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Brad Johnson's Posts


A new plan for a 'green recovery'

$100 billion stimulus for 2 million new jobs in two years

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released "Green Recovery," a new report by Dr. Robert Pollin and University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute economists. This report demonstrates how a new Green Recovery program that invests $100 billion over two years would create 2 million new jobs with a significant proportion in the struggling construction and manufacturing sectors. It is clear from this research that a strategy to invest in the greening of our economy will create more jobs, and better jobs, compared to continuing to pursue a path of inaction marked by rising dependence on fossil fuel billionaires. To …


DNC: Pollution CEOs vs. young voters, video

Jessy Tolkan comments on industry CEO roundtable

From the Wonk Room. ----- During the Democratic National Convention, the Rocky Mountain Roundtable hosted a day-long symposium on energy and climate change. One session included top officials from major global warming polluters: the electric utility Xcel Energy, Arch Coal, Dow Chemical, the natural gas corporation GHK, and the top coal corporation Peabody Energy. The five men have, of course, become millionaires as their companies have spewed millions of tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere. At the roundtable, the pollution executives defended government subsidies for their respective industries, claimed solidarity with average Americans, and pooh-poohed any possibility of …


Earth to Webb

Va. Senator doesn’t get that the emissions are the crisis

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told the Politico last week that "environmentalists will be forced to compromise next year and support the development of clean coal, nuclear power and other alternative fuels": We need to be able to address a national energy strategy and then try to work on environmental efficiencies as part of that plan. We can't just start with things like emission standards at a time when we're at a crisis with the entire national energy policy. Webb's concept that one can construct a "national energy strategy" first -- then "try to work …


At last he's ready to vote

McCain says he’d end his vacation from Congress to ‘drill here, drill now’

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. In eastern Pennsylvania yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repeatedly argued, "We need to drill here and we need to drill now." His invocation of the slogan of Newt Gingrich's right-wing 527 corporation, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF), was coupled with the following call for Congress to "come back to town and come back to work": Congress should come back into session, and I'm willing to come off the campaign trail. McCain's call for action on behalf of Big Oil and right-wing billionaires hardly jibes with his record of absenteeism on major votes. …


NOAA: Global warming has damaged our weather

Worse heat waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and storms to come

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. The traditional media rarely discusses extreme weather events in the context of global warming. However, as the Wonk Room Global Boiling series has documented, scientists have been warning us for years that climate change will increase catastrophic weather events like the California wildfires, the East Coast heatwave, and the Midwest floods that have been taking lives and causing billions in damage in recent days. Yesterday, the federal government released a report that assembles this knowledge in stark and unequivocal terms. "Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate," by the multi-agency U.S. Climate Change …


Global boiling

Senators ignore the warning signs

Originally posted at the Think Progress Wonk Room. Recently, the United States Senate has taken several votes on building a green economy that moves away from fossil fuel dependence, creates new green industry, and addresses global warming. Each time, a minority of senators blocked the way. On Friday, 38 senators filibustered mandatory greenhouse-gas reduction legislation (S. 3036). This morning, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) joined 41 Republicans to filibuster the Consumer-First Energy Act (S. 3044), which would have given consumers relief by placing a windfall tax on oil companies. Then 44 Republican senators blocked consideration of the Renewable Energy and Job …


Green jobs are America's jobs

Report: Strong climate policy would protect 14 million American jobs

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, finds that strong climate policy is a driver for a healthy economy. A policy that prioritizes energy efficiency and renewable energy -- such as cap-and-trade legislation that limits carbon emissions -- will drive investment into those sectors. From day one, the millions of Americans working in such jobs will enjoy greater job security. Strong Climate Action Directly Benefits Over 14 Million American Workers. "What is clear from this report is that millions of U.S. workers -- across a wide …


ACCCE's lobbying campaign against Lieberman Warner

Coal industry launches full-scale attack against climate legislation

Originally posted at the Wonk Room. The coal-industry front group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has launched a major lobbying campaign against the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. ACCCE claims it is opposed to Lieberman-Warner because it "does not adequately embrace" their "principles" and raises "just too many unanswered questions." Principles: ACCCE's 12 principles [PDF] for federal legislation boil down to demands that they be allowed to construct new, uncontrolled coal-fired power plants until taxpayers pony up unlimited amounts of money for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. That's not a statement of principles -- it's a ransom note. Lieberman-Warner, …


Drudge Report, Fox News falsely smear Gore

Right wing doctors audio clips to distort Al Gore’s comments about cyclone Nargis

Originally posted at the Think Progress Wonk Room. One week ago, tropical cyclone Nargis struck Burma, tracing an unprecedented path of devastation across this poor nation of 55 million, called Myanmar by its military dictatorship. On May 6, Jeff Poor wrote for the Business & Media Institute a story entitled, "Al Gore Calls Myanmar Cyclone a 'Consequence' of Global Warming," which was subsequently linked on the Drudge Report. Poor claims: Using tragedy to advance an agenda has been a strategy for many global warming activists, and it was just a matter of time before someone found a way to tie …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Shades of U.S. attorney scandal in the EPA

Top EPA official forced out by political appointees

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. I've previously described Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson as "the environment's Alberto Gonzales." After years of scandal as White House Counsel and Attorney General, Gonzales finally resigned after it was revealed that numerous U.S. attorneys were fired without cause under his watch. Now it seems the EPA is following the Department of Justice's efforts to rid itself of staffers who are not "loyal Bushies." The Chicago Tribune reports: The Bush administration forced its top environmental regulator in the Midwest to quit Thursday after months of internal bickering about dioxin contamination downstream from Dow …

Read more: Politics