Fishy futures

GOP v. steelhead, Genesis B. v. EPA


A quarter of the world’s freshwater fish are at risk of extinction from carbon pollution, habitat destruction, dams, and water extraction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature made the announcement at COP 28 in Dubai, where the negotiations, smothered by the fossil-fuel industry, are collapsing.

Republicans in Congress are appalled by the threat to iconic fish like salmon and steelhead, wait, I mean, they are appalled by attempts to save fish like salmon and steelhead. Trout Unlimited’s CEO Chris Wood and VP for government affairs Lindsay Slater are testifying in two different hearings today to reel in GOP efforts to drive our fish to extinction—check the hearing roundup below for details.

Genesis B. and 17 other California children from the ages of 8 to 17 are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for “growing up with polluted air and a government-imposed and -sanctioned climate crisis.” The suit, Genesis B. v. EPA, brought by Our Children’s Trust, was filed on Sunday in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. Julia Olson, chief legal counsel for Our Children's Trust, announced:

“There is one federal agency explicitly tasked with keeping the air clean and controlling pollution to protect the health of every child and the welfare of a nation—the EPA. The agency has done the opposite when it comes to climate pollution, and it's time the EPA is held accountable by our courts for violating the U.S. Constitution.”

The Clean Air Act of 1970 specifically includes effects on climate in its definition of air pollution to be managed by the EPA administrator, and the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse emissions are indeed pollutants in 2007. Most of the children who filed suit were born after that decision. The United States has since become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.

Lesley Clark of the KKR-Axel Springer-Politico-owned E&E News has an in-depth profile of the lawyers and the children they’re representing. “Genesis B., the 17-year-old Long Beach, California, resident who gives the new lawsuit its name, lives in a home without air conditioning, and her family doesn’t have the money to install it.”

A post shared by @peppe_1221

There are two hearings today about the future of mining “critical minerals,” which is to say, mining. At 10:15 am, the House Natural Resources oversight subcommittee has invited witnesses to discuss space mining! At 2:30 pm, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources mining subcommittee holds a more prosaic hearing on Sen. Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (S. 1742) and Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto’s (D-Nev.) Mining Regulatory Clarity Act (S. 1281). Witnesses include federal mining-policy officials, Trout Unlimited CEO Chris Wood, and National Mining Association COO Katie Sweeney.

At 10 am, a House Financial Services subcommittee chaired by Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) will hold a hearing on strengthening energy sanctions on Russia, Iran, and Venezuela; witnesses include Dr. Anna Mikulska on Russia, Dr. Ryan Berg on Venezuela, and Claire Jungman on Iran.

House Natural Resources subcommittees are holding two hearings today:

  • At 10:30 am, Reps. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) receive witness testimony on two fossil-fuel-subsidy bills from Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) and a bill to expedite geothermal projects by Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.). One of Hageman’s bills, H.R. 5482, purports to fight “energy poverty” by fighting regulations on oil, gas, and coal projects—strangely it does not mention energy efficiency or the costs of fossil-fuel pollution on at-risk communities. The witness speaking against the bill is just-transition expert Dr. J. Mijin Cha.

  • At 2 pm, Reps. Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) spar at a hearing on the lower Snake River hydropower dams in the Columbia basin. The federal government is open to dismantling the dams to save endangered salmon and steelhead populations. Witnesses include Trout Unlimited’s Lindsay Slater.

On the naughty list: Graham Stuart, megayachts, neo-McCarthyites.

Hearings on the Hill:

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