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It is a bright warm day in December, and the clocks are striking thirteen

“Comrades!” cried an eager youthful voice from the telescreen.


“Comrades!” cried an eager youthful voice from the telescreen. “Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Creating jet fuel out of our petroleum while using carbon from that process to make carbon fibre boats is a beautiful thing. Developing microchips out of carbon capture for refined oil is beautiful. Producing barrels of oil and making Styrofoam chips out of the resulting carbon. That’s beautiful. Producing oil and from the resulting carbon making pool noodles that kids can float on. Beautiful.”

The fabulous statistics continued to pour out of the telescreen. As compared with last year there was more food, more clothes, more houses, more furniture, more cooking-pots, more fuel, more ships, more helicopters, more books, more babies—more of everything except disease, crime, and insanity. Year by year and minute by minute, everybody and everything was whizzing rapidly upwards.1

Drew Anderson of the beautifully named The Narwal (formerly DeSmog Canada) reports on this campaign to embrace the beauty of tar sands2 proposed by the Ministry of Truth division known as the Oil Sands Pathway Alliance, an alliance of the companies behind almost all of tar sands production in Canada: Suncor, Imperial, Canadian Natural Resources, MEG Energy, ConocoPhillips and Cenovus. Fortunately for us, Greenpeace Canada’s Keith Stewart (@climatekeith) shared the absurd proposal.

InsideClimateNews’ Nicholas Kusnetz reports on what fossil lobbyists are saying behind closed doors about Build Back Better’s 45Q carbon-capture tax credits:

The payouts from the expanded credit could be so large that, if energy companies reach the scale they say they can, it could largely wipe away their corporate income tax bills, according to recent comments by Erik Oswald, an ExxonMobil lobbyist.

We were really excited to see that all of our tax-related priorities were included,” said Madelyn Morrison, a spokeswoman for the Carbon Capture Coalition, a group that “includes utilities, coal producers, oil companies and other industries, as well as some environmental groups and unions.”

The lobbyists are hoping that Joe Manchin will come through and further increase the windfall.

Robert Brulle and Carter Werthman are out with a new paper mapping for the first time the work that public relations firms do for carbon polluters. If you’re a subscriber to the Washington Post’s Climate 202 newsletter then you’ve already seen Maxine Joselow’s great summary. Some bullets:

  • In 1995, the American Petroleum Institute hired Burson-Marsteller (now Burson Cohn & Wolfe, part of WPP) to create the Foundation for Clean Air Progress, which opposed clean air progress. In 2014, BM created a campaign for Peabody Energy attacking President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

  • In 2000, Ogilvy ran BP’s $200 million “Beyond Petroleum” campaign, and in 2010 launched the “Possibilities Everywhere” campaign for BP after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

  • The American Petroleum Institute has paid Edelman $439.7 million since 2008 to influence climate politics.

I have received comments that yesterday’s Hill Heat only featured bad news about climate change and terrible people. In my defense, it was that kind of doubleplus ungood day.

So here’s some Good News Thursday!

Renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide, supporting the emergence of the new global energy economy.” Joe Manchin is being haunted. The entire West Coast now requires sales of zero-emission vehicles. New York regulators are “telling insurers to take climate risk seriously — including the companies’ own contributions to it.” And a Massachusetts state Senate special primary election on December 14 features environmental justice champion and Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, endorsed yesterday by Sen. Ed Markey, against Revere’s Anthony D’Ambrosio, also a climate hawk.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) gets the last word:

"I am a little bit tired of answering for Joe Manchin. Have you asked Joe Manchin what he thinks?"

Today in Hill hearings:

Please do subscribe. —@climatebrad

1. My sincere apologies to George Orwell.

2. C.f. yesterday’s Hill Heat for the true dazzling beauty of tar sands.

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