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Hill Heat had an unscheduled sick toddler day yesterday—instead of writing about oil lies, political maneuverings and climate disasters, I visited playgrounds, shared cookies, and went to the zoo. But I did miss all of you, I promise!
PRESENTED BY KELVIN-HELMHOLTZ INSTABILITY
Before they hand over the House Oversight Committee keys to oil-funded Republican climate deniers, retiring chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and environment subcommittee chair Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) have released the results of their ongoing investigation of the fossil fuel industry’s greenwashing efforts, including Shell, Chevron, BP, Exxon, and the American Petroleum Institute.
The committee found the companies all made major investments in projects that would “protect and entrench the use of fossil fuels, long past the timeline scientists say would be safe to prevent catastrophic climate change” despite making climate pledges.
“They’re basically saying, ‘We’re going to increase production, we’re going to increase emissions, but we’re also going to be able to claim being this clean tech company, this green company, because we can take some symbolic actions that make it look like we’re in the climate fight,’” Khanna told NBC News. “The cynicism was breathtaking, and unfortunately, it was quite successful.”
“One internal document from Chevron touts up to a $200 billion return over the next 40 years after upscaling oil production off the coast of Australia,” NBC News’ Lucas Thompson writes.
The Washington Post’s Steven Mufson and Timothy Puko note the report shows Big Oil’s “determination to keep natural gas as a key part of the world’s energy mix,” by making a “coordinated effort to shape public opinion around the idea that gas burns cleaner than oil and coal.”
Shell’s former CEO Ben van Beurden even cancelled a meeting with Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp after Krupp publicly criticized the industry’s failure to address methane pollution.
Khanna is also working with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to keep pushing for their Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act. They’re trying to get Congress to act swiftly:
Unlike the fossil-sludged United States, governments across Europe have imposed or plan to impose windfall taxes on energy companies this year, including Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
POLITICAL MANEUVERINGS: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is now Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), an announcement which changes nothing, since she’s still caucusing with Senate Democrats, but is the next step on her journey of turning into her long-time hero Joe Lieberman.
“Democrats are strategizing themselves into a real Kobayashi Maru scenario,” Daniel Schuman warns in his essential First Branch Forecast. Before Democrats lose control of the House, they really need to defuse the debt-ceiling time bomb. “It doesn’t matter if the ceiling is raised to eleventy-bazillion dollars, suspended, or eliminated — all of which require different legislative vehicles — but it is wishful thinking to do any less because this will come around to blow up the world’s economy.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus, now at 103 members, has elected its new leadership. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) remains head of the caucus, with the Squad’s Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) elevated to the number-two position as deputy chair, and freshman Squad member and democratic socialist Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas) elected caucus whip.
Incoming Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) has been a member of the progressive caucus, but is also a fierce enemy of the Squad and its allies. Last year, Jeffries pledged not to “bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.” By this, he is referring to the youth-led coalition of Justice Democrats, the Sunrise Movement, and Democratic Socialists of America, who elected the likes of Omar and Casar. This coalition built the movement for the Green New Deal. As Akela Lacy relates, Jeffries refused to participate in a Green New Deal community forum organized in his district in 2019, and never co-sponsored any Green New Deal legislation.
“The climate crisis is the product of a gross imbalance between historical industrialization and the natural world,” the authors of a new Nature study write. What can we expect from extractive capital as we collectively embark on green industrialization? “More than half of the world’s resource base for crucial energy transition materials is located on or near land where Indigenous people live.” Molly Taft writes that “a whopping 85% of the current and planned lithium extraction projects, the analysis finds, are located on or near land managed or inhabited by Indigenous people.”
Greta Thunberg’s new climate book is out in Europe.
From PBS Newshour’s “Brief but Spectacular” interviews, we have Bill McKibben on his continued activism as an old fogey:
“The planet we’re going to leave behind and the democracy we’re going to leave behind at the moment seem likely to be much shabbier than the ones we were born into. Most older people realize that, and that there's real meaning in continuing to try the project of building a better society.”
And Elizabeth Yeampierre describes what drives her own fight for climate justice:
“I think, if our ancestors had thought that everything was hopeless when they were in shackles, when they would be brutally beaten, we wouldn’t be here right now. And so I tell young people to get lessons from their ancestors, and remember that we are supposed to be fighting, building beyond this moment of crisis right now.”
JERBS: The Long Island Progressive Coalition is seeking an organizing director for their mission of a just transition to a 100% renewable energy future (Long Island, $72K - $82K).
The Oakland-based youth climate collective Youth Vs Apocalypse is looking to bring on a social media coordinator and two education organizers (all $25/hr part-time, Bay area).
NO JERBS: Fifteen months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, the state still hasn’t begun its promised workforce development programs aimed at helping minority contractors and workers.
NO NO LABELS JERBS NO NO: If you’d prefer 100-hour workweeks at $40K a year, toiling under a boss who sends her staff 65 emails before 9 am on Saturdays, all for the grand mission of the Kirsten Sinema-Mike Pompeo unity presidential ticket, I hear there are openings at Nancy Jacobsen’s No Labels billionaire-backed political sweatshop.
I’m phasing out Twitter embeds for obvious Nazi-bar-related reasons, but this guy is so cute: