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Slivers of hope, bones of coral

Fighting for survival, drowning in oil


Enough races have been called for Republicans to be guaranteed control of the House of Representatives next year, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is passing the torch as the top Democrat—we’ll be publishing a series on the upcoming Democratic leadership battles in Hill Heat’s Climate Politics Almanac.

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As the COP27 climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh enter its final days, Lula shows how to make an entrance

In a new study, scientists estimate that the world’s top five national climate polluters—the U.S., China, Russia, Brazil, and India—have already caused $6 trillion in global economic losses due to the global warming from their climate pollution. And yet for some reason, the US team led by John Kerry won’t accept a decision that establishes a fund on loss and damage.”

The draft COP27 text also “fails to include the call from India, EU and the US, for the phasing down of all fossil fuels - and not just coal” but, Adam Morton writes in a Guardian dispatch – “provides a sliver of hope it might later be included.”

In many ways, it’s a testament to the earnest negotiators that there are even slivers of hope—the talks are suffused with the miasmic corruption of global climate polluters. The totalitarian Egyptian government hired the notorious Hill and Knowlton Strategies to manage public relations for the conference—as Duncan Meisel tells CNBC, “Hill and Knowlton is the main lobbying communications firm for the oil industry.”

In the independent Egyptian news site Mada Masr, Nada Arafat writes about Hill and Knowlton’s dirty lobbying for the coal industry in Egypt.

Minutes from Sharm el-Sheikh are beaches with coral reefs just off the shore. Like all the corals on this one planet of ours, they are on their deathbed.

“It’s a little bit of tourism, but it’s mostly climate change,” he said. “If we can reduce the direct human impacts, reefs have a better chances of surviving climate change. But if we don’t do something about greenhouse gas emissions, it’s not going to make a difference.”

As Oliver Melman writes: “Some remote, sheltered corals might remain in far reaches of the oceans if the temperature rise is constrained, but we are heading for a largely coral-less world.”

Speaking of the miasmic corruption of global climate polluters, let’s open today’s New York Times!

If you didn’t get today’s print edition of the New York Times, you missed this double-page oil propaganda from a journalist-murdering petrodictatorship.

The Truth is Worth It,” right, David Rubin?

Oil Change International offers a different perspective on Saudi Aramco, “by far the single worst company in terms of total new oil and gas supply and associated carbon emissions approved for development in 2022.”

  • After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the country with the second-largest expansion of new oil and gas production in 2022. Much of the new expansion sanctioned in 2022 has resulted from Saudi Aramco’s sanctioning of a major expansion of its Zuluf field, an offshore oil field in the Arabian Gulf

  • The top three Aramco funders alone—Citi, HSBC, and JPMorgan Chase—have provided $25 billion in finance from 2016 to 2021.

Don’t worry though, thanks to planned projects in the Permian Basin, the United States is still the world’s most dangerous oil and gas polluter.

Our domestic oil and gas industry is busy corrupting our democracy—Sludge’s Donald Shaw and David Moore report that the Better Jobs Together Campaign, which spent millions backing pro-polluter Democrats was a front group for the American Petroleum Institute. Because of campaign-financing loopholes opened by the Supreme Court, API was able to hide their involvement until now, well after the elections took place. Beneficiaries included Texas Reps. Henry Cuellar, Vincente Gonzalez, Marc Veasey, and Lizzie Fletcher, as well as the contemptible Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Today on the Hill: Rep. Grijava is finally getting to chair a hearing on Puerto Rico’s post-disaster reconstruction and power grid development. The hearing was originally scheduled for the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, but had to be postponed when Hurricane Fiona struck the island.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) chairs a full Foreign Affairs hearing on sub-Saharan Africa.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is considering the following nominees:

  • former fossil-fuel utility NRG CEO David Crane to be Under Secretary of Energy for Infrastructure;

  • Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and

  • former utility SoCal Edison executive Gene Rodrigues to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) takes up two nominees for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board: member Stephen Owens has been nominated to be chair, and professor Catherine Sandoval to be a new member.

Hearings on the Hill:

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