In a close race at Alaska House, Mary Peltola leads a ‘pro-fish’ campaign

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Hello and welcome to The Climate 202! We are very excited for the fourth season of “Succession” after the trailer fell yesterday. The tenuous environmental link is that Cousin Greg argues with green peace. 😂 But first:

In a tight race for re-election, Rep. Mary Peltola is running a ‘pro-fish’ campaign and backing a controversial oil project

In its closely watched quest to win re-election in a red state, Alaska Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola sought to focus on a single issue: fish.

Peltola, the first native of Alaska elected to Congress, adopted the campaign slogan “pro-fish, pro-family and pro-freedom”. The first part of the slogan is to acknowledge that fishing has sustained Alaska Natives for generations – but now climate change is jeopardizing that way of life.

At the same time, Peltola joined the Alaska Republicans by supporting a controversial oil project on the northern slope of the state. If developed, Conoco Phillipsit is willow project would release massive amounts of carbon dioxide that would hasten a climate catastrophe, say environmentalists.

These pro-fish and pro-oil project stances, which don’t quite line party lines, illustrate how Peltola has sought to balance concerns about the impacts of the climate crisis with the economic benefits of fossil fuel production in countries. oil-rich. State.

The approach could help Peltola return to Washington next year after scoring a stunning upset last month, winning a special election for Alaska’s only seat by beating the former Alaska governor. Sarah Pallin (R) and entrepreneur Nick Begich (R).

The strategy even earned Peltola the endorsement of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), which has also earned a reputation for walking across the aisle on energy and environmental issues, as our colleague Leigh Ann Caldwell reported from Anchorage.

“Mary is a woman whose heart is as set in Alaska as anyone you’re going to find,” Murkowski told reporters at the Federation of Alaska Natives conference in Anchorage on Friday, wearing a paisley-patterned kuspuk — a common Alaskan native garment that Peltola gave him last year.

Last November, when he was director of the Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish CommissionPeltola was asked to testify before the House Committee on Natural Resources on US fishing laws.

So-Representative Don Young (R-Alaska), which died in March and frequently clashed with environmentalists during nearly five decades in office, agreed with Democrats that Peltola would be the perfect witness, Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) told The Climate 202.

“To me, that says something that Don Young and I respected her enough on fishing issues,” Huffman said in an interview Monday.

Less than a year after testifying on Capitol Hill, Peltola won the special election to serve out the remainder of Young’s term. Then she won a seat to the natural resources panel, where she was quick to work on fisheries policy.

The week she was sworn in, Peltola lent her support behind legislation of Huffman who would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the law that governs fishing in federal waters, and would require consideration of climate change by regional fisheries management boards. The Natural Resources Committee advanced the measure last month by a vote of 21 to 18.

The problem is close to home for Peltola: climate change and loss of biodiversity have caused salmon populations to plummet. tumble into the yukon riverwhere fish have long nourished and sustained indigenous communities.

Meanwhile, Alaska this month canceled winter snow crab season in the Bering Sea for the first time due to a sharp drop in their estimated population, dealing a heavy blow to fishermen who live off crabs.

Even as she advocates for a sustainable fishing policy, Peltola joined Republican senators from Alaska in sending a message Sept. 20 letter to the Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland urging the Interior Department to approve the Willow oil project, which critics say would have a massive carbon footprint.

  • Willow would release up to 287 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years, equivalent to the annual emissions of 76 coal-fired power plants, according to a recent analysis speak Center for American Progressa liberal think tank.
  • However, ConocoPhillips disputed the accuracy of CAP’s analysis, saying Willow would have a modest environmental impact and provide desperately needed energy and jobs to the region.

Begich, the Republican businessman who is running against Peltola in next month’s midterm elections, said in a brief phone interview on Monday that he also supports Willow because it “would provide an important source of domestic energy traditional”.

Begich added that while he thinks climate change is hurting fish stocks, he opposes some of the provisions of the fisheries law reauthorization, including the addition of two tribal seats to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Palin’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But during a recent debatePalin called on Alaska to develop its “God-given resources,” including fossil fuels and renewable energy, and said she opposes reauthorization “because I don’t know enough about it. topic”.

Andy Moderowstate director of Alaska Wild League Actionlobbying and the political arm of the Alaska Savage Leaguesaid he understands that Alaskan politicians of both parties have generally supported oil development as a way to lower gasoline prices and fill state coffers.

But if Peltola is re-elected, Moderow said, he intends to stress that the project would have major climate consequences while providing little relief at the pump.

“Willow is a climate step backwards, and it will do nothing to combat high gas prices in Alaska,” he said. “So we want to work with her to find solutions that help.”

League of Conservation Voters among megadonors pumping millions midterm

The top 50 donors this election cycle have pumped a total of $1.1 billion into political action committees and other groups, Washington Post analysis shows. Federal Election Commission data, our colleagues Luis Melgar, Chris Alcantara, Isaac Stanley Becker, Anu Narayanswamy and Chris Zubak Skees report.

Among the largest donors is the League of Conservation Votersan environmental advocacy group, which has given a total of $15.4 million to support pro-climate candidates, whether through voter mobilization or direct campaign support.

LCV donated the eighth-highest amount of any donor to the organization, giving to its political action committee VUL Victory Fund $15.2 million, Conservation Ohio $140,000 and DonateGreen United Action $88,000.

America votes, a liberal non-profit organization, also donated $2.5 million to the LCV Victory Fund, while the Environmental Defense Action Fund gave $8 million to Democratic and Republican candidates.

In a flood-prone SC community, a heartbreaking question: stay or go?

In Socastee, South Carolina, rapidly rising seas, exacerbated by wetter storms, have caused repeated flooding, leaving some residents with no choice but to accept government buyouts of their homes, The post office Brady Dennis reports.

Waters near this part of the state are rising faster than almost anywhere else in the world, with a US government station in Myrtle Beach recording nearly 10 inches of sea level rise since the late 1950s. residents of Socastée saw their homes flooded during hurricanes Joaquin in 2015, Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018.

The transformation taking place in this corner of South Carolina epitomizes the dilemma that a growing number of communities across the country are facing – and will continue to face in the years to come.

Managed retirement – ​​the voluntary movement away from an area vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – can spark difficult conversations about what it means to leave a place of personal importance. Terri Strakawho has lived in Socastee for three decades, said he understood why many of his neighbors decided not to buy out the government.

“It’s like a death,” she said, standing in front of two U-Haul trucks filled with all her stuff. “I had no intention of leaving. This place is my legacy.

EU countries agree to raise climate target next year

European Union The countries agreed on Monday to increase their emissions reduction target under the Paris agreement next year, setting out their common negotiating position ahead of the The United Nations climate summit in Egypt next month, Kate Abnet and Bart H. Meijer report for Reuters.

The 27-nation bloc, which is the world’s third-largest emitter, currently aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels. But on Monday, climate ministers from each member country promised to adopt a stronger target “as soon as possible,” and they said that could not happen until the EU had finished negotiating a dozen new climate laws.

Diplomats from nearly 200 countries pledged last year to COP26 climate talks in Scotland to reinforce their climate commitments before the COP27 gathering in Egypt. But most have yet to submit new goals.

Meanwhile, energy ministers from EU countries are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss a cap on the price of gas amid the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

According to a document seen by Reutersthe European Commission warns that the price cap would lead to an increase in EU gas demand of up to 9 billion cubic meters at a time when countries rush to save fuel and replace Russian deliveries.

Happy Bat Week to all who celebrate.

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