings in the coming weeks.

The White House is expected to meet this week, and in the coming weeks, with bipartisan, bicameral Members of Congress to discuss deals around key infrastructure priorities.

Senator Heinrich has been circulating a letter calling for investments in natural infrastructure, resilience, and habitat conservation in any upcoming infrastructure package. NWF strongly supports the letter as the recommendations align with our Restoration and Resilience report – located here and in our press release here.

National Wildlife Federation Logo

Mapping Climate & Environmental Justice

To create a healthier future for people and wildlife, we must improve our climate resilience and identify disparate and cumulative impacts of pollution.

Learn how environmental justice mapping tools can help policymakers chart an equitable path forward: natwild.life/ejmapping