Reporters don't "get" Kyrsten Sinema. I've known her since she was in the state legislature so I have had a much longer time to understand what a complete pile of stinking, worthless crap she is. I know you shouldn't talk that way about a woman but:
1- I believe in gender equality
2- I'm in the middle of vetting a Senate candidate and he mentioned to me that AC/DC is one of his all-time favorite bands so I told him the story about how I first met the band in 1977 when they played San Francisco for the first time. I was hanging out with them backstage-- a huge room-- at the Old Waldorf when we heard screaming. A groupie had bitten Bon Scott's dick. What a mess! Anyway, this morning he sent me a YouTube of the show and I've been listening to it all morning so it's made me... fiesty.
I'm betting NY Times reporter Coral Davenport doesn't really know Sinema. She writes about her as though she were a normal garden variety politician; Sinema isn't. She's a complete sociopath-- no more or less so than Trump. Davenport noted in his post this morning that Sinema "started in politics as an environmentalist." Technically, that's true. In reality, Sinema has always been-- as she is now-- a one-issue candidate. Other issues are just a means to an end. The end-- the one and only issue that means anything to her: Kyrsten Sinema.
Davenpoint's main point, though, is solid: Sinema Wants To Cut $100 Bill In Proposed Climate Funds. I'm so old I remember when she wouldn't tell anyone what she was opposed to in Biden's Build Back Better Act and everyone just assumed it was just raising taxes on the rich, which has been the motivation that has served her quest for personal fame and fortune since she first got to Congress a decade ago. Like Trump, Sinema is a congenital, transactional liar and Davenport reminded her readers this morning that last month Sinema "told the Arizona Republic, 'We know that a changing climate costs Arizonans. And right now, we have the opportunity to pass smart policies to address it-- looking forward to that.' In her 2018 run for the Senate, Sinema was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters [politically, an absurd astroturf operation for the DSCC and DCCC]. And she has expressed an interest in using the spending bill to enact a tax or fee on carbon dioxide pollution, which experts say could be among the most effective ways to mitigate global warming. But Sinema’s demand to cut spending on climate provisions in the budget bill could force Democrats to cut or shrink programs designed to help poor communities adapt to climate change as well as to help companies adjust as the economy transitions away from fossil fuels to clean energy."
Sinema-- like her character insisted on SNL last weekend-- is mum about the cuts... wouldn't say what he demands are on this or anything else. Her office just continues denying everything related to policy and she notoriously refuses to answer questions from (mostly former) supporters, from constituents and from the media. Only New Jersey Blue Dog Josh Gottheimer and fellow bisexual Mitch McConnell know what she really is up to.
The people familiar with her request, who asked to speak anonymously because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said that she had asked for a cut to the climate program as part of a larger effort by Democrats to hunt for ways to lower the price tag of the broader spending legislation. Mr. Biden had initially envisioned a spending package of about $3.5 trillion, but Democrats are now trying to cut that to $2 trillion, in order to win support from Ms. Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, without whose votes the measure will not pass.
As Democrats try to slice $1.5 trillion from the overall bill, party leaders have vowed to protect at least two major climate change programs, which together total about $450 billion.
The first, a $150 billion proposal known as the Clean Electricity Program, would reward electric utilities that switch from burning fossil fuels to wind, solar or nuclear power, and penalize companies that don’t. The second is a package of roughly $300 billion in tax incentives to increase the use of wind and solar power and electric vehicles.
Those two programs could lead to significant reductions in the nation’s climate-warming pollution and would very likely stand as the most important climate action taken by the United States, analysts said.
But to bring down the cost of the bill, and to appease Ms. Sinema, Democrats could still could cut or shrink up to another $200 billion from several other climate programs.
“Almost every climate program that’s not those two would be substantially reduced or cut entirely in that circumstance,” said John Coequyt, director of government affairs at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a research organization that focuses on climate change policy.
Those could include a number of programs designed to help poor people adapt to the destructive impacts of climate change, as well as $30 billion for a “Green Bank” to help communities finance construction of solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, and $30 billion to create a “Civilian Climate Corps” that would hire young adults to work in climate mitigation and adaptation, with half coming from communities of color.
Another possible contender for the chopping block could be a $10 billion program to help rural electric cooperatives, which supply electricity to over 40 million people in rural communities. The money would aim to ease the price spikes that those rural residents could see in their power bills as the cooperatives make the switch from buying coal-fired power to wind and solar. Other potential cuts could include a $13 billion program to build new electric vehicle charging stations-- including $1 billion to ensure that those stations are built in lower-income areas.
“Absent programs like that, the economic transition to different energy sources will be less even and equitable,” Mr. Coequyt said. “There will be communities that can’t take advantage of the new technologies for a whole bunch of different reasons.”
Cutting assistance to local communities would also undermine popular support for a transition to a clean energy economy, experts say. “Some of the programs that are intended to reach into rural and low-income communities are really important to maintaining the political coalition for this,” said Dallas Burtraw, an analyst for Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan research organization focused on energy and environmental policy. “It could be both an economic and a political problem if those communities are left behind.”
Scientists and environmental activists in Arizona say those cuts would end up hurting Ms. Sinema’s constituents.
As one of the nation’s hottest and driest states, Arizona is already on the front lines of the extreme weather that scientists say is worsened by a warming planet. Arizona is gripped in a decades-long megadrought, with 95 percent of the state experiencing severe drought conditions. Since 2012, the state has endured five drought events that caused a total of $22.1 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This year alone about half a million acres of the state have been consumed by wildfires, and yet many communities were also flooded by monsoons. Across Arizona, there was a record 522 heat-related deaths in 2020, according to the state.
“Annual average temperatures in Arizona have already increased a couple of degrees due to climate change, which may not sound like much, but it has increased heat waves and droughts, it has lowered the snowpack which is essential to our water supply, and which flows in streams that are important to the health of wildlife, which is important to our ranchers and farmers,” said Gregg Garfin, a climatologist at the University of Arizona.
Arizona needs federal help to grapple with a hotter climate, he said. “We need the work force,” Garfin said. “We need the funding. Many communities in Arizona lack the budget or expertise to do this. It requires real money. And it’s super important for Arizona.”
Poor and minority communities, which are disproportionately harmed by climate change, must be included in any government plan, said Vianey Olivarria, a director of Chispa Arizona, the state branch of the League of Conservation Voters. “There is no way to have a climate action plan that does not have environmental justice,” she said.
Democrats at the forefront of pushing for climate action say none of the policies can be spared.
“We cannot slash climate funding in this package. That would go back on the promise to voters, to young people, to the American workers who don’t want to be left behind,” said Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. “We absolutely need a robust Civilian Climate Corps, which will inspire a new generation of young Americans. We need a robust green climate bank which will unleash for every dollar which is spent, seven to 10 dollars of private sector investment. That’s a very smart way of ensuring that every small city, small town housing authority, small business, can have access to the capital they need to make this transition.”
"No Climate, No Deal!" This morning North Carolina Senate candidate Erica Smith reminded us she said it back in June when she marched with Sunrise. "We are in the midst of a climate crisis and on the verge of climate catastrophe," she said today after reading about Sinema's threat to Biden's modest climate agenda. "A generation is coming of age at a time in which good paying jobs are few and far between, home ownership is increasingly out of reach, and the existential threat of a climate emergency has never loomed larger. With a bold CCC, we can address these interconnected crises in a meaningful way! We can put a generation to work, curbing income inequality while solving the climate crisis. No climate, no deal. We cannot abandon young people. We cannot abandon our planet. We cannot leave behind the CCC."
There's one swing district in Kentucky. Chemistry teacher Chris Preece is challenging right-wing incumbent Andy Barr for the seat. This morning Preece told me that "During the Great Depression, we had a CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933] to help struggling Americans get back to work. The work done by the CCC was essential to their communities. We need a new CCC built on climate action that will help communities across our Nation build the infrastructure for our future. Climate change is here and we have done little to address the problem. To leave this program out of the bill would be another setback on climate action and a set back for so many Americans trying to get back to work during this pandemic."