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A busy week in Congress
Appropriations bonanza, climate resilience, Michael Barr, Biniam Gebre...
I promised this stand-alone review of the congressional week ahead would come later on Monday, which, now that it is well past midnight as I type this, isn’t exactly the case. So welcome, early Tuesday!
PRESENTED BY THE ZERO-POINT-FOUR-PERCENT SOLUTION
The Department of Defense is intending to explicitly spend $3 billion of its $773 billion fiscal-year 2023 budget request on climate change preparedness and greenhouse pollution reduction. That’s 388 parts per million, which was the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere in 2010.
Of course, as the world’s protector of the global fossil-fuel economy and the single largest industrial consumer of oil and gas, one could argue (and many have) that all the U.S. military budget is climate-related.
APPROPRIATELY, THERE’S MORE: This morning, appropriators review the budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Office of Management and Budget.
On Wednesday, they review the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Transportation Security Administration (which is responsible for pipeline and rail security), Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service.
On Thursday, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland goes before Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) committee. I’m sure he and the Republicans will treat her with dignity and respect.
The above links go to my summaries of the components of the agencies’ budgets and their climate implications, for those who want to dig in.
LAYING DOWN THE LAW: This morning, the House Committee on Rules will set the floor calendar for the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act (H.R. 7688) and the House debate this week on the high gasoline prices that are fueling record oil company profits.
Other legislation will be considered in committee this afternoon: the House Science Committee marks up legislation that would: set up an energy cybersecurity scholarship program; require a rapid report on the levels of exposure and toxicity of the PFAS “forever chemicals” in the American public; and privatize the National Weather Service communications system. (Guess which bill is from a Republican.) And the House Agriculture Committee marks up various agriculture conservation-funding bills and supply-chain legislation.
NOMINEES: On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee holds its confirmation hearing for Michael Barr to be Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve. Barr has not made the mistake of the previous nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, of saying that climate change is an existential threat that requires the end of the fossil-fuel industry. Securities Exchange Commission nominees Jaime Lizárraga, a top Nancy Pelosi advisor, and Mark Uyeda, a Republican SEC lawyer, will also face the panel.
Also, the Senate Homeland and Government Affairs Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Biniam Gebre, who runs Accenture’s federal services unit, to become the administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Gebre is passionate about climate policy, which is much needed in this position, but his nomination is a pretty awful instance of the revolving door.
LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE: There are also several hearings on vital topics of climate policy this week. Today:
Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) hosts a hearing on local disaster preparedness and resilience at 9 AM
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) hosts Canadian energy officials to talk about the loveliness of Alberta’s tar sands and of Québecois hydropower at 10 AM
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) examines efforts to address climate change at U.S. airports at 1 PM
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) looks at addressing climate change with energy-efficient and resilient housing at 10 AM
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) investigates building a sustainable food system that is resilient in the face of climate change at 2:30 PM
And on Friday, Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) hosts a field hearing in Detroit on building the electric-vehicle manufacturing work force.
OFF THE HILL: Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are down in San Antonio today and Wednesday for the American Clean Power conference with the major wind and solar industry players, including many oil and gas companies.
One other thing—Soon after I criticized his obscene $11.3 million bankrolling of the Carrick Flynn vanity campaign for Congress, tax-dodging crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried blocked me on Twitter. So please, tell your non-billionaire friends to subscribe and follow me on Twitter at @climatebrad.