In politics, it’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.
That’s the logic a group of political insiders are banking on in a push to ban fracking in California, a state that appears on the precipice of a fracking boom.
A coalition of former advisers to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is preparing to send its old boss a letter asking him to impose a statewide moratorium on fracking unless a string of scientific studies on the drilling’s environmental consequences can be studied.
“As you read this, the oil industry is actively exploring the Monterey Shale and using unconventional, untested, and incredibly dangerous extraction techniques to squeeze more dirty oil out of California,” the advisers write.
The group is headlined by Wendy Wendlandt, former national organizer on Brown’s 1992 presidential campaign, and Michael Kieschnick, one of Brown’s former economic advisers. In an email obtained by National Journal, the duo claim to have more than a dozen former Brown advisers on board.
The insiders may have a direct pipeline to Brown, but — barring a radical departure in policy — their letter is not going to convince the governor to ban fracking.
But it does underscore a continual tension within the Democratic Party over fracking, forcing its various factions to prioritize between the increased revenue it brings to states against the environmental risks — and controversy — of a massive, and rapid, expansion of fossil fuels.
Thus far, Brown appears to be seeking a middle ground.
The governor signed a comprehensive fracking policy into law in September and is currently overseeing key provisions in that law that are set to go into effect at the start of 2014. The law requires drillers to disclose more information about their fracking practices, and it calls for a study of its environmental consequences, but it fell far short of the binding regulations green groups were pushing for.
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No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.
Three million—a number that lays "bare the significant gap between Donald Trump’s bare-bones operation and the field program that Clinton and her hundreds of aides have been building for some 17 months."
In a somewhat shocking move, the Chicago Tribune has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president, saying a vote for him is one that voters "can be proud of." The editorial barely touches on Donald Trump, who the paper has time and again called "unfit to be president," before offering a variety of reasons for why it can't endorse Hillary Clinton. Johnson has been in the news this week for being unable to name a single world leader who he admires, after earlier this month being unable to identify "Aleppo," a major Syrian city in the middle of the country's ongoing war.
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."