‘A Walking Conflict of Interest’ — New Interior Chief

April 11, 2019

Overcast and damp this Thursday evening on California’s north coast — drizzled all day. Despite that, took a nice dog-hike to Little River State Beach this morning, and as apparently not many willing to venture outside in the breezy wetness, had the whole area to ourselves. Another episode in the good-time-had-by-all category.
Weather-wise, supposedly much the same rest of the week…

In the realm of weather, one of many, many little shit-nuggets off the T-Rump is named Landon “Tucker” Davis, a type-cast perennial Republican ‘operative,’ a 2016 campaign field director for the T-Rump in western Virginia, and now T-Rump toady policy advisor within the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Icing on the T-Rump’s chocolate cake — Tucker is also a huge asshole coal-industry guy.
This yesterday from Amanda Marcotte at Salon:

Science, according to a Trump appointee at the Department of the Interior, is “a Democrat thing.”
Those words were reportedly used to justify the abrupt 2017 cancellation of a study into the health effects of mountaintop removal for coal-mining.
At the time, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed that the study was canceled after a careful review of the grant process.
But during a Tuesday congressional hearing on this issue, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., citing the inspector general’s report into the matter, said that a Trump appointee named Landon “Tucker” Davis had offered a likelier explanation for why a study that was more than halfway done was abruptly shut down: In Davis’ words, “Science was a Democrat thing.”

And this graph: ‘Team Trump’s plans to address the unpopularity of their anti-environmental agenda involve, unsurprisingly, a whole bunch more gaslighting.
Bloomberg reports that Trump plans to “tout his environmental credentials” on the campaign trail, while of course presiding over an administration that cuts regulations so fast you have to wonder whether it actively hates the planet and wants to destroy it.’

Ultimate villain role handcrafted for the talented Mr T-Rump.
And then today, David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas and water lobbyist, was confirmed by the Senate as the new secretary of the Interior Department.
Via the Guardian this afternoon:

Before joining the administration, Bernhardt worked at a Washington law and lobbying firm on behalf of mining companies, oil and gas giants, a politically powerful western water agency and other groups that have business before the interior department.
“David Bernhardt is a walking conflict of interest who is selling out our public lands to his former clients in the fossil fuel industry,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said Bernhardt‘s refusal to rule out offshore drilling in Florida “should be a wake-up call to my colleagues all up and down the coasts Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf” that offshore drilling is a possibility despite bipartisan opposition.
“It is hard to imagine someone whose background is so at odds with the department’s mission as Mr Bernhardt,” Schumer said.
“President Trump, for all his talk of draining the swamp, wants to add yet another Washington swamp creature lobbyist to his cabinet.”

Swamp creature, or black-lagoon creature? For sure a coal-block comedy sketch:

And the time approaches from the past as new research reveals us baby boomers really fucked the pie — Gizmodo this morning:

The result show that older generations — particularly in the developed world — blew through carbon like it was going out of style, leaving younger generations will the equivalent of pennies left to spend.
Because developed countries have both higher overall and per capita emissions than most developing countries, their youngest citizens will have to emit a much smaller amount of carbon than their elders.
An average American boomer born in 1946, for example, has a lifetime carbon budget of 1551 tons.
To keep warming within 1.5 degrees, their grandchildren born in 2017 will have a lifetime budget of 197 tons.
The budget is substantially bigger with 2 degrees Celsius, but that will also come with tradeoffs like the likely loss of coral reefs and many small islands being rendered uninhabitable.

And the T-Rump wants chaos…

(Illustration: M.C. Escher’s ‘Tower of Babel,’ found here).

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