Business & Technology

The incredible shrinking tent

Republican counter-strategy on climate: Revenge!

How much smaller can the climate denial tent get? We’re about to find out. With companies as diverse as Nike, Johnson & Johnson and Ford Motor Company having joined the call for comprehensive clean energy & climate legislation, the Republican Party has come up with its counter-strategy: “To fight bill, GOP turns on business,” declares the headline in today’s Politico, citing a Double-Secret Probation Leaked Memo from Republican staffers for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. (The lesson: If you want people to read your memo, pretend it’s secret, then “leak” it to anyone who’ll take it.) Earlier …

In the game or on the sidelines?

Northwest businesses weigh in — or bow out — on energy policy

This fall, Northwest-based global businesses Nike and Starbucks led a group of consumer brands to publicly champion muscular, science-based climate and energy policies. These companies are on the field, playing hardball politics in support of serious efforts to address climate change and jumpstart a clean energy economy. At a moment when the biggest climate and energy bill ever is moving in Congress, the EPA is finalizing its ruling on greenhouse gases, and Obama just announced major strides on tailpipe standards for auto emissions, where are all the other Northwest companies on climate policy? Amazon? Microsoft? Boeing? Mostly, as far as …

From the truth is stranger than fiction dept.

GOP: defending little guys from corporations since a couple days ago

Just when you think you’ve gotten cynical enough, the GOP goes and tries to rebrand its energy policy as economic populism: In a strategy memo obtained by POLITICO, Republican staffers for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works say Republicans should argue that Democrats are embracing “Wall Street traders,” “polluters” and “others in corporate America” who are “guilty of manipulating national climate policy to increase profits on the backs of consumers. Your Republican Party, forever vigilant against upward redistribution of wealth! Dan Weiss gets off a good line: “Joe Barton’s alternative energy bill is full of more handouts to …

Climate math: How the “Chicken Littles” cook the numbers

The transition to clean energy, reducing our dependence on dangerous foreign oil and protecting our environment will cost less than some would have you think. In April, the EPA estimated that the American Clean Energy and Security Act would cost households less than the cost of a postage stamp each day, roughly $100-$140 per year. Since then, the EPA estimates the changes to the bill will reduce the cost of allowances by 10%, which will in turn lower the actual cost to households. The EPA is not alone in forecasting only nominal impacts from the bill. Numerous academic and government …

Broad and diverse support for Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy and Security Act

Support for the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 is coming in from a broad and diverse range of constituencies, including businesses, unions, elected officials, environmental groups, organizations representing low-income Americans and people of faith and coalitions combining some of those constituencies. Here are excerpts from letters that have been sent to the Energy and Commerce Committee, most of which are posted on the committee website.  Dow: “We support your aim to move the bill through the Committee, and we look forward to working with you and others in Congress as this legislation is further considered.” Exelon: “We …

The best fest? Yest.

Free local cheese, a win-win-win

Jeff Maurone via Flickr.If you were anywhere near Seattle this weekend and you didn’t make it to the Seattle Cheese Festival, oh man, I’m sorry. Oh man. Pike Place Market, a sample-lover’s paradise on any day, played host to more than 200 artisanal cheesemakers for the weekend. Each brought some fine creations and each offered samples with extreme generosity. There were goat cheeses, sheep cheeses, and dairy cheeses, of just about every form imaginable. There were farmers from around the Northwest, and around the world, willing to talk about their methods and the diet of their animals. As an enthusiastic …

How 'tough' is tough enough?

Obama’s ‘tougher fuel standards’

Re “U.S. to Issue Tougher Fuel Standards for Automobiles” (NY Times, 5/18/2009) “President Obama will announce as early as Tuesday that he will combine California’s tough new auto-emissions rules with the existing corporate average fuel economy standard to create a single new national standard …” Four questions: (1) Which will it be: an emission standard or a fuel-economy standard? (California scrupulously avoided structuring its Pavley regulations as a fuel-economy standard, to avoid conflict with federal preemption rules.) (2) Will the new federal standard preempt California’s even tougher “Pavley II” regulations under AB 32? (3) California’s standard was based on the …

Local chambers going their own way

U.S. Chamber of Commerce split grows wider

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is famous for punishing officeholders and other political candidates who have the temerity to disagree with the Chamber’s views. But what happens when the U.S. Chamber’s own members and affiliates reject its “predictably stalwart” opposition to reasonable policies on climate change and green jobs? One “solution” is to try to pooh-pooh the problem, as Chamber staff have been doing over the last several days. Confronted with a story about Johnson & Johnson and Nike asking the Chamber to change its position on climate, Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s vice president for the environment, technology and regulatory …

Chamber vs. Chamber

It’s hard to listen to someone complain about getting dumped. “Why won’t she come back? Doesn’t she know I can change? Just give me one more chance!” Lots of difficult questions with painful answers you’d really rather not get into. Which is why it was really hard to sit at the US Chamber of Commerce’s energy “dialogue” Wednesday morning in Washington, listening to polluters bemoan America’s momentum towards climate action amid the Chamber’s public split on the issue. Johnson & Johson, Nike and other members delivered a stinging rebuke on the Chamber’s climate obstruction last week. Then on the day …

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