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.

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 …

Why the Copenhagen Accord boosts the odds for Senate passage of bipartisan climate legislation

The 15th United Nations climate summit has just ended in Copenhagen after a tense two weeks of negotiations between the developed and developing world. An “environmental Woodstock” to some, a high stakes diplomatic showdown to others, the meeting led to some critical but incomplete agreements. Now that it’s over, the world’s attention will focus on the United States Senate as it plans to consider clean energy and global warming legislation in 2010. The newly inked Copenhagen Accord, along with other factors, increases the odds for Senate passage of clean energy jobs and global warming legislation. The Copenhagen Accord should form …

Congressional Budget Office stunner

Kerry-Boxer bill will cut the deficit; Will ‘fiscal conservatives’ sign on?

The Congressional Budget Office — the arbiter of the federal budget impact of all legislation — just released an analysis that the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, S. 1733, … would reduce budget deficits (or increase future surpluses) by about $21 billion over the 2010-2019 period … In years after 2019, direct spending would be less than the net revenues attributable to the legislation in each of the 10-year periods following 2019. Therefore, CBO estimates that enacting S. 1733 would not increase the deficit in any of the four 10-year periods following 2019. This is crucial given that …

Poll-ution

Overwhelming U.S. public support for global warming action

Two new polls issued today confirm that an overwhelming portion of Americans want domestic action and an international agreement to reduce global warming pollution. More than half the respondents want to do a great deal to reduce the threat of global warming, while only one-quarter oppose action. Associated Press/Stanford Univ. poll; conducted 11/17-29 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media; surveyed 1,005 adults; margin of error +/- 3.1 percent (release, 12/15). How much do you think the U.S. should do about global warming? A great deal/quite a bit  52 percent Some                           23 A little/nothing              25 The AP poll …

Biden: Nearly 900,000 new clean energy jobs thanks to Recovery Act

On Dec. 15, Vice President Joe Biden released a “Progress Report: Transformation to a Clean Energy Economy.” It documents the advances in clean energy investments and job creation during the first year of the Obama Administration. Biden determined that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and administrative actions are laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that will create a new generation of jobs, reduce dependence on oil and enhance national security. “The Recovery Act investments of $80 billion for clean energy will produce as much as $150 billion in clean energy projects” due to leveraging private investment. The …

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