Scientists sound alarm at US regulator’s new ‘forever chemicals’ definition: Narrower definition excludes chemicals in pharmaceuticals and pesticides that are generally defined as #PFAS

PFAS contamination in the U.S. via [Click the map to go to the website.]

Click the link to read the article on The Guardian website (Tom Perkins):

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) department responsible for protecting the public from toxic substances is working under a new definition of PFAS “forever chemicals” that excludes some of their widely used compounds. The new “working definition”, established by the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, is not only at odds with much of the scientific world, but is narrower than that used by other EPA departments.

Among other uses, the narrower definition excludes chemicals in pharmaceuticals and pesticides that are generally defined as PFAS. The EPA also cited the narrower definition in December when it declined to take action on some PFAS contamination found in North Carolina…

The discussion within the EPA comes as the agency faces increased pressure to largely restrict the entire chemical class, and critics say the change benefits chemical manufacturers, the Department of Defense and industry…

The most widely used, inclusive definition, and that proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), defines any chemical with one fluorinated carbon atom as a PFAS. That could include tens of thousands of chemicals on the market. The EPA toxics office, however, wrote a “working definition” that calls for “at least two adjacent carbon atoms, where one carbon is fully fluorinated and the other is at least partially fluorinated”. It covers about 6,500 PFAS, and the EPA is using that definition in its recently introduced “national testing strategy”, which serves as a road map in its attempt to rein in PFAS pollution. Beyond chemicals in pesticides and pharmaceuticals, the narrower definition excludes some refrigerants and PFAS gases. Some of the excluded PFAS compounds turn into highly toxic chemicals, like PFOA and PFOS, as they break down in the environment or are metabolized by the human body. And the production of some excluded PFAS requires the use of other more dangerous PFAS compounds.

As EV Sales Soar, Automakers Back Higher Fuel Standards

Leaf charging in Frisco September 30, 2021.

Click the link to read the article on the Yale 360 website:

Sales of electric cars are surging in the U.S. and Britain, a reflection of growing interest in plug-in vehicles and a response to high gas prices, analysts say. And as EV sales boom, automakers are backing the Biden administration’s new, more stringent fuel standards.

While the U.S. saw an overall dip in car sales in the first quarter of 2022, all-electric brands such as Karma, Polestar, and Tesla made significant gains, with sales of Teslas up 87 percent over the first quarter of last year. Major automakers also saw a significant EV uptick, with Ford reporting a 38 percent growth in EV sales over last year.

This trend was even more pronounced in the U.K., where automakers sold more electric cars in the month of March than they did in all of 2019, despite overall March car sales hitting their lowest point in 24 years. The growth of electric cars comes as oil prices soar, owing to problems in the supply chain and sanctions on Russia, a major oil producer, over its invasion of Ukraine.

“There was already massive growth in this segment and, if anything, the demand for vehicles is now even stronger as prices at the pumps rise on the back of the Ukraine crisis,” Ian Plummer, a director at car sales website AutoTrader, told The Guardian.

As EV sales rise, automakers are backing more stringent fuel standards recently announced by the EPA, Reuters reported. Texas and 15 other states are suing to block the new regulations, which call for a 28 percent cut in vehicle emissions by 2026. But the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents nearly every major automaker, has sided with the EPA, saying in a court filing that it wants to make sure “critical regulatory provisions supporting electric vehicle technology are maintained.”

Comanche 3’s shaky reason to exist: Xcel Energy wants to keep Colorado’s youngest coal plant operating until 2034. But what is the evidence it can deliver power when it’s needed? — @BigPivots #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround

Comanche Generating Station. Photo credit: Allen Best/Big Pivots

Click the link to read the article on the Big Pivots website (Allen Best):

For all electrical utilities, R is the first letter of the alphabet. Reliability, keeping the lights on, comes before A, affordability.
Colorado’s utility regulators soon will decide the role of Comanche 3, the state’s youngest but most unreliable coal-fired power plant, in ensuring reliability, and whether more natural gas generation will be required.

Xcel Energy, the operator and primary owner of the 750-megawatt coal plant, wants to keep the plant operating on limited, then seasonal-only, terms until 2034. It says the plant will meet peak demands during winter and summer. Several state agencies plus other groups have concurred.

Evidence for Comanche 3 serving this purpose is thin. All fossil fuel plants must occasionally be idled for repairs and maintenance. Comanche 3 has been first in this class. A 2021 report by the Public Utilities Commission staff found the coal unit from 2010 to 2020 “had the lowest availability” of all of Xcel’s coal and gas-fueled units in Colorado.

Comanche 3 was down for most of 2020. It’s down again this year, and until June at the earliest it won’t be generating any more electricity than a solar panel at midnight. At least the solar panels that now surround the plant on the edge of Pueblo generate electricity when the sun shines.

This should provide no comfort to people in Grand Junction, Denver, and other cities who expect air conditioning if temperatures soar to 116 degrees as happened in Portland last summer.

In a March meeting, two of the three PUC commissioners reported seeing no good argument for the plant operating beyond 2029. John Gavan, the commissioner from Paonia, was adamant in that. Megan Gilman, the commissioner from Edwards, was more inclined to kick the decision down the road until next year. Eric Blank, the chair of the PUC, who is from Boulder, observed that requiring the early retirement would in effect make the PUC responsible for ensuring reliability.

What may matter immensely is that Comanche 3 still hasn’t been paid off.
How different from just 18 years ago, when Comanche 3 was approved unanimously by a different set of PUC commissioners. Utilities and their regulators in 2004 saw a future that looked much like the past, giant coal plants gobbled coal delivered by a virtual conveyor belt from mines in Wyoming and Colorado. The plant that PUC commissioners approved was expected to continue operations until 2070.

Colorado Green, located between Springfield and Lamar, was Colorado’s first, large wind farm. Photo/Allen Best

Winds of change were even then picking up. Colorado Green, the state’s first wind farm, had begun operations between Lamar and Springfield earlier that year. That November, voters approved the state’s first renewable portfolio standard. Xcel easily met that initial 10% requirement years in advance of the deadline.

Today, Comanche 3 looks like a billion-dollar blunder. If ensuring winter lights or summer chillers is the goal, the relative grandfathers of Xcel’s coal-burning fleet, Hayden 1 and 2, completed in 1965 and 1976 respectively, might be better options for ensuring reliability. They’re currently scheduled to close in 2027 and 2028.

Xcel and other Colorado utilities now say with confidence they can achieve 80% carbon-free energy by 2030. Nobody, however, claims complete confidence in existing technologies and business models to go even higher than 90%. Holy Cross, the electrical provider for the Aspen and Vail areas, has a goal of 100%. Inconveniently, it also owns 8% of Comanche 3.

Xcel wants more natural gas generation to ensure reliability. This could potentially result in the better part of $1 billion in new infrastructure. But would those assets be stranded by new technology in another 20 years?

A decision may not be immediately necessary. In 2016, the last time Xcel submitted a plan to state regulators, it also wanted a ton of new natural gas generation. When it went shopping, it got bids for renewable generation in late 2017 that dropped jaws across the nation. The economics of renewables had become compelling.

Now, reliability remains a concern, but many ideas are percolating. Homes will likely become energy sources, the batteries of electric vehicles supplying household needs when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The grid increasingly will be two-way and with dispersed energy sources. Today’s electric grid that relies on a few big coal plants in a decade will look as quaint as a desk phone from … well, 2004.

By late next year we’ll have a much better idea whether new natural gas plants will be needed for reliability. As for Comanche 3, if it were a car, it’d already be in the automotive graveyard.

Scientists To Biden: Don’t Ramp Up #FossilFuels — Food & #Water Watch #ActOnClimate

Click the link to read the release on the Food & Water Watch website (Mark Schlosberg):

In recent weeks President Biden and his administration have moved to increase fossil fuel production and infrastructure. These actions fly in the face of climate science, which mandates a transition off of fossil fuels right away. Now scientists are speaking out, imploring President Biden to follow through on his commitments. As a candidate, Biden promised to listen to science, but his recent actions suggest the opposite.

The increased drought, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods that we’ve experienced recently would have been reason enough to curb this plan. But the Ukraine crisis has brought into full view the dangers of continued reliance on fossil fuels. Europe is planning for dramatic cuts in Russian gas and looking toward new sources. Rather than going all-in on renewable energy, Europe wants increased U.S. gas imports — for over a decade to come. This is a recipe for climate disaster.

A Broken Promise — President Biden Moves to Increase Fossil Fuel Production and Infrastructure

When President Biden ran for office, he pledged to listen to science. He also pledged to stop new drilling on federal lands, and initiate a transition off of fossil fuels. He was already falling massively short on these promises before the Ukraine crisis, but now he has reversed course completely. He and his administration have urged increased fossil fuel production, rush approvals of its infrastructure, and ramped-up exports to Europe. And his plan envisions a huge increase of gas exports by 2030 — more than tripling a big increase this year.

What these exports mean for the U.S. is more drilling, fracking, pipelines through communities and massive, polluting industrial facilities. These come with a litany of safety risks and local pollution, which have devastating environmental justice and health impacts.

It also will have monumental climate impacts, according to the most recent IPCC scientific report. Global emissions continue to increase and the very narrow window to avoid even 2 degrees of warming is rapidly closing. Building more infrastructure will certainly lock us into decades of more emissions.

As UN Secretary-General António Guterres said upon the release of the IPCC report: “Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

Failing on Climate: Lies From Leaders Will Be “Catastrophic”

The Biden approach to climate is, unfortunately, not unique. As the IPCC report highlights, governments worldwide have broken prior commitments even though those fell far short of requirements.

The only way to avert even worse impacts is to embrace scientific reality and adopt policies matching the rapidly escalating climate emergency. This means confronting hard truths and paying the crisis more than lip service. The only way to really achieve energy independence and security is to move off of fossil fuels. That means making quick, bold investments in renewable energy and immediately halting and rolling back fossil fuels and its infrastructure. To do otherwise fails to confront what is happening. Secretary-General Guterres said: “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another…Simply put, they are lying, and the results will be catastrophic.”

Scientists Implore Biden to Reverse Course Before It’s Too Late

While President Biden has charted a perilous course, there’s still time to reverse and confront the reality of the climate crisis. Over 275 scientists wrote Biden to implore him to act. This is directly in response to his announced plans to double down on fossil fuels and the IPCC report release. They urged him to instead take bold action to move off fossil fuels and infrastructure and reject the mad dash to increase production and exports.

The initiative for this letter is led by scientists Bob Howarth, Mark Jacobson, Michael Mann, Sandra Steingraber, and Peter Kalmus. The message is prophetic and clear in its call to action. It concludes:

“As scientists who look at data every day, we implore you to keep this promise and listen to what the scientific community is saying about fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Do not facilitate more fuel extraction and infrastructure. The impacts of climate change are already significant and we have a very narrow window to avoid runaway climate chaos. We urge you to lead boldly, take on the fossil fuel titans, and rally the country towards a renewable energy future.”

Help amplify this call to action. Join them, and all of us at Food & Water Watch in calling on President Biden to reject fossil fuels — now.

Assessing the U.S. #Climate in March 2022 — NOAA

Nook on Lake Powell. Photo credit: Allen Best/Big Pivots

Click the link to read the article on the NOAA website:

The current multi-year drought across the West is the most extensive and intense drought in the 22-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Precipitation deficits during the first three months of 2022, across parts of the western U.S., are at or near record levels. As the climatological wet season ends across portions of the West, with below average snow coverConcerns for expanding and intensifying drought and water resource deficits are mounting. and reservoirs at or near record-low levels, concerns for expanding and intensifying drought and water resource deficits are mounting.

During March, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 44.1°F, 2.6°F above the 20th-century average. This ranked in the warmest third of the 128-year period of record. The year-to-date (January-March) average contiguous U.S. temperature was 36.3°F, 1.2°F above average, ranking in the middle third of the record. TheMarch precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.26 inches, 0.25 inch below average, and ranked in the driest third of the 128-year period of record. The year-to-date precipitation total was 5.66 inches, 1.30 inches below average, ranking seventh driest in the January-March record.

This monthly summary fromNOAA National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia and the public to support informed decision-making.



  • A large cold-air outbreak across the central U.S. occurred during the second week of March. Despite this cold spell, temperatures for the month as a whole were above average across much of the West and from the Midwest to the East Coast. Temperatures were below average in pockets along the western Gulf Coast during March.
  • TheAlaska March temperature was 16.6°F, 5.8°F above the long-term average. This ranked in the warmest third of the 98-year period of record for the state. Temperatures were above average across most of the state with Anchorage and Talkeetna reporting a top-10 warm March.
  • Precipitation

  • Precipitation was above average from the central Plains to the Great Lakes, as well as across parts of the Deep South and Southeast. Precipitation was below average across much of the West, northern and southern Plains and from the Tennessee Valley to the Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast. North Dakota ranked seventh driest on record, while Michigan ranked eighth wettest for the month.
  • Several severe weather outbreaks produced strong and damaging tornadoes during March.
  • On March 5, supercell thunderstorms produced at least 13 confirmed tornadoes across Iowa including a confirmed EF4 tornado in Winterset.
  • On March 21-22, severe weather and tornadoes were reported from Texas to Alabama including an EF3 tornado that substantially damaged two Jacksboro, Texas, schools and an EF3 tornado that ripped through the New Orleans metro area.
  • Another severe weather outbreak impacted the Gulf Coast states on March 30-31 from Louisiana to Florida with at least 14 tornadoes and 2 fatalities confirmed.
  • Precipitation across southeastern Alaska during March was above average. Following the wettest January and February on record, Juneau remained wet in March, ranking 10th wettest. As a result, the first three months of the year were the wettest on record and also the wettest January-April on record with the entire month of April still in play. End-of-March snowpack was above average across much of mainland Alaska with some locations near record high levels.
  • According to the March 29 U.S. Drought Monitor report, nearly 58 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down from 59 percent at the beginning of March. Drought conditions intensified and/or expanded across portions of the Southeast, Plains, southern Rockies, parts of the West Coast and Hawaii. Drought intensity and/or coverage lessened across parts of the northern Great Lakes. During March, the contiguous U.S. drought footprint reached 61 percent — the largest observed extent of drought since the fall of 2012.
  • Year-to-date (January-March)


  • Temperatures were above average across much of the West and along the East Coast. California ranked sixth warmest for the January-March period. Temperatures were below average across portions of the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Deep South.
  • The Alaska January-March temperature was 9.6°F, 3.7°F above the long-term average, ranking in the warmest third of the record for the state. Above-average temperatures were observed across much of the southern half of the state with the warmest departures from average occurring in portions of south-central Alaska.
  • Precipitation

    Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

    During the first quarter of 2022, no new billion-dollar weather and climate disasters have been identified, although several events are currently being evaluated.

    In early April 2022, NCEI added an additional 13 historical weather and climate events which, through inflation and review, surpassed the billion-dollar threshold. The U.S. has now sustained 323 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (based on Consumer Price Index adjustment to 2022). The total cost of these 323 events exceeds $2.195 trillion.

    University of #Wyoming scholar says latest UN #climate report finally connects climate with #SocialJustice — Wyoming Public Radio

    Native land loss 1776 to 1930. Credit: Alvin Chang/Ranjani Chakraborty

    Click the link to read the article on the Wyoming Public Radio website (Jeff Victor). Here’s an excerpt:

    The latest report looks at the policy and lifestyle changes necessary to avert the worst effects. Those include radical changes to the energy system, the global economy and even the design of cities.

    University of Wyoming assistant professor Matt Henry said this report does something else significant. It identifies colonialism and its legacy as driving forces for the warming atmosphere. Henry said colonizers industrialized earlier and contributed far more to climate change than the countries and peoples they colonized. Now, formally colonized people and indigenous communities stand to bear the brunt of the devastation.

    “Those communities are especially vulnerable to climate change,” Henry said. “So, you’re more likely to, for example, be displaced from your home on the Gulf Coast when a hurricane hits if you’re a person of color, if you’re indigenous.”

    Each year in January, Colorado Water Trust and the Colorado Water Conservation Board launch the annual Request for Water Process

    Deep Creek, which flows from Hahns Peak down into Steamboat Lake in North Routt County, is being considered for an instream flow water right by the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
    Colorado Water Conservation Board/Courtesy photo

    Click the link to go to the Colorado Water Trust website. Here’s an excerpt:

    This process offers a streamlined approach to water transactions to benefit the environment on streams throughout the state. We invite water rights owners to explore options to use their water rights for streamflow restoration purposes.

    Voluntary water sharing arrangements or voluntary acquisitions of senior water rights, on a temporary or permanent basis, can help restore flows to rivers in need, sustain agriculture, and maximize beneficial uses of Colorado’s water.

    The Request for Water Process has several goals:

  • To invite voluntary water offers from willing water rights owners to benefit streamflows
  • To provide a user-friendly mechanism for water rights owners to explore working with CWCB and the Colorado Water Trust on water acquisitions and transactions that will benefit the natural environment
  • To streamline transaction processes and utilization of resources
  • To facilitate implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan objectives
  • To add flows to river segments in need while coordinating with agricultural and other water uses
  • This Process is confidential, completely voluntary and open to all water right owners, including agricultural, municipal, industrial, or other users.


    Haboob: A Decade of Dust — Mike Olbinski

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    Music By: “Etne” by RØRE licensed through

    Last summer marked the 10th anniversary of the historic haboob that hit downtown Phoenix in 2011, which just happened to be my third ever time-lapse attempt. I posted it online, it did well and thus I decided to keep time-lapsing dust and storms.

    Here we are, over a decade later, and the amount of haboob goodness I’ve witnessed and captured on camera has been a blast. Incredibly fun, exhilarating and rewarding. It started as a passion, turned into a business and now I consult annually with production companies on how to capture them on film.

    I’ve always wanted to do a short film displaying nothing but dust and haboobs, and it made sense to do it after collecting tens years worth of footage. This film doesn’t show all of the clips for sure, but it’s just most of my favorites, spanning the time period from 2011 to 2021. So some of this is older quality, not the 8K level I’ve been shooting at since 2016, but it still looks great to me!

    I love this song by RØRE as well, if you want to license your own music through the MusicBed, you can use my affiliate link here:

    Hope you enjoy this look back at the dusty fun I’ve chased!

    Congratulations, soon to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson

    Ketanji Brown Jackson via the White House. Photo credit: Lelanie Foster, a young black photographer from the Bronx

    Click the link to read the remarks from President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on the White House website:

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Good morning. (Applause.) Good morning, America. (Laughs.) Have a seat, please.

    President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, members of Congress, members of the Cabinet, members of our administration, and friends and fellow Americans: Today is, indeed, a wonderful day — (applause) — as we gather to celebrate the confirmation of the next justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Applause.)

    President George Washington once referred to America as a “great experiment” — a nation founded on the previously untested belief that the people — we, the people — could form a more perfect union. And that belief has pushed our nation forward for generations. And it is that belief that we reaffirmed yesterday — (applause) — through the confirmation of the first Black woman to the United States Supreme Court. (Applause.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Whoa! It’s about time!

    THE VICE PRESIDENT: And, Judge Jackson, you will inspire generations of leaders. They will watch your confirmation hearings and read your decisions.

    In the years to come, the Court will answer fundamental questions about who we are and what kind of country we live in: Will we expand opportunity or restrict it? Will we strengthen the foundations of our great democracy or let them crumble? Will we move forward or backward?

    The young leaders of our nation will learn from the experience, the judgment, the wisdom that you, Judge Jackson, will apply in every case that comes before you. And they will see, for the first time, four women sitting on that Court at one time. (Applause.)

    So, as a point of personal privilege, I will share with you, Judge Jackson, that when I presided over the Senate confirmation vote yesterday, while I was sitting there, I drafted a note to my goddaughter. And I told her that I felt such a deep sense of pride and joy and about what this moment means for our nation and for her future. And I will tell you, her braids are just a little longer than yours. (Laughter.)

    But as I wrote to her, I told her what I knew this would mean for her life and all that she has in terms of potential.

    So, indeed, the road toward our more perfect union is not always straight, and it is not always smooth. But sometimes it leads to a day like today — (applause) — a day that reminds us what is possible — what is possible when progress is made and that the journey — well, it will always be worth it.

    So let us not forget that, as we celebrate this day, we are also here in great part because of one President, Joe Biden — (applause) — and — (laughs) — and because of Joe Biden’s vision and leadership and commitment — a lifelong commitment — to building a better America.

    And, of course, we are also here because of the voices and the support of so many others, many of whom are in this audience today.

    And with that, it is now my extreme and great honor to introduce our President, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Kamala. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The first really smart decision I made in this administration. (Laughter.)

    My name is Joe Biden. Please, sit down. I’m Jill’s husband — (laughter) — and Naomi Biden’s grandfather.

    And, folks, you know, yesterday — this is not only a sunny day. I mean this from the bottom of my heart: This is going to let so much shine — sun shine on so many young women, so many young Black women — (applause) — so many minorities, that it’s real. It’s real.

    We’re going to look back — nothing to do with me — we’re going to look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history.

    I was on the phone this morning, Jesse, with President Ramaphosa of South Africa. And he was talking about how — the time that I was so outspoken about what was going on and my meeting with Nelson Mandela here. And I said, “You know” — I said, “I’m shortly going to go out,” look- — I’m looking out the window — “I’m going to go out in this — what they call the South Lawn of the White House, and I’m going to introduce to the world — to the world — the first African American woman out of over 200 judges on the Supreme Court.” And he said to me — he said, “Keep it up.” (Laughter.) “Keep it up.” (Applause.) We’re going to keep it up.

    And, folks, yesterday we all witnessed a truly historic moment presided over by the Vice President. There are moments, if people go back in history, and they’re literally historic, consequential, fundamental shifts in American policy.

    Today, we’re joined by the First Lady, the Second Gentleman, and members of the Cabinet, the Senate Majority Leader. Where — there you are, Chuck. The Senate Majority Leader. And so many who made this possible.

    But — and today is a good day, a day that history is going to remember. And in the years to come, they’re going to be proud of what we did, and which (inaudible) — Dick Durbin did as the chairman of the committee. (Applause.) I’m serious, Dick. I’m deadly earnest when I say that.

    To turn to our children and grandchildren and say, “I was there.” “I was there.” That — this is one of those moments, in my view.

    My fellow Americans, today I’m honored to officially introduce to you the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Applause.)

    After more than 20 hours of questioning at her hearing and nearly 100 meetings — she made herself available to every single senator who wanted to speak to her and spoke for more than just a few minutes, answered their questions, in private as well as before the committee — we all saw the kind of justice she’ll be: Fair and impartial. Thoughtful. Careful. Precise. Precise. Brilliant. A brilliant legal mind with deep knowledge of the law. And a judicial temperament — which was equally important, in my view — that’s calm and in command. And a humility that allows so many Americans to see themselves in Ketanji Brown Jackson.

    That brings a rare combination of expertise and qualifications to the Court. A federal judge who has served on the second most powerful court in America behind the Supreme Court. A former federal public defender with the — (applause) — with the ability to explain complicated issues in the law in ways everybody — all people — can understand. A new perspective.

    When I made the commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, I could see this day. I literally could see this day, because I thought about it for a long, long time. As Jill and Naomi would tell you, I wasn’t going to run again. But when I decided to run, this was one of the first decisions I made. I could see it. I could see it as a day of hope, a day of promise, a day of progress; a day when, once again, the moral arc of the universe, as Barack used to quote all the time, bends just a little more toward justice.

    I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process. But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that. There was verbal abuse. The anger. The constant interruptions. The most vile, baseless assertions and accusations.

    In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses. (Applause.) Poise. Poise and composure. Patience and restraint. And, yes, perseverance and even joy. (Applause.) Even joy.

    Ketanji — or I can’t — I’m not going to be calling you that in public anymore. (Laughter.) Judge, you are the very definition of what we Irish refer to as dignity. You have enormous dignity. And it communicates to people. It’s contagious. And it matters. It matters a lot.

    Maybe that’s not surprising if you looked to who sat behind her during those hearings — her husband Dr. Patrick Jackson and his family. (Applause.) Patrick, stand up, man. Stand up. (Applause.) Talia and Leila, stand up. (Applause.) I know it’s embarrassing the girls. I’m going to tell you what Talia said. I said to Talia, “It’s hard being the daughter or the son of a famous person.” I said, “Imagine what it’s like being President.” And he said — she said, “She may be.” (Laughter and applause.) I couldn’t agree more. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    And Ketajh, her brother, a former police officer and a veteran. Ketajh, stand up, man. (Applause.) This a man who looks like he can still play, buddy. He’s got biceps about as big as my calves. (Laughter.) Thank you, bud. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    And, of course, her parents: Johnny and Ellery Brown. Johnny and Ellery, stand up. (Applause.) I tell you what — as I told Mom: Moms rule in my house. (Laughter.) No, you think I’m kidding. I’m not. My mom and my wife as well.

    Look, people of deep faith, with a deep love of family and country — that’s what you represent; who know firsthand, Mom and Dad, the indignity of Jim Crow, the inhumanity of legal segregation, and you had overcome so much in your own lives.

    You saw the strength of parents in the strength of their daughter that is just worth celebrating. I can’t get over, Mom and Dad — you know, I mean, what — what you did, and your faith, and never giving up any hope. And both that wonderful son you have and your daughter.

    You know, and that strength lifted up millions of Americans who watched you, Judge Jackson, especially women and women of color who have had to run the gauntlet in their own lives. So many of my Cabinet members are women — women of color, women that represent every sector of the community. And it matters. And you stood up for them as well. They know it — everybody out there, every woman out there, everyone — (applause) — am I correct? Just like they have. Just like they have.

    And same with the women members of Congress, as well, across the board.

    Look, it’s a powerful thing when people can see themselves in others. Think about that. What’s the most powerful thing — I’ll bet every one of you can go back and think of a time in your life where there was a teacher, a family member, a neighbor — somebody — somebody who made you believe that you could be whatever you wanted to be. It’s a powerful, powerful, powerful notion.

    And that’s one of the reasons I believed so strongly that we needed a Court that looks like America. Not just the Supreme Court. (Applause.)

    That’s why I’m proud to say, with the great help of Dick Durbin, I’ve nominated more Black women judges to the federal appeal courts than all previous presidents combined. (Applause.) Combined.

    And that’s why I’m proud that Kamala Harris is our Vice President of the United States. (Applause.) A brilliant lawyer. The Attorney General of the State of California. Former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kamala was invaluable during this entire process. (Applause.)

    And, Chuck, our Majority Leader, I want to thank you, pal. You did a masterful job in keeping the caucus together, getting this vote across the finish line in a timely and historic manner. Just watching it on television yesterday, watching when the vote was taken — and the Democratic side, they’re brave people — there was such enthusiasm, genuine. You can tell when it’s real. You can tell when it’s real. You did an incredible job, Chuck. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

    Folks, because you’re all able to sit down and don’t have to stand, I’m going to go on a little longer here and tell you — (laughter) — I want to say something about Dick Durbin again. Dick, I’m telling you, overseeing the hearing, how you executed the strategy by the hour, every day, to keep the committee together. And you have a very divided committee with some of the most conservative members of the Senate on that committee. It was especially difficult with an evenly divided Senate.

    Dick, I served as chairman of that committee for a number of years before I had this job and the job of Vice President. As did all the Democrats, you did an outstanding — I think all the Democrats in the committee did and every Democrat in the Senate, all of whom voted for Judge Jackson.

    And notwithstanding the harassment and attacks in the hearings, I always believed that a bipartisan vote was possible. And I hope I don’t get him in trouble — I mean it sincerely — but I want to thank three Republicans who voted for Judge Jackson. (Applause.) Senators Collins, who’s a woman of integrity. Senator Murkowski, the same way — in Alaska — and up for reelection. And Mitt Romney, whose dad stood up like he did. His dad stood up and made these decisions on civil rights.

    They deserve enormous credit for setting aside partisanship and making a carefully considered judgment based on the Judge’s character, qualifications, and independence. And I truly admire the respect, diligence, and hard work they demonstrated in the course of the process.

    As someone who has overseen, they tell me, more Supreme Court nominations than anyone who’s alive today, I believe that respect for the process is important. And that’s why it was so important to me to meet the constitutional requirement to seek the advice and the consent of the Senate. The advice beforehand and the consent.

    Judge Jackson started the nominating process with an imper- — an impressive range of support: from the FOP to civil rights leaders; even Republican-appointed judges came forward.

    In fact, Judge Jackson was introduced at the hearing by Judge Thomas Griffith, the distinguished retired judge appointed by George W. Bush.

    She finished the hearing with among the highest levels of support of the American people of any nomination in recent memory. (Applause.)

    So, soon, Judge Jackson will join the United States Supreme Court. And like every justice, the decisions she makes will impact on the lives of America for a lot longer, in many cases, than any laws we all make. But the truth is: She’s already impacting the lives of so many Americans.

    During the hearing, Dick spoke about a custodial worker who works the night shift at the Capitol. Her name is Verona Clemmons. Verona, where are you? Stand up, Verona. I want to — (applause) — if you don’t mind.

    She told him what this nomination meant to her. So he invited Ms. Clemmons to attend the hearing because she wanted to see, hear, and stand by Judge Jackson.

    Thank you, Verona. (Applause.) Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    At her meeting with Judge Jackson, Senator Duckworth introduced her to 11-year-old — is it Vivian?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Vivienne.

    THE PRESIDENT: Vi-vinne?

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Vivienne.

    THE PRESIDENT: Vivienne. I’m sorry, Vivienne. There — that’s her — that’s your sister. He’s point- — (laughter) — who was so inspired by the hearing that she wants to be a Supreme Court justice when she grows up. (Applause.) God love you. Stand up, honey. Am I going to embarrass you if I just ask you to stand up? Come on, stand. (Applause.)

    There’s tens of thousands of Viviennes all through the entire United States. She met Judge Jackson and saw her future. Vivienne, you’re here today, and thank you for coming, honey. I know I embarrassed you by introducing you, but thank you.

    People of every generation, of every race, of every background felt this moment, and they feel it now. They feel a sense of pride and hope, of belonging and believing, and knowing the promise of America includes everybody — all of us. And that’s the American experiment.

    Justice Breyer talked about it when he came to the White House in January to announce his retirement from the Court. He used to technically work with me when I was on the Judiciary Committee, and that’s before he became a justice. He’s a man of great integrity. We’re going to miss Justice Breyer. He’s a patriot, an extraordinary public service [servant], and a great justice of the Supreme Court.

    And, folks — (applause) — let me close with what I’ve long said: America is a nation that can be defined in a single word. I was in the foothi- — foot- — excuse me, in the foothills of the Himalayas with Xi Jinping, traveling with him. (Inaudible) traveled 17,000 miles when I was Vice President at the time. I don’t know that for a fact.

    And we were sitting alone. I had an interpreter and he had an interpreter. And he looked at me. In all seriousness, he said, “Can you define America for me?” And I said what many of you heard me say for a long time. I said, “Yes, I can, in one word: possibilities.” (Applause.) “Possibilities.” That, in America, everyone should be able to go as far as their hard work and God-given talent will take them. And possibilities. We’re the only ones. That’s why we’re viewed as the “ugly Americans”: We think anything is possible. (Laughter.)

    And the idea that a young girl who was dissuaded from even thinking you should apply to Harvard Law School — “Don’t raise your hopes so high.” Well, I don’t know who told you that, but I’d like to go back and invite her to the Supreme Court so she can see the interior. (Laughter.)

    Look, even Supreme Court of the United States of America.

    Now, folks, it’s my honor — and it truly is an honor; I’ve been looking forward to it for a while — to introduce to you the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Applause.)

    JUDGE JACKSON: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you, all, very much. Thank you.

    Thank you so much, Mr. President. It is the greatest honor of my life to be here with you at this moment, standing before my wonderful family, many of my close friends, your distinguished staff and guests, and the American people.

    Over these past few weeks, you’ve heard a lot from me and about me, so I hope to use this time primarily to do something that I have not had sufficient time to do, which is to extend my heartfelt thanks to the many, many people who have helped me as part of this incredible journey.

    I have quite a few people to thank. And — and as I’m sure you can imagine, in this moment, it is hard to find the words to express the depth of my gratitude.

    First, as always, I have to give thanks to God for delivering me as promised — (applause) — and for sustaining me throughout this nomination and confirmation process. As I said at the outset, I have come this far by faith, and I know that I am truly blessed. To the many people who have lifted me up in prayer since the nomination, thank you. I am very grateful.

    Thank you, as well, Mr. President, for believing in me and for honoring me with this extraordinary chance to serve our country.

    Thank you also, Madam Vice President, for your wise counsel and steady guidance.

    And thank you to the First Lady and the Second Gentleman for the care and warmth that you have shown me and my family.

    I would also like to extend my thanks to each member of the Senate. You have fulfilled the important constitutional role of providing advice and consent under the leadership of Majority Leader Schumer. And I’m especially grateful for the work of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, under Chairman Durbin’s skillful leadership. (Applause.)

    As you may have heard, during the confirmation process, I had the distinct honor of having 95 personal meetings with 97 sitting senators. (Laughter.) And we had substantive and engaging conversations about my approach to judging and about the role of judges in the constitutional system we all love.

    As a brief aside, I will note that these are subjects about which I care deeply. I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free.

    I also understand from my many years of practice as a legal advocate, as a trial judge, and as a judge on a court of appeals that part of the genius of the constitutional framework of the United States is its design, and that the framers entrusted the judicial branch with the crucial but limited role.

    I’ve also spent the better part of the past decade hearing thousands of cases and writing hundreds of opinions. And in every instance, I have done my level best to stay in my lane and to reach a result that is consistent with my understanding of the law and with the obligation to rule independently without fear or favor.

    I am humbled and honored to continue in this fashion as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, working with brilliant colleagues, supporting and defending the Constitution, and steadfastly upholding the rule of law. (Applause.)

    But today, at this podium, my mission is far more modest. I’m simply here to give my heartfelt thanks to the categories of folks who are largely responsible for me being here at this moment.

    First, of course, there is my family. Mom and Dad, thank you not only for traveling back here on what seems like a mos- — moment’s notice, but for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me.

    My brother, Ketajh, is here as well. You’ve always been an inspiration to me as a model of public service and bravery, and I thank you for that.

    I love you all very much. (Applause.)

    To my in-laws, Pamela and Gardner Jackson, who are here today, and my sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, William and Dana, Gardie and Natalie: Thank you for your love and support.

    To my daughters, Talia and Leila: I bet you never thought you’d get to skip school by spending a day at the White House. (Laughter.) This is all pretty exciting for me as well. But nothing has brought me greater joy than being your mother. I love you very much. (Applause.)

    Patrick, thank you for everything you’ve done for me over these past 25 years of our marriage. You’ve done everything to support and encourage me. And it is you who’ve made this moment possible. (Applause.)

    Your — your steadfast love gave me the courage to move in this direction. I don’t know that I believed you when you said that I could do this, but now I do. (Laughter and applause.) And for that, I am forever grateful.

    In the family category, let me also briefly mention the huge extended family, both Patrick’s and my own, who are watching this from all over the country and the world. Thank you for supporting me. I hope to be able to connect with you personally in the coming weeks and months.

    Moving on briefly to the second category of people that warrant special recognition: those who provided invaluable support to me professionally in the decades prior to my nomination, and the many, many friends I have been privileged to make throughout my life and career.

    Now, I know that everyone who finds professional success thinks they have the best mentors, but I truly do. (Laughter.) I have three inspiring jurists for whom I had the privilege of clerking: Judge Patti Saris, Judge Bruce Selya, and, of course, Justice Stephen Breyer. Each of them is an exceptional public servant, and I could not have had better role models for thoughtfulness, integrity, honor, and principle, both by word and deed.

    My clerkship with Justice Breyer, in particular, was an extraordinary gift and one for which I’ve only become more grateful with each passing year. Justice Breyer’s commitment to an independent, impartial judiciary is unflagging. And, for him, the rule of law is not merely a duty, it is his passion. I am daunted by the prospect of having to follow in his footsteps. And I would count myself lucky, indeed, to be able to do so with even the smallest amount of his wisdom, grace, and joy.

    The exceptional mentorship of the judges for whom I clerked has proven especially significant for me during this past decade of my service as a federal judge. And, of course, that service itself has been a unique opportunity. For that, I must also thank President Obama, who put his faith in me by nominating me to my first judicial role on the federal district court. (Applause.)

    This brings me to my colleagues and staff of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., and the D.C. Circuit: Thank you for everything. I am deeply grateful for your wisdom and your battle-tested friendship through the years.

    I also want to extend a special thanks to all of my law clerks, many of whom are here today, who have carved out time and space to accompany me on this professional journey.

    I’m especially grateful to Jennifer Gruda, who has been by my side since nearly the outset of my time on the bench — (applause) — and has promised — has promised not to leave me as we take this last big step.

    To the many other friends that I have had the great, good fortune to have made throughout the years — from my neighborhood growing up; from Miami Palmetto Senior High School, and especially the debate team; from my days at Harvard College, where I met my indefatigable and beloved roommates, Lisa Fairfax, Nina Coleman Simmons, and Antoinette Sequeira Coakley — they are truly my sisters. (Applause.)

    To my time at Harvard Law School and the many professional experiences that I’ve been blessed to have since graduation: Thank you.

    I have too many friends to name, but please know how much you’ve meant to me and how much I have appreciated the smiles, the hugs, and the many “atta girls” that have propelled me forward to this day.

    Finally, I’d like to give special thanks to the White House staff and the special assistants who provided invaluable assistance in helping me to navigate the confirmation process.

    My trusted sherpa, Senator Doug Jones, was an absolute godsend. (Applause.) He was an absolute godsend. He’s not only the best storyteller you’d ever want to meet, but also unbelievably popular on the Hill, which helped a lot. (Laughter.)

    I’m also standing here today in no small part due to the hard work of the brilliant folks who interact with the legislature and other stakeholders on behalf of the White House, including Louisa Terrell, Reema Dodin, and Tona Boyd, Minyon Moore, Ben LaBolt, and Andrew Bates. (Applause.)

    I am also particularly grateful for the awe-inspiring leadership of White House Counsel Dana Remus. (Applause.) Of Paige Herwig. Where is Paige? (Applause.) And Ron Klain. (Applause.)

    They led an extraordinarily talented team of White House staffers in the Herculean effort that was required to ensure that I was well prepared for the rigors of this process and in record time. Thank you all. (Applause.)

    Thank you, as well, to the many, many kind-hearted people from all over this country and around the world who’ve reached out to me directly in recent weeks with messages of support.

    I have spent years toiling away in the relative solitude of my chambers, with just my law clerks, in isolation. So, it’s been somewhat overwhelming, in a good way, to recently be flooded with thousands of notes and cards and photos expressing just how much this moment means to so many people.

    The notes that I’ve received from children are particularly cute and especially meaningful because, more than anything, they speak directly to the hope and promise of America.

    It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)

    But we’ve made it. (Applause.) We’ve made it, all of us. All of us.

    And — and our children are telling me that they see now, more than ever, that, here in America, anything is possible. (Applause.)

    They also tell me that I’m a role model, which I take both as an opportunity and as a huge responsibility. I am feeling up to the task, primarily because I know that I am not alone. I am standing on the shoulders of my own role models, generations of Americans who never had anything close to this kind of opportunity but who got up every day and went to work believing in the promise of America, showing others through their determination and, yes, their perseverance that good — good things can be done in this great country — from my grandparents on both sides who had only a grade-school education but instilled in my parents the importance of learning, to my parents who went to racially segregated schools growing up and were the first in their families to have the chance to go to college.

    I am also ever buoyed by the leadership of generations past who helped to light the way: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Justice Thurgood Marshall, and my personal heroine, Judge Constance Baker Motley. (Applause.)

    They, and so many others, did the heavy lifting that made this day possible. And for all of the talk of this historic nomination and now confirmation, I think of them as the true pathbreakers. I am just the very lucky first inheritor of the dream of liberty and justice for all. (Applause.)

    To be sure, I have worked hard to get to this point in my career, and I have now achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could’ve possibly ever imagined. But no one does this on their own. The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion.

    And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now, while “bringing the gifts…my ancestors gave.” (Applause.) I –“I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” (Applause.)

    So as I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride.

    We have come a long way toward perfecting our union.

    In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States. (Applause.)

    And it is an honor — the honor of a lifetime — for me to have this chance to join the Court, to promote the rule of law at the highest level, and to do my part to carry our shared project of democracy and equal justice under law forward, into the future.

    Thank you, again, Mr. President and members of the Senate for this incredible honor. (Applause.)

    1:15 P.M. EDT