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Stop grousing, start smuggling ideology

Imagine a world where ordinary standards of intelligence and morality are applied.

PRESENTED BY A CHOICE OF EVILS

It’s the middle of the week, let’s get into it.

THOSE CHOOSING GOOD

The Rocking Chair Rebels

Last month, more than a dozen elderly climate activists stood trial for blockading JP Morgan Chase’s Delaware headquarters in rocking chairs. Chase is the world’s worst banker of fossil fuels. Rather than accepting a $10 fine, the protestors went to trial and offered a "Choice of Evils” defense:

Justification—Choice of evils.

Unless inconsistent with the ensuing sections of this Criminal Code defining justifiable use of physical force, or with some other provisions of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable when it is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury which is about to occur by reason of a situation occasioned or developed through no fault of the defendant, and which is of such gravity that, according to ordinary standards of intelligence and morality, the desirability and urgency of avoiding such injury clearly outweigh the desirability of avoiding the injury sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense in issue.

Defendants were allowed by the judge to submit evidence from the IPCC and IEA on the urgent necessity of ending fossil-fuel investments, although in the end their claim of imminent harm was rejected and they were fined $97 each.

The “evil” of blocking street traffic isn’t really the same as the evil of hastening the demise of human civilization for profit, I’d think.

Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) have introduced the Future Generations Protection Act of 2021, which would keep fossil fuels in the ground by banning fracking, most crude oil and gas exports, greenhouse pollution from new power plants, and new liquid natural gas terminals.

The bill is co-sponsored by the members of The Squad—Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Okla.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Mondaire Jones (N.Y.)—and other progressives: Adriano Espaillat, Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velazquez, Carolyn Maloney, and Ritchie Torres of New York; Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal, Grace Napolitano, and Zoe Lofgren of California, Jesús “Chuy” García and Marie Newman of Illinois; and Jamie Raskin (Md.), Darren Soto (Fla.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.).

While the Build Back Better Act sputters and $770 billion in military spending chugs forward, there are some bright spots in other legislation that one hopes will get to the floor sooner rather than later. Defenders of Wildlife explains that the environment and interior appropriations bills, as written, would dramatically increase long-underfunded biodiversity programs for endangered species and wildlife protection, such as the greaters sage grouse, whose continued existence is an impediment to frackers, and right whales, whose continued existence is an impediment to offshore drillers.

Greater Sage Grouse in Curlew National Grassland, Idaho

THOSE CHOOSING EVIL

BlackRock finds there’s room for a $15.5 billion Aramco gas pipeline in its climate pledge. Don’t worry about the climate, CEO Larry Fink says: the natural gas will be “responsibly managed.”

For a while now, companies like Tesla and Toyota have been attacking the Build Back Better Act’s $4,500 tax credit for electric vehicles that are union-made, because their workforce isn’t unionized. Then Joe Manchin joined in, as there’s a non-union Toyota plant in West Virginia. Now foreign governments are weighing in: The European Union is attacking the union-made EV incentive. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Volvo, and BMW plants in the US aren’t unionized (although they are in Europe). And Mexico is attacking the full $12,000 incentive package for EVs made in the United States.

Fracking companies are reducing their methane pollution by selling dirty assets to other companies—it’s purely a shell game, Pippa Neill reports. For example, ConocoPhillips halved its “emissions intensity” by selling wells to Hilcorp Energy, whose emissions intensity tripled.

Thanks to opposition from Republicans and industry-friendly Democrats, climate hawk Saule Omarova (previously discussed) has officially withdrawn from consideration as Comptroller of the Currency.

#DoneWithDunn: Law students are boycotting Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the fossil-fueled law firm who has, among other evils, helped Chevron persecute attorney Steven Donzinger for years.

Today in Hill Hearings:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Stupid) has the last word, when asked if his preparations for rising sea levels would include fighting what’s causing the rising sea levels:

“What I’ve found is when people start talking about things like global warming they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways. And so we’re not doing any left-wing stuff. . . . be very careful of people trying to smuggle in their ideology; they say support our coastline or they say they support our water or our environment. And maybe they do, but they’re also trying to do a lot of other things.”

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