We congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their historic win, with a popular vote of more than 79 million. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ran—and won—on the boldest climate plan of any Presidential candidate. From Day One, we expect enormous strides in reducing climate change and air pollution, while righting the wrongs of environmental injustice. As Dominique Browning, our co-founder and Associate Vice President, said in a recent media statement: “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris understand that cleaning up pollution can help protect our health, grow good jobs, and address racial injustice. Let’s get to work!”
BIDEN/HARRIS WIN ENERGIZES CLIMATE ADVOCATES
In an interview with The Guardian, Heather McTeer Toney, our senior director, addresses the Biden/Harris victory in terms of the record level of concern among Americans over the climate crisis: “The electorate has clearly said it wants action on climate change. It’s exciting that climate is a top line priority. I know it’s not going to be easy but it now feels possible. We should be energized.”
ROOTING OUT CORRUPTION, PRESSING FOR ACCOUNTABILITY IN OHIO
In our last edition of Moms Make News, we brought you news about our efforts—led by our field organizer Tracy Sabetta—to repeal a scandal-plagued coal bailout bill in Ohio. Ohio House Bill 6 (HB6) was revealed last July to be at the center of a $61 million bribery scheme designed to bail out a sinking energy company to the tune of $1.3 billion. This week FBI agents searched the Columbus home of the state’s top utility regulator, Sam Randazzo (chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio). The search comes nearly four months after the FBI arrested then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others in connection to the bribery scheme. In response to the still-unfolding drama, the Associated Press named Moms Clean Air Force among the groups who brought pressure to bear on Randazzo’s competence. We joined a statement asserting that Randazzo can’t oversee utilities in a fair and ethical way if he is being investigated by the FBI: “We have adamantly opposed Randazzo’s appointment since February 2019. He does not hold an elected position, so the power to remove him rests squarely on the shoulders of the governor.” Meanwhile, the state’s Governor Mike DeWine is standing by Randazzo until more details of the investigation are released. The joint statement concludes: “There’s been enough energy and utility corruption in Ohio – it’s time Gov. DeWine cleans house and removes Sam Randazzo immediately.” Read more in The Columbus Dispatch here.
CONNECTING CLEAN ENERGY AND OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY
As reported in Alt Energy magazine, Moms Clean Air Force was among 45 organizations urging support for clean energy and clean transportation in must-pass legislation this year. In a letter delivered to U.S. House and Senate leadership this week, the multi-sector coalition argued that reviving the clean energy sector would be a boon for historically marginalized communities and create good jobs in every community: “America needs a strong recovery; we cannot afford to leave any jobs on the table. We must accelerate clean energy deployment to boost our economy, improve public health, and protect our climate. We also need clean energy investments to maintain our global competitiveness and advance our energy independence.” The coalition specifically requests funding for wind and solar projects, energy efficiency improvements, EV tax credit, and other clean energy technologies.