Super Flower Blood Moon

Colossal climate bombs, copycat chalking, crypto crashes

PRESENTED BY BIG RHINO

On Tuesday, chalkers struck again at the home of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), with threatening messages like “You work for us!” and “Vote for WHPA.” Yesterday, Collins defied this water-soluble fusillade and, in solidarity with 49 other Republicans and putative Democrat Joe Manchin, voted down the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified Roe v. Wade. Don’t worry, though, the New York Times still called her and Lisa Murkowski “pro-choice” Republicans “who support abortion rights.”

Speaking of Joe Manchin, I am truly fascinated to find out from the good folks at Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Evergreen Action today how climate activists are going to get him and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to a deal on the totally-not-dead reconciliation package.

Yesterday was Drought Day! The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification released Drought In Numbers, 2022. Here are some numbers:

  • Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen 29%

  • Almost 160 million children are exposed to severe and prolonged droughts

  • Up to 216 million people could be forced to migrate by 2050, largely due to drought

From the Guardian’s Damian Carrington and Matthew Taylor, the carbon bombs being built right now:

The short-term expansion plans of oil and gas companies, such as ExxonMobil and Gazprom, are colossal. The Guardian’s investigation has found that in the next seven or so years, they are likely to start producing oil and gas from projects that would ultimately deliver 192 billion barrels, the equivalent of a decade of today’s emissions from China.

Isn’t it funny how the Guardian produces so much hard-hitting, well-written, compelling, comprehensive climate reporting, and it’s the only mainstream outlet that refuses to accept fossil-fuel advertising? This is a strange coincidence that probably doesn’t mean anything, because advertisers never influence reporters.

A Compendium of Mostly Good News

The greater one-horned rhinoceros of India and Nepal is back, with a population over 4,000 after cratering to fewer than 100. At least 274 rhinos were born in the past two years in the protected parks of Assam, which have been closed to visitors due to the pandemic.

The California Air Resources Board has released its plan to get the state to carbon neutrality by 2045 through massive investments in electrification, with the most rapid shifts happening for appliances and heating in new homes. Unfortunately, their proposal relies on a lot of mythical carbon sequestration, and thus calls for increased natural gas production.

Yesterday, the Biden administration canceled an Alaska oil and gas lease sale, citing lack of industry interest, while holding a wildly successful Carolina offshore wind lease sale that raised $315 million. France’s TotalEnergies and the local Duke Energy Corp were the two winning bidders, with plans to build 30 gigawatts of wind power.

Nearly 15 gigawatts of wind and solar projects are expected to come online in the next two years, according to S&P.

The U.S. Department of Energy is moving forward to modernize our electric grid, seeking public comment on how it should spend the $2.5 billion allocated in the infrastructure bill for the Transmission Facilitation Program. If you’re a smart-grid nerd, chime in.

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) made a criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice outlining evidence of a likely criminal quid pro quo between Trump administration officials, including former U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt, and real estate developer Mike Ingram

Ingram’s plan for a big real-estate development in Arizona was blocked because it would destroy the San Pedro River, so Ingram had breakfast with Bernhardt and soon he got his needed permit to break ground. During the week when the permit’s revaluation was announced, Ingram and other donors contributed $251,600 to the Trump Victory Fund and the Republican National Committee.

Okay, Attorney General Merrick Garland, it’s your turn!

Checking In On Congress

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has endorsed climate hawk Andrea Salinas in Oregon’s 6th District, where she’s running in the Democratic primary next Tuesday against Carrick Flynn. Flynn, a non-voting owl-hater, is backed to the tune of $10 million by Ponzi-crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried is testifying this morning before the House Agriculture committee on his FTX Proposal to loosen the regulatory bonds on the crypto market. His timing is not the best.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is testifying before the Foreign Affairs Committee on his legislation to fight global deforestation, the AMAZON21 Act (H.R 5830), which would authorize a $9 billion international deforestation trust fund, as President Biden pledged at the international climate talks the United States would do. Given the Congress hasn’t even allocated $1 billion for international climate funding yet, there’s not much hope yet for this work. Especially given Hoyer is spending the rest of his time working to prevent progressive climate hawks from getting elected to Congress.

Other witnesses at the hearing include the heavyweights Dr. M. Sanjayan of Conservation International and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, president of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad.

Rep. Grijalva is holding a hearing on his major legislation to reform the 1872 Mining Law, the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (H.R. 7580). Unfortunately, mining reform is opposed by essentially every Republican and Democrats like Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada.

There are also hearings today on the future of hydropower and the Surface Transportation Board.

Marcia Fudge goes to the Senate and Gina Raimondo to the House to present the HUD and Commerce budgets respectively. 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.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

Have you made your plans for the Super Flower Blood Moon Sunday night? Let me know.

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