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Why does winning feel so much like deadly flooding and record oil profits?

Cheerleading the coal-baron climate deal


Catastrophic fossil-fueled flooding in eastern Kentucky has left at least sixteen people dead.

Both Big Green and Big Carbon are enthusiastic about the Inflation Reduction Act, as the Manchin energy deal is officially known.

White House-aligned climate groups are unified on the demand to “pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 immediately” to “put us on the path to cutting emissions in half by 2030,”1 in the words of the Center for American Progress-League of Conservation Voters-Sierra Club coalition Climate Power.

“The Sierra Club calls on Congress to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 without delay,” says Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz.

Evergreen Action co-founder and CAP fellow Sam Ricketts: “Senate Leader Schumer should move immediately to advance this bill to debate and secure passage of the single largest climate investment in American history.”

At the same time, Big Carbon, as it makes a killing in more ways than one, is happy with the Manchin plan.2

ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods, during his call announcing a record $17.9 billion in profits: “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Valero chief legal officer Rich Walsh, announcing a record $4.7 billion in profits: “There are some things in there that are helpful to our business.

Chevron CFO Pierre Breber, announcing a record $11.6 billion in profits: “Chevron is growing energy supply, increasing investment, and we’re engaging constructively with Congress and this administration.”

There’s a little problem—the climate hawks and carbon criminals can’t both be right.3

Advocates of frontline communities, meanwhile, believe that the climate deal crafted by a carbon baron is one that gives the oil and gas industry the upper hand, despite the inclusion of some environmental justice priorities.

“This so-called climate legislation sacrifices the Gulf of Mexico and its communities to decades of more oil drilling and spilling,” said Healthy Gulf’s Executive Director Cynthia Sarthou. “This bill will chain us to the oil and gas industry for decades to come.”

“From agriculture, soils and forests pushed into the voluntary carbon markets to aviation biofuels as offsets, to the expansion of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and CO2 pipelines,” Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network said, “this administration locks in the violence of the climate crisis and consequences to Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous nations and frontline communities for decades to come.”

So, here’s to hoping the well-credentialed, overwhelmingly white Beltway climate advocates are right about the bill, and to hoping that both the advocates for climate justice communities and the carbon sociopaths making billions and billions of dollars already are wrong!4

Going smaller bore, the IRA ties electric-vehicle subsidies to mining minerals and building batteries in the United States. Jael Holzman interviews the happy mining lobbyists and annoyed EV lobbyists.

Pope Francis, who last week called on leaders to hear the world’s “chorus of cries of anguish,” is headed to the rapidly warming Nunavut, “to apologize in person for the Roman Catholic Church's role in abuses that residential schools inflicted on indigenous children.”

Maine is looking on track for its target of going carbon neutral by 2045, so long as its forests don’t burn down.

LOL: West Virginia treasurer Riley Moore “has determined that BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. are engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies, according to a new state law, and are no longer eligible to enter into state banking contracts with his Office.”

After her nomination to become Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity was blocked by Republicans last month, Massachusetts state Rep. Maria Duaime Robinson was sworn in today as director of the DOE Grid Deployment Office. She is joined by several other new hires, including Ceres’ Isabel Munilla, the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Market Development, Climate, and Multilateral Engagement in the Office of International Affairs, and Danisha Craig, who is coming over from Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn.) office to become the department’s Senate Legislative Affairs Advisor.

Five months after Trump holdover Dino Falaschetti resigned as director of Treasury’s Office of Financial Research, the agency launched the Climate Data and Analytics Hub, announced in a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council today.

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1 The optimistic perspective on the IRA is built in no small part on the projections of the Rhodium Group, whose models and figures have long bolstered the claim that methane pollution has been in decline while they cheerlead the fracking boom. And yet, in the real world, methane pollution is soaring. Hmm.

2 A big thanks to Kelly Mitchell for rounding up Big Carbon’s response.

3 Or can they? Ha, ha, no.

4 I repeat myself, but: Given the political reality, the IRA is an impressive win. Given the physical reality, it’s not.

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