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Daniel J. Weiss' Posts


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 …

Read more: Climate & Energy


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 …


What do public support for clean energy and global temperatures have in common?

A: They both keep going up despite the anti-science, pro-polluter echo chamber. Joseph Romm recently noted the Earth is stuck in a "Groundhog Decade ... where it's always the hottest decade on record." Temperature data from NOAA demonstrates that the '00's were warmer than the '90's, which were warmer than the '80's, and so on. The data points in one direction: the Earth continues to warm. Analogously, public opinion data on global warming also points in one direction: Americans support investments in clean energy and want action to reduce global warming pollution. Poll after poll finds majorities support these measures, …


nuclear fallout

Obama’s nuclear budget error

President Barack Obama's proposed FY 2011 budget includes some important proposals to invest in clean energy, but it also includes a nuclear bombshell. The budget will seek at total of $54 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power. This would require a $36 billion increase over the existing $18.5 billion for nuclear loan guarantees, a program created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 -- none of which has been issued yet. And while they loan guarantee proposal cheered some pro-nuclear senators, it has not garnered their support for comprehensive, bipartisan clean energy and climate change legislation. None of the …


A Breath of Fresh Air

Obama seizes the energy opportunity

During President-Elect Barack Obama's transition, the Center for American Progress proposed a 10-point clean-energy agenda for the president and Congress that would speed the economic transformation to a clean energy economy. A review of these items today finds that all were adopted or are working their way through the process. This is a startling achievement amidst the worst economy in 70 years, two wars, and an opposition party disinterested in cooperation. President Obama did much of what he promised, and he can do more in 2010 by cajoling Congress to do its part. These achievements will have real world impact. …


Reports of climate bill death are greatly exaggerated

Despite speculation from a few Beltway pundits, recent events suggest that there is momentum for the passage of a comprehensive clean energy and global warming legislation in 2010. Sen. Lindsay Graham's (R-S.C.) commitment to work with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to craft legislation is a significant political breakthrough. Sen. Graham voted against earlier global warming bills, including those authored by his friend Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Recently, Sen. Graham recognized that reducing carbon pollution by putting a price on it would "allow alternative energy sources to become more economically viable resulting in a cleaner environment. It …


Lessons Learned from Copenhagen

What you need to know following the Copenhagen climate summit

Co-authored by Rebecca Lefton. The international negotiations on climate change wrapped up Dec. 19 in Copenhagen. The conference achieved an interim agreement, known as the Copenhagen Accord, which could put the major polluting nations on a pathway to reducing global warming pollution, and it continues to set the expectation for U.S. domestic action on climate change. Much work remains, but there were also numerous notable achievements and meaningful insights into how the United States can gain from leading the world toward a new international clean-energy agreement. A “meaningful” deal on climate mitigation President Barack Obama left Copenhagen Friday night after …