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Bill Scher's Posts

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Will there be a third chance for a better acronym?

Kerry-Boxer: A second chance for progressives

The new Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act gives progressives a second chance to influence climate legislation, if we learn the right lessons from both the legislative process for the House climate bill and the ongoing health care debate. Many progressives have varying degrees of frustration with both processes, but the fact is the progressive grassroots has had more impact in the health care debate than the climate debate. With health care, progressives picked their target and picked it early: the public option. There are a myriad of elements to health care reform, but focusing on one fundamental, …

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Cherry Picking Season Is Over

Conservatives ditch CBO data when convenient to attack climate bill

Conservatives who loved citing the Congressional Budget Office when it was being hard on health care legislation keep on ignoring it when it comes to climate legislation. Today conservatives tried once again to mislead the media into reporting the costs of cap-and-trade are higher than every objective analyst expects. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, with the help of right-wing bloggers, is distorting the information found in newly obtained Treasury Department and Obama transition team memos to claim the White House secretly knows, "cap-and-trade is a big old tax." All those memos showed though is that the original White House proposal would …

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I Got Yer Jobs Right Here

Neutralizing Big Oil’s climate-bill attack, with investment in manufacturing

The oil lobby's latest astroturf concoction is "Energy Citizens." Its website practically looks like it's a group pushing clean green jobs, with its green-tinted USA map and call to "support American jobs and affordable energy." Its attempt at a grassroots rally was rightly deemed nothing more than a "company picnic," just another ruse to kill the clean energy and climate protection bill which passed the House and should be taken up by the Senate later in the year. As we've seen in the health care debate, the conservative movement and their corporate backers still have the ability to spread lies …

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Compromises, what compromises?

The new Senate global warming deniers

If you wanted to get progressives more excited about the clean energy and climate protection bill that passed the House last week, you might be inclined to point to Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins HuffPost piece on the $1 billion in green jobs funding that was added at the last minute, including "[l]ocal access to quality jobs, through the creation of a green-construction, careers-demonstration program." Or the Environmental Capital post about the new green building codes: "The bill mandates that upon passage, all states move to adopt standards for residential and commercial structures that are at least 30 percent better than two widely …

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No Rest For The Lazy

After Precarious Climate Vote, Grassroots Pressure Needed More Than Ever

The House passed the first comprehensive clean energy and climate protection bill on Friday, but exactly in the way I worried about last week -- not on a wave of grassroots momentum, but last-minute cajoling by House leaders and expense of White House political capital leaning on wavering congresspeople. Right-leaning Dems in swing districts pleaded to the Speaker to allow them vote against without repercussion, and she had to count every head so she could let as many skittish congresspeople off the hook as possible. In other words, the climate bill was perceived as a politically risky "tough vote", not …

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Who you gonna call?

Wanna strengthen the climate bill? Get this one passed.

As Mother Jones recently chronicled, the environment community is fractured on the House clean energy and climate protection bill, though the bigger pieces -- Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, League of Conservation Voters --  are squarely for it. Al Gore last night in a open invitation conference call sought to rally activists to call Congress and demand passage. But with a fair amount of internal debate persisting about the merits of the bill, along with much the progressive media infrastructure failing over the last several weeks to highlight the twists and turns of the legislative drama, …

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Dems da breaks

Obama’s carbon-cap plan tests Democratic coalition

This piece was originally published in the Omaha World-Herald. Democratic gains in the Plains, the interior West, the Rust Belt and the Old Confederacy have transformed the political landscape. But one primary goal of the Obama administration is straining the geographic diversity of the new Democratic coalition: capping carbon pollution to avert a climate crisis. While a rapid transition to a clean energy-powered economy is a main plank of the Democratic platform, 17 Democratic U.S. senators hail from the top coal-producing states, with another four representing the biggest oil-producing states. Several more (including Nebraska’s Ben Nelson) serve constituents whose electricity …