NEWS AND OPINION:
The gargantuan, $1 trillion infrastructure bill has descended on Capitol Hill like a threatening weather event. Some eye it with alarm for very specific reasons — particularly Gregory Wrightstone. He is a geologist and the executive director of the CO2 Coalition, a nonprofit based in Arlington, Virginia, that emphasizes the role of science and the scientific process in addressing complex public policy issues like climate change.
Mr. Wrightstone is also the best-selling author of the 2017 book “Inconvenient Facts: The Science that Al Gore Doesn’t Want You to Know.”
He points out that the infrastructure bill has allocated a tidy $100 billion to address climate issues.
The bill’s proposals are merely “shenanigans and green cons,” he says.
“The so-called green energy portions of the infrastructure bill would saddle tax-paying, working people with higher energy prices and job losses in pursuit of a political elite’s absurd fantasy of a carbon-free economy,” Mr. Wrightstone tells Inside the Beltway.
“Virtually everything supporting modern life requires the use of fossil fuels, whose affordability and reliability cannot be matched by wind turbines and solar panels. Moreover, the crisis that green new dealers seek to avert does not exist. There is no climate emergency,” he continues.
“Moderately higher levels of carbon dioxide and natural warming are greening the Earth and producing record crop harvests. Carbon dioxide is not a toxin but rather an indispensable food for plants. Its demonization would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging to our energy sector and our way of life,” Mr. Wrightstone says.
EMPIRE STATE REBUILDING
It’s complicated in New York for myriad reasons and will remain so. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is set to become governor of the Empire State in less than two weeks following the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She has practical experience — known as an “independent” Democrat, she also served in the House of Representatives from New York’s 26th Congressional District, and as Erie County clerk and Hamburg Town council member.
Here’s what Ms. Hochul faces:
“She will preside over a state facing soaring crime and a post-COVID economy struggling to recover, with a disastrous rent-relief program and a leadership void at key agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Enormous fiscal challenges lie just down the road, and next year’s race for governor will only add complexity,” predicts a New York Post editorial.
“Worst, she must face down radicalized lawmakers whose agenda — yet more anti-cop measures, raising taxes further and yet more irresponsible state spending and bank-busting programs like single-payer health care — would be disastrous,” the news organization warned — advising New Yorkers to “wish her well.”
FAREWELL TO NANCY?
What’s this? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is predicted to step down next year.
“Sometime in the not-so-distant future, probably after next year’s midterm elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce that she’s stepping down. Her top deputies, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, aspire to her job, but they’re also in their early 80s, and most Democrats in and out of Congress are counting on them to step aside too. Of course, they all have stock responses denying that anyone is ever going anywhere,” writes Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff writer at The Atlantic.
“But the day is coming,” he predicts.
“For the first time since Barack Obama was a state senator, House Democrats are on the verge of getting new leaders. And pretty much every Democrat in Congress and beyond is confident that Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York will be the next speaker of the House, if Democrats manage to hold on to their majority next year—or the minority leader if they lose it,” Mr. Dovere says.
For those who wonder, Ms. Pelosi — who turned 81 in March — was first elected to the U.S. House in 1987 after winning a special election in California’s Eighth District.
THE MASK OBSESSION
“One of the great debates of the summer has been what to do about children with regards to masking when schools return to in-person learning in the fall. Children under the age of 12 are currently not eligible to receive any iteration of the vaccine,” says Newswhip — an industry source — in a report released Wednesday.
In the last week alone there have been more than 7,000 articles written about masking in schools, with almost 2 million engagements,” the report noted,
CAITLYN HEADS FOR THE BORDER
An update has arrived from Caitlyn Jenner — former Olympian and transgender activist — now running for governor of California. She’s headed for the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday for a private tour of the region with representatives from law enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol.
“California continues to struggle with the influx of illegal border crossings. Caitlyn will meet with local law enforcement and Border Patrol officials to better understand the challenges they face and what they need from leadership in Sacramento,” noted a statement from her campaign.
The candidate supports the border wall and has vowed to rid California of its “sanctuary state” status if elected.
Ms. Jenner, incidentally, went to Australia for several weeks in July to appear on a reality TV show titled “Big Brother VIP” — but still vows to “save California” according to a recent tweet.
POLL DU JOUR
43% of U.S. voters strongly support the Biden administration decision to keep in place Title 42 — a Trump-era policy allowing the federal government to expel migrants at the southern border due to the COVID-19 pandemic; 65% of Republicans. 38% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.
28% somewhat support the decision; 16% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 37% of Democrats agree.
16% don’t know or have no opinion; 10% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 18% of Democrats also agree.
9% somewhat oppose the decision; 5% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.
5% strongly oppose the decision; 4% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 6% of Democrats agree.
Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,996 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 7-9.
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