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Are we an ethnonationalist petrostate or a sustainable democracy?

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For generations, the United States has fueled its growth as a liberal democracy on fossil fuels; but the continuation of the nation as a petrostate is ultimately incompatible with any livable future that sustains democratic freedoms. Brookings scholars Manann Donoghoe and Andre Perry make a strong case for climate reparations to reverse the United States’ long history of extractive capitalism that treats certain people and places as disposable:

A reparative stance for climate change policy begins with granting reparations for Black Americans and advancing land reclamation for Native Americans—first as a moral responsibility, but also as an adaptation response to minimize climate change impacts for some of the most vulnerable.

The battle is especially pitched in the states where the fossil-fuel industry has its strongest foothold, such as Alaska and Louisiana, both of which are under existential threat from fossil-fueled global warming.

This afternoon, activists with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic and People vs. Fossil Fuels are gathering in front of the White House at Lafayette Square to rally against ConocoPhillips’ Willow project in Alaska, a climate bomb on the scale of 70 new coal plants.

The fight for a green democracy cannot be won unless climate activists win elections. The climate-elections group Lead Locally has announced a series of trainings to equip climate activists with the skills they need to take on lead roles in electoral campaigns, on three successive Wednesdays starting March 29th.

Financial adviser Dustin Granger is running for Louisiana State Treasurer as an aggressive climate hawk. Granger wants to shift the state’s “investments from the oil-based economy to clean energy.” He is a stark contrast to current treasurer John Schroder, who “pulled $800 million in state funds out of New York-based financial giant BlackRock to protest its environment, social and governance policies.” Schroder is running for governor; the Republican field is unsettled.

“The world is moving away from greenhouse gas,” Granger told the Louisiana Illuminator’s Julie O’Donoghue. “We are missing out on the new energy revolution by being protective of fossil fuels.”

We are also missing out on the survival of our democracy.

The Department of Justice has finally filed suit against one of the worst toxic polluters in Lousiana’s Cancer Alley. Denka Performance Elastomer, a synthetic rubber manufacturing plant in majority-Black St. John the Baptist Parish, has been pumping out the carcinogen chloroprene for years. While this suit is welcome, this plant is one of literally dozens in the area, with more petrochemical facilities planned.

A new study confirms that our hotter planet is increasing deaths in U.S. prisons, including from suicides. “The biggest surprise was that the highest increase of mortality was in the Northeast,” lead author Julie Skarha told Grist’s Alleen Brown.

States are gearing up to sue each other over which path our nation will take, Grist’s Zora Teirstein reports. Coal twits in North Dakota are preparing to sue Minnesota for setting clean-electricity targets:

In early February, lawmakers in Minnesota passed a law requiring the state’s power utilities to supply customers with 100 percent clean electricity by 2040. Not long after Minnesota’s governor signed the law, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the three-member body that oversees North Dakota’s utilities, agreed unanimously to consider a lawsuit challenging the new legislation. North Dakota hasn’t filed a lawsuit yet, but the Industrial Commission has requested $3 million from the state legislature for legal fees on top of $1 million the commission has already allocated to the effort from its “Lignite Research Program” — an initiative funded by taxes on fossil fuel revenue that researches and develops new coal projects in the state. 

Clean Up Carlyle is calling on prestigious institutions like the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago and Harvard University to drop billionaire investor David Rubenstein from their boards unless Rubenstein’s Carlyle Group stops investing in fossil fuels. The Carlyle Group has roughly $24 billion under management backing Big Carbon.

Fast Company’s Adele Peters has a great exposé explaining how Protect Our Coast New Jersey, which blames wind power construction for whale deaths, is a right-wing front group financed by the fossil-fuel industry. The organization is a shell for David Stevenson’s Caesar Rodney Institute, backed by the Koch-funded Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust, along with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Energy Alliance

Shop ’til you drop: A new analysis by the Ship It Zero coalition finds that Walmart, Target and Home Depot are responsible for “the first, second and third largest shares, respectively, of both climate-harming emissions and air pollution from maritime imports.”

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Denver on Monday to highlight the Biden administration’s efforts to stymie climate change.

Today is the deadline for the Environmental Protection Agency to propose restrictions on harmful “forever chemicals” in drinking water. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS/PFOA/PFOS) are really toxic and carcinogenic, and they’re pretty much everywhere, so it’s a pretty big deal.

JERBS: Vox Media is hiring a climate editor ($92K-$120K, remote).

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