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Pardon the Delay
Senate v. People v. SCOTUS v. Youth v. Gov.
PRESENTED BY OILY NURDLES
Mice and leaky sinks conspired to delay today’s Hill Heat, as did crosswords and lovely weather. And so I present to you one of my late night specials.
The Democratic-controlled Senate has taken quick and decisive action in response to the theocratic takeover of the Supreme Court, passing legislation by unanimous consent to expand security protection to the immediate family members of Supreme Court justices, following peaceful protests outside the homes of Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito. This legislation to protect 0.000007% of U.S. families now heads to the House.
I’m now worried that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) might watch the Youth v. Gov documentary (now streaming) about the youth suit against the U.S. government for climate inaction and pass emergency legislation to put the kids in jail. Gotta protect the government criminals!
The House is back in session, and is taking up the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act (H.R. 2499) this week, which will make it easier for wildfire firefighters to receive workers’ compensation for illness and disease.
White House Council for Environmental Quality chair Brenda Mallory testifies before the Senate on Wednesday morning. There are also hearings this week on hydropower, global food security, and the Surface Transportation Board.
I’m also going to be watching the House Agriculture hearing Thursday morning on the FTX Proposal, since it features FTX head Sam Bankman-Fried, the Ponzi-crypto billionaire who is trying to buy a Congressional district. When I last mentioned him on April 27th, he had spent $7 million trying to install Carrick Flynn in Oregon’s 6th District over the climate hawk Andrea Salinas—SBF’s spending has now passed $10 million.
In the Democratic primary to fill the CA-13 seat opened by Devin Nunes’ resignation, Phil Arballo is running against the oil-soaked Adam Gray. And his new television ad does not pull any punches:
NATURAL RESOURCES BILLS: On Wednesday, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.)’s national parks subcommittee looks at a bill that affirms that roads should not be built in areas in national forests that have been designated “roadless.” On Thursday, Rep. Raúl Grijalva holds a hearing on his major legislation to reform the 1872 Mining Law, the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (H.R. 7580). And Rep. Jared Huffman’s water subcommittee takes testimony on bills for desalination research (H.R. 7612), Tribal access to clean water (H.R. 7632), and other Tribal water rights issues.
MOAR BILLS: On Wednesday, House Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) marks up the Ensuring an Accurate Postal Fleet Electrification Act (H.R. 7682), which will invalidate the environmental impact statement that Louis DeJoy’s Postal Service filed as part of its contract with Oshkosh Defense to produce gas-powered postal trucks instead of electric trucks. Senate Commerce chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) marks up the PRECIP Act (S. 3053) to improve NOAA’s rain and snowfall estimates and the Alaska Salmon Research Task Force Act (S. 3429).1
BUDGET HEARINGS, OH MY
House and Senate committees are chugging through President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget request. Get ready, this is a lot, but boy is it important!
On Tuesday, Tom Vilsack is before the Senate to present the Department of Agriculture’s request for $31.1 billion in discretionary funding and $164.8 billion in mandatory funding. This includes 40-percent increase in wildfire funding to $2.7 billion, and $6.5 billion for rural electric loans. A significant amount of the climate-related funding is going into USDA’s “climate-smart agriculture” program, which is mostly bad. Pete Buttigieg presents the Department of Transportation’s $142 billion budget request that includes $18 billion for intercity rail and $1 billion for electric vehicle chargers, but is mostly for traditional highway, freight, air, and port projects. Like the USDA, the DOT under Biden remains mostly on an unsustainable track, with modest reforms.
On Wednesday, Lloyd Austin presents the Defense budget request of $773 billion, which includes $3 billion to “address the effects of climate change.” Going down an order of magnitude, Marcia Fudge presents the Housing and Urban Development budget request of $72 billion, which includes $1.1 billion in targeted climate resilience and energy efficiency improvements. Gina Raimondo presents the Commerce budget request of $11.7 billion, which includes $6.9 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a 25 percent increase. Samantha Power presents (both House and Senate) the U.S. Agency for International Development budget of $29.4 billion, less than the expected next tranche of funding for the Ukraine war. Additionally, the Biden administration has made a $1.6 billion request for the Green Climate Fund. Sethuraman Panchanathan presents the National Science Foundation budget request of $10.5 billion, including $1.5 billion for climate and clean energy research. And a team of five men present the $21.4 billion budget request for managing our nuclear stockpile and the $7.6 billion request for managing nuclear waste and test sites.
On Thursday, Marcia Fudge goes to the Senate and Gina Raimondo to the House to present the HUD and Commerce budgets again. And Dr. Kathleen Hogan and Dr. Geri Richmond present the Department of Energy science and energy program budgets, which include $7.8 billion for the Office of Science, $4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, $893 million for fossil energy and carbon management, $1.7 billion for nuclear energy, and $297 million for electricity.
It’s not even summer, and California’s two largest reservoirs are at “critically low” levels. Drought, extreme heat and wildfires threaten California with blackouts. The solar-powered town of Adjuntas is an oasis in blackout-plagued Puerto Rico. The Philippines Commission on Human Rights finds big polluters “morally and legally liable” for climate damage. Climate denial on Facebook has found a new form. “We’re making these nurdles and basically spilling oil.” A river otter was spotted in the Detroit River for the first time in 100 years.
Also the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act, which is peak backronym.