Let the Gas Gouging Continue!

The spectrum of fossil-fueled politics, from Larry Summers to eco-fascists


As gas prices pass $4 a gallon in every state, the corrupt, oil-soaked wing of the House Democratic caucus is pushing back against House gas price-gouging bill (H.R. 7688):

  • Chief Deputy Whip and Blue Dog co-chair Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) told Hill reporter Rachel Frazin she believes the bill “will do more harm than good”

  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) is “leaning no” because there’s “no solid proof” that gouging is occurring

  • Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) is a “no”

  • New Democrat Vice Chair Scott Peters (D-Calif.) thinks the bill is a “gimmick” because the human soft-boiled-egg Larry Summers “was very dismissive of this as a strategy for reducing inflation.”

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), who represents the city of Houston, deserves credit for “leaning yes” on the legislation. That’s not nothing!

From the World Meteorological Organization: “Four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021.”

  • Greenhouse gas concentrations reached a new global high in 2020 of 413 ppm. The monthly average in April 2022 was 420.23 ppm

  • The past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record

  • Global mean sea level reached a new record high in 2021, after increasing at an average 4.5 mm per year over the period 2013 -2021

  • The upper 2000 m depth of the ocean continued to warm in 2021 and it is expected that it will continue to warm in the future – a change which is irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales

The Buffalo mass murderer Payton Gendron was a self-described eco-fascist Nazi inspired by New Zealand eco-fascist Brenton H. Tarrant. As Maxine Joselow describes, the most outspoken eco-fascist American politician today may be Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who argues that an “invasion” of illegal immigrants is having a “devastating impact on our environment.” Unlike the white-supremacist terrorists, Brnovich is trying to use the tools of the state, including environmental laws, to initiate a shooting war against immigrants.

And he is not the only one responding to climate migrants with dystopian militarization: the U.S. Border Patrol is deploying robot dogs “unfazed by high heat” and “temperature extremes” on the border “to force-multiply the CBP presence, as well as reduce human exposure to life-threatening hazards.”

Seven gas and electric companies in Ohio shut off service due to nonpayment more than 270,000 times over one year during the pandemic as their corporate parents reported billions in profits,” reports Ohio Capitol Journal’s Jane Zuckerman. The worst offender, American Electric Power, cut off power 124,157 times between June 2020 and May 2021, made $2.49 billion in net income, including $106 million in CARES Act benefits, and paid its common stock shareholders $1.5 billion in dividends and CEO Nick Akins $15 million.

AEP contributes overwhelmingly to Republicans, though Democratic senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and representatives Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Richie Neal (D-Mass.) have also been recipients of their largesse.

At yesterday’s Environmental Protection Agency budget hearing, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) challenged EPA Administrator Michael Regan on his vision for “tackling climate chaos.” Republicans told him to hang out even more often with oil executives. Regan’s agency is finding that air pollution is getting worse in Yuma, Arizona, and Canton Ohio—notable because for the past twenty years the EPA has been loathe to make such findings anywhere.

A dark-money GOP group is running ads trying to blame the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for high gas prices, even though they don’t regulate oil pipelines. But it’ll probably gin up the wingnuts to add FERC chair Richard Glick to their conspiracy boards, on behalf of whatever fracking interest is secretly bankrolling the campaign. Just in time for today’s monthly FERC meeting, where they will be voting on several fracking pipelines, too!

Read more about the FERC meeting in today’s Politico Morning Energy, Presented By Chevron.

The Senate Banking Committee holds its confirmation hearing for Michael Barr to be Vice Chair for Supervision of the Federal Reserve. Barr has not made the mistake of the previous nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, of saying that climate change is an existential threat that requires the end of the fossil-fuel industry. Securities Exchange Commission nominees Jaime Lizárraga, a top Nancy Pelosi advisor, and Mark Uyeda, a Republican SEC lawyer, will also face the panel.

Also, the Senate Homeland and Government Affairs Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Biniam Gebre, who runs Accenture’s federal services unit, to become the administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Gebre is passionate about climate policy, which is much needed in this position, but his nomination is a pretty awful instance of the revolving door.

And Interior Secretary Deb Haaland goes before Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) committee to discuss the department’s budget request. Expect several hours of haranguing about the desperate need to drill and frack and mine every inch of American land and water from Manchin and the Republicans. Maybe Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) will bother to show up, he’s been a star in the committee recently.

Read more about the Interior hearing in today’s Politico Morning Energy, Presented By Chevron.

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