2022 heat wave/energy efficiency coverage: data, resources and interview opportunities

Media Contacts

DENVER — Unprecedented heat has scorched many parts of the United States into September. According to the Washington Post, as of September 7, cities across the country had endured more than 7,000 new daily high temperature records this summer.

In several states, that’s meant power outages or rolling blackouts, leaving many Americans wondering how to beat the heat, So, The Public Interest Network (which includes PIRGEnvironment AmericaFrontier Group and state groups in some of the worst-impacted states including CaliforniaColoradoOregonTexas and Washington) is offering resources and expertise.

At a macro level, our country needs to ramp down its fossil fuel usage and ramp up its use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. But on a day-to-day basis, everyone can help out by being more energy efficient. Many efficiency methods are free — and many of those that cost money are now more affordable with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Below we’ve linked resources to share with your audiences and let us know if you would like to speak to any of our national or state experts.


National experts:

Matt Casale, [email protected], is the director of PIRG’s environment campaigns. Matt oversees PIRG’s toxics, transportation and zero waste campaigns, and leads The Public Interest Network’s climate program to promote a cleaner, healthier future for all Americans. Matt works on campaigns to facilitate the shift away from fossil fuels across all sectors to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including longer, more destructive wildfire seasons.This spring, Matt was a featured expert on a panel and a tour at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference. Matt has been quoted on transportation and climate issues in many major publications, including the New York Times and Washington Post. He lives in Western Massachusetts.

Teresa Murray[email protected] is director of PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog program. She has written or overseen reports and analyses on topics including price gouging during emergencies, toxic consumer products and scams. She’s passionate about educating people about predatory tactics they may face when they’re vulnerable. Prior to joining PIRG in 2020, Teresa worked as a business journalist and consumer columnist for more than 20 years for Ohio’s largest daily newspaper. Her work with PIRG has been featured by outlets including CNN, NPR, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Teresa lives in Cleveland.

Johanna Neumann[email protected], is the senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. Johanna oversees our work to set ambitious clean energy goals at the state and national level and make sure Americans understand the benefits that renewable sources of energy, especially solar and wind, bring to our communities vs. the dangers of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Johanna has been quoted in major publications including the Washington Post, The Hill and CNN. Last summer, she appeared in an NBC News package about solar power and battery storage keeping the lights on during natural disasters. Johanna lives in Western Massachusetts.

For context from specific Western and Southwestern states:


Laura Deehan[email protected], is Environment California’s state director. She stepped into the state director role in January 2021 after about 20 years on staff. Laura has led campaigns to make sure California goes big on offshore wind, to save solar and to get lead out of school drinking water. Laura has appeared in and on a wide array of California and national media, especially during last October’s massive oil spill off the Southern California coast, when the New York Times, USA Today, NBC News and NPR, among others, quoted her. Laura lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jenn Engstrom, [email protected], is CALPIRG’s state director. She is a leading voice in Sacramento and across the state on protecting public health, consumer protections and defending our democracy. Before moving into her current role, Jenn led CALPIRG’s organizing team for years and managed our citizen outreach offices across the state, running campaigns to ban single-use plastic bags, stop the overuse of antibiotics and promote 100% renewable energy. Jenn lives in Los Angeles.

Dan Jacobson[email protected], is Environment California’s senior advisor. Dan provides campaign strategy and policy guidance for Environment California’s program and organizational plans.  He has successfully advocated for the passage of dozens of bills into law, including measures to ban toxic chemicals, bring 1 million solar roofs to California, and commit the state to divest from coal. He ran the campaign for SB 100, California’s law setting a goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. Dan was named one of Capitol Weekly’s “Top 100 Lobbyists” in California in 2008. He lives in Sacramento.


Danny Katz[email protected], has been the director of CoPIRG for more than a decade. Danny co-authored a groundbreaking report on the state’s transit, walking and biking needs and is a co-author of the annual “State of Recycling” report. He serves on several Colorado state and Denver regional transportation committees. With his expertise, Danny lobbies federal, state and local elected officials on transportation electrification, multimodal transportation, zero waste, consumer protection and public health issues. He appears frequently in local media outlets and is active in a number of coalitions. Danny lives in Denver.


Charlie Fisher[email protected], is OSPIRG’s (Oregon State PIRG) state director. Charlie directs OSPIRG’s campaigns to rein in the cost of health care, get big money out of politics and stand up for consumers. In a previous role with Environment Oregon, Charlie was part of successful efforts to increase Oregon’s clean energy commitments and get the state off coal. Charlie’s work has earned coverage in the Oregonian and other local and regional news outlets. Charlie lives in Portland.

Celeste Meiffren-Swango[email protected] is the director of Environment Oregon. She has worked on issues ranging from preventing plastic pollution, stopping global warming, defending clean water, and protecting our beautiful places. Celeste’s organizing has helped to reduce kids’ exposure to lead in drinking water at childcare facilities in Oregon, encourage transportation electrification, ban single-use plastic grocery bags, defend our bedrock environmental laws and more. She is also the author of the children’s book, Myrtle the Turtle, which empowers kids to prevent plastic pollution. Celeste lives in Portland.


Luke Metzger[email protected], is the executive director of Environment Texas. He has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell, Chevron Phillips and Petrobras to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost state funding for water conservation and parks. This spring, Luke was a featured expert on three panels/tours at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference. He has extensive on-air experience, including appearances on CNN, MSNBC and NPR. He’s also been quoted widely by publications including the Guardian, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Luke lives in Austin.


Pam Clough[email protected], is an advocate with Environment Washington. She has spent the last 8 years supporting a variety of public interest campaigns across the U.S., from restoring clean water act protections through the Waters of the United States rule, to the passage of Washington’s 2021 plastic reduction act, which includes the country’s strongest ban on polystyrene foam. Pam lives in Steilacoom, Washington.

Nicole Walter[email protected], is an advocate with WashPIRG. She has led campaigns to help pass statewide commitments to 100 percent clean electricity and single-use plastic bag bans in both California and Washington state. Nicole lives in Seattle.