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Today we will be looking at the Biden administration’s green buildingsinitiative, another round Of Oversight Requests for Big Oil Testimony and more criminal investigator hiring at EPA.
Lets jump in.
Biden launches green building partnership with states and cities
The Biden administration has launched a new partnership to reduce planet-warming emissions from buildings with two states and many cities.
The White House presented the new Buildings Performance Standards Coalition in a first shared fact sheet with The Hill Friday.
According to the administration, the partnership will consist of 33 state and local governments. These represent 20 percent and 22 percent respectively of the country’s total building footprint.
What are the details of the agreement?According to the fact sheet, the initiative will increase energy efficiency and electrification in the buildings sector. This will create jobs while lowering consumers’ energy bills.
The coalition’s goal by Earth Day 2024 is to promote legislation and regulation in all local and state jurisdictions.
It will do this by creating policy roadmaps, convening teams based on place to help develop policy, and sharing its results with each other.
The initiative has been signed by Washington and Colorado, as well as a number of cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.
The Biden administration’s move comes as it is eager to show its willingness to take action on climate change, particularly since Congress continues to block its social and climate spending agenda.
Bidens isn’t giving up on either:Biden expressed optimism at a press conference this Wednesday that it was possible to preserve a lot of energy and environmental-related spending.
The White House made a new push to invoke labor in its latest push. They stated that members from the country’s buildingtradesand unions had indicated they will work with coalition members.
You can read more about the announcement here.
House panel requests five members of the oil company board to testify
The House Oversight and Reform Committee issued another round of invitations for fossil fuel companies to testify on their knowledge of climate change. This time, the invitations were sent to board directors of major companies.
Witness invites shared by The Hill confirmed that Enrique Hernandez, a director of Chevron’s board, Jane Holl Lute from Shell’s board, Melody Meyer of BP board, and Susan Avery (ExxonMobil board) were among the invitees. The hearing is scheduled for February 8. A spokesperson for committee stated that the panel would release a full hearing advisory in the coming weeks with further details.
The invites note that the companies are required to include environmental protection duties in their charters. It asks for testimony about the companies’ efforts to reduce or offset their emissions and whether those efforts are consistent in reaching net-zero emissions for 2050.
The upcoming hearing will determine if the industry is taking action to reduce its dangerous emissions or if it is just lip service and putting our planet at risk. Chairwoman: Fossil fuel companies’ boards of directors play a crucial governance role in addressing climate crisis.Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyHouse panel questions five members of the board of oil companies to testify House Democrats inquire into possible undercount in Detroit and other communities Democrats ask FDA to reconsider ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood during shortage(D.N.Y.) stated in a statement. We invited them as witnesses to ensure that we can hold the fossil fuel industries accountable and ensure that they take action to reduce climate change.
The story so far:In October, the committee questioned executives from Chevron and ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and the American Petroleum Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce about their knowledge of the role of fossil fuels and climate change. Maloney officially subpoenaed witnesses the following week, claiming they had failed to provide most records requested by Maloney. Thesubpoenas were complied with by the companies.
You can read more about invitations here.
Rep.Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib condemns Biden’s judicial nominee, whose firm sued an environmental lawyer House Democrats inquire about possible Census undercount in Detroit and other communities Michigan redistricting spat exposes competing interest in Democratic coalition(D.Mich.), a vocal opponent of the prosecution for StevenDonziger, a former environmental lawyer, blasted Biden administrations’ judicial nomination of Donziger’s lawyer who worked on Chevrons lawsuit.
President BidenJoe BidenNew York woman accused of spitting on Jewish children arrestedTlaib stated in a statement that he was elected with the hope of stopping and reverseing the conservative takeover at our courts, and not speeding it up, Tlaib told The Hill.
She went on to attack Jennifer Reardens role as a Chevron lawyer in the outrageous Chevron legal assail on StevenDonziger”, as well her work for landlords facing discrimination lawsuits.
This nomination is a disgrace to the very people that put President Biden in office, and he should immediately withdraw it, Tlaib stated.
Donzigers sued Texaco, which Chevron had acquired in 2001, in the 1990s for a coalition of indigenous Ecuadoreans. Chevron was represented by Rearden, who worked for Gibson and Dunn.
Donziger refused electronic devices to be turned over during the case, and was placed under house arrest for 2019. He was sentenced to six months in jail last October.Donzigersconviction and sentencing have been condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as by Tlaib and fellow members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Learn more about the controversy here.
Advocates call for more, but the EPA has hired additional criminal investigators.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been hiring more people to investigate environmental crime, but some supporters feel it’s not moving fast enough.
The Hill received a Freedom of Information Act request from Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (PEER) in December. It shows that the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement Forensics & Training has 161 environmental cops.
This is a big increase over the recent years, when their numbers were as low as 140 in 2018, according aRequests for PEER records prior to 1998Nevertheless, this is still well below the 200-person minimum required by Congress.
This new figure brings it in line with Obama-era numbers. Previous requests from the group showed that the group had 175 agents in 2012 and only 154 in 2015.
Jeff Ruch, PEERs Pacific director said that this number is especially concerning given the low number of criminal cases referred to the Justice Department in fiscal year 2021.
Ruch stated that Biden’s EPA isn’t going to reinvigorate criminal enforcers, and that there is no indication that they are moving in that direction.
Find out more about the numbers.
WHAT WAS READING
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