Ben Jervey

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Ben Jervey has been covering and working in the climate, energy, and environmental fields for a decade. He is regular contributor to DeSmogBlog. He was the original Environment Editor for GOOD Magazine, and wrote a longstanding weekly column titled “The New Ideal: Building the clean energy economy of the 21st Century and avoiding the worst fates of climate change.” He also contributes to National Geographic News, Grist, OnEarth Magazine, and many other online and print publications. His book–The Big Green Apple: Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Living in New York City–has been called the “bible of green living for NYC.” A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.

Big Oil Ally Derrick Hollie Dismisses Environmental Justice, Promotes Natural Gas at House Climate Hearing

Read time: 3 mins

This week, during the House Committee on Natural Resources' hearing on “Climate Change: Impacts and the Need to Act,” Representatives heard about the threats that climate change poses to the safety, prosperity, and general well-being of Americans, and particularly to marginalized communities of color. Multiple experts testified on environmental and climate justice issues. However, one of the Republicans' experts, Derrick Hollie of Reaching America, told a dramatically different story, attempting to argue that climate-friendly policies actually harm low income and minority communities.

During the hearing, Hollie did not disclose his organization's involvement in multiple campaigns funded by the oil and gas industries.

Senator John Barrasso Parrots Koch Talking Points to Kill Electric Car Tax Credit [Updated]

Read time: 8 mins
Senator John Barrasso

[Update 2/7/19] On Wednesday, Senator Barrasso released a new version of his Fairness for Every Driver Act, which he had forecast with the Fox News op-ed. In his remarks on the Senate floor he again repeated the same talking points that have been pushed by Koch network voices for months. The American Petroleum Institute distributed a press release applauding the proposed bill, making the same erroneous claim about who benefits from the tax credit.

How This Oil Refiners Group Rallied GOP Governors' Support for Trump’s Rollback of Auto Standards

Read time: 6 mins
Trump in front of a refinery

As the Trump administration worked to revise and relax federal fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and light trucks, an oil refiners trade group worked connections with Republican governors to rally support for the proposed rollback.

Emails obtained by Documented, a watchdog group that tracks corporate influence in government, revealed that the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) were actively recruiting Republican Governors to sign onto a public comment letter supporting the weaker CAFE (corporate average fuel efficiency) standards, while also “shopping around” a pre-written op-ed with language borrowed from the American Energy Alliance, a free market advocacy group run by a former Koch Industries lobbyist.  

Senators Demand Trump Admin Reveal Marathon Petroleum, Koch Influence on Clean Car Standards Rollback

Read time: 4 mins
Marathon gas station

Two Senate Democrats this week ordered several Trump administration cabinet members and agency officials to reveal how the oil industry and Koch network have worked behind closed doors to influence the proposed rollback of auto efficiency and emissions standards.

Senator Tom Carper of Delaware and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer sent a letter to the current heads of the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others in the administration to demand information about a “covert lobbying campaign with oil industry groups to support Trump Administration efforts to weaken fuel economy standards and increase demand for oil consumption.”

Kochs Fund Study to Kill Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Via Same Group That Defended Tobacco Industry

Read time: 4 mins
Koch Industries logo with 'not science' stamped over in red

When Koch Industries needs a study to cast doubt on the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), where does it turn?

Unsurprisingly, to an industry-funded study mill that infamously produced a key report defending the tobacco industry that was deployed by Philip Morris in the 1990s, and which has since published studies commissioned by the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the coal industry, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

As Congress debates whether to extend, end, or leave alone the federal EV tax credit, a study critical of the incentive has been making the rounds in conservative media outlets and Koch-affiliated free market advocacy groups.

Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Group Launches Campaign to Crush Fuel Economy Standards

Read time: 3 mins
Shell station sign showing gas prices around $5.00 a gallon in 2008

Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy network funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, recently launched a campaign to support President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back fuel efficiency and automobile emissions standards.

Through social media feeds of the many AFP state chapters, the group is promoting a petition to “Repeal Costly Obama-era Fuel Standards.”

Koch-Funded Groups—Yet Again—Speak Out Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

Read time: 6 mins
Nissan Leaf Electric car charging in front of San Francisco City Hall

A coalition of thirty conservative free-market advocacy organizations — the majority of which have clear ties to Charles and David Koch through their funding or leadership — have sent a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) urging that Congress halt any expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit, or scrap it entirely.

Trump Administration Officially Proposes Rolling Back Clean Car Standards

Read time: 7 mins
Trump in truck

In a long expected move, the Trump administration announced Thursday morning that it is proposing to weaken the Obama-era clean car emissions and fuel efficiency standards, and that it will seek to limit California's authority to set tougher standards.

The proposal, first reported last week, comes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and suggests freezing fuel economy targets at 2020 levels through 2026, along with a number of other less-preferred options.

Trump Administration to Halt Clean Car Standards, Revoke California's Right to Regulate

Read time: 7 mins

The Trump administration will announce plans this week to revoke California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles, according to inside sources quoted by Bloomberg.

This directly contradicts comments made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) air chief, William Wehrum, who said in January that the agency had “no interest whatsoever in withdrawing CA's authority to regulate.”

Colorado Adopts California Clean Car Standards in Defiance of Trump Admin

Read time: 5 mins
Colorado truck license plate

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that his state would join 13 states and the District of Columbia in adopting California’s clean car emissions standards.

Colorado has a choice,” Gov. Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This executive order calls for the state to adopt air quality standards that will protect our quality of life in Colorado. Low emissions vehicles are increasingly popular with consumers and are better for our air. Every move we make to safeguard our environment is a move in the right direction.”

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