From bad to worse

Oil in Africa, renewables on the rise, a host of hearings

PRESENTED BY A GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO

The continent of Africa has a history of colonial exploitation that continues to be written.

ReconAfrica’s drill site in Namibia near wildlife-conservation areas.

In Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodall exposes ReconAfrica, a small Canadian drilling outfit headlined by polo enthusiast Craig Steinke and fracker Dan Jarvie moving to extract oil from Namibia upstream of the UNESCO World Heritage site Okavanga Delta, one of the last truly wild places on earth. The company claims there are 120 billion barrels of oil to be drilled, an astounding carbon bomb. While Goodall finds evidence the company is exploiting penny-stock pump-and-dump tactics to fleece investors, it’s also terrorizing locals as it tries to strike black gold in the Okavanga River Basin.

From bad to worse”: Rachel Chason writes about how Shell is divesting from its Nigerian oil investments, selling them to local companies; but now the sites are even more poorly maintained, with blowouts, spills, fires, and other toxic disasters. Shell can’t divest from all of its Nigerian leases yet because the company is fighting a Nigerian Supreme Court ruling demanding it pay $1.95 billion to clean up a 2019 oil spill.

Drying cassava and tapioca by the heat of a gas flare in Nigeria. Credit: Andrew Esiebo

Today is the last day for public comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to modestly strengthen standards against soot pollution, but far less than their own scientists recommend; the Climate Action Campaign is rallying outside of EPA headquarters this morning.

At 1 pm, American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and the think tank Energy Innovation present a webinar on decarbonizing transportation and buildings.

Here’s some news to make Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) cry: in 2022, the amount of electricity generated from renewables in the United States surpassed both coal and nuclear power.

Here’s a question for President Joe Biden: When will you nominate a leader for EPA’s new national office for environmental justice? The EPA established the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights on September 24, 2022, with the responsibility of distributing billions of dollars in grants, but no permanent head has been nominated. Kevin Bogardus explains that the distinguished Robin Morris Collin has been filling in, as EPA Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice.

A post shared by Sebastián Molano (@txanjaime_sebas)

East Palestine’s member of Congress, Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), the chair of the environment and manufacturing subcommittee of the House energy committee, holds a hearing on the government response to the Norfolk Southern disaster, with officials from the U.S. EPA and the Ohio EPA. Trumper Max Miller (R-Ohio), chair of House Science’s environment subcommittee, holds a hearing promoting the Weather Act, which is pushing the privatization of weather satellites and data collection. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) convenes highway-construction lobbyists for a hearing on the implementation of the infrastructure act.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testifies before House Agriculture with both the Farm Bill and the $32.6 billion USDA budget on tap; $12 billion of the budget is seen by the department as climate-related.

Today’s budget hearings:

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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