New rule: any member of Congress who votes for the Manchin-Schumer deal to increase global warming can’t ever call themselves a progressive again-- and if you see them in the street or anywhere else, you should spit in their face and accept the consequences. They are the enemy of mankind— basically all Republicans and way too many Democrats. According to yesterday’s Hill, over 70 House Dems have signed onto a letter by Raúl Grijalva demanding Schumer not include the dirty little deal in the CR: “We urge you” wrote Grijalva, chair of the Houser Natural Resources Committee, “to ensure that these provisions are kept out of a continuing resolution or any other must-pass legislation this year.”
The opposition from Democrats is a significant problem. If the group follows through on the letter, Democrats might not have the votes to pass a government funding bill if it includes the language backed by Manchin.
And the fact that so many members signed on to the push may give them some additional leverage.
Democrats have historically opposed any changes perceived as undercutting environmental reviews in the permitting process, arguing that this could hamper the consideration of climate and pollution concerns.
Historically, progressives raise the white flag as soon as Pelosi and Biden bark at them. Grijalva has said he feels no obligation to vote for the changes “since he was not part of the negotiations with Manchin. He has argued that members should not have to choose between funding the government and voting for changes that they oppose.”
Reporting for the Washington Post yesterday, Maxine Joselow, wrote that there may be enough Republicans ready to undermine Climate amelioration so that Schumer, Pelosi and Biden don’t need any progressives anyway. Bernie has already said he’s voting against it. She wrote that “Despite the chorus of opposition from progressive lawmakers and activists, however, the stark political reality is that Democratic leadership plans to attach the permitting bill to a stopgap funding measure, giving it a good chance of passing.” Unless progressives grow a spine; unlikely.
Sanders blasted the agreement as “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry” that would undermine President Biden's goal of halving the nation's emissions by 2030. He added that “at least 59” House Democrats plan to release a letter opposing the permitting bill.
Meanwhile, climate activists traveled to Washington from as far away as Alaska for the rally against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would transport natural gas about 300 miles from West Virginia to Virginia.
…Still, the permitting bill appears on track to pass as part of the legislation to avert a government shutdown, said Alex Herrgott, president of the nonprofit Permitting Institute, who is providing technical assistance on elements of the permitting package to Manchin's staff and other staff on both sides of the aisle.
“The years of gridlock, unexpected delays and escalating project costs are shared pain on all sides,” Herrgott told The Climate 202. “Permitting reform will happen this year. The status quo benefits no one.”
Herrgott added that while critics have focused on the bill's benefits for fossil fuel projects, the measure would also accelerate the construction of more than $700 million worth of wind and solar projects experiencing up to three years of unexpected delays.
Manchin echoed that sentiment when confronted by an anti-pipeline activistoutside the Capitol on Thursday. “We want renewable investment, and basically you have to have permitting reform in order to get it done,” he said.
Even if Sanders votes against the funding bill, the measure could still pass the Senate with at least 11 votes from Republicans. And several GOP senators signaled this week that they were eager to revamp the permitting process, a longtime conservative priority.
“I'm an incrementalist. If we can get an increment that's in the right direction, I'm good. I'm happy,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told reporters Wednesday.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said she would lean toward supporting a permitting bill that helped the Mountain Valley Pipeline in her home state, although she cautioned that she had not seen final legislative text.
“The MVP pipeline is one specific I've seen, and I'm all in on that,” Capito told The Climate 202 on Thursday.
On the other side of the Capitol, some House progressives worry about rushing through the permitting bill without adequate time to review its potential consequences, according to a House Democratic aide.
“It merits more time to get the policy right,” said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.
Even if 50 House Democrats oppose the funding measure, it could still clear the lower chamber with at least 39 votes from Republicans. Herrgott expressed confidence that House GOP lawmakers would back the bill rather than risk a government shutdown over an arcane issue like permitting reform.
Rising seas could swallow millions of U.S. acres within decades
Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the United States could slip below tidal lines over the next few decades as global warming accelerates sea level rise, according to an analysis published Thursday by the research nonprofit Climate Central, the Washington Post’s Brady Dennis reports.
Here are the major takeaways from the research, which underscores the consequences of failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions for the most vulnerable people and places:
Sea level rise will shift coastlines— and property lines— with more than 4.4 million acres of land projected to fall below changing tidal boundaries by 2050. That number could jump to 9.1 million acres by 2100.
The Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast stand to lose the most. The report concluded that an estimated 25,000 properties in Louisiana could slip below tidal boundary lines by 2050, amounting to 8.7 percent of the state's total land area. Florida, Texas and North Carolina also face the most widespread economic threats, in that order.
It’s not just about flooded homes; it’s about eroding the revenue that governments need to operate, since there will be fewer properties to tax. The result could be less money to fund schools and fire departments, fix roads, and maintain sewers or other essential services.
Other major costs include the removal of destroyed or abandoned structures and repairs of roadways damaged by floods.