Baked Potoooooooo

"Fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat"


Today is the final day to submit a comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate-disclosures rule.

This morning, Climate Envoy John Kerry convened the latest round of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate as a video chat. President Joe Biden presented his administration’s plan to keep fracking more natural gas and export it around the world as a win for climate:

“Each year our existing energy system leaks enough methane to meet the needs for the entire European power sector. We flare enough gas to offset nearly all of the EU's gas imports from Russia. So by stopping the leaking and flaring of the super potent greenhouse gas and capturing this resource for countries that need it, we're addressing two problems at once.”

In his remarks, UN Secretary General António Guterres was the skunk at the garden party:

“We seem trapped in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat. For decades, the fossil fuel industry has invested heavily in pseudoscience and public relations – with a false narrative to minimize their responsibility for climate change and undermine ambitious climate policies. They exploited precisely the same scandalous tactics as big tobacco decades before. Like tobacco interests, fossil fuel interests and their financial accomplices must not escape responsibility.”

The Biden administration was weirdly reticent about promoting the meeting—just try to find a full list of participants! I spent hours! I finally found a screenshot: the adddddddddd included the prime ministers Justin Trudeau of Canada, Anthony Albanese of Australia, Jonas Støre of Norway, Han Duck-soo of South Korea, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, and the presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Gabrie Boric of Chile, Recep Erdoğan of Turkey (who touted his country’s renewable-energy credentials), and Abdeh Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, host of the upcoming COP27.

The Associated Press headline put today’s forum into the context of record heat waves, killer floods, the Western megadrought, growing crop failures, deadly air pollution, worldwide economic destabilization, accelerating sea-level rise, and the ongoing global mass extinction event from the out-of-control burning of fossil fuels.

Okay, despite the headline, the article itself by Seth Borenstein and Chris Megerian is quite good.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris was in Pittsburgh with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and EPA Administrator Michael Regan to discuss the Biden-infrastructure-bill funding which will allow the city to replace all of its lead pipes over the next four years.1

Richard Glick is getting it done at FERC. At yesterday’s meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “proposed sweeping new rules that could unlock large amounts of renewable energy and battery storage across the country and help address mounting concerns about grid reliability,” Miranda Wilson reports. The proposed rule (docket no. RM22-14) “aims to address significant current backlogs in the interconnection queues by improving interconnection procedures, providing greater certainty and preventing undue discrimination against new generation.” The backlog has now reached 1,400 GW of waiting generation and battery storage capacity, Rod Walton notes.

In further good news, FERC also proposed rules to deal with the rise in fossil-fueled weather disasters threatening the grid (RM22-10, RM22-16) as the outcome of its climate conference last year (AD21-13).

Scientists have confirmed that over 90% of ocean oil slicks are caused by humans, which duh—except that the previous estimate was only 50 percent!

A powerful report by the AP’s Rebecca Santana: In Louisiana, bayou tribes are struggling to recover from Hurricane Ida’s devastation, nine months later.

A damaged home in Bayou Pointe-au-Chien, La. Credit: Gerald Herbert

Hearings Off The Hill:

Climate Action Today:

  • 8:30 AM: White House
    Major Economies Forum Energy and Climate virtual meeting

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. A Climate Politics Almanac preview of Tuesday’s primary races is coming this weekend. We’re off Monday for Juneteenth@climatebrad

1 Also there: Rep. Conor Lamb, who was crushed by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the Democratic Senate primary. Fetterman is now bulldozing the GOP nominee, Mehmet Oz.

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