Climate & Energy

Angela in America

Germany’s Merkel praises U.S. House climate bill as a ‘sea change’

Angela MerkelPhoto: Bertelsmann StiftungThe climate bill being debated today in the U.S. House represents a “sea change” and “points to the fact that the United States [is] very serious on climate,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to the White House this morning. “I wish you every success. … I would not have thought [it] possible a year ago,” she continued. Speaking at a joint press conference after private talks with Obama, Merkel said the president’s work on climate change is laying the groundwork for successful climate-treaty negotiations later this year in Denmark: “I’m very gratified to note …

Slip Slidin' Away

Was the Tennessee coal ash disaster really a once-in-a-lifetime event?

A new report from an engineering firm hired by the Tennessee Valley Authority identified factors behind last year’s disaster that unleashed more than a billion of gallons of toxic ash from a massive storage pond at the federal company’s Kingston plant in eastern Tennessee. It claims that the disaster was a one-of-a-kind event — but skeptical coal ash watchdogs are calling for a more thorough investigation by federal authorities. “This type of explanation sounds eerily familiar,” says Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans. “When 125 people were killed in the Buffalo Creek coal slurry disaster of 1972, the coal company made the …

Irrational Corn Growers Association

Farm lobby: Shoot the climate bill, but keep the Peterson goodies

Give me the loot–then I’ll shoot! I got mugged in Mexico City once. Guy whirled me around and pointed a gun at me. He had a crazed look in his eye–like he might be on familiar terms with a crack pipe or a glue tube. He demanded my wallet with a grunted threat to shoot. I handed it over. We went on our ways, both reasonably satisfied. He got some cash, and I got to live. I’ve been thinking about that relatively straightforward transaction as I ponder the the farm lobby’s stance on the Waxman-Markey vote. Their man Collin Peterson …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: OMG They’re Voting! edition

This week’s poem features dubious meter and indubitable passion. Fritter some time away by checking out a few previous climate poems. All eyes are on Waxman-Markey this week.From the orbs of ObamaTo the peepers of the meek. I’m just beside myself!Will it pass, is it lame, should we love it anyway?Did the Ag folks make it worse?Were they just making hay? So many questions on a solitary bill.So many argumentsEcho from the Hill. While ACES seems to freeze us all, the world’s still turning.Hopers have to Cope.Coal keeps burning. Gordon wants to start a fund, in dollars or in pounds.And …

Climate Vote Day Ticker

Update: Pass! Climate bill advances with 219-212 vote

News, rumors, and outright malarkey on the American Clean Energy Security Act‘s big day in the U.S. House. Will be updated throughout the day. –Analysis from Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight: I don’t think there are 41 solid ‘no’s in the Senate — not yet. There might be 37 or 38 or 39, but not 41. And as long as that’s the case, there’s some daylight for the White House. But it won’t be easy, and if environmental advocates didn’t like the version that came out of the House, they aren’t liable to be any more pleased with whatever has an …

Waxman incorporates a score of amendments into final version of his clean economy legislation

Cross-posted from Wonk Room. After long negotiations, House leadership has unveiled the final version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), to be voted on by the full House today. The bill’s author, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), introduced an amendment in the form of a substitute (H.R. 2998), which incorporates a score of amendments to the legislation. The schedule today includes five votes on the passage of this historic bill, which would introduce national standards for clean energy and global warming pollution, with final vote expected at 5 PM: 1. H. Res. 587: Adoption of the rule …

ACES will help create more jobs and opportunities for low-income families — see map

The American Clean Energy and Security Act will help spur $150 billion in clean energy investments, which will create 1.7 million good-paying jobs throughout the United States. Clean energy jobs are labor intensive, and clean energy investments create more jobs across all skill and education levels than comparable investments in fossil-fuel energy sources. Clean energy investments create 3.2 times as many jobs as fossil-fuel investments overall. Among workers with few educational credentials and little work experience, clean energy investments create 5.5 times as many jobs as fossil-fuel investments. Furthermore, 75% of those clean energy jobs provide opportunities for advancement and …

Americans save on fuel bills under ACES — see map

The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act allocates funding to produce the next generation of clean, fuel-efficient vehicles in the United States, and when combined with clean vehicle performance standards adopted by the Obama administration, the American on-road fleet will become about 25% more fuel efficient over the next decade. As a result, by 2020, Americans will drive more efficient vehicles and have lower household transportation costs. Even in the face of rising gasoline prices, cleaner vehicles will save money by sipping instead of guzzling gasoline.         For detailed methodology and explanations, and a printable map, visit my original …

Whip it good!

Pelosi cracks the whips to get climate bill passed

Are there 218 votes in the House of Representatives for clean energy and a healthier climate? Rep. Mike Doyle is one of nine lawmakers “whipping” up votes for the Waxman-Markey bill. Above, Doyle at a June 24 rally on Capitol Hill.Kate Sheppard / GristWith a vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act expected on Friday or Saturday, supporters on Capitol Hill and in the environmental community are trying to determine if there are enough votes to pass it. Democrats currently hold 254 seats, though it’s hard to get a firm count on how many of them are definite …