Climate & Energy

Money changes everything

Everyone wants a piece of the climate bill pie

The debate over the Climate Security Act bill has made it clear that trillions are at stake in global warming legislation. No surprise, then, that the Senate power brokers don't want Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) Environment and Public Works committee to have the only say on who gets what. E&E Daily ($ub. req'd) has the story of how the climate bill is likely to have a much longer and far more tangled journey next year:

Corn polls

New surveys suggest changing views on biofuels

Biofuel policy has made it to the polls. Yesterday, the National Center for Public Policy Research, a nonprofit, non-partisan educational foundation based in Washington, D.C., released the results of a survey (PDF) conducted at the beginning of this month which claims to have found that most Americans -- "including those in the Farm Belt" -- want Congress to reduce or eliminate the mandated use of corn ethanol. In response to the key question, "What do you think Congress should do now?" with respect to the Renewable Fuels Standard (which last December raised the minimum volume of biofuels used in the United States from 7.5 billion gallons a year in 2012 to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, of which 15 billion gallons is expected to be supplied by "conventional biofuel" -- ethanol derived from corn starch -- by 2015), 42 percent of the participants in the survey thought that that the mandate should be eliminated to reduce ethanol production and use. Of the rest: 25 percent wanted the mandate to be partly eliminated to reduce ethanol production and use; 16 percent wanted it left unchanged; Six percent wanted it partly expanded to increase ethanol production and use; and 2 percent wanted it significantly expanded to increase ethanol production and use. Nine percent were undecided, didn't know what to answer, or refused to answer. Even among people living in the Farm Belt, 25 percent percent said they wanted the ethanol mandate repealed entirely, and another 30 percent wanted it scaled back.

Action on Solar Investment Tax Credit Delayed

Lack of credit threatens solar industry

Originally posted at the NDN Blog. The failure of the Senate to obtain cloture on the Solar Investment Tax Credit -- coming on the heels of the collapse of climate change legislation last Friday -- should send a wake up call to the environment and clean technology communities that a new more forceful strategy is needed to make progress on climate change and energy independence. At a moment when the U.S. economy is suffering from the effects of a full blown oil shock, when the United States is fighting a hot war in the Middle East in part to protect access to oil in a volatile region, and when much of the domestic news consists of extreme weather reports -- from floods in the Midwest to school closings in the east due to dangerous temperatures though it is not yet summer -- it is hard to fathom the lack of leadership on energy issues coming out of Washington.

Protests erupt worldwide over fuel prices

Skyrocketing fuel prices show no sign of flagging, and no one’s happy about it (except the occasional holier-than-thou environmentalist). Truck drivers and transportation operators have threatened to strike, gone on strike, or are still striking …

Why not a revenue-neutral carbon cap?

The silver-lining of Lieberman-Warner’s demise

The demise of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill may not be a bad thing if it spurs environmentalists and politicians to ask: Is this the best way to cap carbon? Let's be clear what Lieberman-Warner was. Yes, it contained a carbon cap. But mostly it was about spending or giving away trillions of dollars. It was, as Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) put it, "the mother and father of all earmarks," and every lobbyist in town was at the trough.

Should the World Bank get the coal shoulder?

House ponders investment in multilateral clean tech fund; greens argue it isn’t all that green

Last week, the House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology (the HFCSDIMPTT for short) held a hearing about whether the United States should invest in a multilateral fund to …

Wait, they’re not the same?!

In the Boston Globe, Carol Browner and Bob Sussman construct a short and powerful critique of McCain’s climate/energy positions, tacking against the kind of foolishness that has addled the brains of the folks over at …

Vaccine, nut oil may cut cow belching’s contribution to climate change

The worldwide race to quell livestock belching is on! Earlier this month, New Zealand researchers came one step closer to developing a vaccine that would reduce the methane emitted from belching livestock. Ruminant livestock burp …

'Partisan bickering'

It’s long past time to assign responsibility for stymied climate legislation

In an otherwise insightful piece on the failure of the Lieberman-Warner bill, Eric Pooley says this: It would have taken a truly great floor debate to begin resolving some of those difficult areas — a …

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