Coal’s New Focus on California

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Appalachian coal-mining interests have donated more than $60,000 to the US Senate campaign of Republican Carly Fiorina, the former HP chief executive who’s said she’s “not sure” that climate change is occurring. First reported by California Watch, the donations are the latest indication that California is a key battleground in the political war over climate change. While coal interests have virtually no business future in California (where existing laws are phasing out coal), they see the state’s groundbreaking cap and trade law as key to their future. The successful implementation of the California law, which goes into effect later this year, could breathe new life into the US Senate’s failed efforts to put a cap on carbon. As I’ve noted, Big Coal is bankrolling a ballot initiative that would suspend the California law, known as AB 32. Its donations to Fiorina go hand-in-hand with that effort: Unseating Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer, the powerful chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, would drive another nail in cap and trade’s coffin.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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