Republicans respond to historic global drought by backing fossil fuels

Much of Oklahoma is engulfed in drought. It is particularly severe in Western begging and has caused concern among the state’s residents. wheat and cattle producers. The Enid area in the northern part of the state has received less than an inch of rain for the past three months. “Recent conditions contrast sharply with drought conditions from the same time last year, when most of the state was drought-free,” Enid News & Eagle said. reports. State Senator Michael Bergstrom, who attended the December task force meeting in San Diego, presented SB1572 (“The Elimination of Energy Discrimination Act of 2022”) earlier this month. It has not yet been put to a vote.

Beyond the West, other states where lawmakers have introduced legislation to eliminate energy discrimination are facing the severe effects of climate change. Louisiana, ravaged by hurricanes over the past decade, is home to the nation’s first climate refugees and is losing about 25 square miles of land a year. New Orleans, notoriously hot and humid, has the nation’s largest urban heat island effect due to its abundance of dark, heat-trapping surfaces like asphalt and concrete – a problem that, at scale nationally, disproportionately affects black and brown communities. House Bill 25 – a measure that prohibits “pension systems from investing in companies that boycott energy companies” – was introduced in late January and has yet to be heard in Baton Rouge.

Mountainous West Virginia, where coal-backed lawmakers reintroduced energy discrimination elimination legislation for the second year in a row, is more vulnerable to flood damage over the next decade than any state. of the Union, according to recent data. Indiana has experienced intense flooding over the past week that will only become more frequent as temperatures rise. House Bill 1224, prohibiting the state government from investing in or contracting with companies that “boycott” energy companies, was introduced late last month there, although it has since failed.

The irony of these precautionary anti-divestment bills is that banks are currently not really moving away from fossil fuel investments. In January, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for Blackrock to be “top of the list” mandated by the bill, for allegedly “turning its back on our thriving oil and gas industry and the millions of Texans who depend on it.” . Blackrock, meanwhile, has shown no signs of abandoning fossil fuels. Research from German watchdog group Urgeweld found that Blackrock has invested more than $100 billion in companies that account for 90% of global thermal coal production and coal-fired power generation capacity. Vanguard – another “big three” asset manager – has a comparable amount invested in coal, Urgeweld found. The other, State Street, is investing $36 billion in coal. All three are members of the private sector-led, UN-convened Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ), and have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions in their portfolios by 2050. But Blackrock has reaffirmed its commitment to investing in fossil fuels. , and had $259 billion in fossil fuel investments as of June. “We will continue to invest in and support fossil fuel companies, including Texas fossil fuel companies,” read a memo signed by BlackRock’s head of external affairs, Dalia Blass, and sent to officials at state in January.

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