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We are now in an uncharted territory.
Unfortunately, time is up.
PRESENTED BY DER DISTELFINK
The ongoing House leadership debacle continues with the oil-funded, Trumpist climate denier Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the fourth Republican nominee for speaker. There is optimism within the fractious GOP caucus that Johnson (no relation) has the votes to become speaker. The floor vote is expected this afternoon. If he again fails, the only path forward is for five GOP to switch to the functioning Democratic Party and vote for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as speaker.1
Because of the leadership chaos, most of yesterday’s hearings were disrupted. The Transportation subcommittee hearing on the Water Development Acts and the Financial Services subcommittee hearing on insurance markets were postponed indefinitely (though you can read the witness testimony for the latter). The Natural Resources markup was rescheduled to this morning, and the Energy and Commerce subcommittee markup, which made some progress yesterday, is concluding this morning. More details are below.
A new peer-reviewed article by twelve top scientists in journal BiosSience begins thus:
“Life on planet Earth is under siege. We are now in an uncharted territory. For several decades, scientists have consistently warned of a future marked by extreme climatic conditions because of escalating global temperatures caused by ongoing human activities that release harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, time is up.”
“This report is part of our series of concise and easily accessible yearly updates on the state of the climate crisis.”
There are lots of charts with steep lines going up (where up is bad) and down (where down is bad).
As reported in The Guardian, one of the few mainstream journalistic enterprises that refuses fossil-fuel advertising, co-author William Ripple said:
“It is a moral duty of scientists and our institutions to alert humanity of any potential existential threat and to show leadership in taking action.”
This is a separate analysis from last month’s planetary boundaries update published in Science.
“Reliability,” within the Beltway, is a propaganda term used by the fossil-fuel industry to oppose replacing coal and natural-gas power plants and gasoline-powered vehicles with renewable electricity and electric cars. It’s even used to oppose energy efficiency and pollution control standards. There is, of course, a reasonable policy debate to be had about how to develop a reliable, fossil-free electric grid. But the policymaking, from academia to think tanks to legislators, is so poisoned by the influence of fossil-fuel money that “reliability” is often simply code for fossil fuels.
Today, we get to see this propaganda in action in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee markup of the so-called Guaranteeing Reliable Infrastructure Development Act this morning, and in Politico’s Future of Grid Reliability event this afternoon, sponsored by the fossil-plant-dominated National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Speakers at the Politico event include Heather Teilhet, a lobbyist for a 76-percent fossil-fuel Georgia electric power provider, and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), who has received over a million dollars from the fossil-fuel industry.
At 10 am, the House Natural Resources Committee marks up conservation, border control, and offshore drilling legislation. The three controversial bills are H.R. 5283 from Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), which would prohibit the use of federal lands for housing illegal immigrants and revoke the lease for immigrant housing at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn; H.R. 5616 from Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), requiring more offshore lease sales; and H.R. 4587 from Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), preventing NOAA from protecting red snapper from overfishing.
At 10 pm, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee concludes its markup of hydropower, and anti-energy-efficiency bills. Yesterday, the dozen nuclear policy bills were sent to the full committee with bipartisan support, and H.R. 4167, a bill blocking energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers, was agreed to on party lines. The four bills under consideration this morning are Rep. Debbie Lesko’s (R-Ariz.) so-called Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act, the “reliability” GRID Act, the Affordable Housing Over Mandating Efficiency Standards Act, and the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act.
At 10 am, Senate Budget chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) holds his latest climate hearing: How Climate Change Threatens Supply Chains. Witnesses include Scott Kelly of the climate analytics firm Risilience, economist Adam Rose of the University Of Southern California, Kathy Fulton of the American Logistics Aid Network, anarcho-capitalist David Barker, and GOP oil expert Robert McNally.
At 2 pm, the House Natural Resources mining subcommittee receives testimony on geothermal leasing, sinkhole mapping, and drilling legislation. The Democratic witness is Melissa Hornbein of the Western Environmental Law Center; wind policy lawyer Gene Grace, now with the fracking-industry front group American Clean Power Association, is also testifying.
Also at 2 pm, the Senate Indian Affairs committee hosts a roundtable on implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act in Native communities.
At 2:15 pm, the House Natural Resources water, wildlife, and fisheries subcommittee receives testimony on endangered species, fisheries, NOAA sexual harrassment, aquifer monitoring, and electronic permitting legislation. Several of the bills would roll back Biden administration rules that reversed Trump administration actions. Witnesses include US Fish & Wildlife official Gary Frazer, right-wing lobbyist Jonathan Wood, Arizona water resources scientist Sharon Megdal, agribusiness water lobbyist Tom Birmingham, marine biologist and artist Barbara Taylor, and marine conservationist Stephen Roady.
At 2:30 pm, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) chairs an energy subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 19 pieces of public lands, forests, and wildfires legislation. The witnesses are Bureau of Land Management deputy director Nada Wolff Culver, U.S. Forest Service official Jacqueline Emanuel, and Utah public lands official Mark Boshell.
Gazans forced to drink dirty, salty water as the fuel needed to run water systems runs out. Hands off climate change funds, say House Ag Democrats. Hurricane Otis weakens over southern Mexico after battering Acapulco. Poland Spring’s hidden attack on water rules it didn’t like. Rhode Island’s quahogs are disappearing. In Exxon’s Orwellian world, ‘lower emissions’ means more oil production.
Hearings on the Hill:
10 AM: Senate Budget
How Climate Change Threatens Supply Chains
10 AM: House Natural Resources
Markup of Conservation, Border Control, and Offshore Drilling Legislation
10 AM: House Energy and Commerce
Energy, Climate, and Grid Security
CONTINUATION: Markup of Nuclear, Hydropower, and Anti-Energy Efficiency Legislation
2 PM: Senate Indian Affairs
Implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act in Native Communities
2 PM: House Natural Resources
Energy and Mineral Resources
Geothermal Leasing, Sinkhole Mapping, and Drilling Legislation
2:15 PM: House Natural Resources
Water, Wildlife and Fisheries
Endangered Species, Fisheries, NOAA Sexual Harrassment, Aquifer Monitoring, and Electronic Permitting Legislation
2:30 PM: Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
Public Lands, Forests, and Wildfires Legislation
Climate Action Today:
5:15 PM: Politico
The Future of Grid Reliability
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