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Ana Unruh Cohen's Posts

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G8 climate communiques are out

Full text of the G8 climate communiques are now available here and here.

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Plan B for climate skeptics

Ana Unruh Cohen

As conservative spinmeister Frank Luntz has written in his infamous memo, "Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly." With all the climate action in the Senate last week, it seems that the skeptics are getting restless. Time for Plan B. Last week, noted skeptic Patrick J. Michaels laid out the game plan: The Bush administration realizes that simply knowing that human activities are impacting the climate is not grounds for "urgent action" to do something about it. So even if they can't argue about human influence anymore, …

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The price of nuclear power?

New nuclear support in the McCain-Lieberman amendment may have cost it support.

Four votes. Sens. Boxer, Dayton, Feingold, and Harkin, all supporters of the Climate Stewardship Act in the last Congress, voted against the legislation this afternoon when Sens. McCain and Lieberman offered it as an amendment to the energy bill. The amendment included new subsidies for the construction of nuclear power plants -- which Sen. Boxer, at least, has publicly opposed. The amendment was defeated 38-60, a decline in support from the better-than-expected 43 votes it garnered in 2003.

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Taxation without representation

Greening the U.S. tax code gets sadly little attention from green groups.

This morning the Brookings Institution hosted a forum on "Tax Reform and the Environment." Along with the usual suspects singing the economic and environmental praises of ending subsidies and tax breaks that harm the environment as well as levying some that would help was one William Frenzel -- former Member of Congress and current member of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. Mr. Frenzel noted that out of the hundreds of submissions from the public to the panel a grand total of three could be generously described as support for "greening" our taxes as part of a reform …

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A lot of hot air

A study says the world’s wind alone could meet its energy needs; the Senate disagrees.

A new study by some smart scientists at Stanford University suggests that global wind resources are good enough to produce 72 terawatts of electricity with current turbine technology. That's about 40 times the amount of electricity the world used in the year 2000! In other hot air news, Sen. Domenici (R-NM), chairman of the Senate Energy committee, described Sen. Wyden's (D-OR) proposal of funding parity for coal and renewables as a "joke" during the energy bill markup today. Question to Stanford scientists: How much electricity could the collective sighs of sustainable energy supporters produce?  

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Weekend reading

The Senate Energy Committee released some of the titles of their draft energy legislation today. So what are you waiting for? Start reading!

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Extreme Makeover or Mission Impossible?

Are greens jumping the gun by bashing GE’s new ecomagination?

Over on TomPaine.com today, Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch takes on GE's "ecomagination." Frank makes some compelling arguments -- similar to comments made on gristmill earlier in the week -- as to why this is just a bunch of greenwashing. As strange as it makes me feel to ask this question, I'll do it. Aren't we jumping the gun here, gang? Shouldn't we want a polluting corporation to have an "Extreme Makeover"? Or are we saying "Mission Impossible" to any attempts to change because of past environmental sins? Call me naive (and you probably will in the comments), but …

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Xerox copies other corporations on climate change

Copying company pledges to reduce emissions.

Today Xerox became the latest corporation to announce voluntary reductions of their greenhouse gas emissions. They pledged to reduce their emissions 10 percent by 2012, or 100,000 tons a year.

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EPA preaches personal responsibility to asthma sufferers

The EPA wants us to clean up our houses; too bad they’re not doing their part.

On World Asthma Day -- May 3rd if you missed it -- the EPA urged the 20 million asthma sufferers across the nation to clean their houses. According to its press release, 70 percent of people with asthma could better manage the triggers that set off an attack. Unfortunately for asthma sufferers, the last trigger on EPA's list is ozone, which is hard to control without the EPA's help. Insted of helping "better manage" ozone, the EPA has weakened controls on the industrial pollution that forms ozone, adopted rules that will delay ozone clean-up from power plants for over two …

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