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The Week in Climate Hearings: Riskier Business

FERC, EPA, and the insurance meltdown

In California, where a wildfire is raging near Lawrence Livermore Lab, and it will broil with 100°F+ temperatures this week thanks to out-of-control climate pollution, state regulators rejected a popular plan to support community solar projects.

As the brutally hot Mexico City runs dry thanks to out-of-control climate pollution, leftist climate scientist and former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has been elected president of Mexico.

In Washington, D.C., members of Congress return from their Memorial Day break, but only until Wednesday, as many members will join President Joe Biden in flying to Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Tuesday, June 4

In the morning, Senate Energy chair Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who officially left the Democratic Party to become an independent on Friday, will lead a business meeting to vote in three nominees for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: the right-wing extremist Lindsay See to fill a Republican seat, and pro-fracking David Rosner and climate hawk Judy Chang to fill the empty Democratic seats.

The Republicans of the House Committee on Natural Resources are busy, with three subcommittee hearings:

  • At 10:15 am, the Federal Lands subcommittee chaired by Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisc.) will review the U.S. Forest Service budget request with Chief Randy Moore. Republicans will express shock at the rise in wildfires while trying to avoid admitting climate change is real. Their idea is cutting down the forests faster than they burn down.

  • At 10:30 am, the Energy and Mineral Resources subcommittee run by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) holds a hearing on three GOP bills affecting the U.S. Geological Survey’s Critical Minerals List. Mining projects for minerals on the list get fast-tracked for approval, so Republicans want the list to grow to include pretty much everything, such as uranium, phosphate, copper, silicon, fluorine… Dr. Roopali Phadke, an environmental policy scientist at Macalester University, is the Democratic witness.

  • At 2 pm, the Oversight subcommittee led by white supremacist Rep. Pete Gosar (R-Ariz.) will hold a hearing on federal law enforcement in Indian Country with the tendentious title “Biden’s Border Crisis: Examining Efforts to Combat International Criminal Cartels & Stop Illegal Drug Trafficking Targeting Indian Country.” The witnesses following Bureau of Indian Affairs director Darryl Lacounte are former game warden John Nores; Stacy Zinn, a former DEA agent and GOP candidate to replace outgoing Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.); and Josh Roberge, the police chief of Montana’s Fort Belknap Indian Community.

Other hearings of interest, in the House:

At 2:30 pm, the Senate agriculture committee holds one of its rare hearings, this time with the topic of helping the next generation of farmers.

Wednesday, June 5

At 10 am, Senate Budget chair Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) regular series of climate hearings continues with “Riskier Business,” on the hot topic of how climate pollution has already destabilized American insurance markets1 . Witnesses include actuary and climate-risk expert Rade Musulin and Harvard Business School professor and climate-risk expert Ishita Sen.

Starting at 9 am, the House Oversight committee grills Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan.

At 10 am, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reviews the $62.8 billion budget request for the Federal Highway Administration with administrator Shailen Bhatt.

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