Welcome to this week’s email rundown of news and analysis about the corporate takeover of education, water, and other public goods. Not a subscriber? Subscribe here for free.
- Palantir, owned by the Trump-loving Peter Thiel, is gearing up to expand its reach into Britain’s National Health Service, the Financial Times reports.
- Here’s how one school turned into a community school under California’s model.
- One of the worst privatization deals in history is getting even worse, says In the Public Interest’s executive director Donald Cohen.
First, the good news…
1) National: What’s ahead for labor? There’s both good news and peril. Public support for unions is at a 57-year high, with polling at 68% in favor. Worker organizing efforts are underway across the country including at Amazon and Starbucks. But inflation, a possible recession, and political challenges are clouding the picture. This week, the AFL-CIO is holding its first convention since 2017. [Watch it live]. Adolph Reed Jr. chops it up with Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants/CWA, and APWU President Mark Dimondstein. Class Matters podcast. [Audio, about an hour].
2) National: Happy 116th birthday, Antiquities Act, says Christian Gerlach of the Sierra Club in the Nevada Current. “The value of public lands is immeasurable, and the memories we associate with them are priceless. Establishing national monuments not only ensures that our special places are preserved and histories remembered, but they serve as a way for more people to make critical connections with nature and create their own memories.”
3) California: In Los Angeles, tenants just secured an historic victory over landlords. “The tenants had just secured an historic win, becoming the first tenants’ association in the United States to successfully force a municipal government to approve the public purchase of their building to preserve affordability. (…) Since the 1970s, when Richard Nixon instituted a moratorium on public housing construction, the provision of low- and moderate-income housing has been outsourced to private developers and operators through subsidized programs like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Section 8.”
4) Minnesota: The Minnesota Department of Transportation will get $68 million to expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations. “MnDOT has identified Interstates 94 and 35 as Alternative Fuel Corridors, and those highways will be the first routes to receive new chargers, spaced a minimum of 50 miles apart. The agency is hoping that people at the meetings will help identify specific locations to place chargers, such as retail sites, gas stations and parks. Leaders also are looking ahead to see where the chargers would be viable along other routes.”
5) New Mexico: The ACLU has settled a lawsuit with the New Mexico Corrections Department, which “has agreed to pay the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico $37,500 to settle a lawsuit over the agency’s alleged failure to release public records related to its multimillion-dollar contract with the company that provides medical care to prison inmates. The department also will provide unredacted versions of the records requested, which previously had been heavily redacted, ACLU-NM staff attorney Lalita Moskowitz said Thursday. (…) Moskowitz said the department let the vendor, Pittsburgh-based Wexford Health Sources, decide what would be redacted and backed the vendor in court at the expense of taxpayers.”
6) Ohio: The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will consider funding green infrastructure projects that can reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into the region’s problematic combined-sewer system. “There is no shortage of ideas for the sewer district grants, said Matt Scharver, deputy director of watershed programs at the sewer district, and the applicants get more than funding. They also are taught how to maintain their projects and generate revenue to do so. That way the projects ‘have as long a life expectancy as possible,’ he said.”
7) International: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has produced a new video on the move to privatize public services in Saskatchewan. “CUPE Saskatchewan released the documentary hoping to reveal privatization schemes in the province that have flown under residents’ radars. ‘A lot of people don’t really understand how much privatization has actually happened,’ said Judy Henley, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. ‘We’re trying to create awareness.’ Saskatchewan has a very special relationship to their public services, according to the documentary producer, Suzanne Gallant. She said that, as stated in the opening sequence of the documentary, Saskatchewan is a sparsely distributed province so residents have historically had to rely on Crown corporations.”
8) International: Honduras has repealed its colonialist charter cities scheme. “Honduran President Xiomara Castro signed a decree on April 25 that repealed the law creating the country’s nefarious Economic Development and Employment Zones (ZEDEs). These zones—introduced by the previous National Party of Honduras government in 2012 and consolidated by right wing former President Juan Orlando Hernández—were established to attract foreign investment to Honduras. Beth Geglia and Andrea Nuila writing in NACLA in February last year, explained that the National Party ‘proposed the zones shortly after the 2009 military coup, which made the country a ripe location for experimentation with extreme neoliberal policies.’” In an important story last year, Brasilwire reported that Latin America is in danger of being overrun by privatized cities cooked up by a libertarian zealot.
9) International: The frontrunner in Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, says he will explore ways to reverse the privatization of Brazil’s electricity system. Eletrobras is Latin America’s largest utility. “A court challenge would be central, and any such effort could include a massive repurchase of Eletrobras shares, the advisers told Reuters. The senior figures in Lula’s Workers Party (PT) stressed that any strategy will respect existing contracts and legislation; they are not planning an expropriation like those that swept Latin America in the 1970s. ‘It’s possible to reverse,’ Guido Mantega, a finance minister from 2006 to 2014 under two PT governments, said of the Eletrobras privatization. ‘I have no doubt there are ways, even if, in the end, you have to buy back the shares.’”
10) International: The alleged perpetrators of the greatest corruption scandal in South African history, which revolved around corrupt private tendering for public contracts on a mass scale, have finally been arrested in Dubai. “The investigation has revealed that the three primary sites of State Capture were Transnet, Eskom, and the Free State provincial government. Transnet, for most of the time in question under the stewardship of former CEO Brian Molefe, was responsible for a monstrous 81.59% of payments relating to State Capture: R40,084,201,927.00. A substantial portion of this derived from contracts for Chinese locomotives, coming in at R26,327,322,915.50.” [The 900-page Zondo Commission report]
11) National: Mitch McConnell is on a mission to end expanded free school lunches, Jon Skolnik reports in Salon. “The development centers on an omnibus Democratic-backed spending package, set to be unveiled as soon as Tuesday, that would, among other things, allow the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend child nutrition waivers in schools across the country. (…) The waivers are set to remain in place until the end of the school year, according to CNN. But if they are ultimately dropped, schools are likely to see a 40% reduction in lunch reimbursements from the federal government.”
12) Alaska: Attorney General Taylor has recused himself from “the ongoing legal review of whether public funds can be spent by families on private education and private schools because his wife, Jodi Taylor, wrote a guide on how to do just that.” The core issue “is whether the practice violates the Alaska Constitution’s prohibition on state funds going to private schools. The Alaska Constitution specifically says, “No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” State law, however, allows parents to purchase “nonsectarian services and materials” from private and religious groups with homeschool allotments that run from about $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the student.”
13) Arizona: Majority Republicans in the state legislature are finalizing a deal that would substantially boost funding for K-12 public schools and enact a major expansion of the state’s private school voucher system. Two Democrats on the Rules Committee opposed the move. In the November midterms, Democratic school superintendent Kathy Hoffman is running for reelection. “Kathy Hoffman is running for reelection after winning as a first-time candidate in 2018. She previously worked as a pre-school teacher and a speech-language pathologist. As superintendent, she’s been a strong advocate of public schools and an opponent of expanding access to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, Arizona’s school voucher program.”
14) California: Writing in EdSource, Ali Tadayon explains how an East Bay school turned into a community school under California’s model. “For those in the process of becoming community schools, the top priority for the grant funds is to hire a school community coordinator. That person acts as the school’s liaison between organizations and state and county organizations. Another rule of the grant is that schools must establish all four community school “pillars:” integrating services, including trauma-informed health services; expanding learning time; sharing decision-making among educators and administrators; and engaging families and the community. The state board added additional commitments – a willingness to share power, the use of “restorative practices rather than punitive, exclusionary discipline,” and an appreciation of a community’s culture, heritage, and strengths.”
Meanwhile, in a surprising development, “United Ways of California is urging state lawmakers to split with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and tap the breaks on [community schools] expansion, pointing to ‘issues that have plagued this program since day one.’ In a surprising twist, the same group that lobbied for the model just last year is now pleading with budget staffers in the Legislature to pass on Newsom’s request for $1.5 billion more in funding for the ‘community schools’ approach, United Ways Public Policy Manager Jose Vargas told Politico Friday.”
15) Colorado: The Denver school board voted on Thursday to deny the applications of three charter schools. Superintendent Alex Marrero “wrote that a district analysis concluded it would be unrealistic or ‘very difficult’ for STEM School Denver, a project-based elementary school, and the 5280 Freedom School, an elementary centering Black students, to meet their enrollment targets. ‘The school may be able to consistently enroll a very low number of students, but school models of this limited size are not in the best interests of pupils, the district, or the community,’ Marrero wrote in his recommendation to deny the 5280 Freedom School.”
16) Michigan: Republican members of the Michigan Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee have advanced legislation that education officials said is dividing parents and teachers and would silence teachers attempting to discuss race and racism. “We have kids being literally slaughtered in their classrooms across the country, and yet these right-wing extremists are focused instead on censoring educators from using their expertise to teach students,” Michigan Education Association (MEA) spokesperson Thomas Morgan said of GOP lawmakers supporting House Bill 5097.
17) National/Illinois: One of the worst privatization deals in history is getting even worse, says In the Public Interest’s Executive Director Donald Cohen. “New numbers are out on Chicago’s privatized parking meters, and they aren’t good. (…) [This] past year Chicago lost another $136.2 million in potential revenue. That’s how much in parking fees went to the group of global investors who operate the meters.” To make matters worse, the enormous level of Covid/Fed-driven asset inflation has yielded a potential boondoggle for investors in the privatized Chicago Skyway.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that “results of the latest audits were provided to the Chicago Sun-Times by attorney Clint Krislov. As the director of IIT Chicago-Kent’s Center for Open Government law clinic, Krislov has reviewed dozens of transactions to date and provides an annual analysis of each year’s results. (…) Although the parking meter lease is the deal aldermen and their constituents love to hate, Krislov has argued that it ‘pales by comparison’ to the Skyway deal. If investors unload it now for anywhere near the $4 billion they hope to get, it would only rub salt in the wound of Chicago taxpayers, Krislov said Wednesday. ‘Just when you think that it couldn’t be worse, it gets worse still. That’s really quite remarkable when you think about it. That’s another $1 billion profit that the city didn’t get,’ Krislov told the Sun-Times.”
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who shepherded the Chicago Skyway deal, went on to serve for 11 years at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, which negotiated the city’s much-criticized long term lease of its parking meters, parking garages, and the Chicago Skyway.
18) National/Maryland: Could labor turmoil disrupt the construction of the long-delayed and interrupted Purple Line light rail so-called public-private partnership, which is due to resume construction again in August? That seems possible as the contractors, Maryland Transit Solutions and Meridiam/Star America, stand accused by LIUNA of having abruptly changed their position on the use of union labor.
The union says “Meridiam Infrastructure and Maryland Transit Solutions led union leaders and elected officials to anticipate that, when the project re-started, the skilled, union construction workers who helped in phase one would be back on the job for completion. Meridiam Infrastructure and Maryland Transit Solutions have abruptly changed their position on the use of union labor without adequate justification or explanation. ‘It is important for the investment community to know that the Purplelinemd could face further delays or construction quality issues because the workers who know the project best, and have expertise in building it to date, have been largely sidelined,” said [BWLDC Business Manager Julio Palomo].
The Washington Post reports “Steve Lanning, assistant business manager for LIUNA Local 11 in the Washington region, said the unions’ chief negotiator and leaders of the new construction team recently had been ‘finalizing’ a PLA that they had discussed since August. A couple weeks ago, Lanning said, the construction team stopped returning the union negotiator’s calls. ‘They didn’t raise any issues,’ Lanning said. ‘Just to walk away after making a commitment like this is a terrible way to start a multibillion-dollar project.’ Without a PLA, he said, workers could strike to insist on labor protections. Purple Line construction is expected to involve more than 700 jobs between the contractor and subcontractors, he said.”
There’s a $1.76 billion federal TIFIA commitment to the Purple Line. In February, President Biden issued an executive order requiring project labor agreements on major federal projects with a total estimated cost to the federal government of $35 million or more.
19) National: Will potential gas tax suspensions complicate the federal infrastructure investment initiative? “According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) lawmakers in New York, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland and Georgia have suspended their state gas tax collections this year as pump prices soar to near $5 per gallon. So far this year, ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (TIAC) has tracked 72 bills in 26 states that suspend or repeal transportation funding revenue sources. New research has shown however that gas tax holidays do not automatically result in significantly lower prices and big savings for motorists at the pump, yet states are still enacting or considering a temporary suspension of their gas taxes or other transportation-related user fees. (…) Right now, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is funded by federal fuel excise taxes and other fees and is the primary funding source of transportation infrastructure projects.” Tufts economics professor Gilbert Metcalf says “cutting the gas tax would not have much of an effect on prices at the pump and undermines our efforts to cut our reliance on oil.”
20) National: President Biden and the Transportation Department have opened applications for the first round of funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law’s new Competitive Bridge Investment Program. “The Bridge Investment Program provides an additional $12.5 billion in funding to the more than $27 billion provided to states by the Bridge Formula Program announced earlier this year. Together this $40 billion investment provided by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives the Department the ability to fund numerous bridge improvement projects in communities across all 50 states.”
21) National: Pew is accepting registrations for a two-day online “summit” on broadband access taking place on June 21 and 22. “Unprecedented federal investments over the past two years will put affordable, reliable broadband within reach for all Americans. But these new funding opportunities, which mark the first time the federal government has provided states with funds explicitly for broadband deployment and digital equity, also come with significant challenges—including complex funding streams, staffing hurdles, and other barriers unique to individual states. But despite these obstacles, states have shown that they are ready to act, and some are already paving the way toward a more connected future.”
22) Colorado: Writing in Colorado Newsline, Dale McCall says energy companies have boosted their sky high profits by exploiting public lands over the years. “Recent polling from Colorado College shows that Western voters are more than aware that our oil and gas leasing program is not working for public lands, taxpayers or our communities. With national conversation heating up about the potential to drill even more on our public lands and the Biden administration and Congress considering important policy changes, it is essential that the public’s voice is heard. And they are loud and clear: It’s time to put good stewardship of our public lands first.”
23) Texas: “The city of Shenandoah is one step closer to the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant after securing $6.5 million in financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board in March,” the Houston Chronicle reports. “The $6.5 million, Martin said, covers not only the project but any fees associated with the it. The funding for the expansion comes on the heels of the council agreeing to use just over $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to jump-start an effort that could finally bring new water and sewer services to the Tamina community. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program is a federal-state partnership that provides communities with low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. By using this program, the city could save up to $800,000 over the life of the loan.”
24) International: Writing in Canadian Dimension, Dylan Penner says privatization is a climate killer. “Governments are trying to convince us that privatization and so-called public-private partnerships (P3s) are solutions to the climate crisis. The federal government has even set up institutions to pursue this dead-end, including the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the Canadian Innovation and Investment Agency, and the Canada Growth Fund. But don’t believe the hype. As the Council of Canadians has written previously, P3s delay climate action, cost more, deliver less, and lack accountability. Privatization isn’t a climate solution; it’s climate injustice. Here are six reasons why.”
25) International: Grace Blakely, writing in Tribune, draws a link between privatization and hobbled supply chains. “The industry is in chaos as the profiteering of rentier corporations sends the world system into meltdown,” she says. “The fate of the shipping industry over the last several decades provides a lesson in what happens when private companies control the infrastructure upon which the global economy depends.”
26) International: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) “is demanding that Canada’s largest public pension investment fund abandon plans to invest in an energy privatization scheme in Brazil. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is lining up to profit from the controversial selloff of equity in Eletrobras, Brazil’s largest publicly-controlled energy utility. The privatization has been orchestrated by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in the lead-up to presidential elections happening in October. Reports indicate the CPPIB is planning to take a significant stake in the utility. A number of CUPE’s union allies in Brazil are fighting the privatization and questioning the legality of the hasty sale.”
27) Think Tanks: Does private management lead to the improvement of water services? Susana María Cortina de Cárdenas has written a careful and thorough doctoral dissertation on the question for the University of Iowa. She says that opponents of privatization often “fail to address the issue that management of water services [by governmental entities] was often inadequate before privatization, during, as well as after.”
But “in contrast, those who support privatization consistently ignore the devastating, consequences of water privatization failures, although there are numerous examples of these failures in the short time that the World Bank and other international lending institutions have been promoting and often imposing this approach throughout the world. Private companies with little supervision and an almost unlimited ability to act in an unregulated manner, have proven to be quite adept at failing to improve the services that are privatized, and often, in fact, have contributed to further deterioration of the same, as was the case in Puerto Rico.” (p. 190)
Criminal Justice and Immigration
28) National/California: There has been a lot of discussion over where national efforts to reform the criminal justice system stand after the concerted attack on progressive district attorneys by the law-and-order infrastructure. The successful recall of San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin has prompted some pundits to declare criminal justice reform dead, but not so fast, writes Adam Johnson in “Chesa Boudin is out. How to make sure criminal justice reform doesn’t go down with him.” Johnson says “Moving forward, reformers have to be careful not to flatten the anti-Boudin coalition or reduce it to a caricature of mindless Trumpers—as the Boudin camp sometimes attempted to do. Working-class people of all races see the rise of visible homelessness, see high-profile hate crimes and attacks, and are asking fair questions about their relation to progressive policy choices. Reformers need to explain to these voters how carceralism does little to address systemic issues (which, to the Boudin camp’s credit, they also sought to do), how America’s unique homicide rate has long coexisted with its historically high incarceration rate and how these same social ills are also playing out in every major American city, even those tough-on-crime prosecutors the anti-Boudin coalition cries out for. In other words: Reformers have more convincing to do. But true reform has always been a marathon, not a sprint.”
For a good discussion of the issues surrounding the recall, listen to Boudin’s interview on KQED with Marisa Lagos and Scott Shafer a few weeks before the voting. [Audio, about an hour]. And also this interview of Johnson by Tana Ganeva and Zachary Siegel on “the absurd, horrifying narratives coalescing around the Boudin recall.” [Audio, about 47 minutes].
29) National: It seems someone has discovered a way to make money off of criminal sentencing reduction pleas. Others haven’t. Remember the good old days of ample free public civil legal services? Remember when Trump tried to eliminate them?
30) National/Illinois: A federal prison is under investigation. “‘Those deaths are just a snapshot of the grim reality at this facility, the deadly grim reality,’ said U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. ‘The investigation paints a picture of rampant abuse by prison staff.’ Sen. Dick Durbin says this is just another example of an ongoing pattern at facilities run by the federal bureau of prisons. ‘It’s no secret that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has been plagued by misconduct,’ Sen. Durbin said. ‘One investigation after another has revealed a culture of abuse mismanagement, corruption, torture, and death reaches all the way to the top.’ (…) ‘So today, I’m calling on President Biden, Attorney General Garland, Deputy Attorney General Monaco, to do one of two things,’ Sen. Durbin said. ‘Either name a new, reform-minded director to replace Carvajal immediately or appoint an acting director until a permanent selection is made. This cannot wait.’ In the coming weeks, the senate judiciary committee will be holding hearings on the Federal Bureau of Prisons.”
31) Oregon: The Oregon Supreme Court has ordered private companies operating in jails to follow anti-discrimination laws. “The new ruling, which applies to private entities operating in jails, stems from a 2016 lawsuit filed by Andrew J. Abraham. He alleged Corizon Health Inc. had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to treat him while he was held at the Clackamas County Jail. Born deaf and later diagnosed with diabetes, Abraham was never provided an American Sign Language interpreter after he was arrested and taken to the jail in October 2015, according to legal filings. Corizon workers wrote messages to Abraham on sheets of paper, but were unable to communicate and incorrectly assumed the inmate was refusing meals and insulin, court records say.”
32) National: Jake Johnson of Common Dreams reports that the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s chair, Pramila Jayapal, “called for an end to all Medicare privatization schemes following a Washington Post report spotlighting how Medicare Advantage plans are distorting patients’ medical records to overbill the federal government and boost their profits. ‘Medicare Advantage plans regularly deny needed care to seniors and frequently create fake illnesses to defraud the government,’ Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote in a social media post.’”
Marc Steiner, Host of The Marc Steiner Show, says “Trump wanted to privatize Medicare. Biden’s letting it happen. (…) In the latest installment of The Marc Steiner Show, Marc talks with [Branko] Marcetic about his recent Jacobin piece, the corporate-serving ‘logic’ behind the push to privatize Medicare, and about the grassroots effort to fight against it.”
33) National: The Federal News Network’s Amelia Brust had an interesting interview with Ohio State University law professor Margaret Kwoka on how federal agencies carry out laws. “Now [the Administrative Conference of the United States] has launched a study to examine the laws governing disclosure of agency legal activities, and whether there’s a way to streamline legal disclosure. It’s an effort that potentially affects every agency.” [Audio, about an hour]
34) Pennsylvania: Having repeatedly failed over the years to privatize the state liquor system, Republicans think they’ve come up with a solution: bypass the governor. A liquor privatization bill has passed a House committee. “The Republican-led Pennsylvania House Liquor Control Committee approved House Bill 2272, which would create an amendment to the State Constitution banning the commonwealth from manufacturing or selling liquor. Should the bill pass the Republican-controlled legislature it would go to the voters, not the Governor’s desk, in the form of a ballot referendum. The bill would not appear on a statewide ballot until at least three months after being passed by the General Assembly.”
35) International: Kenneth Surin sums up the results of former Prime Minister Margaret (“there is no such thing as society”) Thatcher’s privatization train wreck. “Brits have had to cancel their already paid-for summer vacations because the privatized passport office took months to deliver their new passports. Processing visas for Ukrainian refugees has been scandalously slow for the same reason. (…) Crossing the Channel at Dover requires a minimum wait of 4 hours. The Tory privatizations since Mrs. Thatcher have been a bust. Half the children’s homes in England are now in the clutches of offshore private equity operators, raking in profits from their ability to fleece local councils by charging exorbitant fees with no fear of regulation while the Tories are in power.”
36) International: Palantir is gearing up to expand its reach into Britain’s National Health Service, the Financial Times reports. The company “is gearing up to become the underlying operating system for the UK’s National Health Service, poaching senior NHS officials as part of a bid to win a £360mn contract to manage the data of millions of patients across England. The company, best known for its ties to the security, defence and intelligence sectors, has been the NHS’s go-to data analytics provider during its Covid-19 crisis response. (…) The secretive company, co-founded by Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and prominent supporter of former US president Donald Trump, is now manoeuvring to expand its reach into the NHS over the next decade.” [Sub required]
37) International: The Ontario Health Coalition has produced a fact sheet on the privatization of the province’s public hospital services. “Why Not Privatize?
- Expanding the private sector increases staffing shortages by driving highly skilled professionals in public hospitals to private clinics.
- Private facilities take the easier and less complex cases, leaving patients with more complex and urgent medical needs waiting longer in underfunded and understaffed public hospitals
- Private facilities charge user fees and extra bill patients for medically necessary services violating the Canada Health Act”
38) National/International: A bill has been introduced that some say will lead to the privatization of the oceans. “Critics say the bill would authorize ‘industrial’ farming with deleterious environmental effects and negative impacts on native, wild stocks. Some say it would lead to a privatization of the sea by granting long-term tenure of ocean acreage to individuals or corporate interests. Others say a new law is not necessary and that current federal regulations are sufficient.”
39) National: Republicans are planning an assault on companies that try to address environmental, social and governance issues. “Republicans, if they take back Congress in the midterms, plan to pursue legislation against environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investing, part of an effort to push corporations and the financial sector away from pro-climate rhetoric and make them re-embrace fossil fuels. It’s an issue with an increasingly national profile that could gain traction on the campaign trail. Already, GOP lawmakers are honing the message and putting a target on major investment firms, namely money manager BlackRock Inc…
“Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) said he views the ESG backlash as an understandable reaction for lawmakers who represent fossil fuel districts and states threatened by climate policy and the energy transition. ‘Republicans are delivering [for fossil fuel interests]. They’re going to continue to deliver. It’s going to be bad for the economy. It’s going to be bad for the environment. It’s going to be bad for inflation,’ Casten said. ‘But I understand why they’re doing it.’”
40) National: A staff paper titled Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards That May Be Relevant to Climate-Related Financial Reporting is now available on the FASAB website. “Transactions may affect either an asset or liability, such as public-private partnerships (P3s) or leases.”
41) New York/National: The author of The New Kings of New York joined Leonard Lopate to discuss his new book. “According to award-winning journalist Adam Piore, there’s a story behind every apartment sale, every building development, and each real estate transaction in New York City. In this publication Piore charts the extraordinary transformation of America’s greatest city from a near-bankrupt urban combat zone into the land of Billionaires’ Row and Hudson Yards—a luxury playground for the global 1 percent—and provides an inside look at the bombastic developers behind the biggest real estate deals of this century. The New Kings of New York offers a behind-the-scenes picture of what it’s like to operate at the highest levels of the industry, and how some of the skyline-transforming deals were accomplished.” [Audio, about an hour]
Photo by Gage Skidmore.