* It’s hard to avoid a comparison between what is happening to the European Union and the results of today’s meeting in Ottawa of the Three Amigos (President Obama, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau).
Here is the most significant result:
The North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership, announced by the leaders of the three countries in Ottawa at the beginning of the Three Amigos summit, seeks to impose new restrictions on some industries in an effort to cut emissions and spur a greener economy on the heels of last year’s Paris climate summit.
The pledges, made in U.S. President Barack Obama’s final North American Leaders’ Summit, underscore the political alignment of the three leaders at a summit previously delayed in 2015 amid a standoff over TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline. Now, 18 months later, the climate agreement shows the three countries have moved definitively beyond Keystone, one White House official said…
The climate action plan unveiled Wednesday includes a commitment to see half of the continent’s electricity generated by clean sources by 2025, including nuclear, hydro, other renewables and carbon capture and storage projects. The latter provides a window for carbon-based power projects to be considered clean energy.
* Following the suicide bombing in Turkey yesterday, Republicans are lining up to say stupid things about how ISIS is on the rise. That reminded me that we hadn’t talked about something important that happened last weekend. Here’s Zack Beauchamp with the story.
Fallujah, the major Iraqi city that ISIS has held since January 2014, has officially been retaken. Iraqi army troops seized the last ISIS-controlled district in the city on Sunday, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appearing on television to give a victory speech. The city that ISIS has held longer than any other in Iraq is, for the moment, out of the militant group’s hands.
This is the beginning of the end for ISIS’s territorial control in Iraq. After Fallujah, there’s only one more urban center in ISIS’s possession: Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. ISIS’s defeat in Fallujah, a longtime stronghold, reveals that it’s now no longer a question of if but when Mosul falls to the Iraqi government.
* Steve Benen has a story today that reminds us that it’s not just what the Supreme Court does that we should pay attention to. Sometimes what they DON’T do is equally important.
The state of Washington has a law that requires pharmacies to dispense medications, even if individual pharmacists have religious objections. One family-owned pharmacy challenged the law in court, saying it shouldn’t be required to sell emergency contraception, which the pharmacy’s owners consider immoral.
An appeals court sided with the state, and the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday, the justices announced they would not hear the case, which has the effect of leaving the lower court’s ruling intact.
Read on to find out how Justices Alito, Thomas and Roberts reacted to being in the minority on that one.
* This should be seen as a warning to states whose economy depends on the production of fossil fuels (yes, I’m looking at you Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota).
The Alaska governor has cut funding in half for oil checks given to every resident but kept enough money in place so everyone will still get a $1,000 payout amid the budget deficit.
Gov. Bill Walker announced Wednesday that Alaskans will receive the limited checks this year after he cut $665 million appropriated by lawmakers. He had said all options were on the table when it came to the $1.4 billion oil check fund appropriation…
Alaska’s government relies mostly on revenue from oil production to stay solvent. But declining production and a precipitous drop in oil prices have plagued the state, leaving it with a deficit of more than $3 billion for the next budget year.
* Finally, this is one of those images that proves the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words. Scholars have written tens of thousands of words that don’t capture the difference between equality and equity as well as this simple image does.