If this week is the “Super Bowl” of trade policy—as Republican Senator Rob Portman called it Wednesday—the planet won’t be getting a ring. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Nafta replacement that passed 89-10 through the Senate on Thursday, never mentions the climate crisis. It will do plenty to fuel it.
One of America’s major political parties may not yet be willing to acknowledge that climate change is real, but it is already having significant effects on the U.S. military. Flooding in Nebraska and a hurricane in Florida that damaged military installations led to a recent Pentagon request of $5 billion in relief money. Now Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., are calling on the Government Accountability Office to assess military contractors’ vulnerability to climate risks.
The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday unveiled a five-page, nonbinding resolution that frames a 10-year “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” to confront the climate crisis. The plan envisions the creation of millions of “good, high-wage jobs” and will serve to “counteract systemic injustices.”
Under Jerry Brown, California has become a leader on climate politics. But the state has done little to phase out fossil fuel emissions at their source. Among other things, they called on Brown to “listen to science, not carbon polluters” by moving to keep fossil fuels in the ground. California — the world’s sixth-largest economy — has the country’s most ambitious climate policies by a mile, but it is also among the most prolific oil and gas producers in the U.S. — hence the papier-mâché likeness of Brown’s head atop an oil rig.
ndrew Cuomo has a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to the politics of abolishing ICE. Luxury landlords across the state collect millions in rent from the agency — money they have turned around and funneled to Cuomo’s political campaigns, according to a new report by the New York-based watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative.
The most recent version of the Republican tax plan unveiled Thursday leaves Republicans representing blue states in a tough spot, threatening to derail the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act train just as it’s leaving the station. Subsidizing tax cuts for the wealthy by making middle-class people in Democratic-leaning states pay more might make for satisfying politics for House Republicans, but the math will be difficult for them.
What should be a sparkling opportunity to push forward an ambitious agenda on climate — to condemn Republicans for not just ignoring but fueling a crisis with increasingly human and economic consequences — is going quite literally up in smoke. Even the most dogged climate champions in Congress are doing something Republicans would never dream of: letting a crisis go to waste.