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That, at least for me, defies logic

One day, making tracks, in the prairie of Prax...


“A panel of federal appeals court judges seemed skeptical of energy company claims on Tuesday during a second round of arguments in Baltimore’s climate liability case.” The City of Baltimore is suing for climate damages from oil supermajors, who are arguing both that the suit should be moved to the federal court system and that it is superseded by the federal Clean Air Act.

“That, at least for me, defies logic,” said Judge Stephanie Thacker, hero of the day.

RECALCULATING THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON: This is a pretty big deal—the E.P.A. is recalculating the social cost of carbon pollution (spoiler: it’s effectively infinite), set absurdly low by the Obama administration.1 They’re soliciting nominations for expert reviewers now until February 15.

NOT ON A GOOD TRACK, ZACK: U.S. climate envoy John Kerry spoke at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce climate event yesterday, and he’s not too happy about how things are going, but he doesn’t want people to give up:

“Let me be factual, above all, but let me also be blunt and hopefully motivating. We’re in trouble, I hope everybody understands that. Not trouble we can’t get out of, but we’re not on a good track.”

“That’s a problem … there’s just no other way to cut it. Coal is the dirtiest fuel on the planet, no one has figured out how to make it clean, even though they talk about clean coal.”

“Most countries have the ability to deploy significant amount of renewables and they're choosing not to do that. They're moving towards gas. If you capture 100 percent [of greenhouse pollution] and it makes it affordable, great, but we're not doing that.”

If you want, you can read various interpretations: The Hill’s Zack Budryk thinks the important takeaway is that we’re in trouble. And Politico’s Zack Colman had the take that Kerry “backs natural gas” as a “transitional” energy source, while Houston Chronicle’s James “Not Zack” Osborne’s spin was that “John Kerry urges nations to stop investment in gas, warning of climate risks.”

Perhaps the truly important takeaway here is that we get to read a bunch of white guys’2 opinions of Kerry’s remarks to climate-polluting industry in publications financed by advertisements from the same.

Speaking of not-on-the-right-track, can someone explain to me why the Department of Energy is calling a $1-billion-dollar loan to a plant that converts fracked gas to carbon black and methane “support for the deployment of clean energy”?

Sorry Ukraine, Russia controls 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas supply. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is mad Biden didn’t nominate a fossil-fuel executive for the Federal Reserve. Planphlets. More on Madagascar. New England is having trouble decarbonizing its grid. Sales of electric bikes are zooming!

A message from our sponsors, Youth vs. ODOT:

“Climate leaders don’t widen freeways.”

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan

David Kieve, recent Biden 2020 campaign and White House climate engagement staffer, is the new president of Environmental Defense Fund’s c4 arm. The EDF Action Fund, is EDF Action PAC, and its EDF Action Votes SuperPAC spent nearly $19 million in 2020, in support of, among others, the “pro-environment” frackers John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Steve Bullock (D-Mont.). As this is a non-presidential year, the budget is likely to go back to around $10 million. Kieve is the husband of Biden comms director Kate Bedingfield. So I wouldn’t say he’s expected to push the White House or the Democratic Party hard, but should offer great access for EDF.3

The Rainforest Action Network is hiring for their climate and energy team, which campaigns to convince banks and other corporations to keep fossil fuels in the ground: program directorcommunications manager, and digital campaign strategist. Jacqui Patterson’s new climate justice organization, the Chisolm Legacy Project, is looking for a community organizing manager, research and policy manager, and alignment initiatives manager.

FOREVER CHEMICALS: Let’s close with a warm welcome to the new members of the PFAS community on the Toxics Release Inventory, added by an act of Congress4 because the EPA division in charge has had no interest in doing its job:

• Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (375-73-5)

• Potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate (29420-49-3)
• 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,12-heneicosafluorododecyl ester, polymer with 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,10-heptadecafluorodecyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate, methyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate, 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,11,11,12,12,13,13,14,14,14-pentacosafluorotetradecyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate and 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,8-tridecafluorooctyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate (65104-45-2)
• 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, hexadecyl ester, polymers with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, .gamma.-.omega.-perfluoro-C10-6-alkyl acrylate and stearyl methacrylate (203743-03-7)

Yummy! To wash that taste out of your mouth, here’s a leucistic waxwing in Finland:

“Companies are not collections of people, they’re machines for capturing value and making profit.”Amelia Horgan

Follow @climatebrad, tell me what to write about, I’ll do it!

1. If you’d like to school yourself on this, I very very highly recommend the 2017 National Academy of Sciences study, Valuing Climate Damages.

2. Mostly Zacks.

3. By the by: EDF has very recently pivoted away from its long-time, aggressively neoliberal perspective, going from “harnessing” “the power of markets for environmental progress” and “one of the most powerful forces in the modern world — the pursuit of profit — to protect the environment”; to the much-chastened “we value economics because it’s the study of what people value.”

4. Snuck in to the ceiling-shattering $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act. Win some, lose some!

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