My thoughts on the Capitol riot.

Image for post
Image for post

I am grateful to be safe after Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the Capitol. Thank you to all those who asked. I know that many of you are interested in what it was like being in the Capitol during the siege, so I want to share my experience and takeaways.

At first, the crowd seemed like a normal group of protestors. Then I watched as the group begin to rush in like water through a broken dam.

Senators were evacuated to a nearby building where we waited until Capitol Police gained control over the Capitol and restored order.


Image for post
Image for post

Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining me virtually at the eleventh annual Rhode Island Energy, Environment & Oceans Leaders Day. Despite the challenges this year has posed, we were able to adapt to the circumstances and come together for an inspiring and successful event. Our audience, speakers, and panelists contributed to a dialogue on emerging policy solutions, and I greatly appreciate the passion and expertise each of you brought to the table.

This year, we welcomed guests with backgrounds in environmental activism, federal policymaking, and international climate strategy. The conversations we had can be the start of greater change, and though the environmental and energy challenges facing our nation and state are daunting, we can find a path forward together. If I can support your efforts in any way, please be in touch with my office. …


To put it mildly, I am not the sort of person who provokes infatuation. I know, surprise, right? :-) I’m just not the type. Pretty dull, I confess. So the recent infatuation with me at the WSJ Polluter Page is, well . . . weird.

See their last two editorials for context:

To make matters weirder, by the time of the second editorial I had already answered all of their questions.

Image for post
Image for post

If I’m not the infatuating type, something else must be provoking them.

Perhaps the Senate court capture report?

My testimony to the House Judiciary Committee?

Or all my attacks on dark money? …


Oh. My. God. One of the best-written pleadings I’ve ever had the pleasure to read — limpid, brisk, devastating. Lawyers and aspiring lawyers, and all who love argument well crafted, read on.

For those of you just wanting the highlights reel, you’ll miss the flow of the argument, the best part — but here are some gems. Withdrawing the Flynn case was “a corrupt, politically motivated favor for the President’s friend and ally.“

“[T]he only coherent explanation for the Government’s exceedingly irregular motion — as well as its demonstrable pretexts — is that the Justice Department has yielded to a pressure campaign led by the President for his political associate.”

“[T]he Justice Department seeks to mislead the Court and the public about its reasons for dismissing criminal charges, and … clear evidence indicates that corrupt motives have undermined the Justice Department’s proper role,” so as to run “what is plainly a corrupt political errand for the President.”

Boom.


Former Republicans are calling out the Party for putting power and money over policy and ideals.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

It was indeed all a lie, it turns out. For a long time now, Republican politicians and big donors have had a self-serving agenda. They pushed a phony narrative out to working-class Republicans and true conservatives. They fed them what they wanted to hear. The big donors behind the Party masked their pursuit of money and power by selling this phony narrative to the “base.” It was the political version of consumer fraud.

Trump laid the lies bare. If you play along with Trump, there’s no intellectual policy vision, no moral red line of what you won’t play along with. Yet he’s garnered complete control of the Republican Party in a mere three years. …


Thank you Ceres for working on this important report.

  1. Most corporations make no political effort on climate in Congress — none — even if they do “sustainable” stuff themselves;

2. Corporate America does much of its lobbying through trade associations it let be controlled by the fossil fuel industry, and it’s been WAY too comfortable with this deal;

3. The two worst obstructors in America (National Assn of Manufacturers and U.S. Chamber) refuse to disclose their fossil fuel donors, and their other corporate members don’t ask them to (remember “follow the money”?); and

4. The “shift” in tactics has been from blanket opposition to stall-and-delay, using support of small measures that won’t affect fossil fuel interests to obscure stall-and-delay.

5. Corporate America has a lot to be ashamed of and accountable for in what it allowed its biggest trade associations to do and to become. Clean it up or QUIT!


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

Republican “screw-the-covid-victims” outline appears. Hard to know where to begin.

1. Do you mean to shut down workers compensation, or lawsuits over workers comp coverage? Good luck with that.

2. Why, when it’s most dangerous, do you lower standards for employers and venues?

3. I’d like a look into the “procedural” bag of tricks to see how that screws victims.

4. BTW, what standards? OSHA/Labor have zero enforceable covid standards.

5. And yes, this is the erstwhile “states‘ rights” party trying to move all cases to federal court (that was then, this is now?), where those corporation-loving Trump judges await.

PS: Solution in search of a problem — as of Fourth of July exactly zero covid cases filed in R.I.’s …


I have been pressing our grid operator, ISO-NE, for more action on climate, specifically around carbon pricing.

Here is the report they just provided me, commissioned by the New England Power Generation Association, the trade association representing electric generating companies in New England.

It says :

“an effective price on carbon … could be essential to guide the states through a challenging transition in a way that maintains reliability, encourages efficiency, fosters innovation and minimizes the cost to society,”

and that a “meaningful multi-sector price” should be the goal.

It says “the potential benefits . . . should not be overlooked,” including “consumer opportunities and price savings,” that it puts “on the order of $100–300 million ($2020) over the 10-year period 2026–2035.” (So much for the fossil fuel lie that consumers suffer.)

It says a sufficient carbon price “falls in a range of $25–35/short ton CO2 in 2025 and $55–70/short ton CO2 in 2030 and 2035,” even though those prices “are lower than the estimated social cost of carbon over this time frame” (i.e. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

I am pleased that the Supreme Court followed my amicus argument and did not take up this much-manipulated case.

The controversy in the case was non-existent, as New York had repealed the challenged law; and the Constitution requires a “case or controversy,” precisely to prevent free-range Courts from adjudicating matters at their political convenience.

Everyone should understand that a small group of very big donors funds the effort (a) to select Justices (via Federalist Society and Leonard Leo), (b) to campaign for their confirmation (via Judicial Crisis Network), (c) to bring strategic cases to the Court behind plaintiffs of convenience (via groups like Pacific Legal Foundation), and (d) to flood the Court with a chorus of scripted amici (see the appendix in my brief laying out the front group amici in this case). …


  • The green swan. Patrick Bolton, Morgan Despres, Luiz Awazu Pereira Da Silva, Frédéric Samama, Romain Svartzman, January 2020.

https://www.bis.org/publ/othp31.pdf

  • Breaking the tragedy of the horizon — climate change and financial stability. Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, 29 September 2015.
  • Confronting the challenges of tomorrow’s world. Paul Fisher, Deputy Head of the Prudential Regulation Authority and Executive Director, Insurance Supervision. 3 March 2015.
  • A call for action: Climate Change As a Source of Financial Risk. NGFS, April 2018.

https://www.mainstreamingclimate.org/publication/ngfs-a-call-for-action-climate-change-as-a-source-of-financial-risk/

  • The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C. …

About

Sheldon Whitehouse

U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store