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PRESENTED BY THE REGAL MOTH
Although most Senate Democrats have fallen in line to back the frackaganza of the Manchin pipeline-permit deal, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is having none of it.
However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck “Protect Vulnerable Communities” Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made it clear that he intends to ram through approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and fast-track other fossil-fuel projects, telling reporters yesterday he will attach Manchin’s bill to the must-pass continuing resolution:
“Permitting reform is part of the IRA and we will get it done. Our intention is to add it to the CR.”
This morning, the resolutions committee of the Democratic National Committee, chaired by DNC staffer Patrice Taylor, refused to consider the resolution opposing the Manchin pipeline deal. They allowed resolution authors RL Miller, David Atkins, and Nebraska chair Jane Kleeb to speak in favor before moving on to refusing to consider the resolution opposing the use of dark money in Democratic primaries.
This evening, President Joe Biden will address the DNC members as protesters rally outside the Capitol against the Democrats’ pipeline agenda.
Last fall, the House progressive caucus fought to keep the bipartisan highway-centric infrastructure bill attached to the Build Back Better legislation, but they backed down when President Joe Biden sided with the corporate Democrats’ demand to abandon Build Back Better.
The stage is now set for a similar fight, with Biden, Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looking to shove through a blatantly racist Big Oil wish list and expecting progressives to fold as the midterm elections near.
On the other hand, it is pretty innovative to use the threat of fossil-fueled global warming to screw over Black communities, Indian tribes, and the people of Appalachia. Maybe Biden wants to be remembered as the Andrew Jackson of climate change!
One might wonder how the fossil-fuel industry still has such power to dictate the national political agenda, even with Democrats in charge.1 A pair of new reports delineates some of the ways Big Carbon turns its profits into political power.
Emily Williams, a graduate student in Leah Stokes’ lab at UC Santa Barbara, is the lead author on the history of the U.S. electric utilities fomenting climate denial for decades, with full knowledge of the science. As Robinson Meyer describes, in 1971 MIT scientist Carroll Wilson gave the Edison Electric Institute a stark warning that the burning of hydrocarbons posed a potentially existential risk to our climate, and if that were the case, “no coal, oil, or gas could be burned.” Yet:
Years after scientists had reached a consensus that global warming was real, dangerous, and caused by fossil fuels, utilities sold climate half-truths and untruths to policy makers and the public.
The researchers at the UK-based InfluenceMap have taken a look at Big Oil’s recent advertising campaigns, finding that in their ads, “60% contained at least one green claim, while only 23% contained claims promoting oil and gas.” But in reality, “only 12% of the five companies’ 2022 capital expenditure is forecasted to be dedicated to ‘low carbon’ activities.”
At the same time, InfluenceMap found that none of the companies have aligned their climate policy engagement activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and retain a dense and global network of industry associations globally, which are highly active in their opposition to Paris Aligned climate policies.
TRUSS ME, I’M AN EXPERT: Boris “Poncy Trump” Johnson is out as Great Britain’s prime minister, and the notoryous Liz Truss is in, news which has apparently sent Queen Elizabeth II to her deathbed. Truss, who is extremely cozy with the Koch network, appointed hard-core climate denier Jacob Rees “Poncy Palin” Mogg as the U.K.’s new secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy. The UK may not be totally fracked, however, as she was forced by green Tories to name climate hawk Graham Stuart as climate minister.
At 10 AM Pacific, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) is holding a field hearing in Morro Bay on Pacific coast wind power. Texting saved California from blackouts. Fed Vice Chair of Supervision Michael Barr says climate risk analysis is coming next year. At a Ford plant in Detroit today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is touting the Inflation Reduction Act: “We will rid ourselves from our current dependence on fossil fuels.”
Well, that’s optimistic.
Hearings on the Hill:
1 PM: House Natural Resources
Energy and Mineral Resources
Power in the Pacific: Unlocking Offshore Wind Energy for the American West
Climate Action Today:
9 AM: Democratic National Committee
DNC Summer Meeting
5 PM: People vs. Fossil Fuels
Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC!
Those more cynical might make the argument that having Democrats in charge makes the Big Oil agenda easier, as the public assumes that the party is environmentalist even if it’s not, defanging populist opposition. They might even point to the boom of oil and natural gas production and export during the Barack Obama presidency.