Teats on a Boar Hog

The Senate takes on the Norfolk Southern disaster

SUBSCRIBE NOW for HOT CONTENT like this! Today in Hill Heat: Sen. Rich Asshole III (R-Chevron) today spiked the nomination of Reasonable Person to the role of Doing Literally Anything About Impending Catastrophe; Democrats applauded the move. In other news, all the birds died.


In case you’re wondering if the global oil industry is sincere about being a good partner in the “energy transition” to address the climate crisis: Ukrainian climate activist Svitlana Romanko has been banned from the oil lovefest CERAWeek. Secret-Service-agent-turned-oil-industry-agent Mark Lowery escorted her from the premises. CERAWeek organizers refused to explain why they banned her from participating. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm thanked the oil execs for increasing production of fossil fuels in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We know that oil and gas is going to remain a part of our energy mix for years to come,” she groveled.

The Houston Chronicle’s Chris Tomlinson cuts through the bullshit and nails the oil execs for their continued climate denial:

A question no executive will answer now that climate change is taking a toll: How much damage to the climate do oil companies expect the world to accept so they can buy back stock and pay higher dividends to investors?

Fossil fuel producers never say how much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is too much. Many executives say they want a roadmap for emissions-reduction milestones, but they fight every governmental effort to draw one.

The fossil fuel industry’s messaging at CERAWeek has evolved over the nine years I’ve attended. It’s gone from undermining the science proving humans are causing climate change to promising to cut emissions. But it still rejects what scientists say is necessary to slow global warming.

The International Energy Agency and the United Nations say we cannot safely produce all the oil and gas that energy companies have already found. But Big Oil executives still give carefully crafted speeches promising to continue exploring for more oil and gas assets.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) chairs an Environment and Public Works hearing on the Norfolk Southern train disaster, with testimony from Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). Also testifying are Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw and federal and local environmental protection officials. Republican senators are trying to block any legislative reforms of toxic trains, instead arguing we should build more leaky pipelines to carry fossil fuels and toxic petrochemicals.

House Appropriations subcommittees are taking their second day of testimony from American Indian and Alaska Native witnesses and holding an oversight hearing with the Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General.

Rep. GT Thompson (R- chairs an Agriculture hearing on volatility in the global commodity derivatives markets, which notably include oil and gas, as well as crops and metals. Recently, oil traders have been swooping into other commodity markets to profit off of global volatility.

At 2 PM, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute holds another session of its Congressional Climate Camp, today on implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with a great panel of policy wonks including the Department of Energy’s Dr. Henry McKoy, Jr. and former Hill staffers Kevin Rennert, now a fellow at Resources for the Future, Sarah Kline, now at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Jana Barresi, now Lowe’s top lobbyist. Although this Capitol briefing is intended for congressional staffers, it’s open to the public and will be livestreamed as well.

At the first meeting of the Climate-related Financial Risk Advisory Committee, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin warned on Tuesday that climate change is already damaging the U.S. economy and worse is to come:

“As climate change intensifies, natural disasters and warming temperatures can lead to declines in asset values that could cascade through the financial system. A delayed and disorderly transition to a net-zero economy can lead to shocks to the financial system as well.”

Greenland’s unique Arctic ecosystem of narwhals and walruses is disappearing as the sea ice melts away. “There’s a whole beautiful landscape that used to be there,” Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, a researcher at Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, told Grist reporter Avery Schuyler Nunn. “Nowadays, we can see that all the ice is gone.” 

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PITY THE POOR BILLIONAIRE: President Joe Biden is prepared to propose a 25% minimum income tax on the nation’s billionaires.

Last night, Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson roasted vulture-capitalist billionaire Ken Griffin for trying to buy the mayoralty on behalf of this right-wing opponent, Paul Vallas.

A subpoena threat from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has forced billionaire Starbucks CEO and vanity-presidential-candidate Howard Schultz to agree to appear before the Labor Committee to address his years of illegal union-busting.

Residents of Catawba, South Carolina are fighting back against billionaire Robert Kraft’s noxious paper mill, dissatisfied with the level of EPA enforcement, which they described as “useless as teats on a boar hog.”

Hearings on the Hill:

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