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 favor policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even though they dispute the specifics of these policies. This consensus has enabled the European Union to significantly reduce its emissions over the past decades, as the threat of global warming has become clearer.
In the United States, of course, the climate is a partisan issue. Almost all elected Democrats support actions that slow climate change. Almost no Republicans in key decision-making positions — including members of Congress and Republican Supreme Court appointees — support these policies.
Today, the Times publishes an article that examines another part of this question, at the state level. I’ll pass the rest of today’s newsletter lead article to my colleague David Gelles, who wrote the story.
Since the election of President Donald Trump, corporate America has been increasingly embroiled in the nation’s culture wars. Big companies – like Google and Coca-Cola – decided they needed to take a stand on issues like immigration, climate change, gun laws and voting rights.
Corporate America’s positions on these issues have been an attempt 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 have generally aligned with those of the Democratic Party, leading to a bit of twisting from Republicans. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, at one point warned corporations to “stay out of politics,” and other conservatives scoffed at “woke capitalism.”
Recently, Republican officials have also begun to find ways to fight back. This year, Florida lawmakers stripped Disney of special tax status because the company opposed a new education law that opponents are calling “Don’t Say Gay.” But perhaps the party’s biggest effort has received relatively little attention so far: Republican state treasurers are taking action to punish companies they say are focusing unduly on issues. environmental.
Last week, Riley Moore, the treasurer of West Virginia, used a new state law to ban five Wall Street companies, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, from doing business with the state because, a he said, the companies were distancing themselves from the coal industry.
Similar bans are likely underway elsewhere. Lawmakers in a handful of other states, including Kentucky and Oklahoma, have already passed laws that resemble West Virginia’s. In a dozen other states, lawmakers are working on similar bills.
Three state treasurers also withdrew a total of $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 a broader push by Republican treasurers to promote fossil fuels and thwart climate action at the federal and state levels. Treasurers work together with a network of conservative groups linked to the fossil fuel industry, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute.
When I spoke with Moore, he framed his efforts to punish Wall Street corporations as a way to protect the livelihoods of West Virginians. If the banks don’t want to do business with the coal companies, he said, why should he do business with them?
In response, the banks say that coal is a bad investment and that all industries are going to have to deal with climate change. Bank officials add that they still do a lot of business with oil and gas companies.
Yet these battles bring the United States closer to a world of red marks and blue marks, in which politics will come to affect parts of life that once seemed separate from it. People on both sides of the aisle fear things have gone too far.
“I don’t like the idea that if you’re a Republican, you have to do business with this company, and if you’re a Democrat, you have to do business with this company,” said Noah Friend, a Republican lawyer who previously has a worked for the Kentucky Treasurer, one of the officials trying to stop climate action. “We already have a lot of divisions in this country.”
But it seems unlikely that the trend will end anytime soon. For Democrats and Republicans, the substance of these fights — over climate, civil rights, religious liberty and more — tends to matter more than the abstract principle that not everything should be partisan.
You can read my story, which includes details on the many ways Republican treasurers promote fossil fuels, here.
THE LAST NEWS
The Biden administration has declared the monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency, releasing additional funds.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a key centrist, has agreed to propose an amended version of the Democrats’ climate and tax bill.
Kari Lake, who campaigned on false claims of 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 “mestizo” societies, spoke yesterday at a Republican conference in Dallas.
“There has never been an individual who poses a greater 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 while political violence is a vital concern, you can’t run a winning campaign on it, Catherine Miller argue.
Is This Suburban New Jersey Town Giving Its Residents Cancer? Public health officials must facilitate discovery, says Marion Renault.
Loch Ness Monster: New evidence offers hope to some Nessie enthusiasts.
Break down barriers: Chun Wai Chan is New York City Ballet’s first Chinese principal dancer.
Modern love: What could they have been if they had been brought up to believe that love is never a sin?
A Times classic: How American families are changing.
Wirecutter Tips: Consider a “carbide box”.
Lives Lived: Concept painter Jennifer Bartlett was a maverick best known for “Rhapsody,” a collection of 987 enameled steel plates spanning more than 150 feet. She died at age 81.
SPORTS NEWS FROM ATHLETIC
The 2022 NFL season has started: The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last night in the league’s annual Hall of Fame game, a contest played by guys you’ll rarely see in significant regular season action. I hope you slept. See you next week.
Ohtani Watch starts again: Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ batting unicorn and 2021 MLB MVP, was not traded this week. But the word is Ohtani will be changing teams – it’s just a matter of timing. At the right time, Ohtani broke two home runs last night – in a loss.
The English Premier League season starts today: Arsenal and Crystal Palace kick off today at 3pm ET. Season predictions? Manchester City are the big favourites.
ARTS 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 movies expanded the genre outward — into horror, heady drama, family fare and franchise sequels — in such a way that they still feel like the template for today’s blockbusters, writes Adam Nayman in The Times.
If you hadn’t grown up with these films, would they still feel 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 could have come to this without knowing that Spock dies at the end,” said Celia Rose Gooding, a star of the new ‘Star Trek’ series. “I feel like a terrible franchise member.”