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Debt Ceiling Victory Is, Ah, Yeah
They could have shot many more puppies
Links are at the end.
I’m not sure what’s making my brain stupid, but it’s something. I feel like I’m writing with a head full of jello, when writing at all.
Chuck Schumer has taken a whole bunch of money from NextEra Energy, one of the companies behind Joe Manchin’s pet pipeline project. Manchin has taken similarly large sums from the firm, which, along with its majority partner, Equitrans Midstream, explicitly benefits from the debt ceiling deal.
The pipeline's approval has been delayed amid negative court rulings and has been opposed by environmental groups. The text of the House budget bill expedites the pipeline's federal permits and limits judicial review.
In early May, Equitrans said it could finish the pipe by the end of 2023, but noted "there remains significant risk and uncertainty, including regarding current and likely litigation."
With Biden signing the bill today, the risk and uncertainty have sharply declined.
You won’t find a clearer case of legal bribery than the campaign cash with which Schumer has been showered by NextEra and other companies involved in the pipeline. Manchin and his West Virginia colleague in skullduggery, GOP senator Shelly Capito, have also benefited, and Capito and her husband own a bunch of NextEra stock, which has of course jumped substantially since the provision surfaced.
This was the second attempt to attach the pipeline project sweetheart deal to important legislation. The first one failed last year when Democrats, in a rare transition to vertebrates, managed to kill it.
Aside from incorporating a novel effort to kill lawsuits against the project, the project stands as an assault on the climate approved by Democrats, or at least by Schumer, Biden and Manchin, to whatever extent the latter can be counted as a Democrat.
The Biden administration has said that the fracked natural gas transported by the pipeline will both help European allies break their dependence upon Russian gas, and lessen U.S. reliance on dirty, coal-fired electric power plants. Neither of these are true; most important, the pipeline represents a large-scale assault on the climate and the environment.
Methane is the primary component of fracked gas. Methane is at least twenty-five times more warming than carbon dioxide. In order to meaningfully account for the emissions it would cause, MVP would have to displace 25-35 coal plants in the Southeast. This is highly unlikely and will not help lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Republicans, meanwhile, are delighted by the court-shopping provision.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) told reporters Tuesday that the pipeline language is “ultimately a huge win” for his party because it puts “Democrats on record supporting a conventional energy project that removes or ties the hands of the judiciary.”
Yr. jello-brained editor here finds the Democratic declarations of debt-limit deal victory more than a tad grotesque, given the pipeline thing and the “oh well, it’s not that many people getting screwed” thing. God, sparrows. One suspects god doesn’t keep a close eye on sparrows, nor anybody set to get booted from one or another social welfare program.
At about the same time Democrats agreed to unloose the climate-killing hounds, the Earth Commission released a study in Nature looking at “climate, air pollution, phosphorus and nitrogen contamination of water from fertilizer overuse, groundwater supplies, fresh surface water, the unbuilt natural environment and the overall natural and human-built environment.”
The study found that of all those areas, only air pollution measures aren’t flashing red globally despite local and regional air quality issues.
If planet Earth just got an annual checkup, similar to a person’s physical, “our doctor would say that the Earth is really quite sick right now and it is sick in terms of many different areas or systems and this sickness is also affecting the people living on Earth,” Earth Commission co-chair Joyeeta Gupta, a professor of environment at the University of Amsterdam, said at a press conference.
It’s not a terminal diagnosis. The planet can recover if it changes, including its use of coal, oil and natural gas and the way it treats the land and water, the scientists said.
But “we are moving in the wrong direction on basically all of these,” said study lead author Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.
Of course the important thing is that we’re moving, regardless this way or that. Movement is important.
Were I The Democrats, every teevee interview, every newspaper interview and a good dollop of congressional speeches and press releases would include the hard truths about climate change and who benefits from accelerating it. Some suggestion has been made that among the reasons Biden went along with the pipeline measure is the possibility it would help Manchin get reelected but, from the sparrow perspective, what’s the point of reelecting someone who wants us dead, and deprived along the way?
In good news, the Utah state house member responsible for legislation encouraging Utah parents to get every book they don’t like pulled from school library shelves has decided not to contest a complaint from a parent in Farmington, Utah, demanding that the school district there remove the Bible from library shelves “because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”
The district responded by yanking the book, again and again, from elementary and middle school libraries. Ken Ivory, the legislator in question, was at first outraged but now allows as how it’s best that the youngsters study the Good Book at home.
Yr. editor believes that the animal sacrifice specs in Leviticus should be a hands-on element of every elementary school curriculum.
Are we done here? We are done here.
I may have played La Luz here before, but if I did I don’t remember and I’m happy to have done so again. The band has pronounced surf tendencies but I don’t know what to call the style. I really like them, and the other two groups aren’t half bad either.
La Luz, “It’s Alive;”Lala Lala, “I Want The Door To Open;” mui zyu, “Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century.”
That’s it, Comrades. Please share my stuff if you like it, and consider subscribing if you’ve not—it’s free unless you wish to pay.