Coal vs. Wall Street – The New York Times
Climate change is not a partisan issue in many countries. Both right-wing and left-wing parties support policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even as they argue over the specifics of those policies. This consensus has enabled the European Union to significantly reduce emissions over the past decades as the threat of global warming became more apparent.
In the United States, of course, climate is a partisan issue. Nearly all elected Democrats are in favor of actions that slow climate change. Hardly any Republican in key policy-making positions — including members of Congress and Republican Supreme Court appointees — support this policy.
Today The Times is publishing a story that explores another part of this issue, at the state level. I’ll pass the rest of today’s main newsletter to my colleague David Gelles, who wrote the story.
Since the election of President Donald Trump, American companies have become increasingly involved in the country’s cultural wars. Major corporations, such as Google and Coca-Cola, have decided they need to take stances on issues such as immigration, climate change, gun laws and voting rights.
Corporate America’s views on these issues were an effort to reflect the values of its employees and customers, many of whom are younger and live in major metropolitan areas. As a result, these corporate positions are generally aligned with those of the Democratic Party, which has led to quite a bit of hand-wringing by Republicans. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, at one point warned corporations to “stay out of politics,” and other conservatives mocked “capitalism awakened.”
Recently, Republican officials have also begun to find ways to hit back. Florida lawmakers stripped Disney of special tax status this year because the company opposed a new education bill that opponents are calling “Don’t Say Gay.” But perhaps the party’s most important effort thus far has received relatively little attention: Republican state treasurers are taking steps to punish companies they believe are overly focused on environmental issues.
Last week, West Virginia treasurer Riley Moore used a new state law to ban five Wall Street companies, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, from doing business with the state because, he said, the companies distanced themselves from the coal industry. industry.
Similar bans are likely on the way elsewhere. Lawmakers in a handful of other states, including Kentucky and Oklahoma, have already passed laws similar to those in West Virginia. Legislators are working on similar bills in a dozen other states.
Treasurers in three states have also jointly withdrawn $700 million from investment funds managed by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, over objections to its stance on environmental issues.
These efforts to penalize corporations are part of increased pressure from Republican treasurers to promote fossil fuels and thwart climate action at both the federal and state levels. The treasurers work with a network of conservative groups associated with the fossil fuel industry, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute.
When I spoke to Moore, he interpreted his efforts to punish the Wall Street firms as a way to protect the livelihoods of West Virginians. If the banks don’t want to do business with coal companies, he said, why should he do business with them?
In response, the banks say coal is a bad investment and all industries will be affected by climate change. Bank officials add that they still do a lot of business with oil and gas companies.
Yet these battles bring the US closer to a world of red and blue brands, in which politics will begin to influence areas of life that once seemed separate from it. People on both sides of the aisle are concerned that it has gone too far.
“I don’t like the idea that if you’re a Republican you have to bank with this company, and if you’re a Democrat you have to bank with that company,” said Noah Friend, a Republican attorney who previously worked for Kentucky’s treasurer. one of the officials who tried to stop climate action. “We already have many divisions in this country.”
But it seems unlikely that the trend will stop anytime soon. For Democrats and Republicans alike, the content of these battles — over climate, civil rights, religious freedom, and more — is more important than the abstract principle that not everything has to be partisan.
You can read my story, which details the many ways Republican treasurers promote fossil fuels, here.
THE LAST NEWS
The Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a national public health emergency and released additional funds.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a major centrist, agreed to promote a modified version of the Democrats’ climate and tax bill.
Kari Lake, who campaigned on false claims about a stolen 2020 election, won Arizona’s Republican primary for governor.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Tampa’s top prosecutor who had vowed not to prosecute abortion cases.
Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who has violated democratic traditions and criticized “mixed-race” societies, spoke at a Republican conference in Dallas yesterday.
“There has never been a person more of a threat to our republic than Donald Trump.” former Vice President Dick Cheney said: in a campaign ad for his daughter Liz.
The loss of Peter Meijer is proof that political violence is a major concern, but that you cannot run a winning campaign on it. Katherine Miller argues.
Is this New Jersey suburban town giving its residents cancer? Public health officials should make it easier to find out, says Marion Renault.
Loch Ness Monster: New evidence offers hope to some Nessie enthusiasts.
Breaking down barriers: Chun Wai Chan is the first principal dancer of the New York City Ballet from China.
Modern Love: What could they have been if they had been raised to believe that love is never a sin?
A classic from the time: How American Families Are Changing.
Advice from Wirecutter: Consider a “carb can.”
Life lived: Conceptual painter Jennifer Bartlett was an outcast best known for “Rhapsody,” a collection of 987 enamelled steel plates that were over 50 feet long. She died at the age of 81.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
The 2022 NFL season has kicked off: The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last night at the league’s annual Hall of Fame game, a game played by guys you’ll rarely see in meaningful regular season action. Hope you got some sleep. On to next week.
Ohtani Watch starts again: Shohei Ohtani, the pitching-hitting unicorn of the Los Angeles Angels and 2021 MLB MVP, was not traded this week. But the word is Ohtani shall switch teams – it’s just a matter of when. At the right time, Ohtani hit two home runs last night – in a loss.
ART AND IDEAS
Back to the 80s
Forty years ago, a summer produced a series of classic sci-fi titles: “Blade Runner”, “ET”, “Tron”, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “The Thing”. These films expanded the genre outwardly — into horror, intoxicating drama, family fare and franchise sequels — in such a way that they still feel like the blueprint for today’s blockbusters, writes Adam Nayman in The Times.
If you didn’t grow up with these movies, would they still be innovative? The Times asked four young sci-fi stars, all born in the 21st century, to watch one and give an honest review. “I don’t know how I got this far without knowing that Spock dies at the end,” said Celia Rose Gooding, a star of the latest “Star Trek” series. “I feel like a terrible franchise member.”