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Cutting off gas-stove noses to spite gun-massacre faces

A fossil-fuel-dominated DC chokes on its own fumes

PRESENTED BY THE DEATH OF THE BOREAL FOREST

As mentioned in my late-night email about the week ahead, the House was set this week to vote on four extremist anti-climate bills—a pair of bills attacking federal regulations, and a pair of bills protecting gas-stove pollution. These are major right-wing priorities, pushed for decades by Charles Koch, hyped incessantly on Fox News, and seized upon by sleazes like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) with national ambitions.

The bills were approved by the House Rules Committee on Monday, under the aegis of H. Res. 463, which set the rules for debate. The ensuing floor vote on such a rules resolution is usually a formality, but yesterday the House voted it down, 206-220.1 Ten members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus defected to protest last week’s dirty debt ceiling deal, cutting off their gas-stove noses to be revenged of their gun-massacre faces.2

The defectors were particularly incensed by Rep. Andrew “Bonnie and” Clyde (R-Ga.)’s claim that Republican leaders threatened to stall his pet pistol-brace plan if he didn’t support the debt deal. Clyde, a gun-store millionaire, wants to overturn the Biden administration’s limits on the pistol braces used by the gunmen in the 2019 Dayton massacre and the 2021 Boulder grocery store massacre. Last month, right-wing federal judges blocked the rule from going into effect.

This defection is a reminder both of the extremist views of much of the Republican caucus and of the weakness of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).3

It also fairly raises the question of why the Biden White House did not pursue a strategy of picking up five moderate Republicans to raise the debt ceiling without polluter add-ons. But let’s be honest—Biden is fine with appeasing the fossil-fuel industry when he can, and many of the self-described “climate hawks” in Congress have much more squawk than bite, pathetically sucking up to walking smokestack Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) even as the capital is literally choking in the smoke of fossil-fueled mega-wildfires.

The Freedom Caucus freedoms our freedoms

Looking around the world today: There are 415 fires currently burning in Canada, over half of which are out of control, as the burning of hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels kills the world’s boreal forests. In Quebec, 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Freeport LNG tried to block E&E NewsCorbin Hiar from revealing its underwriters, who are under pressure from climate activists to not approve new terminals: they are AXA, AIG, Lloyd’s of London, Liberty Mutual Group and Allianz Group.

“White House officials, Republicans from gas states, and fossil fuel lobbyists are teaming up in a push to open the Pacific Coast as a new frontier for U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas,” in a campaign quietly coordinated by fracked-gas giant Sempra Energy, the American Prospect’s Lee Harris uncovers. The Biden official most involved in this corrupt plot? The execrated Rahm Emanuel, U.S. ambassador to Japan.

German climate activists spray-painted every square centimeter of a private jet orange and glued themselves to it at the airport in Sylt, an island in northern Germany.

Canary Media’s Julian Spector explores how the Biden climate-investment packages are making clean-energy manufacturing “a pillar of the national economy” across the nation.

Somerville’s Greentown Labs, “the largest climate-tech incubator in North America,” is partnering with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, oops. “We felt Aramco Americas was well positioned to deepen its engagement with our startup community as a partner,” blathered interim CEO Kevin Taylor. The Saudi deal isn’t golf-grade blood money, though.

In excellent news, the Connecticut legislature “has passed a bill that prohibits investor-owned utilities from charging customers for lobbying, trade association dues, public relations expenses, and efforts to argue for rate increases.”

Former state senator Mike Johnston has won election as mayor of Denver, prevailing over former Denver Chamber of Commerce CEO and Frackenlooper aide Kelly Brough. Johnston received substantial backing from billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Reid Hoffman, and was endorsed by Denver progressives as a preferable alternative to Brough, who ran a reactionary campaign.

Back in the DC haze: In the morning, Senate Agriculture subcommittee chair John Fetterman (D-Pa.) holds a hearing on the horticulture title of the Farm Bill, with testimony from mushroom and vegetable farmers and sustainable agriculture scientist Dr. Margaret Leigh Worthington.

Senate Budget chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) continues the farming theme with an all-white-male hearing on agriculture and conservation with agricultural economist Brandon Willis, Minnesota farmer Martin Larsen, Iowa Farm Bureau president Brent Johnson, and CAFO operator Bryan Sievers.

Senate environment chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) receives testimony from Everglades advocate Eric Eikenberg, Phoenix city environmental manager Tricia Balluff, and South Carolina environmental manager Lorianne Riggin on ecosystem restoration projects of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In the afternoon, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement hosts a panel of Trump-and-Bush-administration white supremacists about immigration enforcement against climate refugees. The witnesses include Trump’s former Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, now at the openly nativist America First Policy Institute; Trump’s former Acting Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Joseph Edlow; and Bush administration torture official Steven Bradbury, now at the Heritage Foundation.

Don’t look up, don’t go outside.

Hearings on the Hill:

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1 Four Republicans and four Democrats did not vote. There are only 434 members of Congress—on May 31st, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) resigned; his seat will remain empty until a special election on November 7th.

2 Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) joined the ten Freedom Caucus members; Burchett also voted against the GOP’s hard-line debt-ceiling proposal in April and the debt-ceiling deal last week, citing his own hard-line balanced-budget stance. Scalise cast his vote with the winning side for procedural reasons.

3 This is the first time a rules resolution was voted down in over twenty years, when hard-right, anti-abortion lawmakers stalled a Wall-Street-backed bill in 2002 to make it harder for people to declare bankruptcy, because it would have made it harder for violent anti-abortion activists to declare bankruptcy to get out of paying fines. The bill then died in the Senate, much to the chagrin of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who later became one of Washington’s most influential corporate lobbyists. The bankruptcy bill—which motivated then-Harvard-professor Elizabeth Warren to enter politics—eventually passed under unified Republican leadership (and the strong support of then-Senator Joe Biden) in 2005, helping to fuel the medical and student debt catastrophes of today.

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