A modern-day Constitutional convention? You mean for real? The Climate Minute Podcast

This week, we discuss two significant sleeper issues that will influence climate policy for a long time to come, and a few local initiatives for Massachusetts residents.

Charlie Pierce highlighted the first understated, but very important, issue in a report for Esquire. A right-wing movement is pushing state legislatures to approve the idea of holding a new constitutional convention to rewrite the constitution. The convention would be open and would focus on the balanced budget amendment. Twenty-eight states have signed on to this campaign; thirty-four are needed to pass an amendment to the constitution. There is a possibility that if the movement can gain those last six states, it could create stringent regulations that limit the government’s ability to act on climate change.

Another issue of concern is that Mitch McConnell is intent on loading the federal bench with right-wing conservatives who are light on experience but heavy on ideology. These are very young lawyers who will be in these lifetime appointments for decades. Having a federal bench replete with judges that are subservient to right-wing philosophies will make it very difficult for environmental laws to succeed.

Massachusetts listeners, please be on high alert and make calls to your state representative about the following critical local issues. There is a bill before the MA legislature that would eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to assist cities and towns in making regulations to protect air and water quality. Additionally, the Baker Administration released a statement indicating that he feels no political risk by opposing a carbon tax. MA climate hawks can help the movement away from fossil fuels by reminding him that natural and fracked gas should not be part of our energy portfolio.

Further reading:

Charlie Pierce’s Esquire article about the new constitutional convention

Federal bench being “stuffed” with judges who are light on experience but heavy on ideology

Boston Globe article about MA carbon pricing

Boston Globe article about Governor Baker and natural gas

Boston Globe article about EPA and water regulations

Find your Massachusetts state legislator here

Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.

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