Progressive Briefing for Monday, October 8

Humans, fish and other animals are consuming microfibers in our food and water, Trump's pick for energy innovation is invested in Big Oil, and Susan Collins' challenger raises millions after vote for Kavanaugh.

Image credit: Medill DC

$3 million raised for Susan Collins’ 2020 challenger after she backed Brett Kavanaugh

Whoever runs against Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in 2020 will start off their campaign with nearly $3 million, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign opposing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Already, two politicians have expressed interest in running: U.S. National Security Advisor for the Obama administration Susan Rice and Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Sara Gideon. On Twitter, both hinted they’d be interested in opposing Collins in 2020. Now either one could start with millions in her war chest.

“Senator Collins votes NO on Kavanaugh and you will not be charged, and no money will go to fund her future opponent,” the fundraiser’s website reads. “Senator Collins votes YES on Kavanaugh and your pledge will go to her opponent’s campaign, once that opponent has been identified.”

Humans, fish and other animals are consuming microfibers in our food and water

Lab studies have found that microplastics can harm small aquatic organisms that eat them – including plankton, a hugely important food source for aquatic organisms. These harms include decreased ability to feed and reproduce. Zooplankton given food laced with microplastics in a lab had decreased nutrition and poorer health than the control group. And pearl oysters fed polystyrene microbeads had less energy.

A nominee to head a cutting-edge research program in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is personally invested in various natural gas-based utilities and gas pipeline companies.

In July, the Trump administration announced the nomination of Lane Genatowski to head the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which tries to bridge the gap between basic research and the commercialization of breakthrough energy technologies and is modeled after the Department of Defense program that led to the Internet and GPS.


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