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.

Making money on oil disasters

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 …

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 …

Commissionary position

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 …

American (Em)power Act

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 …

Held Up Without a Gun

Big Oil continues to see big profits, pollution while Americans get robbed at the pump

This post was co-authored by Susan Lyon. I was out driving/just a taking it slowLooked at my tank/ it was reading lowPulled in a Exxon station/out on Highway OneHeld up without a gunHeld up without a gun - Bruce Springsteen Springsteen’s song could not be more true today. Big Oil is once again riding high oil prices to large profits (see below) while American consumers get stuck with a $2.7 billion gasoline bill in the first quarter of 2010 due to higher oil prices. But the problems with oil go beyond these companies’ profits. Rising oil prices also add more …

Pollution limits are essential for clean energy investments

This piece was co-written by Kate Gordon, vice president for energy policy at American Progress. A critical element of President Obama’s domestic agenda is transforming the United States to a low-carbon-pollution economy, which would spur recovery, create jobs, and generate long-term prosperity. The president also made clear in his State of the Union address this year that we need to ramp up our exports, especially of clean energy technologies, if we are going to stay competitive in the global economy. Comprehensive, bipartisan clean energy legislation that establishes a price on carbon pollution could provide the resources for a strong clean …

money in the tank

The do-nothing energy tax: $3 gasoline dead ahead

Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. The mounds of snow blackened by auto exhaust have barely melted in Washington, D.C, yet the Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook already predicts that average gas prices “will exceed $3 per gallon” in coming months: Average U.S. pump prices likely will exceed $3 per gallon at times during the forthcoming spring and summer driving season. EIA projects gasoline consumption will begin to show modest, but consistent, increases over the previous year, growing by 60,000 bbl/d in 2010 and 70,000 bbl/d in 2011. In other words, there will be a gasoline price increase of …

Alaskan deal breaker

Murkowski to Senate: Drill the Arctic or my state gets it!

Senator Lisa Murkowski (D-Alaska) gave a long impassioned speech when she introduced her “Dirty Air Act” – a Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn EPA’s scientific finding that carbon pollution threatens public health and the environment. One of her complaints was that the threat of impending EPA Clean Air Act implementation would force the Senate into action without ample time for deliberation. Today, however, as we seek the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we’re being presented with a false choice between unacceptable legislation and unacceptable regulations. We’re being told, threatened really, to “pass a bill now or …

Plenty of time for Congress to act first

EPA’s Jackson establishes deliberative path to control global warming pollution

Big oil, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and senators including Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are whipping up hysterical fears that the Environmental Protection Agency will use its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to immediately restrict global warming pollution for even the smallest of emitters. For instance, NAM President John Engler makes the ridiculous claim that “If EPA moves forward and begins regulating stationary sources, it will open the door for them to regulate everything from industrial facilities to farms to even American homes.” In fact, EPA’s efforts are simply following the law of the …