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The Week in Climate Hearings: Basel III Endgame

Rolling shutdowns, Koch operatives, and two all-female panels!

Tomorrow, voters go to the polls in states across the nation. In a two-part series, Hill Heat previewed many of the top climate elections: in Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maine, and other municipal races. There’s still time to help get out the vote for Maine’s Pine Tree Power initiative.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.), the theocrat third in line for the presidency. Credit: Jeff Sullivan

The government-funding deadline of November 17 is nearing quickly. Speaker Mike “Monitor My” Johnson (R-La., no relation) of the Rolling Coal party is now proposing rolling shutdowns, with a “bizarre” plan for a laddered continuing resolution that would “shut down sections of the government at different times.”

Although ethno-nationalist war is dominating Hill debate,1 let’s look ahead at the week’s climate hearings.

Tuesday, November 7

At 10 am, Senate Commerce tourism subcommittee chair Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) holds a hearing on sustainable tourism in the age of fossil-fueled drought, fires, and floods, with a rare all-female panel of witnesses: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency director Julie Regan, Hilton sustainability director Jean Garris Hand, and North Carolina Appalachian tourism Amy Allison.

Also at 10 am, House Financial Services subcommittee chair Andy Barr (R-Ky.) holds a hearing on financial regulators’ proposed Basel III Endgame rules and climate-risk principles for large banks. The witnesses include Thomas Hoenig of the Koch-backed Mercatus Center, conservative Wharton School professor Christina Parajon Skinner, Bryan Bashur of the Koch-backed Americans for Tax Reform, and Democratic witness Renita Marcellin of American for Financial Reform.

Again at 10 am, House Ways and Means chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) holds a hearing attacking responsible investing principles (environmental, social, governance, aka ESG). Witnesses include former Trump official Preston Rutledge, extremist climate denier Jason Isaac, anti-ESG crusader Utah treasurer Marlo Oaks, and American Bankers Association representative Mason Bolay. The Democratic witness is the AFL-CIO’s Brandon Rees.

At 11:15 am, House Foreign Affairs holds a markup on several bills, including a resolution demanding Mexico send more of its water to Texas.

And at 2:30 pm, the Senate Environment transportation subcommittee looks at roadway safety, with another all-female panel of witnesses: Pittsburgh car skeptic Karina Ricks, trucking lobbyist Brenda Neville, and North Dakota highway safety director Karin Mongeon.

Wednesday, November 8

All of Wednesday’s climate hearings begin at 10 am.

Senate Environment chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) chairs a hearing on clean water infrastructure assistance for disadvantaged communities with rural community advocate Olga Morales-Pate, south Texas’s Nueces River Authority director John Byrum, and Oklahoma water quality director Shellie Chard.

The House Small Business Committee has a hearing attacking Department of Energy energy-efficiency rules, with refrigerator lobbyist Jeff Bauman, climate denier Ben Lieberman of the Koch-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute, home-builder lobbyist Alicia Huey, and Democratic witness Emily Hammond, a climate policy expert and GW law professor who recently served in the Biden DOE.

House Natural Resources has a legislative markup with two absurd GOP fossil-fuel bills: Rep. Jeff Duncan’s (R-S.C.) fracking-protection bill (H.R. 1121), which would ban a federal moratorium and opposes national regulation of fracking; and Rep. Garret Graves’s (R-La.) bill to prevent rules protecting the highly endangered Rice’s whale from Gulf of Mexico drilling (H.R. 6008). Rep. Joe Neguse’s (D-Colo.) bill to extend western drought relief programs to 2028 (H.R. 4385) is also on the docket.

Thursday, November 9

A mountaintop removal coal mine in Perry County, Kentucky. Credit: Appalachian Voices

At 10 am, Senate Energy chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) heads a hearing on the
implementation of federal coal mine land reclamation and abandoned coal mine land economic revitalization programs, which cynics might consider to be pork-barrel boondoggles letting coal-mining companies off the hook for leaving communities with sites of devastation.

Congratulations to longtime Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) staffer Mike Casca, who is replacing the departing Gerardo “G” Bonilla Chavez as chief of staff for Green New Deal champion Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

1 Naomi Klein’s Doppelganger and Andreas Malm and the Zetkin Collective’s White Skin, Black Fuel elucidate the links between ethno-nationalist conflict and climate politics.

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