Organizing for Action, the advocacy group born from President Obama’s reelection campaign, is leaping into a growing battle over the way regulators tally the economic harm from climate change.
The group is gathering online signatures for delivery to the White House Office of Management and Budget backing revisions to the metric known as the “social cost of carbon.”
“New data from the White House Office of Management and Budget shows the dangerous impacts of carbon pollution like never before — that’s no surprise to 97 percent of climate scientists who know that climate change is real and manmade. But climate-change deniers are trying to bury this report’s findings,” the group’s petition reads. “It’s time to face the facts. Stand up to tell the OMB you support an honest, scientific assessment of the social cost of carbon.”
The petition is the latest sign that disputes over the once-obscure metric, which regulators use to help calculate the benefits of rules that curb emissions, are growing.
Republicans and fossil-fuel industry groups say the increased federal estimate of carbon pollution’s toll, quietly released in May, was developed without enough transparency or outside review.
The OMB tweaked the metric again in November and agreed to open it up for public comment.
The GOP-led House passed legislation earlier this year that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using the metric in energy-related rule-makings. A growing number of companies and groups — such as coal giant Peabody Energy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — have also begun lobbying on the topic.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."