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“We promised a lot but we delivered squat, so please vote for us again.”

Also: "'Media' is supposed to be 'objective'"

PRESENTED BY RAPTORS IN THE RAIN

Sure, the Politico and Axios climate newsletters are PRESENTED BY ExxonMobil as part of the oil giant’s decades-long propaganda campaign against climate action, but the anti-solar utility giant Florida Power & Light had a quicker route to influencing media coverage: secretly controlling its own news site. FPL ran the Capitolist website “as part of an elaborate, off-the-books political strategy to advocate for rate hikes, agitate for legislative favors, slam political opponents and eliminate anything — even home solar panels — that the publicly traded utility worried might undermine its near monopoly on selling power in the Sunshine State.”

The Miami Herald’s Sarah Blaskey has all the gory details, including a text from the Capitolist’s editor Brian Burgess cautioning utmost secrecy “because ‘media’ is supposed to be ‘objective’ and pay to play is ‘icky’ to the larger corporations.”

As upcoming posts from the U.S. Climate Politics Almanac will discuss, the future of the Democratic Party continues to be contested in upcoming primaries. Climate hawk Tom Nelson—who this weekend called for the nationalization of the oil industry—has suspended his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin and endorsed Mandela Barnes as the progressive choice in the August 9th primary.

Politico’s Burgess Everett notes that “Democrats are running out of time to do all the things their party hopes to accomplish before the midterms,” as Senate Leader Chuck Schumer clings to hope for a deal with pseudo-Democrat Joe Manchin. “Manchin is out with Covid this week and has broadly agreed to vote for extending Obamacare subsidies for two years and lowering prescription drug prices; he spurned a larger deal this summer that would pour money into addressing climate change and raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations.”

Robert Reich has joined the call to kick Manchin out of the Democratic Party, so that it will be clear to voters what the party stands for and why it can’t accomplish its agenda:

… the way things are right now, Biden and the Democrats have the worst of both worlds. They look like they control the Senate, as well as the House and the presidency. But they can’t get a damn thing done because Manchin (and his intermittent sidekick, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema) won’t let them.

So after almost two years of appearing to run the entire government, Democrats have accomplished almost nothing of what they came to Washington to do. . . .

In November’s midterm elections, Democrats will have to go back to voters and say:

“We promised a lot but we delivered squat, so please vote for us again.”

This does not strike me as a compelling message.

By kicking Manchin out of the party, Democrats could at least go into the midterms with a more realistic pitch: “It looked like we had control of the Senate, but we didn’t. Now that you know who the real Democrats are, give us the power and we will get it done.”

President Joe Biden, quarantined with Covid, has some modest executive climate actions planned this week, and EPA Administrator Michael Reagan is headed to Puerto Rico today on an environmental justice tour.

CRUEL AND USUAL PUNISHMENT: Texas prisons regularly hit 110° inside, Monique Welch reports. Texas is “one of at least 13 states without universal air conditioning in state prisons.”

Fossil-fueled global warming is already killing towns across America. Matt Wirz and and Heather Gillers report that the bills have come due for Paradise, California, burned to the ground in 2018. And Salwan Georges, Julie Vitkovskaya, and Joshua Partlow relate how the gateway towns to our national parks are battered by floods, fires, and droughts.

Colonial Pipeline has only now admitted the spill from its leaky pipeline in 2020 into the Oehler Nature Preserver near Charlotte, North Carolina, was not 63,000 gallons of gasoline, but over 2,000,000 gallons, making it the largest onshore leak in U.S. history. Oops! Colonial Pipeline is the biggest pipeline in the United States, transporting gasoline from Texas to the Northeast, with lots of leaks along the way. Colonial’s biggest shareholder? Koch Industries. Best way to fix leaky pipelines? Eliminate them.

The Colorado fracking industry reported that its methane pollution has been cut by half. But Front Range cities with their own pollution monitors say those figures are completely fabricated. “Ground-level methane monitoring shows no decline in levels,” said Cindy Copeland, an air and climate policy advisor for Boulder County. Oops!

Wildfires are booming in the eastern German state of Brandenburg and the Czech Republic. A grass fire torched twenty homes in suburban Dallas. “Alaska is burning this year in ways rarely or ever seen.” The fossil-fueled Oak Fire by Yosemite National Park keeps growing—it’s now “burned through more than 17,200 acres and destroyed at least 55 structures.” Nationally, “84 large fires and complexes have burned 3,071,353 acres in 13 states. Two new large fires were reported in Montana and wildland firefighters contained 10 large fires yesterday.”

Speaking of growing, the United States became the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter during the first half of 2022.

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