Weekly Briefing: Francis Rooney To Keynote June Conference
April 14, 2023
While he was in Congress, Florida Representative Francis Rooney distinguished himself as a leading Republican on climate change. Among other things, he was an original cosponsor of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act when it was first introduced in 2018, and in 2019, he became the Republican co-chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
His climate credentials and bipartisan approach make him the perfect keynote speaker for CCL's upcoming conference in Washington, D.C. (June 10-13), "The 2023 Climate Lobbying Reboot."
Rooney’s support for climate solutions like carbon pricing is informed by the science. In a past interview with CCL, he said, “I’ve always felt it’s obvious that human activity has had an impact on climate, but I didn’t know as much about it until I studied it. Life is a journey of continuous learning.”
That learning was motivated in no small part by representing his state's 19th Congressional District in southwest Florida, a place many would consider to be ground zero for climate change. Rising sea levels, increasingly severe storms and red tides are affecting people there, and Rooney wanted to do all he could to limit the impact on his constituents and beyond.
“It is not enough to adapt to these changes locally and move forward without looking at the root causes and working toward a broader and more preventative solution," Rooney said in an op-ed.
At our June conference, you will hear directly from this influential voice and you can help work toward climate solutions. We hope you’ll join us!
In other news this week:
• Watch CCL’s April call: On Saturday, we hosted our April national call for CCL volunteers and chapters, featuring a guest speaker from Future 500 and reviewing the actions you and your chapter can take this month to advance climate policy. Watch the recording of the call or jump directly to the April Action Sheet to get started.
• Surge forward on solar: Our research team’s Chart of the Week shows just how much clean energy is waiting in queues to be permitted and built. Spoiler alert: There’s a whole lot of solar.
• Climate action on the airwaves: The latest episode of the Climate Optimists podcast features Flannery Winchester, CCL’s Senior Director of Communications, discussing CCL’s approach to climate advocacy. This would be a great episode to share on social media or send to friends who want to learn more about your CCL work.
Take action this week
If you have a little time: Contact your member of Congress. Our action page has two options for contacting Congress right now. You can send a message asking them to put a price on carbon, or you can reach out about climate-smart forestry. Make sure your representative and senators hear from you today.
If you have more time: Offer “Climate Anxiety Counseling” on Earth Day. Okay, so it’s not real counseling — but it’s a great conversation starter for an Earth Day event! Check out this creative resource from CCL’s marketing department, and plan to use it for grassroots outreach with your chapter.
Featured chapter: CCL Berkshires
Sometimes it takes a little out-of-the-box thinking to get the attention of your member of Congress. CCL Berkshires chapter in Massachusetts got creative with some recent outreach to Rep. Richard Neal, who sits on the important Ways and Means Committee.
He “loves Ireland, speaks in front of Parliament there, and is quite popular in Ireland,” explains Pauline Banducci, who is a co-leader of the group with Judy Fox and Ulrike Nagel. “We had the idea to send a St. Patrick’s Day card to him. We emailed it and also overnighted the original to him.” Volunteer Erika Crofut designed the card, pictured above, which delightfully depicts Rep. Neal himself as a leprechaun, holding a pot of gold with CCLers’ faces on it.
Rep. Neal responded with a personal note, saying their letter was “one of the most creative pieces to come across my desk” and thanking the chapter “for your artful letter, and for your advocacy.” His letter reiterated his commitment to climate action and affirmed, “Protecting our planet for future generations should not be a partisan issue.”
And that’s just one example of this chapter’s awesome work as a group. Last week, they hosted an in-person climate forum with speakers educating the community about the Inflation Reduction Act, which earned some fantastic local media coverage. Fantastic job, CCL Berkshires!
Have you logged your latest activities in the Action Tracker? Tell us what your chapter has been up to lately!
4/13: Generating News Coverage - This training explores how to earn news coverage — articles, TV segments and radio interviews — featuring you and your local CCL chapter. Join us!
4/27: How to Create a Clean and Stable Electric Grid - Part Two - Join CCL Research staff to learn what kinds of energy and infrastructure will be needed for a stable, clean energy electric grid and the main technologies that are most likely to get us there. Join us!
Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:
4/18: Healthy Forests Climate Science AMA - Join CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli and Susan Cook-Patton, Senior Forest Restoration Scientist with The Nature Conservancy, for an “Ask Me Anything” about healthy forests. RSVP here.
To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.