Tag: climate change

Background Briefing: July 14, 2020

 

Trump Clearly Bribed Stone For His Silence But Will Other Republican Senators Join the Two Who Have Condemned His Criminality?

We begin with a follow up on whether Roger Stone’s commutation can be challenged and overturned due to the exception in the Constitution of impeachment and speak with Jennifer Taub, a professor at Western New England Law School. She joins us to discuss her article at CNN “The people who sit by while Trump sets Roger Stone free” and make the case that if 20 Republican senators were to state that Stone’s bribery-tinged commutation is too much for them at last, and that they are ready to hear the evidence and will not shut their ears to the facts as they did with the Ukraine impeachment, Trump could be out of the White House swiftly — perhaps even before the election in November.

 

The Supreme Court Gives Pension Fund Managers the Green Light to Rip Off Retirees

Then we look into how the Supreme Court has given a green light to financial managers to steal from worker’s pensions in the ruling for which Justice Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion. Dennis Kelleher, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, a Wall Street watchdog that has been referred to as “a persistent thorn is the side of Wall Street”, joins us to discuss how financial firms have been skimming hundreds of billions of dollars in fees off pension funds they manage with private equity firms making out to the tune of more than $230 billion in performance fees in ten years while delivering returns not much better than a low-fee stock index fund.  In dissenting Justice Sotomayor pointed out “The Court’s reasoning allows fiduciaries to misuse pension funds so long as the employer has a strong enough balance sheet during the misbehavior, indeed, the Court holds that the Constitution forbids retirees to remedy or prevent fiduciary breaches in federal court until their retirement plan or employer is on the brink of financial ruin.”

 

As the Frackers Go Out Of Business, Methane Spews From Abandoned Wells

Then finally we look into an alarming story from The New York Times that fracking firms which are going out of business because of the market glut of oil and gas are abandoning more than 3 million wells, two million of which are unplugged. And because the Trump administration plans to eliminate requirements to detect and fix methane leaks, 370,000 tons of methane, which is a 80 times worse greenhouse gas than CO2, will leak into the atmosphere through 2025.  Kathy Hipple, a financial analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis joins us to discuss how the executives of bankrupt fracking companies are paying themselves millions as they abandon these wells leaving it up to the taxpayer to fix the leaks.