Climate Politics/Capitol Light© is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion
March 16, 2020
Editor's Note: This is a free version of the newsletter prepared for clients of the JBS Group.
The world is not doing well in its efforts to meet the existing voluntary goals of the Paris climate accord—targets that collectively were known to be inadequate from the day the accord first came into force.
A projected 22 million people were displaced by extreme weather in 2019, up from 17.2 million the year before, according to the recently released World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) annual State of the Global Climate Report.
The specialized United Nations agency used data from national meteorological and hydrological services across the globe to confirm that 2019 was the second-warmest year on record; 2015 to 2019 were the warmest five years on record; and 2010 to 2019 was the warmest decade on record. "Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850," according to WMO.
In a foreword to the report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote that the findings indicate the world is far from achieving the goals outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate and illustrate "the urgency for far-reaching climate action."
Climate, Politics/Capitol Light©, is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion
January 11, 2020
Talk about cooking the book(s)
As anticipated, Trump announced his administration’s proposed changes to the National Envi-ronmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed changes would reduce the number of infra-structure projects requiring an environmental review and releasing agencies from having to account for cumulative environmental impacts. Under the proposed rules, projects paid for with private investment funds, e.g., the Keystone XL pipeline, would not require an environ-mental impact statement. Absent the NEPA requirement privately funded projects would not be required to disclose plans to discharge waste into nearby rivers, clear cut forests or otherwise increase greenhouse gas emissions.
The administration has virtually eliminated federal consideration of climate change by freeing agencies from having to account for cumulative environmental impacts. The courts have generally required agencies to account for cumulative climate impact of projects like the federal government's leasing public lands for oil and gas exploration and extraction.
The proposed changes are here. The changes won’t become permanent before the conclusion of a 60-day comment period and conduct of two public hearings.
Climate, Politics/Capitol Light©, is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion.com
Volume 1 June 24, 2019 Issue 11
The Republicans have left the building. Oregon Republican senators have left the Capitol and scattered in various directions outside the state to avoid being rounded up by troopers for a high-profile climate bill vote.
“Protesting cap-and-trade by walking out today represents our constituency and exactly how we should be doing our job,” Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., of Grants Pass, said in a written statement Thursday morning. “We have endured threats of arrest, fines, and pulling community project funds from the governor, Senate president, and majority leader. We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer."
What’s happened to democracy? While Oregon Democrats have a rare 18 to 12 super-majority in the House and Senate, they cannot approve the bill without at least two Republicans present. After several days of heated debate between the two sides, eleven GOP members mutually agreed to boycott the vote.
“The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward,” Governor Kate Brown said on Thursday, adding “As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request.”
Sen. Brian Boquist (R) didn’t take too kindly to Brown’s threat – telling a reporter he was prepared for a bloody standoff if state troopers show up for him. Boquist had previously told Brown that “hell is coming to visit you personally” if she went forward with the threat.
“Send bachelors, and come heavily armed; I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon, it’s just that simple,”
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.