The Evening Blues - 6-16-20
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Lowell Fulson. Enjoy!
Lowell Fulson - Lowell Jumps One
"But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people’s liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket."
-- Mark Twain
News and Opinion
Worth a full read.
Once again, we see proposed legislation to mandate police reform — more body cameras, consent decrees, revised use-of-force policies, banning chokeholds, civilian review boards, requiring officers to intervene when they see misconduct, banning no-knock search warrants, more training in de-escalation tactics, a requirement by law enforcement agencies to report use-of-force data, nationally enforced standards for police training and greater diversity — proposals made, and in several cases adopted in the wake of numerous other police murders, including those of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Philando Castile. The Minneapolis Police Department, for example, established a duty to intervene requirement by police officers after the 2014 killing of Brown in Ferguson. This requirement did not save Floyd. ...
The public displays of solidarity are, as in the past, smoke and mirrors, a pantomime of faux anguish and empathy by bankrupt ruling elites, including most Black politicians groomed by the Democratic Party and out of touch with the daily humiliation, stress of economic misery and suffering that defines the lives of many of the protesters.
What we are watching in this outpouring of televised solidarity with the victims of police violence is an example of what Bertram Gross calls “friendly fascism,” the “nice-guy mask” used to disguise the despotism of the ultra-rich and our corporate overseers. Whatever you think about Donald Trump, he is at least open about his racism, lust for state violence and commitment to white supremacy.
It is a class and generational revolt. It will not be solved with new police reforms, which always result, as Princeton professor Naomi Murakawa points out in her book “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America,” in less accountable, larger and more lethal police forces. The problem is deindustrialization, offshoring of manufacturing, automation and austerity programs that allow families to be priced out of our for-profit healthcare system and see nearly one in five children 12 and younger without enough to eat. ...
The entrenched racism in America has always meant that poor people of color are the first cast aside in society and disproportionately suffer from the most brutal forms of social control meted out by the police and the prison system. But there will not be, as Martin Luther King pointed out, racial justice until there is economic justice. And there will not be economic justice until we wrest power back from the hands of our corporate masters. Until that happens, we will go through cycle after cycle of brutal police murders and cycle after cycle of the profuse apologies and promises of reform. We are trapped in an abusive relationship. When we finally have enough, when we cry out in pain and walk out, our abuser comes after us with flowers and apologies and promises to change. Back we go for more.
With the U.S. jobless rate still at levels not seen since the Great Depression and coronavirus-induced mass layoffs continuing across the nation, millionaire White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow complained Sunday that the $600-per-week increase in unemployment insurance authorized by the CARES Act is too generous and said the benefits should expire at the end of July.
"I mean, we're paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get," Kudlow said in an appearance on CNN, echoing the common Republican complaint that many U.S. workers are earning slightly more on the boosted unemployment insurance than they would at their low-wage jobs. Progressive lawmakers and economists have argued that the solution is to raise wages, not slash benefits.
Kudlow predicted that Congress will not extend the enhanced unemployment benefits past the July 31 expiration date and said the Trump administration is "looking at a reform measure that will still provide some kind of bonus for returning to work, but it will not be as large."
Economists have repeatedly warned in recent days that prematurely ending financial relief for laid-off workers could have disastrous consequences for millions of people and hinder the broader economic recovery.
In the face of widespread economic pain and insecurity, the extra unemployment insurance has served as a lifeline for those lucky enough to have actually received the benefits to which they are entitled by law. Former Treasury Department economist Ernie Tedeschi has estimated that ending the enhanced unemployment benefits on July 31 would result in a "pay cut of 50-75% overnight" for millions of people.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear several cases involving a longstanding legal doctrine giving police officers and other government officials sweeping immunity from civil lawsuits, a decision that comes in the midst of a nationwide uprising against police brutality and racial injustice.
The doctrine of "qualified immunity" has come under growing criticism from lawmakers and rights groups since the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. As CNBC explained, "the burden imposed by qualified immunity on victims of police violence is exacerbated by the fact that prosecutors rarely charge officers for excessive force violations, often leaving civil lawsuits as the only remaining avenue."
The ACLU petitioned (pdf) the Supreme Court in April of 2019 to examine a 2018 lower court ruling that granted two officers qualified immunity after they unleashed a police dog on a homeless burglary suspect who says he had already surrendered. The man accused the officers of violating his constitutional rights by using excessive force.
In a statement on Monday, ACLU national legal director David Cole called the high court's decision to deny the group's petition "deeply disappointing." Justice Clarence Thomas dissented (pdf) from the decision, arguing the Supreme Court should consider the issue of qualified immunity, which dates back to the high court's 1967 ruling in Pierson v. Ray.
Cole said the court's decision to "punt on the critical issue of official immunity, in this time of national reckoning over police violence, places the ball squarely in Congress' court."
Trump threatened his former national security adviser with “criminal liability” Monday if Bolton actually releases his tell-all memoir about issues at the core of Trump’s impeachment, as Bolton is now planning to do next week. “I will consider every conversation with me as highly classified,” Trump said Monday. “If the book gets out, he’s broken the law. And I would think that he would have criminal problems. I hope so.”
Trump’s threat follows Bolton’s decision to proceed with publication of the long-delayed book on June 23 in defiance of White House objections. Bolton’s lawyer has argued that the prolonged declassification review is no more than a pretext to censure Bolton, who reportedly describes a White House driven by the urge to secure Trump’s reelection above all else.
The dispute now presents the remarkable spectacle of a sitting president threatening to turn loose the full prosecutorial fury of his own Department of Justice against the man he once trusted with helping him make his most important national security decisions.
UN Human Rights Council Agrees to Hold Hearing Focused on 'Racial Inequality and Discrimination' That Characterizes American Society
The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an emergency hearing Wednesday at the request of 54 African nations on racism and police violence around the world and particularly in the U.S. as ongoing protests over the killing of black Americans by the police turned out hundreds of thousands around the country over the weekend.
"The protests the world is witnessing are a rejection of the fundamental racial inequality and discrimination that characterize life in the United States for black people," Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, Burkina Faso's representative to the U.N. in Geneva, said Friday in a statement on behalf of the 54 countries.
The hearing will focus on "racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent, and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop."
Protests over the killing of Floyd last month by four Minneapolis police officers quickly spread across the U.S. and the world. In their letter to the council calling for hearings, the African nations note that Floyd's killing was part of a longstanding pattern in the U.S.
As Al Jazeera reported Saturday, the letter follows a call from advocates in the U.S. that the world body hold hearings:
The call came after Floyd's family, along with the families of other victims of police violence and more than 600 NGOs this week called on the council to urgently address systemic racism and police impunity in the US.
Protests over the killing of Floyd and the ongoing problem of police racism and violence in the U.S. continued across the country over the weekend as Americans in multiple cities showed up in force for black lives. In Atlanta, the killing of Rayshard Brooks Friday night led to an explosion of frustration as demonstrators filled the streets Saturday and Sunday demanding justice, shutting down the interstate. ...
Wednesday's hearing will focus on the global epidemic of racism that affects black and brown citizens of multiple countries, but will focus on the U.S. specifically. The U.S. is not currently a member of the Human Rights Council, the Trump administration having withdrawn from the organization in 2018 over criticism of Israeli abuses in the occupied territories.
The widow of Rayshard Brooks spoke out on Monday, three days after her husband was shot in the back and killed by an Atlanta police officer in a Wendy’s parking lot, in an incident that has already resulted in protests and the resignation of the city’s police chief.
“I want them to go to jail. I want them to deal with the same thing as if it was my husband who killed someone else,” Tomika Miller said in an interview with CBS News. “If it was my husband who killed them, he would be doing a life sentence. They need to be put away.”
FIRST ON @CBSNews: Tomika Miller, wife of Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by Atlanta police at a Wendy's, tells us the officers "need to be put away.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 15, 2020
An investigator from the medical examiner’s office said Brooks had died of gunshot wounds to the back, and declared his death a homicide. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on Sunday the decision whether to bring charges against the officers could come by midweek. Howard told CNN that Rolfe could face felony murder charges.
Miller said she wants both officers charged. “It was murder. It was not justified,” she said.
‘It’s time to fight back’: Rayshard Brooks’ death prompts calls for overhaul of Atlanta’s police department
Sherialyn Byrdsong stood in the parking lot of the Wendy’s drive-through where Rayshard Brooks was killed four nights ago and listened to a woman addressing the crowd passionately. “It’s getting dark and I need to get my baby home,” the speaker said. “But I need y’all to listen for a minute. I need y’all to understand that we outnumber them. The police, the national guard, the army, the navy — whoever comes down here. I need y’all to exercise your second amendment right, because the civil war never ended. They’re immune to us singing We Shall Overcome. It’s time to fight back.”
It was an impassioned plea at a peaceful protest, one of the many that have rocked Atlanta since Brooks’ death.
Protesters are demanding that Garrett Rolfe, the officer who killed the 27-year-old, be arrested. In an intense news conference on Monday, Brooks’ family called for murder charges against Rolfe, as well as a radical overhaul of Atlanta’s police department. “There’s no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what’s been done. I can never get my husband and best friend back,” said Brooks’ wife, Tomika Miller. “The only way to heal some of these wounds is through a conviction and the drastic change of the police department,” said Brooks’ cousin, Tiara Brooks.
An announcement on Rolfe’s arrest may come on Wednesday, CNN reported. The decision will be up to Paul Howard, the local district attorney for Fulton county and an African-American native of Georgia who has served as the city’s top prosecutor for more than two decades. ...
Brooks’ death has sparked a flood of demonstrations across the city, with myriad goals and tactics. Some are “just sick and tired of being sick and tired”, Byrdsong said. Others want to confront police officers outside police precincts and other government buildings. Then there are those who are already working on the policy plank of what has become a national movement, just as it did for two years following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, for police and criminal justice reform.
The FBI and the California attorney general’s office will monitor the investigation into the hanging death of a Black man in the south of the state, in one of two cases that have resurfaced fears of lynchings during a time of racial tensions and mistrust of law enforcement in the country.
Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree near Palmdale city hall in the early hours of 10 June. The county medical examiner labeled the preliminary cause of death as suicide pending a full autopsy. But the office deferred that decision after community members demanded a full investigation in a contentious news briefing late last week. Over the weekend, hundreds took to the streets in protest, demanding attention for the case. ...
Meanwhile, the family members of a 38-year-old man who died on 31 May in Victorville, California, are also raising questions about officials’ account of their relative’s death. Malcolm Harsch’s body was discovered 50 miles from Palmdale, hanging from a tree in front of the Victorville public library in San Bernardino county. Harsch had been living at a nearby homeless encampment, the San Bernardino county sheriff’s department said in a statement. Encampment residents had cut him down and were rendering aid to him when department personnel arrived. The sheriff’s department “did not recover any evidence to suggest foul play” at the scene. ...
Southern California has had a long documented problem with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, and recently has been experiencing a rash of anti-Black incidents among its youth. Palmdale was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice’s civil rights unit for purportedly targeting Black people with “discriminatory enforcement” of the federal housing choice voucher program.
Standing among a group of peaceful anti-racism protesters in downtown Seattle on a recent Saturday afternoon, Mando Avery held his seven-year-old son’s hand as he and three generations of his African American family finished a prayer with members of their church. Only feet away, Evan Hreha, 34, a hairstylist, arrived at the protests alone. That was when, Avery said, out of nowhere, a police officer fired mace at the group. It hit his son square in the face.
As the young boy screamed and clutched on to his father, Hreha caught it all on camera. He confronted the officer he believed had maced the boy and told him the footage was going online. He then posted it on social media. The footage captures the outrage of protesters after the boy is maced who demand to know why police sprayed a child with the chemical irritant, and made no attempt to help.
Since then, Hreha has been arrested and spent two days in jail for what some are calling police retribution for a video which went viral. The young boy is still traumatized, reeling from the chemical burn on his cheek and asking his parents what he did to deserve it.
“I would say that you were targeting my boy,” Avery told the Guardian, asked what he would say to police. “I don’t know if you were trying to set an example and strike fear into him. You did a great job.” What upsets him most, Avery said, is that officers and a group of emergency medical technicians standing about a block away did not step in to help.
“No officer, who’s paid to protect, chose to stand up, break the ranks, go help this child,” he said. “I just don’t understand how any of them can sleep.”
The coronavirus pandemic — and the attendant social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders — has upended hurricane planning protocol for the 2020 season, a five-month period that started on June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in May this season will be “above-normal,” with as many as six major hurricanes expected. To put this in perspective: The agency predicted two to four major storms in 2019, and three in 2018. Major storms are those classified as Category 3 or higher, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour, and are guaranteed to yield significant destruction and death.
It’s the first time in U.S. history that hurricane season planning will have to take into account social distancing, and the first time every state and territory has simultaneously declared a “major disaster” — a designation that allows them to access millions in federal funds and assistance from FEMA. “This is very uncharted territory,” said Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins, where she studies disaster response and how disasters impact health care infrastructure. “Almost everything we’re doing is new, and we’re already seeing shortages on essential supplies.” ...
Last week Democrats on the House Subcommittee on the Environment sent a letter to FEMA criticizing its hurricane guidance as lacking important details and noted staffing shortages the agency is facing. The “available personnel qualified to lead field operations has fallen from 44 to 19, staff members have been pulled from responding to other disasters, training centers have been shuttered, and new employee recruitment efforts are on hold,” they wrote. The letter cited a Homeland Security Department inspector general report from March that reported FEMA lacked “a coherent strategy” for using advanced contracting during Hurricane Maria, and a Government Accountability Office report that documented FEMA’s challenges in responding to hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. The lawmakers requested a virtual hearing with Gaynor by June 22 to discuss FEMA’s plans for navigating Covid-19 and natural disasters, including tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes.
A Republican super PAC is funding an outside effort to help reelect Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, locked in a tight primary against insurgent Jamaal Bowman.
The super PAC is called Americans for Tomorrow’s Future, following in the proud tradition of nonsensically named political action committees. The connections to the GOP are apparent enough that the Center for Responsive Politics lists it as “Republican/Conservative.” The PAC’s treasurer, David Satterfield, is a former aide to one-time Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist. Satterfield works now at Huckaby Davis Lisker, a prominent firm that does election compliance and accounting work for Republican campaigns. This cycle, the firm is handling the accounts for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among dozens of other GOP operations.
The PAC, presumably due to its visible Republican ties, is not spending directly in Engel’s New York primary. Instead, it funneled $100,000 to another super PAC, called Democratic Majority for Israel, on May 27. DMFI, a controversial operation inside the Democratic coalition, spent heavily against Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, with help from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, The Intercept reported in February. Since cashing the Americans for Tomorrow’s Future check, DMFI has spent more than $600,000 boosting Engel and hitting Bowman on TV, and with digital ads, mailers, and paid phone banking. DMFI has not spent money on any other race since taking money from the GOP operation.
The congressman, who’s been in office for over three decades, is the chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, where he has served since 1994. From that perch, he has been particularly conservative on policy toward Israel, even as the base of the Democratic Party moves leftward on the U.S.-Israel alliance. Pro-Israel groups have contributed more than $1.3 million to Engel over the course of his career. NORPAC, another pro-Israel PAC, is Engel’s second largest contributor this cycle, after the Pro-Israel America PAC, and has given his campaigns $132,509 throughout his career. While Bowman’s campaign is focused on issues like health care, housing, education, and justice reform more than foreign policy, he would certainly be more progressive than Engel, whose loss would be a major blow to leading pro-Israel political groups.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday endorsed neuroscientist Dr. Arati Kreibich in her bid to unseat second-term New Jersey Rep. Joshua Gottheimer, a corporate-friendly conservative Democrat who has repeatedly undermined progressive policy goals in Congress while securing favors for the financial industry.
"As a neuroscientist, Arati conducted research on opiate addiction and after working directly with pharmaceutical companies, she gained a clear understanding of the major shortcomings of our for-profit healthcare system," Sanders said in a statement. "She understands that healthcare is a right for all, and not a privilege for the wealthy few."
"Arati decided to take on the incumbent Democrat in her district because she knows that this moment requires bold, progressive leadership," the Vermont senator added. "Now is not the time to think small. If we come together to elect Arati, we will have a member of our movement fighting for our values in Congress."
The New Jersey Democratic primary is scheduled to take place on July 7.
In a statement, Kreibich thanked Sanders for his endorsement and said she is "inspired by the movement he has been able to build."
"I look forward to carrying that mantle forward by fighting for progressive change in Congress," said Kreibich. "In the midst of this crisis, millions of Americans are rising up to demand we stand up to Donald Trump, enact healthcare for all, and take bold action on climate change. It's time we elected a leader in NJ-5 who will listen."
Kreibich's platform includes big-ticket progressive agenda items like a Green New Deal, a $15 federal minimum wage, and Medicare for All. The insurgent candidate's website also emphasizes priorities such as expanding Social Security, ending cash bail and the death penalty, and implementing universal vote-by-mail.
The neuroscientist's grassroots campaign—which has won the backing of national progressive groups like the Sunrise Movement and Indivisible—is taking on a congressman whose ability to quickly rake in corporate cash earned him the nickname "human fundraising machine."
Kreibich, who has vowed to reject corporate PAC money, told The American Prospect last month that she hopes her superior organizing and grassroots support can overcome Gottheimer's massive fundraising advantage, accumulated with the help of private equity firms, Wall Street banks, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"We were knocking on 1,000 doors a week [before the Covid-19 pandemic], well on our way to our 100,000-door goal," said Kreibich. "Now we're doing digital and virtual, and we've made 90,000 contacts at this point, phone calls and texting."
"We're seeing how folks are doing and connecting them with mutual aid resources, PPE collection and delivery, and delivering meals," Kreibich added. "Here we have folks who need real relief in North Jersey. People who are struggling on a daily basis while he's siding with Republicans and predatory lenders."
DNC's Climate Council Urges Party to Go Beyond Biden Plan, Calling for Fracking Ban and $16 Trillion Renewable Energy Investment
The DNC Environment and Climate Council released its 2020 Platform Recommendations for the party on June 4, calling on the party to "commit to the spending necessary to address the climate emergency: $10-$16 trillion in federal expenditures over the next decade."
The recommendation was notably more ambitious than the platform pushed by Biden during the Democratic primary pledging just $1.7 trillion for shifting to renewable energy. The council's proposal reportedly frustrated DNC leaders, one of whom firmly told Reuters Monday, "Joe Biden will be writing the platform for our national convention."
Michelle Deatrick, chair of the council and a former presidential campaign surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told Reuters that the panel has been in touch with Biden's campaign and the joint task force that was formed by Biden and Sanders, including the two primary candidates' advisers.
The progressives on the climate task force include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash. The panel and similar task forces focusing on the economy, healthcare, and other key issues are helping Biden to update his platform for the general election.
The DNC climate council's specific recommendations include:
- banning fracking and oil and gas exports;
- directing "massive investments to renewable energy infrastructure, creating millions of jobs, and [ending] all incentives and subsidies of the fossil fuel industry;" and
- establishing a federal Just Transition Task Force to develop a program supporting communities and workers impacted by the climate crisis and the transition to renewables, and [funding] the program.
In addition to pledging a fraction of the renewable energy funding called for by the council, Biden's current plan would permit the continuation of fracking and oil and gas exports for the time being. ...
Although numerous polls have shown that the climate crisis is a top issue for U.S. voters across the political spectrum—with Democrats ranking it as their second-most imprtant priority after healthcare in a survey by Climate Nexus earlier this year—one DNC leader claimed that the council's proposals are "a nonstarter."
"Nobody takes them seriously," the senior Democrat told Reuters.
'This Is Why We Continue to Fight': Indigenous Leaders Outraged as Trans Mountain Pipeline Spills 50,000 Gallons of Crude Oil
Indigenous leaders are demanding that the Canadian government immediately halt the ongoing expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline after the leakage of an estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil at a pump station in British Columbia on Saturday—a spill that once again confirmed warnings of the fossil fuel project's grave threat to the environment.
Chief Dalton Silver of Sumas First Nation said in a statement (pdf) Sunday that "we cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills."
"The proposed Trans Mountain expansion route would see an additional pipeline crossing one of our sacred sites, Lightning Rock, at two spots," said Silver. "We will do absolutely everything we can to prevent this from happening—an oil spill at Lighting Rock would be horrific for our people."
Leah George-Wilson, chief of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, said spills from the Trans Mountain pipeline—which the Canadian government purchased from Kinder Morgan in 2018 despite widespread opposition—are "inevitable, can't be fully cleaned up, and have devastating effects."
"This most recent spill is another reminder that the risk is too great to accept," said George-Wilson. "The Trans Mountain pipeline has already spilled more than 80 times since it began operating. This is why we continue to fight the Trans Mountain Expansion in the courts."
The oil spill was first detected in the early hours of Saturday morning. Trans Mountain Corporation, a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation, claimed in a statement late Sunday that the spill at the Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford, British Columbia has been fully contained and does not pose a threat to "the public or community."
The pipeline, which transports around 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to Vancouver, was restarted Sunday after it was shut off for just over 24 hours following the spill.
In a joint statement (pdf), the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) said the June 13 spill "occurred just south of the Lightning Rock site—a cultural site and burial grounds of great significance to the Semath First Nation and Stolo Coast Salish Peoples."
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of UBCIC, called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop "investing in old technology for a fossil fuel product that is toxic to our environment."
"The broken and aging Trans Mountain pipeline is a potent symbol of economic uncertainty at a time when Canadians are desperate for recovery from Covid-19," said Phillip. "This is a pivotal moment demanding strong leadership that understands the need for a drastic shift to clean energy development."
Experts Say $17.5 Billion Writedown by BP Prove Oil Giant Knows 'Reserves of Oil and Gas Increasingly Worthless'
Fossil fuel giant BP announced Monday it will write down nearly $18 billion in existing assets, a move that climate advocates say is more evidence that the industry is undergoing a massive shift that will leave oil and gas reserves less and less valuable as the world pivots to more planet-friendly and financially-viable sources of energy.
"Big Oil is finally admitting what we've been saying for the last ten years," Fossil Free Media director and Stop the Money Pipeline campaign spokesperson Jamie Henn told Common Dreams. "Their reserves of oil and gas are increasingly worthless because there's no way to safely, or profitably, produce them."
The massive writedown comes as the economic impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic have converged with the preexisting financial crisis facing the fossil fuel industry due to surging renewables, a glut of oil and gas surplus in the global market, and the growing political demand to reduce emissions.
As The Hill explained:
In making the moves, the company cited both weakening demand and the possibility that the pandemic will speed up a transition to a lower carbon economy.
"Renewables are the present and future," tweeted former British Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. "Fossil fuels are dinosaurs."
BP's writedown is the company's largest since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The move by BP needs to be seen in context of the industry and the actions of other companies, wrote Bloomberg News columnist Chris Hughes:
The company's management is shifting from the bullish to the bearish group. On that basis, some fields won't earn adequate returns, and some of the world's fossil fuels that would have been extracted and burnt now won't be.
It's a moment to be compared not only with peers' comments of late, but with the seismic revaluations the industry has inflicted on investors over the past two decades—think ConocoPhillips' $34 billion of asset impairments in the financial crisis.
In a statement, Greenpeace U.K. senior advisor Charlie Kronick welcomed the company's change of tune and urged it to protect its workforce.
"This huge dent in BP's balance sheet suggests it has finally dawned on BP that the climate emergency is going to make oil worth less," said Kronick. "BP must protect its workforce, and offer training to help people move into sustainable jobs in decommissioning and offshore wind."
In a statement, company CEO Bernard Looney cited the likelihood of a reorientation toward the Paris Agreement goals of lowering emissions in the post-coronavirus economic rebuilding as a major reason the company revalued its energy stock.
"We have reset our price outlook to reflect that impact and the likelihood of greater efforts to 'build back better' towards a Paris-consistent world," said Looney.
But, Henn told Common Dreams, don't be deceived.
"BP is trying to spin this announcement as part of its transition to a 'green' company, but so far we haven't seen any fundamental changes to its business plan," said Henn. "As long as BP is drilling for oil, it's part of the problem."
"Save your applause until BP announces its ceasing all exploration and rapidly phasing out existing production," he added. "Until then, these vague commitments are about as meaningful as painting an oil rig green."
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Lowell Fulson - Western Union Blues
Lowell Fulson - That's All Right
Lowell Fulson - So Many Tears
Lowell Fulson - Stop And Think
Lowell Fulson - Check Yourself
Lowell Fulson - Talkin' Woman
Lowell Fulson - Make a Little Love
Lowell Fulson - My Mind Is Trying To Leave Me
Lowell Fulson - Between Midnight And Day