Weekly Briefing: Make Way For BIG WIRES ⚡️

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September 20, 2023

New permitting legislation hits the House and Senate
You called, and Congress listened! Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-50) just introduced an exciting new bill dealing with clean energy transmission. (Rep. Peters is pictured here speaking at our June 2023 conference.)

e133be63061ab95131dff0736c76694a-huge-snIt’s called the BIG WIRES Act, which stands for Building Integrated Grids with Interregional Energy Supply. It will help ensure that America has a reliable, resilient grid that can provide affordable, clean electricity. 

“This bill should be at the forefront of the conversation about how we should reform the permitting of our energy infrastructure,” CCL VP of Government Affairs Ben Pendergrass said. 

This legislation is particularly exciting because we have been asking Congress to take this type of action. In June, CCL volunteers sent 15,551 messages to congressional offices about permitting reform, which included a focus on transmission. We followed that up with discussion in 436 meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In recent weeks, we launched another push telling Congress that we still need to see more movement in this area, and so far, our volunteers have placed 1,708 calls to Congress to urge them forward.

It’s a great reminder that when enough of us speak up and tell Congress what we want, it can really move the needle.

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In other news this week:

  • Inclusion Conference: We welcomed 218 attendees to CCL’s virtual Inclusion Conference over the weekend. If you weren’t able to join, catch up on the conference recordings and slide decks or kick back with the conference playlist.
  • Wish Madeleine well: CCL's President, Madeleine Para, is retiring. Read her message on CCL Community and leave a comment wishing her well in her next steps!
  • They really are everywhere!’ CCL’s Senior Director of Government Affairs, Jenn Tyler, worked on the Hill before joining CCL’s staff. Read or watch her first-hand account of what it was like to see our citizen lobbyists fill the halls in June.

Take action this week

If you have a little time: Register for CCL’s fall conference. Plan to join us Nov. 4-5 for our free virtual conference, “Grassroots Rising: Leveling Up in the Climate Fight.” Registration is now open, and we’ve already booked some exciting speakers. We’ll see you there!

If you have more time: Call Congress. For the Climate Action Program this month, we’re calling Congress to push for more permitting reform. The introduction of the BIG WIRES Act shows that we’re making some progress, so let’s keep at it! Make your calls today.

Featured chapter: CCL San Mateo County

CCL’s San Mateo County chapter has a vibrant youth membership that has made some exciting strides in recent weeks. 

Last month, they organized a climate rally that drew more than 80 enthusiastic participants and coverage from NBC’s Bay Area station. “Led by a group of Hillsdale High band members, they marched through the heart of downtown,” chapter member Sarah Hubbard recounts. “The streets were alive with passion and purpose!” The rally included local elected officials, including the city’s mayor, a city councilmember, a district supervisor, and a state senator, who all delivered remarks.

Another recent win for the San Mateo youth took place at their representative’s recent town hall. Eight students attended and made sure Rep. Kevin Mullin (D-CA-15) — and the town hall audience — knew that addressing the climate crisis is their top priority. They also spoke with Rep. Mullin afterward, pushing him further on his climate work. "We know that Congressman Mullin has been really great in furthering climate resiliency programs,” one student, Aran O’Sullivan, said. “But we are looking for a little more work done on climate mitigation programs.” Their presence at the town hall made it into local news coverage of the event.

Three cheers for the youth of CCL San Mateo County! Keep up the fantastic work.

Have you logged your recent activities in the Action Tracker? Tell us what your chapter has been up to lately.

Action Tracker Want your chapter to be featured? Share your info and photos with us.

Upcoming trainings

9/21: Ask Community Leaders to Champion their Support to Congress - Learn to activate local community leaders on both sides of the aisle, using specific examples of other CCL groups' success stories. Join us!

9/28: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act Updates - Join CCL staff for an update on the latest developments in Congress with carbon pricing and, specifically, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Join us!

Need training on the basics? Catch our next session of Core Volunteer Training, made for newer volunteers:

9/26: Media Basics - Learn how to use CCL's suite of media resources to spread the word about climate policies in your local media market. Attend to learn about writing local letters to the editor, customizing and submitting CCL’s op-ed templates, pitching stories to local reporters, and more. Join us!

To see other topics and past trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community

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The USA already set a record number of billion-dollar weather disasters in 2023

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