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July 07, 2021
There is no delicate way to put it: Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has been a striking failure so far. More than 10 percent of the way through this presidential term, Attorney General Merrick Garland has failed to remove Trump holdovers; is treating Trump as a completely typical president and refusing to prosecute his many crimes; is not reversing dangerous Trump-era legal positions; and is freely allowing corporate capture of his department.
Garland’s disappointing tenure is detrimental to progressive plans for many issues — criminal justice, police violence, labor rights, immigration, antitrust, and white collar crime prosecution, among others — but his potential to wreak havoc on necessary climate action is most staggering considering the existential stakes.
July 06, 2021 | The Daily Beast
Neil MacBride spent eight years leveraging his government experience to defend Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Wall Street giants. Why does Biden want him back?
June 14, 2021
Asset management giant BlackRock most recently made the news for buying up huge tracts of U.S. housing stock to become, essentially, a massive corporate landlord at the expense of all the rest of us. (Seems like they are learning a thing or two from private equity firm Blackstone, to which they formerly belonged, which is infamous for its predatory and downright evil infiltration of the housing market.)
June 07, 2021 | The American Prospect
Michael Connor of WilmerHale has been appointed to run a surprisingly important agency in efforts to mitigate the climate crisis.
May 13, 2021 | The American Prospect
Progressives have generally seen Gary Gensler, the newly confirmed chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as a loyal advocate for the public interest. His tenure at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was one of the few bright spots in Barack Obama’s financial regulatory regime. But in April, Gensler named Alex Oh to be his director of enforcement, before she resigned a week later amid negative media attention. Before joining the SEC, Oh had directly facilitated an ExxonMobil executive’s obstinate deposition testimony (reportedly read off an attorney-drafted script) in the face of plaintiff objections—and the case itself centered on accusations of torture, rape, and murder by ExxonMobil-hired guards in an Indonesian village.
May 10, 2021
President Biden announced last week the appointment of Michael Connor to be the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works within the Department of Defense, making him responsible for the entire Army Corps of Engineers.
April 28, 2021
Progressives and climate activists were initially heartened by the prospect of Gary Gensler at the helm of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulatory powerhouse responsible for regulating coordinating stock trading. And some of Gensler’s initial staffing decisions also inspired plaudits. However, we were shocked when SEC Chairman Gensler announced last week he would appoint veteran Wall Street defense lawyer Alex Oh to lead the SEC’s powerful enforcement division. This appointment is an absolute rejection of progressive values, not to mention climate reality.
April 19, 2021
The U.S. Treasury Department announced today that John Morton would be appointed as its first Climate “Counselor,” tasked with organizing financial-related climate work across the executive branch’s financial regulators.
April 13, 2021
President Biden announced last month that he would nominate Todd Kim to be the top environmental lawyer at the Department of Justice. It was a relatively quiet announcement, devoid of much fanfare, compared to the position’s enormous potential to shape environmental and climate policy for years to come.
April 02, 2021 | The American Prospect
With so many competing priorities, it’s justifiable that Yellen has not given her full attention to every single crisis under her purview. But she can no longer dodge her other big duty: financial policy and Wall Street regulation.
March 18, 2021 | The American Prospect
We have every reason to believe Kerry genuinely wants to save the Earth from climate devastation. His problem is that there is no neoliberal path to doing so.
March 16, 2021
A Slam Dunk Climate Opportunity For Biden: Five Open Seats On The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
President Biden is being presented with a straightforward, simple opportunity to make good on his promise to take a whole-of-government approach to fighting climate change. Appointing climate leaders who will take urgent climate action even if their job descriptions do not explicitly mention the environment is one of the easiest and most important ways Biden can display integrity.
March 16, 2021
Title 1 of the Dodd-Frank Act Title established the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) just over a decade ago. Prior to its arrival, there was no cross-agency government body tasked with protecting the financial system from systemic risks. FSOC was created to avoid repeating the mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis and to be a safeguard against financial practices with the potential to wreak global havoc.
March 10, 2021 | The American Prospect
Lael Brainard and Janet Yellen have been talking the talk about climate risk, but not translating that into meaningful action. Our Dorothy Slater takes a closer look at what strong climate action from financial regulators would look like.
March 08, 2021
John Kerry, President Biden’s international “Climate Envoy”, appears to want bold climate change policy. Kerry was a leader in developing the framework for the first UN climate talks in 1992, co-authored cap-and-trade legislation back in 2009 when it could have possibly been useful, and was a major driver of the 2015 Paris Agreement.