Green New Deal Champions

Also: power-brokers Eric Schmidt, Anita Dunn, Chris Larsen


It’d be nice to know which Democratic candidates and elected officials actually support the Democratic platform of climate, economic, and social justice, since the party certainly doesn’t enforce (or frankly, encourage) adherence. The new Green New Deal Champions project does just that, listing candidates who have pledged to support Green New Deal legislation and adhere to the ongoing No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. The initial crop of 46 champions include Sunrise endorsees, as well as progressive stalwarts like Vincent Fort, taking on the corrupt Rep. David Scott in Georgia, Doyle Canning, seeking to fill the retiring Pete DeFazio’s in Oregon, and Demand Progress’s David Segal, competing in the retiring Jim Langevin’s Rhode Island seat.

Kate Aronoff offers this analysis:

“If Democrats want people to come out to vote, phonebank, and knock doors for them, they’ll need to treat them as something other than expendable: They’ll need at least to give voters a taste of what Democrats stand for.”

OMB director Shalanda Young is on the Hill today to discuss President Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023. “President Biden’s budget request includes a total of $45 billion spread across the federal government to address climate change, an increase of $16.7 billion over the 2021 enacted level.”

In particular, after Congress approved only $1 billion in international climate aid last year, Biden is requesting $11 billion, in line with his public pledges. The Times’ Keystone XL apologist Coral Davenport scoffs: “But it is highly unlikely that Congress will approve anywhere close to that spending level.”

It’s a busy day on Capitol Hill. Some highlights, in addition to the budget hearing: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General Phyllis Fong is testifying before the House Appropriations Committee, and Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) is overseeing a hearing on horticulture and urban agriculture. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) is conducting a hearing into the efforts to upgrade our drinking water infrastructure, particular replacing lead pipes.

Another Keystone XL apologist, Anita Dunn, with her lobbying firm SKDK, has unseemly influence over the Biden administration, the Washington Post’s Tyler Pager, Sean Sullivan, and Michael Scherer report. The line that leaped out to me, who has been wondering why the administration has such bad, wishy-washy, incoherent messaging, despite having so many strong policy appointees:

SKDK veterans are stationed throughout the administration, often in pivotal positions involving communications. In that sense the firm has been critical to shaping the Biden administration’s public message.

Knowing that corporate lobbyists are handing the message explains a lot.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy—which has uncomfortably close ties to Google billionaire Eric Schmidt—is seeking comment on how crypto is killing the climate. Sure to be involved: former Sierra Club leader Michael Brune is now heading a $5 million joint effort between Environmental Working Group and Greenpeace USA, funded by crypto and fintech billionaire Chris Larsen, to “clean up bitcoin,” or, failing that, Chris Larsen’s reputation.

The fossil-fuel ghouls are coming for FERC Commissioner Richard Glick, even as he backed down on climate regulations for natural gas projects, putting the standards on ice after a lambasting by Joe Manchin.

Hearings on the Hill:

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