Sunday, April 29, 2018

Will The Country Be Cleaner If We Elect Progressive Democrats This Year? (Not A Trick Question)


A week from tomorrow 2 crucial congressional primaries will be playing out-- one on Indiana's 9th district and one in North Carolina's 5th district. The DCCC isn't exactly crazy about either of these stalwart progressives and each one will have to face a multimillionaire far right odious crackpot-- Dan Canon taking on Trey Hollingsworth and Jenny Marshall taking on Virginia Foxx.

Goal ThermometerAs of the April 18th FEC reporting deadline Dan had raised $433,401, compared to Hollingsworth's $887,779, and Jenny had raised $125,476 compared to Foxx's $1,482,801. Each also has a garden variety Democrat to face on May 8 (primary day). Both Dan and Jenny (whose newest video is up top) can use some help with their field operations. Field will determine the outcome of each primary. If you'd like to chop in to either campaign-- or both-- you can do it by clicking on the Blue America ActBlue congressional thermometer on the right. Both candidates have a lot in common policy-wise and certainly protection of the environment is one of them. Dan has been very clear that protecting the environment is one of his top priorities. He promised to "demand comprehensive environmental protections, including but not limited to: legislative strengthening of the EPA-- increased enforcement powers to deal with Flint-type crises, to ensure breathable air, drinkable water, and clean soil for all; support for the Keep it in the Ground Act of 2017 (H.R. 2242); measures to address, halt, and reverse global climate change by researching the viability of responsible geoengineering and other technological innovations; facilitation of both agency and private enforcement of the root causes of climate change (e.g., deforestation and irresponsible energy consumption); protect and strengthen the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Antiquities Act, and the Endangered Species Act; support and/or introduce legislation designed to reduce carbon pollution by at least 28% by 2025 and 80% by 2050; support permanently extending the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC); support and/or introduce legislation designed to facilitate a transition to 100% clean energy by 2050; ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry."

Similarly Jenny makes it clear that "We only have one earth and we must take care of it. This means investing in clean renewable energy sources, increasing sustainable building and clean air, soil and water protections" and makes that point that she will push for 
ban on fracking and eliminating the EPA fracking loophole for oil and gas companies.
reinstate the superfund tax structure so that the cleanup of such sites does not burden the citizens, but the industry who created it.
the passing of a renewable electricity standard (RES) setting binding targets for renewable energy in the near-- and long-term to diversify the U.S. electricity generation mix, save consumers money, and reduce pollution.
And both Dan and Jenny are very concerned by how Scott Pruitt is handling the EPA. Pruitt's corruption issues are bad enough. His policy problems are even worse. And now he's further alienated and demoralized his own staff.

Several current and former EPA officials and other people close to the agency said Pruitt did himself no favors with his congressional testimony Thursday, in which he blamed his aides for installing a $43,000 privacy booth in his office and approving more than $100,000 in first-class flights that he took last year. Pruitt also denied knowing key details about raises that his top staff received last year. And he declined to defend his former policy chief against Democrats' accusations that she had failed to show up for work for three months, even though she and Pruitt had been photographed attending the same meeting during the period in question.

...A current EPA official said Friday that employees are veering between "despair" and "embarrassment," and Pruitt's televised performance did not help.

"I will tell you, it did not go unnoticed from people who watched the hearing that he did not take responsibility on the policy pieces” of the testimony, the official said. "It was not lost on us on the stuff we know about that he used very careful language, he was parsing his words, that some might say he did not speak the whole truth."

One former EPA official said even political aides are “sick of Pruitt constantly putting himself first,” and “putting himself before the president’s agenda.”

“He’s rarely been interested in selling regulatory reform as improving Americans’ lives, and is far more interested in saving his political career,” the former official said.

But Trump has shown no signs of abandoning his EPA chief, who has won the strong backing of conservative groups with his efforts to erase Obama-era environmental regulations. So far, that has outweighed the anger of White House staff members and exasperation of key Republican lawmakers at Pruitt's series of controversies over luxe travel, extensive security, a below-market D.C. condo rental from a lobbyist and history of questionable real estate deals in his native Oklahoma.

...Departed EPA aides who have said Pruitt didn't tolerate internal criticism of his spending and secrecy say current staffers still fear they’ll be similarly swept up in the scandals-- but won't be able to find jobs if they quit now and gain a reputation for disloyalty.

“They’re trying to do the best they can in a toxic environment,” one former staffer said. “You cannot express any idea that might be misconstrued as a political attack on Pruitt or any policy issues, so people just do what they’re told. They’re professional. ... They don’t want to get caught in an undertow.”

Another former EPA official has been getting phone calls from staffers who are frustrated by the controversies but keeping their heads down.

“Everyone in the building wants to come out and say something … but as soon as they say something, they’re out of a job,” that person said.

...“Administrator Pruitt speaks for a certain aspect of the Trump administration conservative movement,” the appointee said.

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At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it *IS* a trick question, and you know it.

Electing progressive democraps won't do dick for the environment. Pelosi and Scummer will put their votes up for sale, fossil fuels will buy them, and no meaningful changes will occur. Or do you not remember the wonderful democrap congress in 2009 and democrap prez obamanation which opened up more offshore drilling (a moratorium on more leases occurred only because of the gulf gusher, but that passed and so did the moratorium) than even the 'oil man' bush did? And tell us all how the democraps slowed the fracking down too. And regale all of us with all the great lege that the 2009 congress passed to support renewables. Please.


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shifting the topic to cleaner ethics, the only answer -based on the actions of the DxCC- is this: HELL NO! Big Money will still dominate, because it is paying the "democrats" to get rid of any real progressives.

A commenter a couple of posts below this one took issue with an article which cited how the "democrats" were actively working against progressive candidates and suggested that many of the ex-military standing for election this cycle just might be progressives. To this I say: Joe Sestak.
Joe Sestak's last stand against the Democratic Party
Washington Democrats are spending big to defeat one of their own in a must-win Pennsylvania Senate race.

By BURGESS EVERETT 04/07/2016 05:15 AM EDT Updated 04/07/2016 03:38 PM EDT

"There’s no ideological civil war underway here. No, this is all personal — just former Navy Adm. Joe Sestak making his last stand against Democratic Party leaders who’ve been trying to sink him for six years and counting."
Why were national Democrats so opposed to Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary?

"Sestak won the primary handily, 54% to [ex-Republican Arlen] Specter's 46%, and the Democratic establishment never forgave him for it . . ."

All the military candidates would be facing the same hostility if they were as progressive as Admiral Joe.



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