Rains of Goodness!

Also: Steel Day, Morning Glories, and Annie's Organic Phthalaty Ravioli


DC’s monthly Green New Deal Happy Hour is tonight at Añejo Bar & Grill, starting at 6:30 pm. Councilwoman Janeese Lewis-George, the sponsor of DC’s Green New Deal for Housing Act, will be the special guest.

It’s Steel Day! President Joe Biden is meeting with United Steelworkers Union members in Pittsburgh, where he will call for a tripling of tariffs on Chinese steel, to tackle carbon leakage, protect the U.S. supply chain, and defend union manufacturing jobs. He is also opposing Nippon Steel’s plan to acquire U.S. Steel, today’s sponsor of Axios Generate.1

Speaking yesterday with the oil-drenched Jason Bordoff of the fossil-fueled Columbia Global Center on Energy Policy, White House climate czar John Podesta announced the formation of the White House Climate and Trade Task Force to ensure the carbon footprint of products like steel is integrated into global trade policy, which would be a dramatic shift from more than thirty years of free-trade neoliberalism. Bordoff’s summit also included the CEOs of frackers Pioneer Natural Resources and Baker Hughes.

vizier keeps telling me my judgment is wise, my rulings just and fair, but the chamberlain has oft counseled caution against his honeyed words... much to consider

In bad news for the Dixie Valley toad, the Bureau of Land Management has adopted “categorical exclusions” from the National Environmental Policy Act to speed up geothermal energy exploration on federal lands.

Floodlight’s Terry Jones gives an update on the slow progress of the hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental justice community grants authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Billionaire Jeff Skoll is pulling the plug on Participant Media, the powerhouse social-justice film studio responsible for documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth, Fast Food Nation, Food, Inc., and Merchants of Doubt, climate-inflected films such as Matt Damon’s fracking drama Promised Land and the blockbuster Deepwater Horizon, and major hits such as Lincoln, Green Book, and Spotlight.

Crab tureen

Today’s sponsor

Packaged food giant General Mills is under new pressure from green investor Green Century Funds to deal with plastic waste and contamination. Green Century won a plastic-waste shareholder resolution two years ago, but says “little headway has been made.” GM will release a new responsibility report tomorrow.

Consumer Reports has a petition to Annie’s and its parent company General Mills calling on the company to end the contamination of their foodstuffs with phthalates from plastic packaging and linings. “Annie’s Organic Cheesy Ravioli had by far the highest level of these chemicals,” CR found after testing dozens of supermarket staples. “And other General Mills brands Yoplait, Cheerios, Green Giant, and Progresso also contained this plasticizer.”

Consumer and investor activism is great, but it sure would be nice for the FDA to do something! The agency’s appropriations hearing is tomorrow; organic farmer Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) is the most likely to push FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf on this issue.

Dubai, flooded

“Rains of goodness”

Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates petrostate, came to a standstill as a two years’ worth of rain in one day, fueled by UAE’s pollution, flooded the region. Megamansions were inundated and private jets grounded. One person was swept to their death in the UAE and 19 died in neighboring Oman. The UAE press office called them “rains of goodness” for interrupting the deadly heat, also fueled by UAE’s carbon pollution.

The Lake Berryessa morning glory spillway is one of the many projects of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, so named because its massive water projects “reclaim” the arid West for agriculture and large-scale habitation. At 9:30 am, House Appropriations looks at the Army Corps of Engineers (Civil Works) and the Bureau of Reclamation budget with Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water & Science Michael Brain, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael C. Connor, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon.

The FY 2025 budget provides $7.2 billion for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and $1.6 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation. The leadership of the Corps and BOR recognize their agencies are key to the nation’s climate resilience, from withstanding climate disasters to generating renewable energy.

More budget hearings today:

House Republicans are looking to roll back Biden climate initiatives today. At 10 am, the Financial Services Committee is conducting a markup of five congressional resolutions to overturn the SEC’s corporate climate disclosure rule and Treasury’s banking climate risk rule, among other legislation, and Ways and Means is marking up two bills limiting the Clean Vehicle Tax Credit from the Inflation Reduction Act by tightening rules against foreign components in EVs qualifying for the credit. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is introducing the Senate challenge to the SEC rule today, with support from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Also at 10 am, there is a House Natural Resources federal lands subcommittee hearing using wildfires to justify weakening environmental restrictions on logging national forests. Rep. Bruce Westerman’s (R-Ark.) unnumbered draft bill will be discussed by National Forest deputy chief Chris French, several logging industry advocates, and forest scientist and activist Dr. Kimiko Barrett.

The Senate environment committee considers the renomination of Christopher Hanson as chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the House Transportation railroads subcommittee examines the commuter rail industry with officials from Denver, northern Indiana, south Florida, the Northeast Corridor, and southern California.

Big ol' buzzard

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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1  Today’s Politico Power Switch is sponsored by Chevron, The Hill’s Energy and Environment by American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

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