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February 02, 2021
During Janet Yellen’s confirmation hearing to become Secretary of the Treasury, she promised to “look to appoint someone at a very senior level” to lead the Treasury’s efforts on climate action.
January 26, 2021
Initially created to regulate futures derivatives on crops that had yet to be harvested, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) holds newfound possibility in the coming decade. It is absolutely crucial that a modern-day CFTC taps into the power it already holds to lead on climate action. Naturally, this necessitates a leader with a proven record of taking on corporate power. Any appointee should be prepared to advocate for the public interest, acknowledge the current reality of climate decay we find ourselves in, and creatively apply tools of the government to take immediate action.
January 21, 2021
The OCC could also update the Comptroller’s Handbook to guide bank examiners to measure climate risk in their assessments, which would force banks to measure climate risk in their own internal stress tests. This would also push banks to make environmentally sound decisions, because they would be recontextualized as financially savvy decisions.
January 14, 2021
These personnel additions should leave climate activists cautiously optimistic, and many of these individuals are examples of people we would like to see staffed in every department and agency throughout the federal government.
January 12, 2021
Gensler’s first order of business at the SEC will be to reverse Trump’s deregulatory agenda and rebuild the agency’s capacity to police American stock-trading. But this should only be a starting point: SEC activity was insufficient even under Obama, and issues linked to the financial system, from climate change to inequality, have worsened in the four intervening years.
December 23, 2020 | The American Prospect
One role that remains unfilled will be vital to enacting Biden’s policy agenda: the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Although many Americans have never heard of OIRA, the office is well known among corporate lobbyists, who take full advantage of its ability to stop regulations in their tracks. Since the Reagan administration, OIRA has earned a reputation as “the death row of well-meaning legislation.”
December 16, 2020
After news broke that Michael Regan, who currently leads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, was the new frontrunner to lead the EPA — and was also being considered to be director of the EPA’s Southeast Region Office — environmental justice leaders in North Carolina began pushing back immediately.
December 11, 2020
Mary Nichols, the reported frontrunner to lead Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency, has been appointed four times to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and is best known for spearheading California’s cap-and-trade program. Since the program began, California’s carbon emissions from its oil and gas industry rose 3.5%. For a state that would have the fifth-largest economy if it were a country, anything but a significant and ongoing decline in carbon emissions is disastrous.
November 24, 2020
From 2008 – 2016, Brian Deese rose from a law student to a Presidential advisor on fiscal policy, climate change, and trade. Deese’s personal geniality and intelligent demeanor drove this rise — but a review of his policy positions reveals a history of backing wildly incorrect conventional wisdom convivial to the powers that be.
November 23, 2020
What A Bold Treasury Secretary Could Do
President-Elect Joe Biden’s choice to name Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary represents a tremendous opportunity to take executive action on the issues most pressing to all Americans. Here are just some meaningful actions the next Treasury Secretary could take without having to go through Congress.
November 13, 2020
Economists-For-Hire Help Monopolists And Big Oil Both
On Wednesday, The New York Times exposed that a network of seemingly-grassroots campaigns to promote the use of fossil fuels was actually organized by FTI Consulting, a dystopic corporate consulting firm working on behalf of oil and gas behemoths like ExxonMobil. The Times also implicates an FTI subsidiary, Compass Lexecon, in producing academic reports to support these astroturfed campaigns’ talking points. Compass Lexecon employees wrote reports criticizing activist shareholders and university divestment campaigns, tactics often used by the environmental activists FTI was paid to undermine.
October 14, 2020
The fossil fuel industry depends on financial institutions to survive. And banks, for their part, pull in big profits from underwriting climate disaster. That’s why, if Joe Biden wins in November, his pick for Treasury Secretary must be an aggressive advocate for climate action. The Treasury Department has untapped capacity to push financial institutions and insurance companies to take the risks of the climate crisis seriously. While his legislative proposals elicit proper close scrutiny, his choice of Treasury Secretary is arguably among Biden’s most important climate policy decisions.
September 24, 2020 | The American Prospect
Re-Fund the EPA
The wildfires and hurricanes plaguing the United States in the last month reflect the massive societal implications of climate change. Understanding the importance of this moment, Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan designed to transition the economy away from greenhouse gas emissions. The plan calls for an emission-free power sector by 2030, as well as an environmental justice component to address how climate policies have failed communities of color. Parts of Biden’s plan will require new legislation and others will deputize numerous federal agencies. But a major share of responsibility for success will fall on the Environmental Protection Agency.
August 19, 2020
Incalculable, world-historic pain and suffering are already happening as a result of the climate crisis. Yet the forces of big business responsible — most especially the fossil fuel industry, but also Big Ag, the military-industrial complex, and others — continue to spend tens of millions every year blackmailing American leaders into softballing or even ignoring the literal end of the world as we know it.