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Kate Sheppard's Posts


Ya down with NRDC?

NRDC Action Fund goes on offense against opponents of climate action

The Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund is bashing representatives who voted against the House climate bill as "villains" and lauding reps who voted for it as "heroes" in a new campaign. With TV and newspaper ads and a website, the campaign is aimed at states whose senators are on the fence about passing a climate bill this year -- Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. "We really felt like now is the time for us to draw a line in the sand," NRDC Action Fund director Heather Taylor told Grist. "What we want to do is make sure the Senate …


A senior moment

More anti-climate-bill letters forged under names of senior-citizen groups

More fake letters opposing climate legislation have come to light, with this latest batch being falsely attributed to senior-citizen organizations. As we've reported previously, forged letters were sent to three U.S. representatives from Bonner and Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based group that specializes in astroturfing. Bonner was subcontracted by the PR firm Hawthorn Group to do work on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal-industry group that wanted to stop passage of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill in the House. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Tuesday released copies of five letters that hadn't been seen publicly …


Man, or astroturf man?

Industry groups launch astroturf ‘Energy Citizens’ website

The American Petroleum Institute has launched a website to promote its anti–climate bill astroturfing efforts. Site visitors can sign an e-petition to tell their lawmakers, "I call on Congress to reject climate change policies that could raise energy costs and eliminate American jobs." The site also provides resources to help you "share your story" about why acting against climate change will destroy America, apple pie, and puppies. No kidding about the puppies. In a video currently featured on the site's homepage, set to maudlin music, Texans talk about how the Waxman-Markey climate bill would wreak havoc in their lives, including …


They were for it before they were against it

ConocoPhillips works to undermine climate bill, despite pledge to support climate action

ConocoPhillips is now actively campaigning against the House climate and energy bill -- even though it's a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, an influential enviro-business coalition that played a key role in shaping the legislation. The company changed its tune shortly after the House passed the bill. On the ConocoPhillips website, visitors are urged to "Act now for energy. Make your voice heard!" An action page tells people to contact their senators and express opposition to the bill, arguing, "Federal climate change legislation is needed; however, Waxman-Markey fell short." The shift is notable since ConocoPhillips is a marquee …


Notable quotable

Yvo de Boer of U.N. climate convention says 350 ppm is pipe dream

“I don’t think there is a hope in hell that people will agree to 350 in Copenhagen. I think we’ll get 2 degrees.” -- Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, speaking at a recent meeting with NGO officials. "350" refers to the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, while "2 degrees" refers to the goal of keeping the global temperature rise to no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Both have been discussed as potential targets for a new international …

Read more: Climate & Energy


A Specter is haunting Congress

Sen. Arlen Specter says he won’t block debate on a climate bill this year

Addressing a crowd of liberal bloggers on Friday, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) said he would not block forward motion on priority issues for Democrats, and also said he expects to support the Obama administration's plan to address climate change. Specter shook up Congress in April when he announced his switch to the Democratic Party. But as we pointed out at the time, the move didn't guarantee his support for key Democratic priorities like climate change, and we've listed Specter as a swing vote on climate legislation. On Friday, he told the crowd gathered at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh, Pa., that …


Turf's up!

Astroturf wars continue as more info comes to light on ‘Energy Citizen’ rallies

News broke on Friday that the American Petroleum Institute is urging member companies to recruit their employees, retirees, vendors, and contractors to attend "Energy Citizen" events across the country over the August congressional recess. Today, we have some updates to the story: It's not just energy interests backing the astroturf efforts; major conservative and anti-tax groups are jumping in. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are both part of the coalition, and API tells TPMMuckraker that its campaign is funded by a variety of corporate and conservative groups -- including 60 Plus, FreedomWorks, the American …


Delay of game

Four Democratic senators call for delay on climate legislation

Four moderate Democratic senators -- all considered swing votes on climate legislation -- want a climate bill put off until next year. They say Congress should focus on passing health-care legislation. “The problem of doing both of them together is that it becomes too big of a lift,” Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) told Bloomberg. Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are also calling for a delay on climate action. While they are amenable to moving ahead with the energy bill that passed out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June, they are less …


NAM spam

National Association of Manufacturers claims climate bill would crush economy

In shocking news, water is still wet, the sky is still blue, and the National Association of Manufacturers is still predicting economic catastrophe if the United States acts against climate change. NAM, in partnership with the American Council for Capital Formation, released a new study on Wednesday of the climate and energy bill that the House passed in June, better known as Waxman-Markey. They predict that the "anti-energy, anti-growth, and anti-jobs bill" will "destroy growth." "Higher energy costs are bad for manufacturers and the 12 million Americans who work in the manufacturing sector," said Jay Timmons, executive vice president of …


The revolution will be televised

Gore’s group targets swing senators in new climate ads

New ads from Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection are pushing swing-vote senators to back climate and clean-energy legislation, touting the job-creation angle. The TV and radio ad campaign is targeted at moderate Democratic and Republican senators from fossil fuel–dependent, manufacturing-heavy Midwestern and Southern states: Blanche Lincoln (D) and Mark Pryor (D) of Arkansas, Evan Bayh (D) and Dick Lugar (R) of Indiana, Kit Bond (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri, and Kent Conrad (D) and Byron Dorgan (D) of North Dakota. ACP plans to roll out ads in four additional states later this month. "These senators represent the …