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Viva Zap

Canada, U.S., Mexico sign five-year energy pact Will an energy pact between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico pave the way for alternative fuels or grease the skids for business as usual? Maybe a little of both. The five-year agreement, signed yesterday by Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, and Mexican Secretary of Energy Georgina Kessel, "represents another step -- we believe a major step -- toward enhancing global energy security and environmental protection," Bodman said. The countries will share information and technology on renewable sources like wind, solar, and biomass; draft energy-efficiency guidelines for …

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But what will it look like?

Sens. Lieberman (I) and Warner (R) are, as you may know, attempting to put together a global warming bill that can get through the Senate. They're picking bits and pieces from all the other bills floating around. A hearing on Wed. Tues., with testimony from a variety of big money types, should reveal something about how they plan to play it. Here's what E&E has to say (sub. rqd): Lieberman and Warner are a little more than three weeks into talks on a compromise climate package that would establish a cap-and-trade system covering most sectors of the U.S. economy. The …

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Hillary pays tribute to Iowa politics

This is (bitterly) funny: As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton climbed onto a makeshift stage at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and embraced motor fuel from corn as a key to America's future, she completed a turnabout from being an ethanol opponent, a position she held only two years ago. ... Political observers view her about-face as a political necessity, saying Iowa's first-in-the-nation's caucuses -- in which residents of the country's biggest corn-producing state vote their choice for presidential nominee -- makes it politically risky to avoid kneeling at the altar of ethanol-from-corn. This seems like a good place to tout Robert …

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They exist

In an unsigned editorial, the L.A. Times makes the case against nuclear power. IMHO, the strongest stuff comes at the bottom: The accelerating threat of global warming requires innovation and may demand risk-taking, but there are better options than nuclear power. A combination of energy-efficiency measures, renewable power like wind and solar, and decentralized power generators are already producing more energy worldwide than nuclear power plants. Their use is expanding more quickly, and the decentralized approach they represent is more attractive on several levels. The much hyped (though largely imaginary) "renaissance" of nuclear power relies on popular opinion that there …

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Necessary

This op-ed from Rick Cole, city manager of Ventura, Calif., will be music to the ears of all you Gristians: The feel-good stage of California's leadership on global warming is unsustainable. Kudos to the pop stars with their calls to switch lightbulbs and unplug cellphone chargers when not in use. But we can't pretend that we will actually reduce 2020 greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels without tackling our region's embedded patterns of auto dependence and suburban sprawl. ... Halting the slide toward irreversible global climate change starts with envisioning a new and better way of life. That is not …

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Just stay out of it, won’t you?

In an article about the Bush administration's halting, grudging baby steps toward maybe, somewhat, possibly considering the eensiest-beensiest mandatory restrictions on carbon emissions, perhaps, some day, if it doesn't cost any industry any money, we get this beautiful capper of a final paragraph: A number of big businesses, including some oil, chemical and utility companies, view a cap-and-trade system such as Europe's as inevitable. Opposition to caps -- led by Vice President Dick Cheney -- remains powerful within the White House, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Farce.

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In which I rejoice

Count me among those rejoicing: Citigroup analyst John Hill downgraded coal company stocks across the board in a report this week, saying that expected U.S. greenhouse gas regulations on coal, which emits more of the main heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide than any other fuel, paint a bleak outlook for the sector. Downward pressure on stock prices by a current U.S. coal oversupply could last for more than a year, he wrote. If that happens it could coincide with 2008 presidential campaign politics, in which a national plan to limit greenhouse emissions is expected to figure prominently. "Election politics are likely …

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My product rules!

So, I'm reading this incredibly weak defense of corn ethanol, and I'm thinking, "who the hell would put their name on this swill?" Then I get to the bottom: Robert Gallant is president and chief executive officer of GreenField Ethanol, Canada's largest ethanol producer. Ah.

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Thames Fugit

England walloped by historic floods It's a "summer of suffering" in England, as severe flooding wreaks havoc across the country. This weekend, floods in the central and southern part of the country left more than 350,000 people without drinking water and forced the evacuation of hundreds from their homes. The worst part, observers say, is that the waters are still rising -- and are on track to outpace record flooding from 1947. The crisis follows a June flood in the north that killed seven people and left 7,000 at least temporarily homeless. With the swollen Thames and Severn rivers threatening …

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Madness Takes Its Toll

Siberia attack leaves one anti-nuclear protester dead, others injured A pre-dawn attack on an anti-nuclear protest camp in Siberia this weekend left one person dead and several others seriously injured. Twenty suspects have been detained for the crime, in which attackers wearing dark clothes and masks brandished metal pipes, chanted nationalist slogans, attempted to set tents on fire, and beat the crap out of as many of the 21 encamped environmentalists -- most of whom were sleeping -- as they could get their hands on. Authorities say they don't believe the protest itself -- which is focused on nuclear-waste processing …

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