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oh look, the Manchin plan dies again

Also: the Ike Dike, billionaire dynasts, beautiful books


I’m sorry to be writing about this again, but Hill Heat follows the climate agenda of the Democratic leadership. Into the Valley of Derp we ride!

With President Joe Biden’s backing, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W. Va.) pipeline-permitting poison pill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last night. This is the first time Manchin’s dirty deal has made it to a vote. The plan, which needed 60 votes to pass, only mustered 47 votes in support— 40 Democrats and 7 Republicans.

The 11 Democrats who voted down the dirty deal were: Environmental Justice Caucus co-founders Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.)1, Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

Fourteen of those Democrats signaled their firm support for Manchin’s plan, by introducing it with Manchin and Schumer. They were: Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Environment Committee chair and Environmental Justice Caucus co-founder Tom Carper (D-Del.), Energy Committee members Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Angus King (I-Maine), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

The seven Republicans who voted to support the Manchin plan—ironically because their politics aren’t as scorched-earth as those of their colleagues—were Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Alaskans Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and the retiring senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).2

The Senate did, however, attach the $25 billion Water Resources Development Act to the NDAA. The WRDA funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for two years; the biggest line item by far is $19 billion for flood protection and ecosystem restoration plans on the Texas coast, dubbed the “Ike Dike” project. That’s good for the residents of the coast—unfortunately the primary motivation for the spending is to protect Houston’s capability to export oil and natural gas around the world. Though it’s probably doomed to fail as the fossil-fueled seas and storms rise, anyway. The NDAA also includes ocean legislation championed by Sen. Whitehouse.

The $858 billion NDAA is headed to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

The Senate also passed an emergency bill to keep the government funded for another week as negotiations on a longer-term bill continue next week.

Industry trade associations representing climate polluters spent $3.4 billion over 10 years on political activities, according to a new study by Robert Brulle and Christian Downie.

The global abundance of sauropodomorph dinosaurs was facilitated by climatic change.

Melinda Cooper discusses the new billionaire dynasts, describing how “the family office is steadily replacing the accelerated horizons of the private equity firm with the long vistas of dynastic wealth expansion.”

But what are the consequences for the rest of us when one ultra-wealthy family can bring six investment banks to their knees and family disputes can lead to the liquidation of billions of dollars in wealth? The “private” dramas of family dynasties are risks that we all bear, thanks to the determination of monetary, fiscal, and regulatory authorities to guard the secrets of the rich and prop up their power.


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A post shared by 🍀HISAKI☘️ (@kariyushi.route58)

1 Only because of his opposition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, for which the Manchin plan would have forced approval. His fellow Democratic Virginia senator, Mark Warner, voted for the Manchin plan.

2 The League of Conservation Voters will be deciding soon whether to include the vote for cloture on Manchin Amendment No. 6513 to H.R. 7776 in its 2022 National Environmental Scorecard. If you know anyone on the Scorecard Advisory Committee, hit them up! This is, admittedly, one they may try to avoid scoring, since most Republicans voted against it because it wasn’t anti-environment enough, but the scorecard methodology can’t discern motivation.

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