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Daniel J. Weiss' Posts

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GOP ‘Pledge To America’ is an oath to Big Oil

Photo: GOP.gov Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. House Republicans just released "A Pledge to America" [PDF] -- their agenda for the 112th Congress if they take charge. The Republicans claim that their document -- written by former Exxon lobbyist Brian Wild -- is "one in which the people have the most say and the best ideas trump the most entrenched interests." When it comes to energy policy, the GOP leaders actually ignore public opinion, ignore science, and instead promote the same old ideas [pushed] by big oil lobbyists and other energy interests. The entire Republican energy policy is a single sentence: We will …

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Efforts to save coal could end up destroying it

Senators from coal states who are trying to protect big coal companies from the impact of global warming pollution reductions may only hasten the decline of big coal. Their efforts include opposition to clean energy and global warming legislation and blocking EPA from setting pollution limits on the largest emitters. Meanwhile, coal's share of electricity generation declines while the shares of natural gas and renewable energy generation increase. And more declines in coal use are forecast. A recent independent government analysis found that coal senators' plan to invest in so-called "clean coal technology" to reduce global warming pollution from power …

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Standing in the way of justice for the BP calamity

The GOP: permanent road block to legislative progress?Photo courtesy of natashalcd via flickr This article was cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that he would scuttle plans to attempt to debate the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Spill Accountability Act, S. 3663, which would remove the ridiculously low liability cap of $75 million for damages from the BP oil disaster and other offshore oil drilling blow outs. Reid had to pull the bill because he could not get a supermajority of 60 votes to allow debate on the bill to commence. …

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Senate oil savings’ greatest hits

Is Congress moving us toward a fuel-efficient future? Plug-in hybrid electric cars could be the cars of tomorrow.Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory Oil, oil, everywhere, but not a drop for fuel. This is the stark view of Gulf Coast residents who see a 24,500 square mile oil slick menacing their shores. The devastating BP oil disaster has clearly increased the urgency to dramatically reduce America’s oil consumption; and cutting our consumption would save consumers money, reduce foreign oil imports, help our economy, increase national security, and reduce global warming pollution. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that …

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Obama’s oil reform opportunity

President Barack Obama has made four trips to visit gulf state communities affected by the BP disaster and now plans to give his first-ever Oval Office speech to the nation this Tuesday evening to address the issue. This manmade calamity threatens the nation's economy, health, and environment. This is also a crucial moment in the BP catastrophe, which threatens to swamp his domestic agenda. But it also provides an opportunity for President Obama to demonstrate leadership by tackling all the aspects of this crisis, including taking charge of the clean up, getting more help from BP, providing long-term public health …

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Will BP take responsibility for the Gulf spill or squeeze profits from it?

This post is co-authored by Susan Lyon. ExxonMobil will convene its annual shareholders meeting in Dallas this morning as the magnitude of the ongoing BP oil disaster grows. This is a reminder that oil companies need to be held accountable for their actions—both while the oil gushes from the ocean floor and 20 years after the spill. The Exxon Valdez oil accident that slimed Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989 is a chilling reminder of the need for government oversight and corporate accountability. Exxon and BP’s broken record Many would assume that BP—the company responsible for the Gulf Coast …

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BP disaster investigation must be free, clear, and complete

President Obama is likely to sign an executive order sometime during the next several days that would create an independent commission to investigate the causes behind the tragic BP oil disaster. A thorough independent investigation is essential to understand what caused the explosion that cost 11 workers their lives, and what led to the failure of the blowout preventer that was supposed to prevent an oil gusher. The independent commissions established by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan to investigate the Three Mile Island near-nuclear meltdown and the Challenger Space Shuttle accident, respectively, provide valuable guidance for the design and …

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Obama to establish presidential commission to investigate Gulf oil spill

As hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil continue to gush from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico four weeks after the tragic BP disaster, AP reports that: President Barack Obama will establish the commission by executive order. It will be similar to panels created to investigate the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a public announcement. The New York Times reports: The president will create the panel by executive order “in coming days,” a White House official said. “The commission …

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An examination of benefits to Americans in the American Power Act

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) are releasing a discussion draft today of their long-awaited American Power Act. The bill is designed to appeal to a broad range of senators, including moderate Midwestern Democrats and coastal Republicans. Recent events are a reminder of the urgency to act. The BP oil disaster is a signal flare warning us that we must reduce our oil use via investments in more efficient, cleaner energy technologies. The Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act jump-starts efforts to adopt comprehensive clean energy and climate polices that would cut oil use, increase security, reduce pollution, and create …