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The Week in Climate Hearings: The GOP Hates Gen Z

Catching up on the climate protests.

A light week of Congressional hearings, and some other news.

As discussed in yesterday’s breaking-news post, Democrats averted a government shutdown this weekend. With 45 days to go on the continuing resolution, House Republicans are moving forward on passing departmental appropriations bills with massive cuts and anti-climate riders. Last week, they passed their Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense funding bills on nearly party-line votes, but the Department of Agriculture bill failed.

Monday, October 2

This week, House Republicans are planning to bring their Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 4394) and the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 4364) to the floor. The energy bill cuts non-military funding by 22 percent from last year, including a $5 billion recission in Inflation Reduction Act funds, a 38 percent cut to the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and a 53 percent cut to the Western drought-management program known as WaterSMART. It is stocked with extremist riders, such as blocking energy efficiency standards and prohibiting the Army Corps of Engineers from renaming items that commemorate the Confederacy. The Rules Committee hearing on these bills is this afternoon at 4 pm.

Wednesday, October 4

On Wednesday at 2 pm, the Senate Commerce committee is looking back at a year of implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act, with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, the director of the National Science Foundation.

Thursday, October 5

Thursday morning at 10 am, the Senate Commerce committee interviews Michael Whitaker, Biden’s nominee to be administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Whitaker is a former United Airlines executive and FAA deputy administration, and is now the chief operating officer at electric aircraft company Supernal, a subsidiary of Hyundai.

Meanwhile the Senate Foreign Relations committee interviews Richard Riley IV, the nominee to be ambassador to drought-ravaged Somalia; Mark Toner, to be ambassador to Liberia, which has offshore oil reserves ExxonMobil is now pursuing; and David White, Jr. to be deputy director of the Peace Corps.

Last Thursday, climate activist Kai Newkirk interrupted President Joe Biden while he was speaking about the preservation of American democracy and honoring the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in Tempe, Arizona:

“Please excuse my interruption, Mr. President, but I am compelled by conscience to ask why have you yet to declare a climate emergency? Hundreds of Arizonans have died. We need you to use your full powers to confront this crisis. Keep your promise: no new drilling for fossil fuels. Why have you yet to declare a climate emergency, not ‘practically,’ but actually? We need your leadership, President Biden.”

“I tell you what, if you shush up, I’ll meet with you immediately after this,” Biden promised.

Instead, Secret Service & Tempe police escorted Newkirk off the property.

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