We Need to Talk About Biden’s New “Climate Change Liaison”.

Yeah, it’s looking pretty bleak.

Lauren Elizabeth
Nov 17, 2020 · 5 min read
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Ryan Collerd / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Even without the help of President Donald Trump and a “smooth” transition, Joe Biden is moving forward with the transition process and making picks to join the inner circles of his administration. Before Mr. Biden even became the Democratic nominee, the left has been all too aware of what a Biden Presidency would realistically entail, and how bleak the prospects of actually being able to push him left were once he was in power. But perhaps one of the most devastating blows came with the recent news that Biden tapped Representative Cedric Richmond to be a senior advisor.

Natasha Korecki and Alex Thompson with Politico write:

“Richmond, a national co-chair to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, will focus on outreach with grassroots organizations, public interest groups and advocacy groups, including the NAACP. He’s also expected to serve as a liaison with the business community and climate change activists. Bloomberg News first reported on Richmond’s new role.”

Mr. Richmond as a “liaison” with the business community and climate change activists?

Cedric Richmond has taken more money from the oil and gas industry than almost any other Democrat.

Between the years 2019 and 2020 alone, Mr. Richmond, who is about to enter the Biden administration and serve as bridge between the business community and climate activists, has taken $112,600 in “campaign contributions” from the oil and gas industry. An industry that also happens to be his number one contributor. Richmond, coincidentally enough, also happened to be one of the only 28 Democrats to vote in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In response to this move by the Biden administration, Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, said in a statement to The Hill:

“One of President-Elect Biden’s very first hires for his new administration has taken more donations from the fossil fuel industry during his Congressional career than nearly any other Democrat, cozied up to Big Oil and Gas, and stayed silent and ignored meeting with organizations in his own community while they suffered from toxic pollution and sea-level rise,”

Meanwhile, Richard Cowan of Reuters has the unmitigated gall to argue — in the title of his piece — that Richmond brings a “practical streak” to the White House.

It’s difficult to even know where to begin when addressing all the various ways in which this critical appointment has been a slap in the face. It’s a slap in the face to climate change activists, and groups like the Sunrise Movement whose ground game and organizational skills helped deliver this election for Joe Biden. It’s a slap in the face to Richmond’s own constituents, who he has allowed to suffer and fall ill for the sake of his power. It’s a slap in the face to young people, who turned out in record numbers to vote for him. It’s a slap in the face not only to us young people, but to the generations who come after us that may not have a habitable planet to live on as a direct result of the insatiable greed of not just the Fossil Fuel industry, but lawmakers like Richmond who would sacrifice the stability of the planet and its ability to support human life all for the sake of a measly $112,600 to keep him in power.

According to EPA data, 7 of the 10 most polluted census tracts in the entire United States are within Richmond’s district, but analysis of his news releases by The Guardian shows he has not mentioned pollution once since he took office.

This is who Biden picked to be a “senior advisor” tasked with being the bridge between climate activists and business.

After Joe Biden was declared President Elect by the media, I got a comment from a disgruntled reader suggesting I must have “sour grapes”, smugly implying that my issues with Biden merely stem from the fact that Bernie Sanders didn’t win. On the contrary, my issues with Biden quite literally have to do with life, death, and the stability of the entire planet. Leave it to Joe Biden to indicate that he’s willing to allow the climate to collapse for the sake of big business before he’s even elected, but I’m expected to be optimistic about his administration? The people who suggest I and others on the left simply have sour grapes are the very same ones who insist that Biden can be “pushed to the left” after we just vote him into office, following this argument by telling leftists like myself to shut up and be quiet once he’s in power. The level of hopelessness I and I’m sure many others carry runs so deep, it feels like a physical weight pushing down on my chest. Frankly, I wish it was just sour grapes.

Of all the reasons to be wholeheartedly disappointed by the selection of Cedric Richmond, one thing that stands out in particular in my mind is that number: $112,600.

For just a little over $100,000 in the pocket of a few critical individuals like Cedric Richmond, Fossil Fuel Industries stand to rake in billions. It’s actually pretty astonishing how cheap it is to ensure the ability to decimate the planet, and its ability to support humanity for the sake of a nice quarterly profit margin, particularly among Democratic lawmakers who are theoretically supposed to represent the working class. Meanwhile, a significant number if not a majority of the people who loyally vote for these lawmakers will be more angry about someone pointing out this devastating corruption among Democrats than they are that it even takes place.

I am so sick and tired of the Democratic party feeling the need to remind us on a near constant basis of how little they actually care.

At the end of the day, the one silver lining I can find is that I don’t think Joe Biden fully understands exactly what it is he’s dealing with on the left. He won the battle, but the war is far from over, and time is objectively not on his, or the Democratic party’s side. We are far more organized, vocal, frustrated, and forceful than ever before, and learn more lessons with each passing election. He had 2020, but the left is already getting ready 2022 and 2024.

Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Dialogue & Discourse

News and ideas worthy of discourse. Fundamentally informative and intelligently analytical.

Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Dialogue & Discourse

News and ideas worthy of discourse. Fundamentally informative and intelligently analytical.

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