Home / Politics / Open thread for night owls: House blocks move to use clean energy funds for fossil fuel project

Open thread for night owls: House blocks move to use clean energy funds for fossil fuel project

An “ethane cracker” facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Petrochemical plants like this manufacture the building blocks of plastics. The Trump regime would like to use clean energy money to build a giant underground storage facility for ethane.

James Bruggers at Inside Climate News writes—House Votes to Block Trump from Using Clean Energy Funds to Back Fossil Fuels Project:

Democrats mounted a challenge in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday against what they call a raid by the natural gas and plastics industries on a pot of federal money created to help finance innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The fight is over a proposed $1.9 billion government-backed loan guarantee from a program that has primarily been used to back wind power, solar and other types of clean energy. The Energy Department is now considering using that program to support a large-scale underground storage project for ethane, a fossil fuel byproduct used to make plastics. […]

Opponents forced a vote on an amendment to a big spending bill this week to try to stop it, and the House approved it.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called it “incredibly worrisome that this administration would try to use a program designed for renewable energy to line the pockets of polluters. Grants that are designed for renewable energy projects should go toward renewable energy. Period.”

She co-sponsored the amendment, which expressly bans the use of loan guarantees from the program except for “clean energy projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases.” This kind of amendment is often used to tie an agency’s hands or to bolster eventual challenges in court. […]

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“I think it would be quite wrong to suggest that my colleagues have rejected me or that I reject them. Quite the reverse. It’s only a small, vociferous group—mainly biologists, I’m sorry to say—that go beyond ordinary scientific criticism and start becoming personal.”
     
    ~~James Lovelock, who created the Gaia hypothesis, will turn 100 next month, in The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity (2006)

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2011— Think Big: Real family values:

Americans love to talk about family values. That is to say, they love to express outrage—at Janet Jackson’s exposed breast; at a politician’s adulterous indiscretions; at the sexual orientation of their children’s favorite underwater sponge—and slap a “family values” label on their outrage.

While “family values” makes for a convenient bumper sticker slogan for politicians running on a platform of discrimination, the reality is that our nation’s domestic policies demonstrate that, in fact, we don’t really value families at all. Those who claim to advocate for family values are far more concerned with narrowly defining what constitutes a family than with promoting policies that support and strengthen existing families. Relatively few governmental programs exist to assist families and those that do are laughably underfunded and restricted, and under constant attack from the very people who feign outrage at faux issues.

We could do this. Other countries around the world that have claimed an interest in helping families have invested resources in effective programs rather than propaganda. From family planning to family leave to subsidized health care and education, there are policies that do work. Unfortunately, our “family values” debate in this country dismisses such policies as socialism and sinfulness. So instead of investing in what works, our resources are diverted to propaganda that doesn’t.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: It was another Twitter-tizzy morning, but they couldn’t break Greg Dworkin’s concentration. And then, there were the polls. Eventually, Greg controls the entire show, setting us up with the opportunity to examine how House rules (and Rules) really rule.

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