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Climate injustice and Justice inaction

Whither Merrick Garland?

PRESENTED BY FROZEN BIRDSONG

House committees are doing a lot at 10 a.m.— an interesting late addition to the schedule is Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.)’s House Rules subcommittee this morning: using budget principles to prepare for future pandemics and other disasters. A full listing of the hearings is below.

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both pledged to support climate lawsuits against fossil-fuel polluters. Biden’s unabashedly milquetoast Attorney General Merrick Garland has done precisely nothing to fulfill that pledge so far. “While we can’t comment on the deliberative process, climate change and environmental justice remain among the department’s top priorities,” spokesperson Wyn Hornbuckle unconvincingly claimed.

Power companies led by ConEd and Exelon, New York Power Authority, and Sacramento Municipal (SMUD) who opposed Trump’s anti-climate policies have filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting EPA’s climate authority. They are responding to the bid by coal companies and GOP-run coal states to kill rules like the Clean Power Plan, which would have set up a greenhouse-pollution-trading system. It was a surprise that the Supreme Court agreed to hear this case, known as West Virginia v. EPA, since there isn’t any such rule in place right now. As E&E News’ Niina H. Farah explains,

“While the challengers’ arguments center on a regulatory approach adopted by the Obama team in the Clean Power Plan, the power companies pointed out in their brief yesterday that the 2015 rule had never gone into effect and that the Biden administration does not plan to revive it. Biden’s EPA has said it plans to issue a proposed carbon rule this summer, which is around the same time the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling in West Virginia v. EPA.”

Doyle Canning has announced an exploratory committee in the race to succeed retiring Transportation chair Peter DeFazio in Oregon’s Fourth District. Doyle was endorsed by Climate Hawks Vote and Sunrise Movement PDX in her 2020 primary challenge to DeFazio (unsurprisingly, he has endorsed someone else to succeed him). She has formed an exploratory committee, and if she gets in, she will be the only climate hawk running.

A reminder why the administration’s Justice40 initiative is needed, in one chart:

The study from which this chart came noted: “Exposures vary more by race-ethnicity than by income.”

Geoff Dembicki on the radical climate activist who wasn’t. A very chipper spin on state budgets getting consumed by climate disasters. States are protecting utilities against federal support for competition to encourage new transmission lines.

Hearings on the Hill:

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