Your wealth won't save you

Elocution lessons, crash reports, and the terrible New York Times


It’s time for an elocution lesson! Repeat after me:

In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen, but the heat is horrid, harsh, and hideous.

Today’s Axios Generate newsletter on the European heat emergency is sponsored by oil & gas pipeline giant Enbridge. My only sponsors are paying subscribers. If you can chip in, and you’re not a fossil-fuel lobbyist, please do so today.

How the DC consensus kills the climate, yet again

I have to admire New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller for assigning her in-house racist right-wing troll Jonathan Weisman to pen an A1 story on climate politics as the world is literally burning up. Weisman’s 2500-word opus, written with Jazmine Ulloa, manages to avoid any direct mention that burning fossil fuels causes global warming, while offering digs at “struggling” Greenpeace and “preaching” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), in comparison to the “moderate” (oil-loving, anti-abortion, pro-gun) Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). My favorite bit is this:

“Outright denial of climate change is almost gone, at least among elected Republicans. Many in the G.O.P. had moved to arguing that rising temperatures were simply natural.”

Weisman also claims:

“Republicans are responding to the localized effects of climate change with calls for action — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, on Friday pleaded for passage of legislation to save the Giant Sequoias in his district, which are threatened by fire and drought . . . ”

He somehow fails to mention that McCarthy’s bill, as Earthjustice explains, “would weaken existing environmental laws and could potentially expedite harmful logging operations in sequoia groves.”


National Parking Service, DC Edition

The National Park Service is proposing to reopen the upper portion of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park to vehicular traffic after closing it for more than two years, allowing for pedestrian enjoyment and non-car-based commuting. Under the NPS plan, the road would be given over to cars on weekdays most of the year, except for the stretch from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Last year, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) requested banning cars on upper Beach Drive, as did the D.C. City Council. Of the 2400 comments received by NPS during the initial comment period, over 76% of commenters supported full-year closure of the road to vehicular traffic; only 14% of commenters supported returning the road to vehicular use.

The NPS also rejected proposals for bike lanes or restricting use to public transit.

The NPS will host a live, virtual public meeting this evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Join the Microsoft Teams meeting by clicking this link.

It All Comes Crashing, Yet Again

What’s Cooking On The Hill

Demand Progress’s Danny Schulman gives the run-down on the Democratic plan to pass the necessary appropriations bills to keep the government going for fiscal year 2023.1 Up this week is the Transportation/HUD/Ag/Interior/Energy/Environment minibus:

House Democrats have unveiled their strategy to pass as many approps bills as possible before recess: bringing a package of six less-controversial bills to the floor this week (H.R. 8294), then trying to move at least three more — likely saving Defense, Homeland Security for later and Leg branch as well. On the Senate side, without Republican negotiation on topline numbers, Senate Dems will forgo markups and publish their draft bills by August.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who remains chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee after pulling the plug on President Biden’s climate agenda, chairs a hearing tomorrow with oil and gas lawyer Richard Powers, fracking executive Chad Zamarin, and fossil-funded academic Dr. Holly Krutka on hydrogen pipelines.

On Thursday, Manchin will—maybe—finally move forward the nomination of Laura Daniel-Davis to be the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, more than a year after she was tapped for the position. As I wrote in January, her nomination has been held up for months by Republicans like Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) who are concerned she won’t let mining companies do whatever they want.

At that hearing, Manchin’s committee will also mark up a large backlog of legislation, including Republican bills to fast-track logging on federal lands and streamline oil and gas drilling permits.

As Charlie Pierce notes, you get what you pay for.

Tomorrow, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg testifies on the implementation of Biden’s infrastructure act, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) chairs a hearing on regenerative agriculture versus corporate agribusiness, and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) receives testimony on improving emergency management for underserved communities. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) chairs a legislative hearing to discuss bills that would support geothermal production, map sinkholes, and develop a cadastre of federal land assets.

On Wednesday, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) chairs the markup of the Puerto Rico Status Act, and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee receives testimony on legislation giving Indian tribes more authority over water rights in Arizona and California. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)’s committee will grill Dr. Arati Prabhakar, nominee to be Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy after Biden’s first pick, Eric Lander, resigned in disgrace. Dr. Prabhakar has been the director of both the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and is a long-time venture capitalist. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)’s committee will vote to confirm Joseph Goffman to be EPA Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation, and Annie Caputo and Bradley Crowell to join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

On Friday, activists around the world will be marking the global climate emergency, as the Climate Clock counts down another year. The organizers are calling for a moment of silence to mark the occasion.

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. DMs are open@climatebrad

1 If you’re interested in the inner workings of Congress and you’re not a corporate lobbyist who can pay many thousands of dollars for Bloomberg Government or CQ or Politico Pro, Danny’s First Branch Forecast newsletter is essential reading.

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