LIFT America: Revitalizing our Nation's Infrastructure and Economy

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 22 Mar 2021 15:00:00 GMT

The hearing will focus on H.R. 1848, the “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” or the “LIFT America Act.”

  • Ernest J. Moniz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Energy Futures Initiatives, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, Former Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Michael O’Rielly, Former Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission Principal, MPORielly Consulting, LLC
  • Tom Wheeler, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School, Former Chairman, Federal Communication Commission

Sanders, Blumenauer, and Ocasio-Cortez Introduce National Climate Emergency Act of 2021

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:43:00 GMT

Legislation introduced today by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calls on the President of the United States to declare a national climate emergency and begin taking action in line with the goals of the Green New Deal resolution introduced in 2019.

The National Climate Emergency Act mandates a presidential declaration of a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, and directs the president to mobilize the nation for climate and economic justice, rebuilding the national labor movement to protect the habitability of our planet.

To ensure accountability to Congress and the American people, the National Climate Emergency Act requires that the president deliver a report within one year of the bill’s enactment (and then every year thereafter until the emergency sunsets) that details the specific actions taken by the executive branch to combat the climate emergency and restore the climate for future generations.

As detailed in the legislation, this should include, but is not limited to, investments in large scale mitigation and resiliency projects, upgrades to public infrastructure, modernization of millions of buildings to cut pollution, investments in public health, protections for public lands, regenerative agriculture investments that support local and regional food systems, and more.

“It might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last week. “Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one.”

The legislation introduced today is supported by dozens of climate justice organizations including, Center for Biological Diversity, The Climate Mobilization, Food & Water Watch, Labor Network for Sustainability, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Sunrise Movement, Justice Democrats, Greenpeace, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Align NY, Friends of Earth, and Climate Justice Alliance.

“We are at a life changing, civilization altering moment in our history, as we face a climate crisis that demands a thunderous voice and a full mobilization of every sector to match its scale and its urgency – all while serving as a great opportunity to build a more just and prosperous country,” said Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement. “This bill is a good sign that our leaders are finally understanding what young people and climate activists have been shouting from the rooftops for years – that the fires that burned our homes to rubble, the floods that took our family and friends with them, are a climate emergency, and bold action must be done now to save our humanity and our future.”

“We’re already in a five-alarm emergency for communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel pollution and the climate crisis,” said John Noël, senior climate campaigner of Greenpeace USA. “Our government has squandered precious time in the fight for a liveable planet, and now we need legislation like the Climate Emergency Act to kick things into gear. Congress must mobilize in full force to declare a climate emergency then immediately act to end fossil fuel subsidies and reinstate the crude oil export ban. We have the unprecedented opportunity this year to advance climate, racial, and economic justice, and to create millions of union jobs in the process. This historic legislation is just step one.”

“Obstruction, corporate greed, and denial has left us with just 10 years to rapidly transition off fossil fuels and toward a 100% clean and renewable energy economy,” said Alexandra Rojas, Executive Director, Justice Democrats. “There’s no time to waste in declaring this a national emergency and taking swift action to create millions of good-paying union jobs in the process.”

Full text of the legislation:

A BILL: To require the President to declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘‘National Climate Emergency Act of 2021’’ or the ‘‘Climate Emergency Act of 2021’’.


Congress finds the following:
  1. The years 2010 to 2019 were the hottest decade on record.
  2. Global atmospheric concentrations of the primary global warming pollutant, carbon dioxide—
    1. have increased by 40 percent since preindustrial times, from 280 parts per million to 415 parts per million, primarily due to human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation;
    2. are rising at a rate of 2 to 3 parts per million annually; and
    3. must be reduced to not more than 350 parts per million, and likely lower, ‘‘if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted,’’ according to former National Aeronautics and Space Administration climatologist Dr. James Hansen.
  3. Global atmospheric concentrations of other global warming pollutants, including methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons, have also increased substantially since preindustrial times, primarily due to human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels.
  4. Climate science and observations of climate change impacts, including ocean warming, ocean acidification, floods, droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather, demonstrate that a global rise in temperature of 1.5 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels is already having dangerous impacts on human populations and the environment.
  5. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, climate change due to global warming has caused, and is expected to continue to cause, substantial interference with and growing losses to human health and safety, infrastructure, property, industry, recreation, natural resources, agricultural systems, and quality of life in the United States.
  6. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climate change is already increasing the frequency of extreme weather and other climate-related disasters, including drought, wildfire, and storms that include precipitation.
  7. Climate-related natural disasters have increased exponentially over the past decade, costing the United States more than double the long-term average during the period of 2014 through 2018, with total costs of natural disasters during that period of approximately $100,000,000,000 per year.
  8. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are wide-ranging, acute, and fatal public health consequences from climate change that impact communities across the United States.
  9. According to the National Climate and Health Assessment of the United States Global Change Research Program, climate change is a significant threat to the health of the people of the United States, leading to increased—
    1. temperature-related deaths and illnesses;
    2. air quality impacts;
    3. extreme weather events;
    4. numbers of vector-borne diseases;
    5. waterborne illnesses;
    6. food safety, nutrition, and distribution complications; and
    7. mental health and well-being concerns.
  10. The consequences of climate change already disproportionately impact frontline communities and endanger populations made especially vulnerable by existing exposure to extreme weather events, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing disabilities and health conditions.
  11. Individuals and families on the frontlines of climate change across the United States, including territories, living with income inequality and poverty, institutional racism, inequity on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, poor infrastructure, and lack of access to health care, housing, clean water, and food security are often in close proximity to environmental stressors or sources of pollution, particularly communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities, which—
    1. are often the first exposed to the impacts of climate change;
    2. experience outsized risk because of the close proximity of the community to environmental hazards and stressors, in addition to collocation with waste and other sources of pollution; and
    3. have the fewest resources to mitigate those impacts or to relocate, which will exacerbate preexisting challenges.
  12. According to Dr. Beverly Wright and Dr. Robert Bullard, ‘‘environmental and public health threats from natural and human-made disasters are not randomly distributed, affecting some communities more than others,’’ and therefore a response to the climate emergency necessitates the adoption of policies and processes rooted in principles of racial equity, self-determination, and democracy, as well as the fundamental human rights of all people to clean air and water, healthy food, adequate land, education, and shelter, as promulgated in the 1991 Principles of Environmental Justice.
  13. Climate change holds grave and immediate consequences not just for the population of the United States, including territories, but for communities across the world, particularly those communities in the Global South on the frontlines of the climate crisis that are at risk of forced displacement.
  14. Communities in rural, urban, and suburban areas are all dramatically affected by climate change, though the specific economic, health, social, and environmental impacts may be different.
  15. The Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community have identified climate change as a threat to national security, and the Department of Homeland Security views climate change as a top homeland security risk.
  16. Climate change is a threat multiplier with the potential—
    1. to exacerbate many of the challenges the United States already confronts, including conflicts over scarce resources, conditions conducive to violent extremism, and the spread of infectious diseases; and
    2. to produce new, unforeseeable challenges in the future.
  17. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected in 2018 that the Earth could warm 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels as early as 2030.
  18. The climatic changes resulting from global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, including changes resulting from global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, are projected to result in irreversible, catastrophic changes to public health, livelihoods, quality of life, food security, water supplies, human security, and economic growth.
  19. The United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found in 2019 that human-induced climate change is pushing the planet toward the sixth mass species extinction, which threatens the food security, water supply, and well-being of billions of people.
  20. According to climate scientists, limiting global warming to not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and likely lower, is most likely to avoid irreversible and catastrophic climate change.
  21. Even with global warming up to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the planet is projected to experience—
    1. a significant rise in sea levels;
    2. extraordinary loss of biodiversity; and
    3. intensifying droughts, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events.
  22. According to climate scientists, addressing the climate emergency will require an economically just phase-out of the use of oil, gas, and coal in order to keep the carbon that is the primary constituent of fossil fuels in the ground and out of the atmosphere.
  23. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has determined that limiting warming through emissions reduction and carbon sequestration will require rapid and immediate acceleration and proliferation of ‘‘far-reaching, multilevel, and cross-sectoral climate mitigation’’ and ‘‘transitions in energy, land, urban and rural infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems’’.
  24. In the United States, massive, comprehensive, and urgent governmental action is required immediately to achieve the transitions of those systems in response to the severe existing and projected economic, social, public health, and national security threats posed by the climate crisis.
  25. The massive scope and scale of action necessary to stabilize the climate will require unprecedented levels of public awareness, engagement, and deliberation to develop and implement effective, just, and equitable policies to address the climate crisis.
  26. The Constitution of the United States protects the fundamental rights to life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the laws.
  27. A climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society, and is preservative of fundamental rights, including the rights to life, liberty, property, personal security, family autonomy, bodily integrity, and the ability to learn, practice, and transmit cultural and religious traditions.
  28. The United States has a proud history of collaborative, constructive, massive-scale Federal mobilizations of resources and labor in order to solve great challenges, such as the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Reconstruction, the New Deal, and World War II.
  29. The United States stands uniquely poised to substantially grow the economy and attain social and health benefits from a massive mobilization of resources and labor that far outweigh the costs climate change will inflict as a result of inaction.
  30. Millions of middle class jobs can be created by raising labor standards through project labor agreements and protecting and expanding the right of workers to organize so that workers in the United States and the communities of those workers are guaranteed a strong, viable economic future in a zero-emissions economy that guarantees good jobs at fair union wages with quality benefits.
  31. Frontline communities, Tribal governments and communities, people of color, and labor unions must be equitably and actively engaged in the climate mobilization, in such a way that aligns with the 1996 Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing, and prioritized through local climate mitiga tion and adaptation planning, policy, and program delivery so that workers in the United States, and the communities of those workers, are guaranteed a strong, viable economic future.
  32. A number of local jurisdictions and governments in the United States, including New York City and Los Angeles, and across the world, including the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal, and Canada, have already declared a climate emergency, and a number of State and local governments are considering declaring a climate emergency.
  33. State, local, and Tribal governments must be supported in efforts to hold to account those whose activities have deepened and accelerated the climate crisis and who have benefitted from delayed action to address the climate change emergency and to develop a clean energy economy.
  34. A collaborative response to the climate crisis will require the Federal Government to work with international, State, and local governments, including with those governments that have declared a climate emergency, to reverse the impacts of the climate crisis.
  35. The United States has an obligation, as a primary driver of accelerated climate change, to mobilize at emergency speed to restore a safe climate and environment not just for communities of the United States but for communities across the world, particularly those on the frontlines of the climate crisis which have least contributed to the crisis, and to account for global and community impacts of any actions it takes in response to the climate crisis.
  1. IN GENERAL.—The President shall declare a national emergency under section 201 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1621) with respect to climate change.
  2. RESPONSE.—In responding to the national emergency declared pursuant to subsection (a), the President shall ensure that the Federal Government—
    1. invests in large scale mitigation and resiliency projects, including projects that—
      1. upgrade the public infrastructure to expand access to clean and affordable energy, transportation, high-speed broadband, and water, particularly for public systems;
      2. modernize and retrofit millions of homes, schools, offices, and industrial buildings to cut pollution and costs;
      3. invest in public health, in preparation for and in response to increasingly extreme climatic events;
      4. protect and restore wetlands, forests, public lands, and other natural climate solutions;
      5. create opportunities for farmers and rural communities, including by bolstering regenerative agriculture, and invest in local and regional food systems that support farmers, agricultural workers, healthy soil, and climate resilience;
      6. develop and transform the industrial base of the United States, while creating high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs across the country, including by expanding manufacturing of clean technologies, reducing industrial pollution, and prioritizing clean, domestic manufacturing for the aforementioned investments; and
      7. establish new employment programs, as necessary, to meet the goals described in subparagraphs (A) through (F);
    2. makes investments that enable—
      1. a racially and socially just transition to a clean energy economy by ensuring that at least 40 percent of investments flow to historically disadvantaged communities;
      2. greenhouse gas emission reductions;
      3. resilience in the face of climate change impacts;
      4. a racially and socially just transition to a clean energy economy;
      5. small business support, especially for women and minority-owned businesses; and
      6. the expansion of public services;
    3. avoids solutions that—
      1. increase inequality;
      2. exacerbate, or fail to reduce, pollution at source;
      3. violate human rights;
      4. privatize public lands, water, or nature;
      5. expedite the destruction of ecosystems; or
      6. decrease union density or membership;
    4. creates jobs that conform to labor standards that—
      1. provide family-sustaining wages and benefits;
      2. ensure safe workplaces;
      3. protect the rights of workers to organize; and
      4. prioritize the hiring of local workers to ensure wages stay within communities and stimulate local economic activity;
    5. prioritizes local and equitable hiring and contracting that creates opportunities for—
      1. communities of color and indigenous communities;
      2. women;
      3. veterans;
      4. LGBTQIA+ individuals;
      5. disabled and chronically ill individuals;
      6. formerly incarcerated individuals; and
      7. otherwise marginalized communities;
    6. combats environmental injustice, including by—
      1. curtailing air, water, and land pollution from all sources;
      2. removing health hazards from communities;
      3. remediating the cumulative health and environmental impacts of toxic pollution and climate change;
      4. ensuring that affected communities have equitable access to public health resources that have been systemically denied to communities of color and Indigenous communities; and
      5. upholding the fundamental rights of all Americans from the perils of climate change; and
    7. reinvests in existing public sector institutions and creates new public sector institutions, inspired by and improving upon New Deal-era institutions by addressing historic inequities, to strategically and coherently mobilize and channel investments at the scale and pace required by the national emergency declared pursuant to subsection (a).
  3. REPORT.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and every year thereafter, the President shall submit to Congress a report describing actions taken in response to the national emergency declared pursuant to subsection (a).

2020 Climate and Energy Ballot Initiatives

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:09:00 GMT

Columbus' ballot initiative would give Ohio's largest city 100% renewable electricity.
Although there are fewer climate ballot initiatives than in 2018, there are some important local measures on the ballot this November. In particular, Columbus, Ohio has an initiative to confirm AEP as its monopoly electricity provider as part of a plan to rapidly reach 100% renewable electricity.

The only major statewide initiatives are in Alaska and Louisiana, both of which have ballot measures to increase oil drilling taxes.

Here is a review of climate and energy initiatives, measures, and state constitution amendments on the ballot this November 3, drawn from Ballotpedia and Earther's Dharna Noor:


Alaska Ballot Measure 1, the North Slope Oil Production Tax Increase Initiative: The campaign Vote Yes for Alaska's Fair Share proposed the ballot initiative to increase taxes on oil production fields located in Alaska's North Slope that exceeded certain output minimums. According to Robin Brena, chairperson of Vote Yes for Alaska's Fair Share, three oil production fields—Alpine, Kuparuk, and Prudhoe Bay—met those criteria. BP ($4.54 million), Conoco Phillips ($4.70 million), Hilcorp Energy ($4.3 million), and ExxonMobil ($3.74 million) are funding the campaign to defeat Measure 1.

California Proposition 15, the Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative, would require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price, overturning part of 1978's Proposition 13.

"Oil and gas companies are among the biggest forces lobbying against this measure because they could stand to lose out on a lot of money if it passes," according to Noor. For example, Contra Costa County, the home of Chevron's oil refinery in Richmond, would gain about $400 million a year in property taxes.

Opponents are falsely claiming Prop 15 would harm California's solar industry.

Louisiana Amendment 2, the Include Oil and Gas Value in Tax Assessment of Wells Amendment: This amendment would allow the presence or production of oil or gas to be taken into account when assessing the fair market value of an oil or gas well for ad valorem property tax purposes. It is supported by Louisiana's oil and gas industry.

Louisiana Amendment 5, the Payments in Lieu of Property Taxes Option Amendment: amends the state constitution to authorize local governments to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with new or expanding manufacturing establishments -- such as the oil and gas facilities -- and allowing the manufacturing establishments to make payments to the taxing authority of whatever amount instead of paying property taxes.

This amendment is widely opposed by environmental, religious, and other civic organizations.

"The main lobbying force behind this measure is Cameron, a liquified natural gas firm," writes Noor. "Last year, based on a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, the company paid just $38,000 in taxes. But if it had to pay their full taxes, it would have paid $220 million. The company’s agreement is now expiring, so it’s fighting to make it—and other agreements like it—last forever."

These kinds of industry tax breaks are why Louisiana stays poor forever, explains Together Louisiana:

Michigan Proposal 1, the Use of State and Local Park Funds Amendment: makes changes to how revenue in the state's park-related funds can be spent, including (a) making projects to renovate recreational facilities eligible for grants and (b) requiring that at least 20% of the parks endowment fund spending be spent on park capital improvements, and (c) removing the cap on the size of the natural resources trust fund. The initiative has split the climate movement in the state, as the measure "would allow Michigan’s Parks Endowment Fund to sell off oil and gas leases on public lands," Noor writes. "After that fund is full, any additional oil and gas money would go into a Natural Resources Trust Fund, which is also used for natural resources protection and recreation."

The Michigan Democratic Party, conservation organizations, and the Michigan Oil and Gas Association support the measure, but the Michigan Sierra Club and the Environmental Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party stands in opposition.

Nevada Renewable Energy Standards Initiative Question 6 (2020) is the required second vote on the initiative, passed in 2018, to add language to the Nevada Constitution requiring the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard to increase to 50 percent by 2030. In 2018, this ballot initiative was approved as Question 6, and therefore needs to be approved again in 2020 to amend the Nevada Constitution. On April 22, 2019, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed Senate Bill 358 (SB 358), which was designed to require the same RPS percentage by 2030 as the amendment on the ballot.

New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 1, the Public Regulation Commission Amendment: changes the utility-oversight Public Regulation Commission (PRC) from an elected five-member commission to an appointed three-member commission. New Mexico's PRC is currently dominated by fossil-fuel supporters. Climate organizations overwhelmingly support the amendment.

"Supporters of the measure say that New Mexico is unlikely to meet its 100% clean energy target under its current system because the commissioners’ elections are so often riddled with corporate money," Noor writes. "Under the new system, a bipartisan nominating committee, which would include at least one representative from a local Indigenous group, would come up with a list of environmental experts from the state, and the governor could choose which ones to appoint."


Albany, California, Measure DD, Utility Tax: A “yes” vote supports authorizing an increase to the utility users tax from 7% to 9.5% and application of a 7.5% tax on water service, generating an estimated $675,000 per year for general services including disaster preparedness, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, emergency response and environmental services.

Berkeley, California, Measure HH, Utility Tax: A “yes” vote supports authorizing an increase to the utility users tax from 7.5% to 10% on electricity and gas and a 2.5% increase to the gas users tax, generating an estimated $2.4 million per year for municipal services including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Boulder, Colorado, Ballot Measure 2C, Public Service Company Franchise, and Measure 2D, to Repurpose the Utility Occupation Tax: These initiatives would allow the city of Boulder to abandon its efforts to establish a 100% renewable-electricity municipal utility and instead enter a long-term monopoly agreement with Xcel Energy with less ambitious renewable targets.

Local climate organizations overwhelmingly oppose 2C.

Denver, Colorado, Ballot Measure 2A, Sales Tax to Fund Environmental and Climate-Related Programs and TABOR Spending Limit Increase: A "yes" vote supports authorizing the city and county of Denver to levy an additional 0.25% sales tax generating an estimated $40 million per year to fund climate-related programs and programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, thereby increasing the total sales tax rate in Denver from 8.31% to 8.56%.

Columbus, Ohio, Issue 1, Electric Service Aggregation Program Measure: A "yes" vote supports authorizing the city to establish an Electric Aggregation Program, which would allow the city to aggregate the retail electrical load of customers within the city's boundaries, and allowing customers to opt-out of the program. If passed, the City of Columbus will develop a detailed plan for operation and management of aggregation; include in the plan a commitment to 100 percent renewable energy; and commit to encourage development of renewable-energy facilities in Central Ohio. AEP is financing the campaign in support of the initiative. If voters approve the aggregation program, AEP Energy would lock in most of Ohio’s largest city as its power customer for up to 15 years; the program would be the largest outside California, the company says. The initiative is also strongly backed by local and national environmental organizations and trade unions. The Ohio Coal Association stands against the proposal.

Portland, Oregon, Measure 26-219, Uses of Water Fund Charter Amendment: A "yes" vote supports amending the city's charter to authorize the city council to spend monies from the Water Fund and increase rates to cover expenses for general public uses, such as neighborhood green areas and community gardens.

The various other tax, policing, infrastructure, and campaign finance initiatives on the ballot have climate justice implications, as do, of course, the candidate elections.

Sen. Whitehouse & Rep. Quigley Introduce Grid Services and Efficiency Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:02:00 GMT

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) have introduced legislation to prepare the nation’s power grids to affordably and reliably deliver clean energy. Many of the provisions of the Grid Services and Efficiency Act were included in Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which the House of Representatives passed last week.

“The Grid Services and Efficiency Act instructs a cross-section of federal and regional agencies to work together to pinpoint gaps in grid services and operator platforms that may hamper the introduction of clean energy sources to the power grid. The legislation authorizes funding to upgrade electricity delivery infrastructure to better accommodate clean energy sources. The bill would also help determine whether federal regulators have the proper authorities to oversee the siting of interregional transmission lines necessary for expanding clean energy.”

The Grid Services and Efficiency Act takes steps to accelerate the transition by improving power system modeling and grid operator planning, commissioning studies of grid efficiency, and improving the connectivity of the electricity transmission system.

This legislation is supported by Advanced Energy Economy, Sunrun, National Grid, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Exelon, and the WATT Coalition.

Further summary:

The Grid Services and Efficiency Act aims to foster cross-agency collaboration to identify gaps in grid services and operator platforms, and to provide funding opportunities for entities to upgrade their energy infrastructure to ensure that our clean energy transition is done in a cost-effective manner that ensures reliability and reasonable rates for consumers.

This Act would:

Improve Power System Modeling and Grid Operator Planning:
  • FERC, in coordination with DOE, would provide recommendations on how to improve existing modeling, operational, and long-term planning practices used by grid operators across the energy system and the power market.
  • DOE, in coordination with FERC, would develop an Advanced Technology and Grid Services financial assistance program to provide funding to grid operators, utilities, and state energy offices to update energy planning documents and operational energy market platforms.
Study Grid Efficiency:
  • DOE, in coordination with FERC, would study the barriers and opportunities for advanced energy technologies that could make the transmission network more efficient at effectively delivering electricity.
Improve Transmission System Interconnection:
  • FERC would commission an outside report on whether regulators have the authority and tools to regulate the planning and siting of interregional transmission lines. The study would also report on potential deficiencies in interregional and regional transmission planning, and which transmission upgrades are needed between grid operator regions.
  • DOE would prioritize grant funding through the Office of Electricity and establish additional funding opportunities to help integrate new energy technologies in the bulk electric system.

Rep. Haaland Leads Introduction Of THRIVE Resolution, Adding Covid Response To Green New Deal Agenda

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 17 Sep 2020 21:45:00 GMT

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) has introduced a resolution that calls for a comprehensive justice-based response to the crises facing the nation and the world, from the fossil-fueled climate crisis to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Resolution (H. Res. 1102) is modeled in part after 2019’s Green New Deal resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The resolution is also largely consistent with the 2020 Democratic Party platform and the Biden campaign agenda.

Haaland introduced the agenda at a press conference on September 10 with Markey and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Keya Chaterjee, the director of the U.S. Climate Action Network, an environmental coalition, also participated.

The resolution was formally introduced on September 11th with 76 co-sponsors, all Democrats.

Haaland’s resolution was praised by several other emocratic members of the U.S. Senate, including former presidential candidates Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-N.M.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

While the resolution has limited specifics, it does include a call for a national “carbon pollution-free” electricity system by 2035, in line with presidential candidate Joe Biden’s plan.

The resolution calls for the expansion of union protections and increased union density in clean-energy jobs, and investment in “Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to build power and counteract racial and gender injustice.”

Notably, the resolution says nothing about foreign policy or the military.

Unlike the Green New Deal resolution, the THRIVE resolution does not call for universal employment, housing, or health care.

The resolution is supported by The Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, Movement for Black Lives, Working Families Party, Service Employees International Union, Indigenous Environmental Network and Center for Popular Democracy.

Full text:


Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to implement an agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (“THRIVE”).

Whereas families and communities throughout the United States share similar hopes and dreams of a good life that is free from worry about meeting basic needs, with reliable and fulfilling work, a dignified and healthy standard of living, and the ability to enjoy time with loved ones;

Whereas the United States faces the stress of multiple, overlapping crises—old and new—that prevent the achievement of these fundamental human rights and needs, in which the COVID–19 pandemic has killed over 180,000 United States residents; tens of millions of United States workers remain unemployed; rising economic inequality has made working families vulnerable; tens of millions of individuals do not get the health care they need; and intensifying climate change increases the threats to our health, economy, and livelihoods;

Whereas these health, economic, and climate crises have magnified centuries-old injustices, causing high rates of death and hardship among Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities due to long-standing systemic racism—a fact spotlighted by an emerging, multiracial movement to end violence against Black people;

Whereas these crises are causing the inequitable workloads of women—particularly women of color—to grow, especially as women of color overwhelmingly make up the essential workforce, bearing the weight of the increased care needs of children, the elderly, and the sick;

Whereas, even before the COVID–19 crisis, many rural communities and independent family farmers suffered from poverty, declining economic opportunity, and alarming rates of farm bankruptcy, including loss of land from Black farmers and the exploitation of Black, Brown, and Indigenous farmers caused by predatory and racist public, private, and governmental institutions and policies;

Whereas the root of our interlocking economic and environmental crises is society’s historical willingness to treat some communities and workers as disposable;

Whereas it is necessary to counteract systemic injustice and value the dignity of all individuals in order to address unemployment, pandemics, or climate change and ensure the survival of the Nation and the planet;

Whereas the choices made in response to these crises will shape the United States direction for the 21st century and beyond, offering an opportunity to reshape our society to provide a good life for each of us and for our children and grandchildren; and

Whereas the United States has the means to support fulfilling livelihoods for millions of people—Black, Indigenous, Brown, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, White, immigrant, urban and rural, old and young, of many faiths, genders, abilities, and talents—while working to heal harms, protect communities, and invest in a future that fosters justice, not crisis: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

  1. it is the duty of the Federal Government to respond to the crises of racial injustice, mass unemployment, a pandemic, and climate change with a bold and holistic national mobilization, an Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (“THRIVE”) (referred to in this resolving clause as the “Agenda”), to build a society that enables—
    1. greater racial, economic, and gender justice;
    2. dignified work;
    3. healthy communities; and
    4. a stable climate; and
  2. such Agenda shall be assessed upon its ability to uphold its foundational pillars, including—
    1. creating millions of good, safe jobs with access to unions by—
      1. investing in projects including—
        1. upgrading our broken infrastructure to expand access to clean and affordable energy, transportation, high-speed broadband, and water, particularly for public systems;
        2. modernizing and retrofitting millions of homes, schools, offices, and industrial buildings to cut pollution and costs;
        3. investing in public health and care work, including by increasing jobs, protections, wages, and benefits for the historically unpaid and undervalued work of caring for children, the elderly, and the sick;
        4. protecting and restoring wetlands, forests, and public lands, and cleaning up pollution in our communities;
        5. creating opportunities for family farmers and rural communities, including by untangling the hyper-consolidated food supply chain, bolstering regenerative agriculture, and investing in local and regional food systems that support farmers, agricultural workers, healthy soil, and climate resilience; and
        6. developing and transforming the industrial base of the United States, while creating high-skill, high-wage manufacturing jobs across the country, including by expanding manufacturing of clean technologies, reducing industrial pollution, and prioritizing clean, domestic manufacturing for the aforementioned investments;
      2. prioritizing the mobilization of direct public investments, while excluding false solutions that—
        1. increase inequality;
        2. privatize public lands, water, or nature;
        3. violate human rights;
        4. expedite the destruction of ecosystems; or
        5. decrease union density or membership;
      3. driving investment toward real full employment, where every individual who wishes to work has a viable pathway to a meaningful and dignified job with the right to form a union, including by establishing new public employment programs, as necessary; and
      4. subjecting each job created under this Agenda to high-road labor standards that—
        1. require family-sustaining wages and benefits, including child care support;
        2. ensure safe workplaces;
        3. protect the rights of workers to organize; and
        4. prioritize the hiring of local workers to ensure wages stay within communities to stimulate economic activity;
    2. building the power of workers to fight inequality by—
      1. reversing the corporate erosion of workers’ organizing rights and bargaining power so that millions of new clean energy jobs, as well as millions of existing low-wage jobs across the economy, become the family-supporting union jobs that everyone deserves, including by—
        1. passing the bipartisan Protecting the Right to Organize Act;
        2. repealing the ban on secondary boycotts;
        3. requiring employer neutrality with regard to union organizing;
        4. ensuring that “franchising” and other corporate structures may not be used to hinder collective bargaining on a company-wide, regional, or national basis;
        5. advancing sectoral bargaining in certain economic sectors; and
        6. ensuring that no workers are misclassified as “independent contractors;”
      2. expanding union representation for all workers; and
      3. creating ladders of opportunity, particularly for women and people of color, to access registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs in communities of all sizes across the country;
    3. investing in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to build power and counteract racial and gender injustice by—
      1. directing at least 40 percent of investments to communities that have been excluded, oppressed, and harmed by racist and unjust practices, including—
        1. communities of color;
        2. low-income communities;
        3. deindustrialized communities; and
        4. communities facing environmental injustice;
      2. ensuring that investments in these communities enable—
        1. the creation of good jobs with family-sustaining wages;
        2. economic ownership opportunities that close the racial wealth gap;
        3. pollution reduction;
        4. climate resilience;
        5. small business support;
        6. economic opportunities for independent family farmers and ranchers; and
        7. the expansion of public services;
      3. ensuring that affected communities have the power to democratically plan, implement, and administer these projects;
      4. prioritizing local and equitable hiring and contracting that creates opportunities for—
        1. people of color;
        2. immigrants, regardless of immigration status;
        3. formerly incarcerated individuals;
        4. women;
        5. LGBTQIAP+ individuals;
        6. disabled and chronically ill individuals; and
        7. marginalized communities; and
      5. providing access to quality workforce training, including through registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships to ensure real pathways to good careers, including those that have historically been inaccessible;
    4. strengthening and healing the nation-to-nation relationship with sovereign Native Nations, including by—
      1. making systemic changes in Federal policies to honor the environmental and social trust responsibilities to Native Nations and their Peoples, which are essential to tackling society’s economic, environmental, and health crises;
      2. strengthening Tribal sovereignty and enforcing Indian treaty rights by moving towards greater recognition and support of the inherent self-governance and sovereignty of these nations and their members; and
      3. promulgating specific initiatives that reflect the nuanced relationships between the Native Nations, including—
        1. the confirmation by Congress that Tribal nations can exercise their full and inherent civil regulatory and adjudicatory authority over their own citizens, lands, and resources, and over activities within their Tribal lands;
        2. the codification of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent as it relates to Tribal consultation; and
        3. the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without qualification;
    5. combating environmental injustice and ensuring healthy lives for all, including by—
      1. curtailing air, water, and land pollution from all sources;
      2. removing health hazards from communities;
      3. replacing lead pipes to ensure clean water is available to all;
      4. remediating the cumulative health and environmental impacts of toxic pollution and climate change;
      5. ensuring that affected communities have equitable access to public health resources that have been systemically denied, which includes—
        1. upgrading unhealthy and overcrowded homes, public schools, and public hospitals;
        2. ensuring access to healthy food, mental health support, and restorative justice; and
        3. investing in universal childcare, care for individuals with disabilities, senior care, and a robust care workforce; and
      6. focusing these initiatives in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities that have endured disproportionately high death rates from COVID–19 due to higher exposure to air pollution and other cumulative health hazards as a result of decades of environmental racism;
    6. averting climate and environmental catastrophe, including by—
      1. contributing to a livable climate and environment for today and for future generations, including by—
        1. staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming;
        2. building climate resilience to keep communities safe; and
        3. ensuring sustainable resource use;
      2. deploying investments and standards in the electricity, transportation, buildings, manufacturing, lands, and agricultural sectors to spur the largest expansion in history of clean, renewable energy, emissions reductions, climate resilience, and sustainable resource use;
      3. transforming the power sector in order to move the country, by not later than 2035, to carbon pollution-free electricity that passes an environmental justice screen to prevent concentrating pollution in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities;
      4. prioritizing materials and parts that meet high labor, environmental, and human rights standards throughout the supply chain;
      5. supporting sustainable, domestic production of healthy, nutritious food that pays independent farmers and ranchers a fair price for their land stewardship; and
      6. ensuring that funding under this Agenda goes to workers and communities affected by the economic and environmental crises, not to corporate fossil fuel polluters;
    7. ensuring fairness for workers and communities affected by economic transitions by—
      1. guaranteeing that workers and communities in industries and regions in economic transition due to COVID–19, climate change, and other economic shocks receive—
        1. stable wages and benefits, including full pension and health care;
        2. early retirement offerings;
        3. crisis and trauma support; and
        4. equitable job placement; and
      2. investing in transitioning areas to support—
        1. economic diversification;
        2. high quality job creation;
        3. community reinvestment;
        4. retooling and conversion;
        5. reclamation and remediation of closed and abandoned facilities and sites;
        6. child and adult care infrastructure; and
        7. funding to shore up budget shortfalls in local and State governments; and
    8. reinvesting in public sector institutions that enable workers and communities to thrive by—
      1. rebuilding vital public services and strengthening social infrastructure in cities and counties, health care systems, schools, the postal service, and other services;
      2. investing in equitable public education opportunities, including career and technical education pathways that prepare youth—especially girls; Black, Brown, and Indigenous students; students with disabilities; students from low-income families; and other students from marginalized groups—for high-quality jobs of the future, and state of the art technology and schools, so that from the beginning students are prepared to transform society and preserve democracy;
      3. investing in the workers who provide care to children, the elderly, and communities burdened by neglect;
      4. creating new public institutions, inspired by and improving upon New Deal-era institutions, to ensure universal access to critical resources and to strategically and coherently mobilize and channel investments, in line with the above priorities, at the scale and pace that these times require; and
      5. coupling this institutional renewal with democratic governance and accountability to correct the systemic misallocation of resources and representation that prevents families and communities from meeting fundamental human needs and pursuing fulfilling lives.

Senate Democrats Release Agenda For "Net-Zero Emissions" Clean Economy By 2050

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 25 Aug 2020 19:54:00 GMT

The Senate Democrats’ Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has released a 263-page report detailing a “clean economy” agenda with “bold climate solutions.” Entitled “The Case for Climate Action: Building a Clean Economy for the American People,” the report, which repeatedly emphasizes economic growth and job creation, was developed by the ten-member committee chaired by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Legislation must now be developed to meet the overarching goals of the committee:
  • Reduce U.S. emissions rapidly to help achieve 100 percent global net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
  • Stimulate economic growth by increasing federal spending on climate action to at least 2 percent of GDP annually—and ensure that at least 40 percent of the benefits from these investments help communities of color and low-income, deindustrialized, and disadvantaged communities.
  • Create at least 10 million new jobs.

The report, while largely in the spirit of the Green New Deal platform – in particular in the listing of recommendations from environmental justice leaders – avoids any mention of that phrase. Several of the photographs in the report are of rallies and marches of Green New Deal advocates.

Unlike most Green New Deal advocates, the report makes space for “safer nuclear power” and “fossil generation paired with carbon capture and storage.” “Carbon capture and removal technologies are an essential supplement to decarbonization,” the report argues in an extended section.

An entire chapter of the report is dedicated to “Dark Money” – specifically, the “undue influence from the leaders of giant fossil fuel corporations” who “used weak American laws and regulations governing election spending, lobbying, and giving to advocacy groups to mount a massive covert operation” to “spread disinformation about climate change and obstruct climate action.”
In order to advance bold climate legislation, we must expose the covert influence of wealthy fossil fuel executives, trade associations, and front groups that have done everything possible to obstruct climate action.

The report credits the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision with allowing “fossil fuel political power to effectively capture Republican elected officials nationwide.”

In addition to ten hearings, the committee held twelve in-depth hearings with advocates, four of which were exclusively with corporate executives (utilities, health care, insurance, and banks). Two meetings were held with international representatives (a United Nations representative and European central bankers). Two meetings were with union officials (one included environmentalists); two were with environmental justice activists and mainstream environmentalists; one was with youth climate activists. The last meeting was with surfers and surfing industry representatives.

Notably, the committee did not meet with any climate scientists in academia.

Download the report here.

In addition to Schatz, the other members of the committee are U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).


A Blueprint for Success: U.S. Climate Action at the Local Level (July 2019)

  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta, GA
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu, HI
  • Mayor Melvin Carter, Saint Paul, MN
  • Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland, OR
The Right Thing to Do: Conservatives for Climate Action (July 2019)
  • Dr. Frank Luntz, founder and CEO, FIL, Inc.
  • Kiera O’Brien, vice president of Students for Carbon Dividends
  • Nick Huey, founder of the Climate Campaign
The Fight to Save Winter: Pro Athletes for Climate Action (September 2019)
  • Mike Richter, president of Brightcore Energy; Hall of Fame goaltender for the New York Rangers
  • Jeremy Jones, founder of Protect Our Winters; professional snowboarder
  • Caroline Gleich, professional ski mountaineer and adventurer
  • Tommy Caldwell, professional climber
Dark Money and Barriers to Climate Action (October 2019)
  • Dr. Justin Farrell, professor, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Naomi Oreskes, professor, Harvard University
  • Morton Rosenberg, congressional scholar, Project on Government Oversight
  • Dylan Tanner, executive director & co-founder, InfluenceMap

Perspectives from the Front Lines: How Climate Change Uniquely Impacts Environmental Justice Communities (November 2019)
  • Dr. Cecilia Martinez, co-founder and executive director, Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy
  • Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator, Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform
  • Celeste Flores, outreach director, Faith in Place
Better, Stronger, Smarter: Building Community Resilience in a Future of Extremes (December 2019)
  • Alice Hill, senior fellow for climate change policy, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Laura Lightbody, project director, Pew Charitable Trusts Flood-Prepared Communities
  • Mayor Tim Kabat, La Crosse, WI
Understanding and Combating the Security Risks of Climate Change (February 2020)
  • Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, United States Navy (retired)
  • The Hon. John Conger, director, Center for Climate and Security
  • Andrew Holland, chief operating officer, American Security Project
The Economic Risks of Climate Change (March 2020)
  • The Hon. Sarah Bloom Raskin, former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and Deputy Treasury Secretary
  • Dr. Bob Litterman, founding partner and Risk Committee chairman, Kepos Capital; chair of the Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee, Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Dave Burt, CEO and founder, DeltaTerra Capital
  • Frédéric Samama, head of responsible investment, Amundi; co-author of “The green swan: Central banking and financial stability in the age of climate change”
Quality Jobs, Lower Emissions: Decarbonizing the Energy and Industrial Sectors while Expanding Opportunities for American Workers (July 2020)
  • The Hon. Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy; founder and CEO, Energy Futures Initiative
  • Tom Conway, international president, United Steelworkers (USW)
Safely, Efficiently, and Equitably: Transportation Solutions to Move People and Goods in a Decarbonized Economy (July 2020)
  • Vivian Satterfield, director of strategic partnerships, Verde
  • Jeff Allen, executive director, Forth
  • Brad Schallert, director of carbon market governance and aviation, World Wildlife Fund
  • Rachel Muncrief, deputy director, International Council on Clean Transportation


Utility executives (June 2019)

  • Alan Oshima, president and CEO, Hawaiian Electric
  • Bill Johnson, president and CEO, PG&E
  • Maria Pope, president and CEO, Portland General Electric
  • Terry Sobolewski, president, National Grid Rhode Island
  • Eric Olsen, vice president and general counsel, Great River Energy
Labor leaders (July 2019)
  • Richard Trumka, president, AFL-CIO
  • Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO
  • Sean McGarvey, president, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU)
  • Cecil Roberts, president, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)
  • Terry O’Sullivan, general president, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • Paul Shearon, international president, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
  • Warren Fairley, international vice president for Southeast, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
  • Austin Keyser, director of political and legislative affairs, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
New York Renews (September 2019)
  • Eddie Bautista, executive director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director, UPROSE
  • Stephan Edel, director, New York Working Families
  • Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director, ALIGN
  • Lisa Tyson, executive director, Long Island Progressive Coalition
  • Marc Weiss, former board member, Sierra Club
United Nations (September 2019)
  • Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the 2019 Climate Action Summit
Youth climate activists (September 2019)
  • Alexandria Villaseñor, co-founder, U.S. Youth Climate Strike; founder, Earth Uprising
  • Jonah Gottlieb, founding youth member, National Children’s Campaign
  • Levi Draheim, Juliana v. United States plaintiff
  • Kevin Patel, co-deputy partnerships director, Zero Hour
  • Lana Weidgenant, co-deputy partnerships director, Zero Hour
  • Rachel Lee, head coordinator, Zero Hour NYC
  • Daphne Frias, global outreach team, Zero Hour
Special thanks for hosting: United Nations Foundation

Financial industry executives (September 2019)

  • Roger Ferguson, president and CEO, TIAA
  • Douglas Peterson, president and CEO, S&P Global
  • Raymond McDaniel, Jr., president and CEO, Moody’s
  • Edward Skyler, executive vice president for global public affairs, Citi
Special thanks for hosting: Bloomberg LP

Signatories to the Equitable and Just National Climate

Platform (October 2019)

  • Dr. Cecilia Martinez, co-founder and executive director, Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy
  • Michele Roberts, national co-coordinator, Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform
  • Dr. Mildred McClain, executive director, The Harambee House
  • The Hon. Harold Mitchell, Jr., executive director, ReGenesis Project; former state representative, South Carolina House of Representatives
  • Richard Moore, co-coordinator, Los Jardines Institute
  • Dr. Nicky Sheats, Esq., chairperson, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance; director, Center for the Urban Environment of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University
  • Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  • Jumana Vasi, senior advisor, Midwest Environmental Justice Network
  • Dr. Beverly Wright, executive director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Sara Chieffo, vice president of government affairs, League of Conservation Voters
  • Jessica Ennis, legislative director for climate and energy, Earthjustice
  • Lindsay Harper, representative, U.S. Climate Action Network
  • Cathleen Kelly, senior fellow for energy and environment, Center for American Progress
  • Lissa Lynch, staff attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Liz Perera, climate policy director, Sierra Club
International central bankers (October 2019)
  • Frank Elderson, executive director of supervision, De Nederlandsche Bank; chairman, Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)
  • Nathalie Aufauvre, director general of financial stability and operations, Banque de France
  • Dr. Sabine Mauderer, member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Dr. Egil Matsen, deputy governor, Norges Bank
Health Care Climate Council (October 2019)
  • Katie Wickman, sustainability manager, Advocate Aurora Health
  • Brett Green, manager for remote operations, Ascension Medxcel
  • Bob Biggio, senior vice president of facilities and support services, Boston Medical Center
  • Jon Utech, senior director, Office for a Healthy Environment, Cleveland Clinic
  • Rachelle Reyes Wenger, system vice president of public policy & advocacy engagement, Dignity Health
  • Elizabeth Rogers, policy analyst, Gundersen Health System
  • Charles Goyette, director of sustainability, Inova Health System
  • Jean Garris Hand, senior utility & sustainability consultant, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Michael Waller, director of sustainability, Rochester Regional Health
  • Jeanine Knapp, sustainability leader, ThedaCare
  • John Leigh, director of sustainability, Virginia Mason Health System
BlueGreen Alliance (December 2019)
  • James Slevin, national president, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA)
  • Anna Fendley, director of regulatory and state policy, United Steelworkers (USW)
  • Collin O’Mara, president and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
  • Kathleen Rest, executive director, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs, League of Conservation Voters
  • Jason Walsh, executive director, BlueGreen Alliance
Insurance industry executives (March 2020)
  • Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO, Chubb
  • Mike Mahaffey, chief strategy and corporate development officer, Nationwide
  • Melissa Salton, chief risk officer, Munich Re
  • Ian Branagan, group chief risk officer, RenaissanceRe
Surfrider Foundation (March 2020)
  • Greg Long, pro surfer
  • Leah Dawson, pro surfer
  • Dr. Cliff Kapono, pro surfer, journalist, and chemist
  • Pete Stauffer, environmental director, Surfrider Foundation
  • Katie Day, staff scientist, Surfrider Foundation
  • Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, coastal preservation manager, Surfrider Foundation
  • Vipe Desai, co-founder, Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast (BAPPC)
  • Chris Evans, Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA)
  • Shea Perkins, senior manager for culture & impact marketing, Reef
  • Madeline Wade, vice president, Signal Group (on behalf of REI)

Draft Text of Coronavirus Bailout Bill: "This Is A Robbery In Progress."

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 25 Mar 2020 23:45:00 GMT

Senate leadership is nearing completion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a staggeringly large stimulus and bailout package that is intended not to protect the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic but to transfer even more money and power to the corporate elite.

David Dayen writes: “This is a robbery in progress. And it’s not a bailout for the coronavirus. It’s a bailout for twelve years of corporate irresponsibility that made these companies so fragile that a few weeks of disruption would destroy them. The short-termism and lack of capital reserves funneled record profits into a bathtub of cash for investors. That’s who’s being made whole, financiers and the small slice of the public that owns more than a trivial amount of stocks. In fact they’ve already been made whole; yesterday Wall Street got the word that they’d be saved and stocks and bonds went wild. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is running these bailout programs for the Fed, and could explicitly profit if the Fed buys its funds, which it probably will.

This is a rubber-stamp on an unequal system that has brought terrible hardship to the majority of America. The people get a $1,200 means-tested payment and a little wage insurance for four months. Corporations get a transformative amount of play money to sustain their system and wipe out the competition.”

Jeff Hauser: “Democratic leaders acceding to a Mnuchin managed slush fund reveal themselves to be too tired and spineless to be entrusted with power.”

Matt Stoller: “Not one political leader is standing up against the Schumer-McConnell shift of power to Wall Street. No one on the populist left, neither Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. No one on the populist right, not Josh Hawley or Tom Cotton. This was their moment.”

More Stoller, from his newsletter BIG: “Here’s why the bill goes up in value to $6-10 trillion:

  • An additional $4 trillion from the Federal Reserve in lending power to be lent to big corporations and banks.
  • Authorization to bail out money market funds, multi-trillion dollar unregulated bank-like deposits for the superrich.
  • Authorization for the the government through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee trillions of dollars of risky bank debt.”

Download the draft text here.

Press Conference for House Resolution Encouraging Teaching about Climate Change in Schools

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:00:00 GMT

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) will introduce a House Resolution in support of teaching climate change in schools on Thursday, September 19th, 2019. A press conference will be held beforehand at 11:00 am at the U.S. House Triangle. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) will be speak about her support for the resolution and the urgency of addressing climate chance. Other members of Congress have also been invited.

Youth climate advocates Jonah Gottlieb (National Children’s Campaign), Kate Roney and Christian Hernandez (Schools for Climate Action), and an educator, Nancy Metzger-Carter (Sonoma Academy, UN Climate Change Teacher Academy) will also speak in support of the resolution.

Representative Lee worked with youth and teacher climate advocates to craft a House Resolution supporting the teaching of climate change in schools because “the global impact of climate change and the urgency and magnitude of the challenge of addressing climate change will eventually fall on current students.”

The House Resolution declares climate change a social justice, racial justice, and human rights issue that disproportionately affects students of color and students in poverty, thereby exacerbating existing inequalities and limiting equality of opportunity. It also refers to a 2019 resolution by the California Association of School Psychologists that declared climate change a potential threat to the psychological and social development of children, in addition to known negative health effects.

One of the lead groups that collaborated with Rep. Lee was Schools for Climate Action, an initiative of the National Children’s Campaign, is a nonpartisan, youth-adult campaign that helps school boards, students councils and educational sector organizations pass climate resolutions calling on Congress to act and bringing awareness that climate change a generational justice issue.

The resolution has been endorsed by: The National Children’s Campaign, Schools for Climate Action, Global Oneness Project, National Association of Geoscience Teachers, National Center for Science Education, Principles for Responsibility Investment, Paleontological Research Institution, Rethinking Schools, Sierra Club and Teacher’s Advocacy Committee.

National Children’s Campaign

National Children’s Campaign advocates on behalf of the nation’s 74 million children. It is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization to serve as a catalyst to inspire, encourage and empower to make America’s children & youth a national priority by promoting health, education, safety, economic & environmental security through the power of strategic media and internet partnerships, experts, business and community leaders, celebrity spokespeople and grassroots effort.

Schools for Climate Action

Schools for Climate Action, A nonpartisan youth/adult campaign that works with the educational sector to pass climate resolutions that declare climate change as a generational justice issue and call on Congress to act.

Markup of S. 2299, Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2019

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 31 Jul 2019 14:00:00 GMT

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene an executive session on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Hart Senate Office Building 216 to consider the following legislative measures.


  • S. 2297, Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2019, Sponsor: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • S. 2299, Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2019, Sponsors: Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)

Green New Deal Resolution Now Has 95 Co-Sponsors

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 14 Feb 2019 20:17:00 GMT

The Green New Deal resolution, H.Res. 109/S.Res. 59, picked up 18 more co-sponsors as of this Wednesday (with committee assignments):

  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Armed Services
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), House Administration Chair
  • Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Agriculture, Ways & Means
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32)
  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37)
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), Ways & Means
  • Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Energy & Commerce
  • Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Ways & Means
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Appropriations
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD-03), Energy & Commerce
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07), Oversight & Reform Chair
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO-04)
  • Rep. David Price (D-NC-04), Appropriations
  • Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03), Ways & Means
  • Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Appropriations Chair
  • Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Education & Labor Chair
  • Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-09), Armed Services Chair

The updated list of co-sponsors is below.


  • House Sponsor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14)
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03)
  • Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA-02)
  • Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-05)
  • Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA-06)
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11)
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13)
  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-14)
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19)
  • Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27)
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32)
  • Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33)
  • Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37)
  • Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38)
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA-41)
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)
  • Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44)
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47)
  • Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49)
  • Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO-02)
  • Rep. John Larson (D-CT-01)
  • Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-02)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03)
  • Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC-AL)
  • Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL-20)
  • Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26)
  • Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL-04)
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-05)
  • Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-07)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-02)
  • Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-03)
  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA-04)
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-05)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-06)
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07)
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08)
  • Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA-09)
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD-03)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07)
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08)
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01)
  • Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-09)
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13)
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-04)
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO-04)
  • Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP-AL)
  • Rep. David Price (D-NC-04)
  • Rep. B. Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12)
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM-01)
  • Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-03)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY-06)
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07)
  • Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09)
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10)
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12)
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13)
  • Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY-15)
  • Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16)
  • Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)
  • Rep. Sean P Maloney (D-NY-18)
  • Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26)
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01)
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03)
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04)
  • Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA-02)
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-01)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09)
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16)
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)
  • Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03)
  • Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA-11)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)
  • Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-09)
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)


Senate Sponsor Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

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