Daniel J. Weiss

Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and the Director of Climate Strategy at American Progress, where he leads the Center's clean energy and climate advocacy campaign. Before coming to American Progress, he spent 25 years working with environmental advocacy organizations and political campaigns.


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 …


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, …

Climate Change

Extreme weather costs lives, health, economy — and could be here to stay

A wildfire burns out of control in Texas earlier this month.Photo: Texas Military ForcesCross-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 Ben Kaldunski, a former intern with the Energy Team at American Progress. “April is the cruelest month.” – T. S. Eliot April 2011 has been a cruel month indeed for Americans due to extreme weather. The Weather Channel observed that: It’s been a truly awful, record-setting, tornadic April. We’ve had eleven major severe weather events, some lasting multiple days. These extreme …

Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuel industries kill and injure an awful lot of their workers

Oil production and oil refining has killed 77 workers and injured over 7,000 in the last 40 years.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 the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and the Massey coal mine explosion in West Virginia, we are reminded how dangerous our dependence on fossil fuels can be. A large cost of our reliance on these energy sources is the death or injury of workers in these industries. Transitioning to cleaner energy technologies such …


Paul Ryan’s Big Oil budget halts energy innovation

Rep. Paul Ryan.Photo: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed fiscal year 2012 budget resolution is a backward-looking plan that would benefit Big Oil companies at the expense of middle-class Americans. It retains $40 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes while completely eliminating investments in the clean energy technologies of the future that are essential for long-term economic growth. This budget would lock Americans into paying high, volatile energy prices. It would ensure that millions of clean energy jobs are created oversees — not here in the United States. It is …

time to fire drills

More drilling won’t help

We have a problem we can’t drill our way out of.Photo: arbyreedCross-posted from the Center for American Progress. Unrest in Libya and Egypt is driving up oil prices, stirring concerns that gasoline could hit $5 a gallon by summer. Like a smoker’s persistent cough, it’s another warning to change our ways. America sends nearly $1 billion daily overseas to purchase oil [PDF], which is nearly half the trade deficit. Nearly 20 percent of our oil imports come from the Persian Gulf, where instability causes roller coaster prices. “Drill, baby, drill” won’t get us out of this mess. We have only 2 percent of world …

your pain, their gain

Big Oil gains from higher prices while families pay the price

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. Political instability in the Middle East over the past month has driven parallel unrest in world oil prices. The drive for political freedom in the Middle East has rightfully captured the world’s attention, but it has also roiled oil markets. Governments across the globe are worried that sustained unrest will escalate oil prices past $100 per barrel on their way to $120 or more, choking the struggling economic recovery in the United States, Europe, and …

Holes in our pockets

House Republican budget cuts would strangle innovation

This article was cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union on Jan. 25, 2011, waved the green flag for innovation and competition in the cleantech sector. He proposed a number of programs to speed the development and manufacturing of domestic energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors to help American businesses race with their Chinese, German, and other competitors. But before the president’s proposals had completed their initial laps in Congress, the Republicans’ proposed House “continuing resolution” (or spending bill) for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011) waves the yellow caution flag …

Same oil song

Big Oil pushes expanded offshore drilling without new safeguards

Big Oil continues to lust after huge profits at the expense of the health and welfare of the American people. The leader of the American Petroleum Institute rashly advocated a speedy return to expanded offshore oil drilling last week even before the BP oil spill commission issued its recommendations for additional safeguards for future offshore oil production.

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