Thursday, February 25, 2021
Philly News For Your Information

Trump ‘doesn’t have to play nice with these people anymore’ as he launches war on GOP: report

By PhillyNews.FYI , in News , at February 20, 2021 Tags: ,

<p> Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>said</a> Thursday that Burns’ comments are a reminder of why the fossil fuel industry and aligned politicians are <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>opposed</a> to the Green New Deal even as its necessity becomes <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>clearer</a>.
</p><p> As <em> NPR</em> <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>reported</a>, “The storm has reduced natural gas output at the same time that demand—for both home heating and power generation—has skyrocketed,” resulting in “catastrophic shortages, as well as some truly eye-popping prices for natural gas in the affected regions.”
</p><p> While “many in the oil and gas industry have taken a blow because wells and pipelines have stopped working in the unexpected cold,” <em>NPR</em> noted, “Comstock was already ramping up production in anticipation that natural gas prices would increase.”
</p><p> The company, which operates in Texas and Louisiana, is publicly traded. But Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is the majority shareholder and biggest beneficiary of what executives called “super-premium prices” of “anywhere from” $15 per thousand cubic feet to as much as $179 per thousand cubic feet. Last quarter, Comstock sold the same gas for $2.40 per thousand cubic feet.
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</div><p> As millions of Texans <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>endured</a> a dangerous onslaught of bitterly cold weather while lacking heat for multiple days, many <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>right-wing media outlets</a> and lawmakers, including Greg Abbott—the state’s Republican governor, who is facing <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>calls to resign</a> over his inept response to the disaster—<a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>senselessly blamed</a> devastating <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>power outages</a> on frozen wind turbines in an attempt to discredit renewable energy and even a yet-to-be implemented Green New Deal.
</p><p> The GOP’s lies about the sources of electricity problems in Texas have proliferated despite the fact that officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>attributed</a> the calamity to frozen equipment at gas, coal, and nuclear plants. The role played by the Lone Star State’s <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>embrace</a> of a free-market approach to energy, which has included the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>decentralization </a>and <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>deregulation</a> of its fossil fuel-dependent grid, has also been well-documented.
</p><p> Texas sought independence from the two interstate electric grids to <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>avoid federal regulations</a>. In addition, despite a<a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”> 2011 warning </a>about the need to winterize energy infrastructure throughout the state, <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>profit-motives</a> led privatized power companies in Texas to forgo weatherization.
</p><p> While Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday night accurately <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>connected</a> the crisis in Texas to an “energy policy that puts corporate profits over human life,” Abbott—a <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>major recipient</a> of fossil fuel industry donations—erroneously <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>claimed </a>the same night on <em>Fox News</em> that “this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.”
</p><p> On Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez—who <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>helped raise $2 million</a> in direct relief for Texans while Ted Cruz, one of the state’s Republican U.S. senators, rushed back home after facing a backlash for <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>traveling to a warm resort</a> in Cancún as his constituents froze to death—said Burns’ comments about how Comstock is capitalizing on catastrophe lay bare the underlying reason for the GOP’s false and incessant anti-renewable energy narrative.
</p><p> The reason why right-wing media outlets and Republican lawmakers “are scrambling to blame the Green New Deal,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, is because “it’s the biggest legislative threat against the corrupt powers responsible for (and benefiting from) the suffering unfolding now.”
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</div><p> The Green New Deal resolution <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>introduced</a> in 2019 by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) calls for creating millions of green jobs to develop a 100% renewable energy system and build “resiliency against climate change-related disasters.”
</p><p> Although the measure has yet to be passed by Congress, climate justice campaigners at Greenpeace USA, the Sunrise Movement, and <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>elsewhere</a> argue that the compounding crises in Texas—which scientists <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>link </a>to climate change—have exposed the government’s complete <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>failure to prepare</a> for extreme weather and<a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”> strengthened the case</a> for the Green New Deal.
</p><p> Journalist <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Samantha Grasso</a> and environmental justice scholar-activist <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Robert Bullard</a> were among the analysts this week describing Texas as a “<a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>failed state</a>.” As<em> BuzzFeed</em> <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>reported </a>Thursday, the deadly winter storm has “exposed a deep chasm between who can afford to escape the deadly cold and who can’t,” with vulnerable residents being “left to seek help on their own amid life-threatening circumstances.”
</p><p> Exemplifying how crises cascade, frigid temperatures also led to the widespread <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”> bursting of pipes</a> and <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>disruption of supply chains</a>, meaning that even as power is <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>restored</a> to most households in Texas, water and food shortages are likely to persist. In the aftermath of the winter storm, the state’s residents must also deal with the <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>costs</a> of extensive housing damage.
</p><p> Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city, will likely <a href=”” target=”_blank”>remain under a boil water advisory</a> through the weekend as officials warned of possible contamination. The state’s <a href=”” target=”_blank”>vaccine distribution plans</a> and <a href=”” target=”_blank”>hospitals</a> have also been negatively affected in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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</div><p> It could have been even worse, according to <em>The Texas Tribune</em>. ERCOT officials <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>told</a> the newspaper on Thursday that the state’s grid operators “implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.”
</p><script async=”” charset=”utf-8″ src=””></script><div class=”twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered” style=”display: flex; max-width: 550px; width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;”><iframe allowfullscreen=”true” allowtransparency=”true” class=”” data-tweet-id=”1362265351224967170″ frameborder=”0″ id=”twitter-widget-3″ scrolling=”no” src=”;embedId=twitter-widget-3&amp;frame=false&amp;hideCard=false&amp;hideThread=false&amp;id=1362265351224967170&amp;lang=en&amp;;theme=light&amp;widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&amp;width=550px” style=”position: static; visibility: visible; width: 550px; height: 266px; display: block; flex-grow: 1;” title=”Twitter Tweet”></iframe></div><p>Pointing to the deadly situation in Texas as a warning sign, experts this week have <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>emphasized</a> how much more prevalent extreme weather will become this century as a result of the climate emergency; they are <a href=”″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>stressing</a> that the United States, which is currently severely unprepared to confront dangerous storms, must improve its capacity to deal with worst-case scenarios.</p><p>”We’re already seeing the effects of climate change,” Sascha von Meier, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, <a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>told </a><em>The Guardian</em> Friday. “There will be more of this and it will get worse.”</p><p>Roshi Nateghi, a researcher at Purdue University who studies infrastructure sustainability and resilience, told the newspaper that the crisis in Texas demonstrates why “we need to act now, and rethink our systems.”</p><p><a href=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>According to </a>Ashley Thomson of Greenpeace USA, “Only a Green New Deal-style investment in our shared future can get us there.”</p><p>”It’s time to fundamentally fix the grid,” she added, “so it can deal with the present and increasing impacts of the climate crisis. It’s time to make investments nationwide in clean energy jobs, climate jobs, and climate solutions—putting millions of people to work while we build the renewable energy infrastructure of the future.”</p> <script async=”” charset=”utf-8″ src=””></script>



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