Running out of town

Desperate deal-making at the end of the year


Before we get to the climate news, here’s Marisa Kabas, Rusty Foster, Dave Karpf, and Parker Molloy on the problem of Substack being a Nazi bar.

The Republicans running the House have fled Washington until the new year without a final deal on a military supplemental for Ukraine’s war with Russia and Israel’s genocidal war with Hamas in return for a Stephen Miller-style crackdown on migrants and asylum seekers, but Senate Majority Chuck Schumer isn’t giving up hope on President Joe Biden’s Border Wall For Bombs plan.1 He’s calling the Senate back to business on Monday.

Politico very much runs on fossil-fuel money2, but that can pay for genuinely good insider journalism. A team effort by Karl Mathiesen, Sara Schonhardt, Zia Wiese, and Zach Colman runs down the final 48 hours of negotiations at COP 28 that led to the muddled deal, in particular how U.S. climate envoy John Kerry worked with Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman while E.U. climate minister Wopke Hoekstra met with Marshall Islands negotiator Tina Stege to hammer out the final agreement.

As Bill McKibben writes, now the job of everyone on the planet who is not wedded to fossil capital is to hold the world’s governments to their admission that the age of fossil fuels needs to end.

Genuinely funny: major New York Times advertiser Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, snuck at least 15 employees into COP 28 as members of the Saudi delegation. (By comparison, Russia’s Gazprom had at least 16 employees at the conference.)

REPORTS FROM REPORTERS: Pete McKenzie and Sera Sefeti tell the story of Fiji’s mangroves being destroyed to build luxury hotels. Álvaro Murillo describes how Costa Rica’s green economy is under threat. Daniel Shailer interviews the last residents of a coastal Mexico town destroyed by climate polluters.

OUT AND ABOUT: Your intrepid correspondent pretended last night to be a Politico Playbook society columnist at last night’s Green New Deal happy hour organized by Saul Levin and Tracey Lewis. Excellent discussions about the essential role food plays in public health with the Green New Deal Network’s Nassim Ashford; about fighting digital monopolies with David Segal, who recently became head of Yelp’s public policy team; about supporting communities across the world in the fight against the expansion of oil and gas projects with Janet Redman; about the Sunrise Movement’s demand that President Joe Biden declare a climate emergency with the group’s new executive director Aru Shiney-Ajay. Over chili-oil and arugula pizza folks chatted about newly confirmed reserves of lithium in the Salton Sea, the path to a circular economy, and the environmental-justice provisions in Inflation Reduction Act programs.

At this morning’s Hill climate symposium, Paula Glover, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, talked convincingly about the hard work of maintaining a nationwide, bipartisan coalition in favor of energy efficiency. Committed climate denier Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) argued that the United States is as much of a petrostate as the United Arab Emirates, which, fair.

This morning, Senate Energy and Natural Resources chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) oversaw a marathon markup, including legislation on federal lands management, wildlife, and federal water management. Most of the bills were reported out of committee by voice vote, but Democrats outvoted Republicans to support state conservation efforts with Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-Wash.) Olympic National Forest bill (S. 1254), Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-Colo.) wilderness protection bill (S. 1634), and Sen. Martin Heinrich’s (D-N.M.) Pecos Watershed protection bill (S. 3033).

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

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1 Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii): “I think that 50 years from now, no one is going to remember whether we changed asylum policy. They will remember whether we let Putin take another country by force in a ground war in Europe.”

2 To be more precise, all corporate lobbying accounts are gratefully welcomed by Politico’s Rachel Loeffler and her sales, marketing, and product team.

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