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Warnock v. Walker, Manchin v. Biden, Gore v. Malpass; remembering Joye Braun
PRESENTED BY THE FINCH AT SPARROW ROCK
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Democratic climate hawk Katie Hobbs has defeated neo-fascist Kari Lake in the race for Arizona governor, despite Lake winning the Dilbert vote. Democrats have also maintained control of the U.S. Senate, with the possibility of gaining a seat pending the results of a December 6th Georgia runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. A victory by Warnock might weaken the hold Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has on the party’s agenda. Today, Walker launched his runoff campaign with a speech that expressed fealty to both fossil-fuel pollution and incoherence.
Sen. Warnock has responded by promoting the Taxing Big Oil Profiteers Act, which he co-sponsored.
Control of the House is not yet decided, though several close races have now been called for Republicans and they remain likely to seize control. Notably, Oregon’s 5th has been called for Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who defeated climate hawk Jamie McLeod-Skinner after the DCCC abandoned the race in a failed effort to save its chair Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.). However, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez defeated MAGA wacko Joe Kent (R-Wash.) in Washington’s 3rd, in a race pundits dismissed and the DCCC ignored. The now notorious MGP was endorsed by my former organization Climate Hawks Vote in September.
There’s one other big under-the-radar race coming up: climate hawk Davante Lewis is in a December 10th runoff to be the swing vote on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, which oversees the state’s utilities and pipelines. Lewis has a tough hill to climb to take out the corrupt incumbent Lambert Boissiere.
JOE COAL FRACKS FERC: Our petulant, pissy friend Joe Manchin has decided to end the reign of climate hawk Richard Glick as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in retribution for comments President Joe Biden made about coal plants. On the eve of the midterms, Biden slammed coal at a campaign stop in Carlsbad, California:
“Folks, it’s also now cheaper to generate electricity from wind and solar than it is from coal and oil. . . No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it, even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of their existence of the plant. We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.”
Manchin, unsurprisingly, went apeshit. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to soothe Manchin to little avail. With Glick tanked, Democrats will lose their FERC majority, killing the climate agenda Glick was carefully shepherding.
COP27: As the international climate talks in Egypt enter their second and final week, former Vice President Al Gore gave a rip-roaring speech calling for an end to the “fossil fuel colonialism” of the World Bank within a year. He repeated his demand that World Bank President David Malpass, a climate denier appointed by Donald Trump, be removed.
“There has been no vision in the World Bank system. And when you have a climate denier in charge of it, what they see is not the energy transition, they see their friends in the fossil fuel companies and the banks, that are also connected with the fossil fuel companies.”
Meanwhile, Russia is blatantly using the climate talks to meet with representatives of other nations to negotiate sanctions-violating business deals, the Ruth Michaelson and Patrick Greenfield report:
Among those listed as part of the Russian delegation at the pivotal climate talks are the billionaire and former aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, who is under UK sanctions, and the billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, the founder and former board member of the Swiss-headquartered fertiliser company EuroChem Group, who has been targeted with individual sanctions by the European Union. The gas giant Gazprom has sent six delegates to the talks, alongside the managing director of Sberbank. Both are under US and EU sanctions. Representatives from the oil company Lukoil, the mining company Severstal, and Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works are also in attendance, all of which are under US sanctions. The oil and gas company Tatneft, currently sanctioned by the EU, sent three lobbyists to the climate talks.
CONGRESS RETURNS: The lame-duck Congress gets to work this week, as new members get their boot-camp orientation.
On Tuesday, Agriculture Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small testifies before the Senate on rural development and energy programs in the 2023 farm bill, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) chairs a hearing on U.S. foreign assistance to the climate-disaster-wracked continent of Africa.
On Wednesday, fracking shill Ernie Moniz is among the witnesses at a House Foreign Affairs hearing on Russia; Senate Indian Affairs marks up several bills on Indian water rights in the desertifying Southwest; and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will chair a markup of extremist Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) bill to compel the Biden administration to turn over documents related to the proposed Resolution Copper mining project on sacred native lands.
Senate committees will also vote on the nominations of Moshe Marvit to the Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and of Richard Revesz to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget—a position that has been used in both Democratic and Republican administrations to nix climate policy. As head of Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, Revesz tracked Trump’s inept attempts to roll back environmental regulations.
On Thursday, Rep. Grijava will finally get to chair a hearing on Puerto Rico’s post-disaster reconstruction and power grid development. The hearing was originally scheduled for the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, but had to be postponed when Hurricane Fiona struck the island. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) chairs a full Foreign Affairs hearing on sub-Saharan Africa. Manchin holds the nomination hearing which originally would have included Glick; the nominees he will consider are:
former fossil-fuel utility NRG CEO David Crane to be Under Secretary of Energy for Infrastructure;
Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and
former utility SoCal Edison executive Gene Rodrigues to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) takes up two nominees for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board: member Stephen Owens has been nominated to be chair, and professor Catherine Sandoval to be a new member. Again, the USCSB’s YouTube channel is on fire:
I’m sad to report that Standing Rock water protector, pipeline fighter, and grandmother Joye Braun has passed away. If anyone would like to make a donation to her family, her daughter Morgan Brings Plenty is smurfi94 on Venmo and $smurfiikim on Cashapp.
DMs are open while Twitter is open—@climatebrad