As we move closer to a new year, a new round of Federal Governance will also begin. Here is a quick look at just a few current bills, proposals, and concepts that would impact the American people.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
“Cash in” U.S. planet-friendly technologies for energy-intense products
Strengthen U.S. jobs and industry by cutting imports from dirty sources; e.g., Chinese steel mills pollute 70% more heat-trapping gases per ton than the U.S.
Strengthen U.S. trade balance – strengthen the U.S. dollar
Strengthen U.S. international climate leadership (EU’s CBAM is scheduled for 2023)
No action since date of introduction June 7, 2022 – https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/4355 –
Note that the cost to the planet, including spiraling severe weather costs, is not included in “cheap” imports that are higher in GHG emissions. See “Value of Nature” below, and https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/2021-us-billion-dollar-weather-and-climate-disasters-historical
Put a price on sources of planet heat-trapping gases (GHGs)
Require oil/gas/coal firms to pay a carbon tax (actually, a FEE for dumping emissions into our air). A majority in the U.S. agree, especially if they are informed of the policy – https://www.clcouncil.org/media/Luntz-Carbon-Dividends-Polling-May-20-2019-FINAL.pdf
Economists say fee-and-dividend, splitting the fee among U.S. households, applies market power to create the least burdensome climate solution – https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/425841-former-federal-reserve-chairs-economists-back-carbon-tax/
And, causes little (or no) slowing of the economy or cuts in employment – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jul/16/comprehensive-study-carbon-taxes-wont-hamper-the-economy
Re-introduced Jan, 2019, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act remains blocked in Congress. No action since – Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy.
Action By: Committee on Energy and Commerce, 04/02/2021
Invest a minute and 41 seconds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRCTPx3Zv7E
FOREST Act of 2021
This bill “Prohibits the importation of any product made wholly or in part of a covered commodity produced from illegally deforested land. The bill outlines requirements for import declarations of covered commodities.” Deforestation causes an immediate increase in atmospheric heat-trapping gas (GHG), and unfairly competes with U.S. forestry.
No action since – Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. 10/06/2021
Complementary bill – Trillion Trees Act, introduced April 19, 2021. Latest action: Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, 06/15/2021
Note that bamboo does offer a way to “plant our way” toward a global warming remedy – https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/bamboo-production
Jaime’s Law (named for a victim of Parkland H.S. mass shooting
Introduced 04/20/2021. Latest action: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Action By: Senate, 04/20/2021.
International Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19 Response Act
“This bill outlines U.S. foreign policy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to future pandemics and disasters. . . . With respect to COVID-19, the Department of State must develop a strategy to expand and expedite access to COVID-19 vaccines in other countries.”
Introduced 06/24/2021. Latest action: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar, General Orders, 07/30/2021
Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act
Pork and beef ran low in grocery stores – https://www.aei.org/op-eds/consolidation-among-meat-packers-is-dangerous-big-government-is-the-cause/
“To reform the antitrust laws to better protect competition in the American economy, to amend the Clayton Act to modify the standard for an unlawful acquisition, to deter anticompetitive exclusionary conduct that harms competition and consumers, to enhance the ability of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the antitrust laws, . . .”
Introduced 02/04/2021. Latest action: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, 02/04/2021
Four packers now dominate U.S. meat. At one time, every county in Georgia had a meat packer – https://bittersoutherner.com/will-harris-white-oak-pastures-farm/#.Y30v9nbMKUk
Recognize the value of nature
While focus is directed to GDP, employment, and inflation in the political realm, study posits that 2/3ds of the well-being experienced by H. Sapiens is provided by nature, rather than the human-ordered “economy.” – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378014000685
A global economy dependent on fossil fuels disrupts the natural order – https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-is-the-sixth-mass-extinction-and-what-can-we-do-about-it
Governance should address climate
The view from COP27, the 27th meeting of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “To have any hope of keeping to 1.5, we need to massively invest in renewables and end our addiction to fossil fuels.” https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2022-11-19/statement-the-secretary-general-the-conclusion-of-cop27%C2%A0-sharm-el-sheikh%C2%A0%C2%A0
U.S. House may disband the bi-partisan climate crisis Committee. Senior Republican on the Committee – “Garret is committed to delivering on the energy components of the Commitment to America and will be intimately involved in making sure that happens,” . . . That plan includes bolstering oil and gas, mining and hydropower.
In the last 60 years, climate change has reduced agricultural productivity growth by an average of 21%— and up to 40% in some regions— with impacts predicted to accelerate in coming decades.
I will attend Agrilinks’ ‘What’s Next After the ‘Implementation’ COP?’
Does Climate threaten human civilization?
Will news professionals and elected officials inquire why National Climate Assessment (NCA) author Katherine Hayhoe stated this threat at “Cost of Climate Change” hearings, June 11, 2019 – https://budget.house.gov/legislation/hearings/costs-climate-change-risks-us-economy-and-federal-budget Tune in at 1hr-23min. Learn more about/from Dr Hayhoe > http://www.katharinehayhoe.com/wp2016/biography/ and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi6RkdaEqgRVKi3AzidF4ow
Changes that might improve governance in America
A decline in trust may signal that change is needed – https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2022/06/06/public-trust-in-government-1958-2022/
Political Order and Political Decay author Francis Fukuyama (also authored Trust) weighs in – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtDwNqo5QU
Bi-Partisan Policy Center’s ‘Governing in a Polarized America: A Bipartisan Blueprint to Strengthen our Democracy,’ apparently 2014 – https://bipartisanpolicy.org/download/?file=/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BPC-CPR-Report.pdf
Extending change beyond the political system – https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/magazine/how-to-fix-american-democracy/
I will attend Bi-Partisan Center’s ‘Building a Congress that Works’ – https://bipartisanpolicy.org/event/building-a-congress-that-works/