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Christopher Mims' Posts


The Climate Post: The Tea Party climate and the future of clean energy

Ancient Norse mythology concludes with Ragnarok, a god-killing end of days that makes the Book of Revelation look like tea time; it's also a pretty fair description of most environmentalists' take on the fate of government action on climate change in the wake of a GOP takeover of the House and/or Senate come November. Picture a George Romero zombie flick in which the virus also destroys your ability to believe in the science of global warming. Mike Castle of Delaware, the lone GOP senate candidate who voted for cap-and-trade, lost the primary to Christine O'Donnell -- ironically, she represents one fewer …


The Climate Post: Climate bill finally dead enough to be fondly remembered

Will we soon be singing RIP to the RES as well?Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) found new ways to let the public know there is absolutely no way the U.S. will get a climate and energy bill this year, the failure of which climate activist Bill McKibben lays at the feet of attempts to make the issue about energy security and the economy. The aftermath of the climate bill has been opportunity for a cast of experts to opine about what comes next. On the table: the usual debate about investing in research and development of new technology vs. rolling out existing …


The Climate Post: Will the "dead" climate bill become a federal renewable energy standard?

It's over: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has conceded the primary race to her opponent, Joe Miller. Murkowski and three other Republicans will be leaving the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which means new leadership and four open seats for the group tasked with dealing with just about everything readers of The Climate Post care about. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he might have two Republicans on board for a lame-duck bill that would give the U.S. a Federal Renewable Energy Standard requiring utilities to "provide 15 percent of their power from renewables by 2021, although about a fourth of the requirement could be …


The Climate Post: Primaries move GOP to the right (on climate)

Joe Miller leads Sen. Murkowski in the Alaska GOP primary.Photo: Wikipedia CommonsOne hundred percent of New Hampshire GOP senate candidates agree that man-made climate change has yet to be proved. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is trailing behind in the GOP primary to further right candidate Joe Miller, who isn't convinced climate change is happening at all. In another upset, Rick Scott won the GOP primary for governor in Florida. Unlike the current governor of that state, Scott does not believe in climate change. Also in Florida, with help from Tea Party activists and others, Mark Rubio became the GOP …


The Climate Post: Climate skepticism, floods, and apple pie

Flooding outside a Pakistani relief camp.Photo courtesy Salman Siddiqui via FlickrFirst things first: Ghassem Asrar, director of the World Climate Research Programme and World Meteorlogical Organization, is the most prominent climate scientist to declare the seemingly unmitigated disaster in Pakistan -- one-fifth of the country is now under water -- a consequence of climate change. After explaining the proximate causes (weather) that precipitated the event, he concluded: The connecting factor is that clearly the warming is a driver for all these events. Other climate scientists spoke in terms of warming increasing the odds of Pakistan's floods, rather than direct attribution, …


The Climate Post: First They Came For The Bill; Now, the EPA

  First things first:   Some environmental groups are giving up, for now, on a cap and trade bill. Sen. Dick Lugar predicted that the EPA, which is moving forward on efforts to curtail emissions of greenhouse gasses via its rule-making authority, would see a "rebellion" that would lead to its powers being "substantially curtailed."   Some of that rebellion could come from an unexpected quarter – environmental groups themselves, who are incensed that the EPA is "backtracking" on regulation of greenhouse gasses.   Sen. Kerry has already proposed a new bill designed to fund clean energy, possibly for the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress …

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The Climate Post: Beating a dead climate horse

First things first: The U.S. won't be getting even a significantly stripped-down climate and energy bill, or won't until September at the earliest, at least in part because of a debate over the provision that would have eliminated the liability cap of $75 million on offshore drilling. The White House says a bill could still be passed this year, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says it might be a broader bill than the one that was originally slated to be voted on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Obama administration's fallback effort to regulate carbon emissions via existing EPA authority under …