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Kate Sheppard's Posts

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

Mark Pryor Sen. Mark Pryor is a moderate who has voiced concerns in the past about passing climate policy, but has been relatively quiet this year. He is regularly listed among the Democrats most likely to oppose a climate bill. Pryor has expressed interest in increasing his state's contribution in the biofuels sector, however, which might help win his vote. He says on his Senate website, "As part of [the effort to move our country toward energy independence], I believe that we must move beyond oil, gas, and coal and focus on cleaner alternatives and new sources of energy, including …

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John McCain (R-Ariz.)

John McCain Sen. John McCain was, of course, one of the earliest congressional supporters of cap-and-trade, cosponsoring the first two pieces of climate legislation to come to the floor of the Senate in 2003 and 2005. During his campaign for president last year, he regularly touted his support for climate action. But McCain did not explicitly back the climate bill that the Senate debated last year, citing a desire for more support for nuclear power, and he wasn't around when the chamber voted on whether to move forward with the bill. Now that the guy who beat him in the …