Climate & Energy

Growth industry

Club for Growth starts campaign to derail Lieberman-Warner

The Club for Growth — a conservative group “dedicated to helping elect pro-growth, pro-freedom candidates through political contributions and issue advocacy campaigns” — is already waging war on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, slated to …

Climate and service

Obama’s commencement speech calls for service to the country, planet on climate front

David beat me to a post on Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Wesleyan on Sunday. The part about climate change and clean energy was good, but what I found most encouraging was at the beginning, …

Miles Outlandish

How to green your commute

Greening your life in lots of areas is a relatively simple affair, involving you, your conscience, and your wallet. Greening your commute is a tad bit more complicated, involving you, your conscience, and your job …

Swedish company will vend verified sustainable ethanol

Swedish biofuel company SEKAB says it will become the first company to vend ethanol verified to be environmentally and socially sustainable. The company is partnering with Brazilian producers to develop criteria for the full lifecycle …

Lobbying for the enemy of the human race

Million here, million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money: Peabody Investments Corp., a subsidiary of coal producer Peabody Energy Corp., spent nearly $1.3 million in the first quarter to lobby on issues related …

Feeding the food-for-fuel debate

USDA defends America’s fuel supply

Vinod Khosla. Photo: brettwayn via Flickr. Much of what Vinod Khosla had to say in his latest post, and my responses to that post here, have been covered in previous posts. So, if some of this sounds eerily familiar, now you know why. Admittedly, I have an advantage in this debate because he can't respond directly to my arguments. Remember the West Wing episode where the Josh Lyman character makes the mistake of responding to a blogger? On the other hand, I'm not an independent blogger with my own website. Thus, the fine line between courage and stupidity. May I offer an apology to Grist for my stupidity and my thanks for allowing me to express it. Khosla begins his defense reiterating the following belief: In fact, I strongly believe any nascent technology that cannot exist without subsidies beyond an introductory period will not gain market penetration and is not worth supporting ...

Nuclear options

John McCain talks nuclear security, promises to promote ‘civilian’ nukes

John McCain gave a speech on nuclear security this morning at the University of Denver, and given his abiding love of nuclear power as the solution to climate change, that came up too. Where there’s …

Climate change doing a number on U.S. West, says USDA report

Climate change is having “profound impacts” on the U.S. West and will continue to do so in coming decades, says a new report spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Titled “The Effects of Climate …

Would Boxer's bill cut CO2 emissions by 2020?

If cost-containment mechanisms in new climate bill are exploited, emissions could remain unchanged

The short, snarky answer is "No; Boxer-Lieberman-Warner is never going to become law." The longer, analytical answer, which is the primary subject of this post, is "probably not, thanks to the bill's many cost containment measures, but it would take us off the business-as-usual emissions path." Before explaining why, let me make clear that the vote on B-L-W is purely symbolic, since it is DOA as a bill can be. Most of the media, most of the public, and most of the world are unlikely to get much detail on the bill. They will just see whether a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill can get a majority, if not 60 votes, in the U.S. Senate. So I would recommend any senator vote for it -- after giving a floor statement explaining that it was in fact too weak. I can't see casting a protest vote against a symbolic bill while asserting it is too weak. The protest would get lost in the noise. Finally, it would be the height of hypocrisy for a conservative senator to cite progressive critiques of the bill, including mine, as a reasons to vote against it. Anyone who votes against this bill should at least have the guts to say whether they themselves think the bill is too weak or too strong. Why the Boxer bill wouldn't cut U.S. CO2 emissions by 2020 This story begins late Friday night, when Deep 'emissions cut' Throat sends me the World Resources Institute's 14-page summary of the Boxer substitute to the Lieberman-Warner bill [PDF], with a note, "Does this mean no emission reductions until 2028? See bottom of page 6." Intrigued, I turned to the bottom of page 6 and read this bullet:

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