Climate & Energy

From the peanut gallery

Responses to Bush’s climate speech

Here's a roundup of responses to Bush's climate speech. We'll add to it as more come in. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:"By the time President Bush's plan finally starts to cut global warming emissions, the planet will already be cooked. The President's short-term goal is to do nothing, his medium-term goal is to do nothing much, and his long-term goal is to do nothing close to what's needed to save the planet from global warming." Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-Conn.):"I share the President's preference of a market-based approach over carbon taxes. I remain encouraged by EPA's finding last month that the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act will achieve strong results in curbing global warming without imposing economic hardship on Americans. I don't think that the President's statement will have any negative impact on our efforts to attract votes to the Climate Security Act on the Senate floor this June. I remain confident about the prospects of this critical legislation." Sen. John Warner (R-Va.):"The President's announcement today that he supports measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is welcome news as the Senate prepares to consider climate change legislation this summer. This personally delivered message is recognition that a growing problem faces America -- and the world -- caused by erratic fluctuations in climate, particularly temperature variations and rainfall patterns. I am pleased the President is prepared to engage on this vital issue, both on Capitol Hill and on the international stage." National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler:"President Bush has laid out a constructive and balanced set of principles to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 ... We agree with President Bush that Americans deserve an honest and open discussion of climate change solutions by their elected representatives rather than decisions imposed by unelected regulators and judges. However, the primary federal legislation (S. 2191) sponsored by U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) set for debate in Congress would do more economic harm than environmental good. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration on legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions without damaging the economy."

Same as it ever was

Thoughts on Bush’s latest speech on climate change

The whole media world is in a frenzy, yet again, over a Bush speech on climate change. A new strategy! An effort to secure a legacy! Exciting new principles and goals! Even my own bosses are pressing me to come up with a thoughtful reaction. Sigh. I hate to be the party-pooper. But we’ve been here before. How many times does Lucy expect us to try to kick this football? Here are the three things you need to know about Bush’s speech — the same three things you needed to know about his previous speeches on the subject: Bush’s speech …

Bush on climate

President Bush’s speech on climate change, 16 April 2008, as prepared for delivery

Just over the transom, from the White House: This afternoon the President will deliver a statement in which he sets a new intermediate national goal for stopping the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. The President’s announcement comes as this week’s Major Economies Meeting in Paris begins to lay the groundwork for the world leaders’ climate meeting to be held in conjunction with the upcoming G-8 Summit. The President’s remarks will also inform the Senate-scheduled debate on climate change legislation. In addition, the President will emphasize the importance of decisions on climate change regulation being openly debated and made by the …

Surge II

McCain’s gas tax holiday from reality

John McCain has a brilliant, original idea: Let's encourage Americans to drive more by lifting the gas tax for a summer "holiday." Presumably it's the same principle as the "surge" in Iraq: so many soldiers are getting killed, let's send even more! Here are some guaranteed effects from McCain's brainstorm. It would: Deepen the federal deficit, thereby weakening the dollar. Increase gasoline consumption, in one stroke worsening highway gridlock, compounding U.S. oil dependence, and speeding up global warming. Transfer what used to be tax revenue -- potentially usable for public benefit -- to the oil companies and the Saudis by pushing up oil demand. Terrific, eh? McCain could drive to a gas station, perhaps in a jumpsuit with a padded crotch, stand surrounded by Uzi-toting Blackwater thugs while a parade of Hummers top off their tanks, and proclaim Surge II a success.

Governors gather to gab about climate

A group of influential governors will meet this week at Yale University to discuss taking the reins in the fight against climate change. The discussion will center around “blending a set of state efforts, some of which are already up and running, with an emerging federal climate system,” according to Dan Esty, the director of Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Those state efforts include three regional climate initiatives, in the Northeast, West, and Midwest. Esty added, “I think we have high hope this will mark a significant turning point in a commitment to action on climate change.” Governors …

EPA just doesn’t have time to make CO2 decision, says official

Remember how the U.S. EPA was instructed by the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether carbon dioxide should be regulated as a pollutant? And how that was more than a year ago? A senior EPA official said in a speech this week that “given the time frame available to the agency, it’s not realistic” to expect that the EPA will make that decision before the Bush administration ends. Such a bummer that time’s running out, because you know they really wanted to.

Lapel-pin patriotism vs. protecting this country against its greatest threat

True patriots would fight global warming

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. ----- As you'll recall, Barack Obama made a controversial sartorial decision last October about what he will and will not wear on his lapel. He declared he will not wear one of those American flag pins that have become so popular among politicians since Sept. 11. "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest," he said while campaigning in Iowa. "Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great. Hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism." His decision was instant red meat for a number of people who wear their patriotism on their sleeves as well as on their lapels. They questioned Obama's allegiance to his nation and to our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

American filmmakers arrested in Niger Delta

Four Americans working on the documentary Sweet Crude, about the impact of the petroleum industry on the economy and environment of the Niger Delta, were arrested in Nigeria this weekend and are still being detained. A Nigerian man accompanying them was also seized. Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil exporter and the fourth-largest exporter to the United States, and its petroleum industry is infamous for pollution, injustice, and corruption.

Coal victory in West Virginia

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission today rejected American Electric Power’s request to build a massive ($2.23b) new dirty coal plant in West Virginia. Why, you ask? The commission said the plant’s estimated price, which dates back to November 2006, isn’t credible. It also said AEP has no plans to provide a detailed, updated estimate until it gets full regulatory approval. So picky!

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