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Daniel J. Weiss' Posts

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Jon Huntsman’s energy plan shoots blanks

Jon Huntsman.Photo: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from Climate Progress. Presidential candidate, former ambassador to China, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman received attention for his willingness to accept scientists' verdict that carbon dioxide and other pollutants generated by humans are responsible for climate change. While 98 of 100 climate scientists agree that global warming is real, he is the only one out of nine Republican presidential candidates to say so. Nonetheless, his energy plan presented at a speech delivered on Tuesday in New Hampshire would increase global warming pollution. The other elements of the plan increase fossil fuel production and consumption, and …

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Big Oil's mountain of cash

Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress. On Sept. 19, President Barack Obama announced his plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years, including raising $1.5 trillion by closing special interest loopholes and other revenue raisers. This includes eliminating $41 billion in tax loopholes for the oil and gas industry [PDF, p. 63] over the next decade. Big Oil is predictably opposed to losing its unnecessary tax breaks. The American Petroleum Institute, or API, the oil industry's …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Top 10 American vacation spots House bill could ruin

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. This post was coauthored by Arpita Bhattacharyya, special assistant to distinguished senior fellow Carol Browner at the Center for American Progress. Checking pollution advisories could become a vital part of your pre-travel planning, along with checking the weather and stopping the mail, if the House of Representatives votes for more than 40 pollution provisions this week. Simply put, the House could put future vacations at risk in order to keep Big Oil and coal interests happy. It plans to vote on the Interior Environment FY 2012 Appropriations bill, H.R. 2584, which is chock full of provisions that …

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GOP rep hopes to shatter his own lightbulb legislation

Why is Upton busting his own lightbulb standards?Photo: laszlo photoCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green. Lately it seems that the House Republican leadership is against everything that isn't pre-approved by Big Oil or the Tea Party. Perhaps the most outlandish example of this Groucho Marx approach to public policy is the upcoming vote on the BULB Act, H.R. 2417. It would repeal the energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 [PDF] (EISA). It would also prevent California from setting its own lightbulb efficiency standards. The original author of the provision is House Energy and …

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Many power plants already have equipment to slash mercury

Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress, and Stewart Boss, an intern with the Energy Team at American Progress. Coal-fired power plants shoot 772 million pounds of airborne toxic chemicals into the sky every year -- more than 2.5 pounds for every American man, woman, and child. In March, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to dramatically reduce mercury, lead, acid gases, and other toxics from more than 400 plants in 46 states. Some of the nation's largest utilities -- including the Southern …

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Warren Buffett's utility, MidAmerican, wants to keep polluting

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress, and Christina C. DiPasquale, an associate drector for press relations at the Center for American Progress. Today, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works convenes a hearing on "The Clean Air Act and Public Health" to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce mercury, lead, and other toxic air pollution from power plants. One of the witnesses will be Cathy S. Woollums, senior vice president of MidAmerican Energy. She will reiterate recent statements by other big …

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American Electric Power threatens firings to stop pollution controls

The Kammer Power Plant, which spewed 364 pounds of mercury in 2009, is one of the AEP's plants slated to be closed. Photo: OZinOHCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress. On June 9, American Electric Power (AEP), a major utility company that owns plants from Texas to Virginia, announced that it plans to close 21 coal-fired electricity units rather than invest in reducing their toxic air pollution to comply with the forthcoming Environmental Protection Agency reduction requirements [PDF]. In reality, AEP is …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

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Ending Big Oil’s tax holiday

Will Congress finally end government handouts for Big Oil?Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. The Senate plans to vote tonight on the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act -- legislation that would eliminate $21 billion of tax loopholes over the next decade for the five largest oil companies. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and 28 of his colleagues, would close tax loopholes for Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhilips, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and the U.S. subsidiaries of BP and Royal Dutch Shell. And it would require that all recovered funds go to the U.S. Treasury to reduce the federal …

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Americans to Big Oil: We’ve got your number

Skimmed oil from the Gulf is pumped into recovery trucks.Photo: BP AmericaCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress. The numbers don't lie. Tax loopholes allow Big Oil companies to ratchet up their annual earnings at the expense of American taxpayers. Well-placed campaign contributions to their congressional allies preserve these undeserved handouts. Americans eager to reduce the mammoth federal debt that threatens our economy's long-term prosperity overwhelmingly support ridding the tax code of these unnecessary subsidies. As Seth Hanlon, director of fiscal reform, …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil