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.

Representatives

  • 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)

Senators

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)

Green New Deal Resolution Picks Up Six More Co-Sponsors

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 09 Feb 2019 21:25:00 GMT

The Green New Deal resolution, now H.Res. 109/S.Res. 59, picked up six more co-sponsors on Saturday:
  • Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA-04)
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07)
  • Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09)
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-01)

The updated list of co-sponsors is below.

Representatives

  • 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. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18)
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27)
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)
  • Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33)
  • Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA-41)
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)
  • 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. 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. Seth Moulton (D-MA-06)
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07)
  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08)
  • Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA-09)
  • 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. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP-AL)
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12)
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM-01)
  • 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. 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. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA-11)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)

Senators

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)

Green New Deal Resolution Launches With 61 Representatives, 13 Senators as Co-Sponsors

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 09 Feb 2019 06:45:00 GMT

Following Thursday’s announcement of the Green New Deal Ocasio-Markey resolution, supporters have announced several dozen co-sponsors, including 61 members of the House of Representatives (two non-voting) and 9 U.S. senators.

The list, from Justice Democrats, is below:

Representatives

  • 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. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18)
  • Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27)
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)
  • Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33)
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA-41)
  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43)
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47)
  • Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49)
  • Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)
  • 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. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-02)
  • Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-03)
  • 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. 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. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP-AL)
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12)
  • Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM-01)
  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY-06)
  • 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. 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. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09)
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16)
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)
  • Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA-11)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)

Senators

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)

Democrats Announce Members of Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 07 Feb 2019 19:13:00 GMT

Rep. Kathy Castor (Fla.), chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, has announced the Democratic members: Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), Donald McEachin (Va.) and Joe Neguse (Colo.).

Luján is by far the biggest recipient among the committee of fossil-fuel dollars. He received $159,600 in campaign contributions from oil & gas, mining, chemical, electric utilities, and other energy interests in the last election cycle. Over his career, he has received $386,150 from oil & gas and electric utility companies and their employees. As Assistant Democratic Leader, he is now the number four Democrat in the House.

New Climate Committee Chair: Priorities Include Fuel Economy, Flood Insurance

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:39:00 GMT

“We are in a race against time,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the incoming chair of the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, told reporters. In an interview with USA Today’s Ledyard King, Castor highlighted not just the urgency of the climate crisis but also her interest in pursuing new fuel economy standards and flood insurance reform, practical policy problems that have remained stalled under the Republican Congress and Trump administration.

While not enforcing a band on fossil-fuel contributions for members of the committee, Castor has pledged that she will not accept such donations as chair to “help build confidence in the committee.”

Castor’s plans come in the context of the vigorous push by youth climate activists and new members of Congress for an ambitious Green New Deal, that arguably would build on elements of President Obama’s economic stimulus package of 2009.

“There’s some fabulous proposals in the Green New Deal, and I’m excited about all that. You may see some similar language. Clearly, the focuses are going to be the same,” Castor told The Hill. “This will be a committee clearly in the spirit of the Green New Deal.”

“People don’t understand how forward-leaning the stimulus was on climate issues,” Castor told Michael Grunwald in a Politico interview. “It’s a road map for a Green New Deal.”

More highlights of Rep. Castor’s interview with The Hill’s Timothy Cama:
“I’m hoping that folks will come to this committee ready to take on the corporate polluters and special interests. There shouldn’t be a purity test, that if a member of Congress has ever accepted contributions,” she said.

Castor said she has decided not to take any donations from fossil fuel companies.

“I think me saying that right now will help build confidence in the committee,” she said, noting that such a pledge won’t be a “huge sacrifice,” since she has received just about $2,000 in campaign donations from the oil and natural gas industries during 12 years in office.

Full interview with USA Today:
Q: Much of the information on climate change is out there. So what do you hope to accomplish with this new committee?

Castor: We’re going to press for dramatic carbon pollution reduction. We want to win the clean energy future to defend the American way of life and avoid catastrophic and costly weather events that have dire impacts.

Q: What are some of the issues you want to pursue and how will you work with the standing congressional committees to achieve them?

Castor: Right off the bat, we will tackle fuel economy standards, make sure the Commerce Committee and the (Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) are focused on that. The Financial Services Committee has to do a flood insurance reform bill. We will be involved in that as well.

Q: You mentioned flood insurance. Representing a coastal district, you know what flooding and storms can do. Should we rebuild along the shore?

Castor: We shouldn’t be insuring at taxpayer expense homes and businesses that have been destroyed repeatedly on the shore. Folks know full well that they’re in hurricane’s path or flood’s path and they do that on their own. I’m concerned the (flood) maps are not up-to-date, that states and local communities are not acting fast enough to adopt policies to revise maps.

Q: Is there a concern you may getting in the way of standing committees who are already charged with environmental protection and climate change issues?

Castor: No, we’re going to be complimentary. This is a collaborative effort. It’s just being elevated because the threat to our way of life is at stake. It’s all hands on deck.

Q: What’s your response to Republicans who say the panel will be stacked with Democrats and have too much latitude to go after issues beyond its scope?

Castor: Look, we’ve had so much delay and Republicans have had their heads in the sand here in the Congress. I’ve just been through a time in the minority on (the) Energy and Commerce (Committee) where they refused to have even one hearing on the climate or hear any legislation dealing with the escalating cost of climate of extreme weather events. And I do see our jurisdiction as being very broad. We’re talking about the planet.

Q: How will the committee go about highlighting the consequences of climate change?

Castor: We intend to tell the stories of communities that are taking action despite the inaction from the Congress and the Trump administration. There are some conservative, rural areas that are going renewable and reducing carbon pollution and we’re going to shine a light on their good work. And for bad actors that know better, we intend to make sure they’re famous as well.

Q: Even if the House passes ambitious measures, their chance of becoming law is slim given the positions of the president and the Senate. So why try?

Castor: We don’t have time to wait. Whatever we can press to accomplish as soon as possible, we will do that.

Interview with Politico Pro:

Q: There’s obviously been a lot said about what others would like the committee to be. What is your vision for what the select committee will accomplish?

CASTOR: I would like to have a blend of experience and new freshman members. Their transformative energy [that] they’re bringing to the Congress, it must be reflected on the climate crisis select committee.

Q:How quickly are you looking to fill those lawmaker slots and where will you be drawing your staff from?

CASTOR: We’re accepting some resumes, but I’m looking for scientists. I’m looking for folks who understand public policy. Maybe some people who have experience with the precursor to the New Green Deal, back when we did the Recovery Act and we did [the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009], because within those there are kind of the fundamental building blocks for what we have to do for drastic reductions in carbon pollution.

Q:What do you make of the basic outlines of the Green New Deal and what do you say to progressives disappointed with how the committee is structured in the end?

CASTOR: They shouldn’t be. This is a select committee on the climate crisis that is the spirit of the New Green Deal. When you look at the New Green Deal, they’re terrific general proposals and language. Our job now is to take that and put it into action: through law, through appropriations. The mechanics of that will be very labor intensive.

You said who should come onto this committee? It will be people who are ready to work very diligently. We simply don’t have time to delay.

Q:What’s the select committee’s role in policy formation?

CASTOR: We’re going to be a focal point for pressing for action. I know it’s been criticized we don’t have legislative authority. I would have liked to have had legislative authority — I asked the leadership for subpoena power and legislative authority. But in our discussions now, we will be the focal point for pressing all the committees to act. For example, the Energy and Commerce Committee: They have such a huge portfolio — I know, I’m on there. We’re going to be a group of members who are pressing them to have hearings and markups that need to put the carbon reduction policies into action, into law.

Q:And what might that dynamic look like?

CASTOR: Particularly on the subpoena power part. [Now-Sen.] Ed Markey, the previous select committee chair, they only used the subpoena power once. We’re going to work very closely with the standing committees if we ever need to subpoena anything. I’m not sure yet [if we will].

It’s very apparent the damage that the Trump administration is doing. There’s no secret to that. But this committee is going to be one that is going to press right away for [strengthened] fuel economy standards to challenge the Trump administration. I would foresee us passing a bill on that fairly early on in the Congress, so you have to work with E&C on that. Appropriations will be very important. Back to the Recovery Act — remember the investments we put in for ARPA-E and for energy efficiency grants back to local communities.

I also want the committee to highlight the good work that’s being done in … cities and towns all around the country. Since we know the Trump administration and the GOP Senate are going [to be] kind of a roadblock to very dramatic action, we want to highlight what’s being done in Republican communities and Democratic communities across the country where they are reducing carbon dramatically.

Q:Obviously the Democratic caucus is pretty diverse. There are some members who come from more fossil fuel producing states. How do you make sure you don’t leave anybody behind in the conversation?

CASTOR: You know, that’s one thing I appreciate about the general framework of the Green New Deal is the emphasis on making sure vulnerable communities are not saddled with the cost of the changing climate and the cost of action. We’re going to probably go to some communities that are not traditional — they’re not going to be Democratic bastions. There’s a huge impact in agricultural communities around the country. We’ve got to tell that story.

Q:What are you hoping from your Republican colleagues, or the type of Republican that gets added to the committee?

CASTOR: Folks who are ready to work, who are ready to roll up their sleeves. I’m very hopeful that — that’s one of the reasons we will go to those districts and those communities because nothing moves a member of Congress more than their local community pressing them for action. And I hope that we can build some bridges with our Republican colleagues in the Senate and maybe even in the White House. But that’s no easy task. That’s why we gave the American people — we need folks who understand we have a moral obligation to our kids and future generations to press them as well.

Q:What is your stance on climate and what makes you passionate about this issue? What made you step up and take this committee on?

CASTOR: Coming from the Tampa Bay area in Florida, I feel like my state has been in the bull’s-eye of extreme weather events, of massive cost increases because the climate is changing, of higher air conditioning bills, higher property insurance bills, more of our property taxes are being diverted to infrastructure investments in adaptation, flood insurance. Think about the massive, multi-billion dollar bills we have passed here in the Congress after a hurricane, wildfire or flood. I have young daughters — it’s one of the reasons I came to Congress, to fight for a clean and healthy environment. And now what we have on our doorstep is so much more significant than when I started in public service as an environmental attorney for the state of Florida right out of law school. It is defense of our country, the way of life as we know it.

Q:How much do you envision the committee will take on the companies behind fossil fuel production and greenhouse gas emissions?

CASTOR: Head on. Head on. And you know, we want to highlight the businesses that are eliminating carbon, the businesses that understand that maybe a little energy efficiency here is good. But we’ve got to press them to do so much more. We’re going to highlight the good actors and we are going to shine a very bright light on the polluters, the ones that are emitting the largest amount of greenhouse gases and press for a clean energy economy. And it’s a tall order but I think the American people are behind it and we simply don’t have time to wait.

Q:How do you do that in a way that sounds positive, that can maintain a big tent Democratic Party?

CASTOR: Sitting on the floor during the swearing-in was pretty remarkable — looking at all the kids from the most diverse racially and gender, religious Congress here. And there’s kind of an unspoken understanding among all of the members in the Democratic caucus especially and some of the Republicans that we simply cannot wait any longer.

The Congress has been so out of touch with the type of action that we need. And now we have this transformative freshman class that’s going to push us to take action and we simply have got to defend our way of life and not go backwards. It’s so frustrating. And I think that’s the message the American people sent. They watched the Trump administration go backwards, they watched a president who says, “Oh, I don’t know about climate, it may change back.” I mean, the people know that’s just ignorance.

Democratic House Likely To Rekindle ExxonKnew Investigations

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:05:00 GMT

With both houses of Congress under a Republican majority, investigating the malfeasance of the oil industry has not been a priority. Instead, Republicans have held hearings investigating the officials who are investigating the oil industry.

However, with the House moving to Democratic control, Congressional oversight will become a renewed priority. That primarily involves overseeing the work of the Executive Branch, but also includes corporate behavior of national interest.

The “ExxonKnew” controversy is the evidence that Exxon and other oil majors knew for decades that their products cause dangerous global warming but decided to run a disinformation and political interference campaign to avoid regulation of their pollution.

A leading Congressman in calling for investigation is Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) who repeatedly called for Congressional investigations in 2016. However, he is not currently on the committees with jurisdiction (that could change in the new year).

Another is Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), a former attorney for NRDC, who sits on the Natural Resources Committee and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, both of which potentially have oversight jurisdiction.

Another potential leader on this is Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), the incoming chair of the Science Oversight subcommittee, who has spoken out in support of actions by state attorneys general to investigate Exxon.

19 No Fossil Fuel Money Freshmen Join U.S. Congress

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 24 Nov 2018 20:44:00 GMT

Nineteen members-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives took the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, refusing to accept campaign contributions from the fossil-fuel industry and running on a climate-justice platform. The freshmen No Fossil Fuel Money class is remarkably diverse, in terms of race, gender, geography, and district partisanship.

Katie Hill CA-25
Harley Rouda CA-48
Mike Levin CA-49
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell FL-26
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia IL-04
Ayanna Pressley MA-07
Andy Levin MI-09
Rashida Tlaib MI-13
Dean Phillips MN-03
Ilhan Omar MN-05
Chris Pappas NH-01
Debra A. Haaland NM-01
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez NY-14
Madeleine Dean PA-04
Mary Gay Scanlon PA-05
Susan Wild PA-07
Elaine Luria VA-02
Jennifer Wexton VA-10
Kim Schrier WA-08

In Speech About Being An Impartial Judge, Kavanaugh Discloses Close Friendships With Corporate Elite

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:07:00 GMT

In a 2015 address to Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh discusses his friendships with and envy of America’s corporate elite. Arguing in favor of an “impartial” judiciary, Kavanaugh discusses how he knows these men, whether from his days at the boy’s-only Georgetown Prep, Yale, in the George W. Bush White House, or at the corporate law powerhouse Kirkland & Ellis.

In his prepared remarks for the speech given March 30, 2015, Kavanaugh planned to make a joke about how popular one of his wealthiest friends, Mike Bidwell, is:
I am proud to say that three Georgetown Prep classmates of mine—Mike Bidwill, Don Urgo, and Phil Merkle—happen to be 1990 graduates of this law school. They remain very good friends of mine, and they well reflect the values and excellence of both Georgetown Prep and this law school. You may recognize Mike Bidwill’s name. He is the President of the Arizona Cardinals football team. I am pretty sure he is on the Dean’s speed dial. Yet he is the same humble, generous, friendly guy he was when he was fourteen years old.
Kavanaugh diverged from his prepared remarks, however:
By coincidence, three classmates of mine at Georgetown Prep were graduates of this law school in 1990. And are really really good friends of mine: Mike Bidwill, Don Urgo and Phil Merkle. And they were good friends of mine then. And are still good friends of mine; as recently as this weekend, when we were all on email together.

Bidwill has used his team’s website to support Kavanaugh’s nomination. As Deadspin writer Samer Kalaf notes, he then “went on a conservative radio show to continue to push for his old high school pal” and “bellyached about how unfair it is to be criticized for requiring that NFL players only protest or demonstrate where no one can see them.”

Don Urgo Jr. is a corporate lawyer who now helps run his father’s hotel management business, Urgo Hotels & Resorts.

Philip Merkle is the director of the Office of Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice. He has worked at DOJ since 1996.

Kavanaugh continued:
But fortunately, we had a good saying that we’ve held firm to to this day, as the Dean was reminding me before the talk, which is, “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep.” That’s been a good thing for all of us, I think.

This line earned some mild chuckles from the audience.

Now that Kavanaugh is in line to join fellow Georgetown Prep alumnus Neil Gorsuch on the highest court in the land, it appears that “what happens at Georgetown Prep” may not stay there. He and fellow classmate Mark G. Judge have been accused of sexual assault by professor Christine Blasey Ford. There is no statute of limitations on such a crime in Maryland.

Kavanaugh continued:
The Dean [Dan Attridge] is a wonderful man. He and I worked together at Kirkland and Ellis. We had memorable cases and lawyers at Kirkland and Ellis. I think back at those times.
Dan Attridge’s Kirkland & Ellis page notes one of his “ground-breaking” victories:
Counsel for Nationwide Insurance in over 400 Hurricane Katrina coverage cases in Mississippi, winning the ground-breaking first case to go to trial and defeating the Attorney General’s challenge to the policy’s flood exclusion.

Attridge’s victory cost Katrina victims billions of dollars in damages. Immediately after the ruling, insurance company stocks rose by 2 percent.

At the time, Kavanaugh was working in the Bush White House, as the administration’s racist neglect in the run-up to and aftermath of Katrina led to the death of 3000 Americans. The White House and Senator Grassley have refused to make public Kavanaugh’s role in the Katrina disaster.

Kavanaugh went on to describe his envy of another fellow corporate lawer:
And one person comes to mind that we worked with, was a guy who was a little younger than I was, named Ted Ullyot. And Ted was a great lawyer, great guy, and he worked with us at Kirkland. Then, when I was at the White House and became this job called staff secretary, I had to hire a deputy. And Ted was a great lawyer and I brought him in as my deputy. And then I went on to be a judge. And I remember getting a call from him in 2007 or 2008. And he said, “Yeah, I’m gonna go take this job in California.” “Oh wow, doing what?” “I’m gonna be general counsel of this company.” And I had never heard of the company he was talking about. It was a general counsel of Facebook. And that turned out to be a really good move. Yeah. And that’s been a…

You know, I am committed to public service, as I said, but I do spend some time reading Robert Frost, “The road not taken.”

Ullyot also served a chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. Ullyot is now a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Kavanaugh then went back to his prepared remarks to say that he believes in being an impartial judge.

Brett Kavanaugh Has A Consistent Record Of Attacking Climate Action

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 10 Jul 2018 17:47:00 GMT

Trump Supreme Court nominee and former George W. Bush White House official Brett Kavanaugh has ruled repeatedly on behalf of industrial polluters, particularly on climate change. As a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (the D.C. Circuit), Kavanaugh has argued, sometimes successfully, to block action on carbon pollution.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Patrick Leahy Oppose Trump USDA Chief Scientist Nominee Sam Clovis

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:43:00 GMT

Two more members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, are publicly opposing the confirmation of Sam Clovis, Trump’s nominee to be USDA chief scientist. Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan announced her opposition in September.

Clovis, long under criticism for his lack of scientific credentials, is now embroiled in the Mueller investigation for his role as a top Donald Trump presidential campaign official. Clovis directed his subordinate on the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, to “make the trip” to Moscow to collude with Russian agents.

“If his anti-science record were not enough cause for concern,” Leahy’s statement reads, “the latest reporting suggesting that Mr. Clovis may have facilitated Russian collusion in our elections raises these concerns to an alarming level. Even for this administration, that should be disqualifying.”

“Sam Clovis is uniquely unqualified to serve as USDA’s top scientist, and his confirmation would be harmful to North Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities,” Heitkamp said in a statement to Politco. “North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers need and deserve someone in this role who will work in their best interest – and that is not Sam Clovis. I’ll oppose his nomination.”

With Leahy and Heitkamp’s announcements, there are ten senators, including three on the Agriculture Committee, to publicly oppose the nominee, who rejected the science of climate change, promoted the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and argued that homosexuality is a choice.

A growing coalition of environmental, science, and sustainable farming organizations oppose Clovis.

Senators in public opposition to Sam Clovis:
  • Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • Brian Schatz (D-HI)
  • Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)*
  • Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)*
  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)*

    Members of the agriculture committee are marked with an asterisk.

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