energy

Note to Ocasio-Cortez and Green New Dealers: The economy is not the government
Like old New Deal, plan promises much and will produce little

Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey, center, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others hold a press conference on the Green New Deal outside the Capitol on Feb. 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — In the final debate of the 2010 British general election, Conservative Party leader David Cameron told his Labour Party rival, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, that “Labour seem to confuse the economy with the government.” A month later, Cameron had Brown’s job. 

Given the proposals in the Democrats’ Green New Deal — whose bungled release last week made for some sorely needed comic moments in an otherwise grim Washington — their leading economist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could learn something important from Cameron’s spot-on observation about what drives a successful economy. A hint: It isn’t government.

Ocasio-Cortez snaps back at Trump after he disparages ‘Green New Deal’
New York Democrat highlighted president’s neglect of written intelligence briefing books

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., defended her “Green New Deal” resolution from President Donald Trump's comments at a rally in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez snapped back at Donald Trump on Monday after the president took a swipe at the literary merits of the “Green New Deal” House resolution she championed.

“It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark,” Trump said at a campaign-style rally in El Paso, Texas, referring to the legislation that was written in standard House format.

The change-makers: Roll Call’s people to watch in 2019
A surge of energy from activists has defined the Trump era. What’s the end game?

Varshini Prakash co-founded the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group, in 2017. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images file photo)

Several activists who will be on the front lines of some of the biggest policy battles in the year ahead rank among Roll Call’s People to Watch in 2019. 

They include the leader of a fledgling environmental group pushing for aggressive action on climate change; the new president of Planned Parenthood, the lightning rod in the raging debate over abortion; and an expert on transportation safety who will be insisting on strong regulations to prevent deaths and injuries from driver-less vehicles. 

Democrats unveil Green New Deal that would push government to make radical changes
The resolution would force lawmakers to take a position on the deal, and its goals of remaking the U.S. economy within a decade

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as Sen. Ed Markey speaks as Democrats announce their Green New Deal resolution outside of the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A resolution outlining the goals of an ambitious progressive plan to overhaul the U.S. economy across all sectors, from finance to energy to social services, was rolled out Thursday with the aim of driving future legislation.

The Green New Deal resolution sponsored in the House by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and in the Senate by Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey cites urgent warnings in two recent major climate reports to compel the federal government to act urgently on the radical changes they say would make the U.S. resilient and sustainable across all sectors.

After delay, House Democrats to begin climate push
The hearings will build a foundation for legislation, although the party has yet to unify around an approach to tackle global warming

Rep. Paul Tonko is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The partial government shutdown stalled House Democrats’ plan to address climate change out of the gate, but they’ll turn their attention to the issue this week with hearings in the two main energy and environment committees as pressure mounts from the party’s progressive wing to confront what it considers an urgent crisis.

Two committees will hold hearings Wednesday focusing on warming global temperatures and how to mitigate the catastrophe scientists are predicting.

It’s time for a Green ‘True’ Deal
Latest progressive push will only drive deeper divisions in climate debate

Clean energy advocates demonstrate in Washington, D.C., in March 2009. Progressive proposals featured in various expressions of the Green New Deal are likely to drive deeper partisan divisions and diminish the chances for real action, Grumet writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Democratic congressional leaders did not intend to focus on climate change in 2019. Midterm exit polls reinforced voter concern over health care and the economy, and House veterans remember the fallout from their last major climate effort in 2010.

But reinvigorated progressives have forced climate change to the top of the House agenda. Unfortunately, the proposals featured in the various expressions of the Green New Deal are likely to drive deeper partisan divisions and diminish the chances for real action.

Coal industry fought black lung tax as disease rates rose
Coal companies and industry groups lobbied against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families

An overview of a coal prep plant outside the city of Welch in rural West Virginia on May 19, 2017, in Welch, West Virginia. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While cases of black lung disease among miners were on the rise last year, coal companies and industry groups lobbied lawmakers against extending a tax program that provides a lifeline for sufferers and their families.

Mandatory disclosures show the coal lobby spent some of its influence money on discussions with lawmakers regarding the Black Lung Excise Tax and the trust fund that helps pay for the health and living benefits of sick coal workers whose employers have gone bankrupt, and their beneficiaries.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismisses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on climate change
White House press secretary says they’ll listen to ‘a much, much higher authority’ than freshman congresswoman

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers a question during the daily briefing at the White House December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Regarding man-made climate change, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the White House would rather listen to “a much, much higher authority” than Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Fox New host Sean Hannity asked Sanders on Tuesday night to respond to a statement by Ocasio-Cortez that greenhouse gas emissions have to be dramatically curbed the next twelve years to avoid catastrophe.

Protesters disrupt EPA confirmation hearing, held despite shutdown
The group objected to the activating of furloughed staff to help the acting administrator prepare for the hearing

Demonstrators were removed from the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler, President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two demonstrators were removed Wednesday morning from the confirmation hearing of Andrew Wheeler —President Trump’s pick to lead the EPA.

Protesters in the hallway and hearing room objected to the business in front of the Environment and Public Works Committee, because the EPA remains closed as part of the partial government shutdown. The group of over a dozen protesters included people representing Code Pink and The Moms Clean Air Force, some with strollers and their children in tow.

Shutdown ties up Trump’s fossil fuel agenda
94 percent of EPA’s workers are furloughed

The EPA had planned by March to complete a rule easing tailpipe emission standards. Now that timeline could be in doubt. Above, Alex Gromov puts a probe into the tailpipe of a car as he performs a smog check in San Rafael, California, in 2017. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The partial government shutdown has snagged progress on President Donald Trump’s ambitious agenda to boost fossil fuel use and extraction, including the administration’s repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan, which has a March deadline.

Over the last two years, the Trump administration set in motion an aggressive deregulatory agenda, easing emissions regulations and making it easier for energy companies to extract fossil fuels from public lands. Some of the regulatory rollbacks that have been in the works are due to be finalized in the next two months but are now facing delays — such as cessation of public hearings — because of the shutdown, now in its third week.