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Climate & Energy


Memo to Inhofe:

When you've lost J-Pod, you know you've gone overboard.


Gore gets a warm welcome on Capitol Hill, and a few heated exchanges

Exhibiting a curious mixture of nostalgia and irreverence, Al Gore returned to the halls of Congress yesterday to make the case for sweeping federal action to fight global warming. Buoyed by his recent Academy Award triumph, Gore testified at hearings in both the House and the Senate. Audiences of hundreds lined the oak-paneled walls of the hearing rooms, crowded the aisles, and craned their necks for a glimpse of Capitol Hill's comeback kid. It was the kind of blockbuster turnout that Gore now draws at nearly every public appearance, yet in this case it felt particularly profound given that his …


Not In My Back Yardarm

Biggest U.S. oil-tanker company slapped with $37 million in dumping fines They would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling pipe fitters: the nation's largest oil-tanker company, Overseas Shipholding Group, will pay $37 million for gooping up U.S. seas. For nearly five years, the company's ships dumped waste oil and sludge off the coasts of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Beaumont, Texas, Wilmington, N.C., and Portland, Maine. They covered up by fudging logbooks, building bypass pipes, flushing oil sensors with fresh water, and doing the dirty deeds at night. But there's still honor left in this …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Final thought on Gore's day in Congress

For today anyway!

If Gore had asked me what I'd like him to emphasize to Congress, I would have said: The No. 1 most important thing to do is put a price on carbon. Carbon tax: better than cap-and-trade. Cap-and-trade: better than nothing. Cap-and-trade with auctioned permits: better than cap-and-trade without. We should be pursuing widely distributed, small-scale renewable electricity generation, tied together with a smart grid. Our choice is not between nuclear and coal. No more dirty coal plants should be built in this country. Period. We need to reduce GHG emissions by at least 80% by mid-century. And what do you …


Gore Senate testimony: final thoughts

Odds and ends

Substantively, most of what Gore said to the Senate echoed what he said to the House. There were a few things to note about the Senate hearing, though: Gore's introductory remarks to the Senate (videos here) were a huge step down from his performance in the House. To my eye, he seemed shaky, hesitant, stiff, occasionally bombastic, mostly just uneven. Maybe he knows the folks in the House better? Maybe his lunch didn't agree with him? Maybe he was nervous about his coming confrontation with Inhofe? Who knows. I was worried. Ironically, it wasn't until Inhofe attacked that Gore got …


Inhofe makes the grown-ups laugh

Even by his standards, this was pathetic

I know that Sen. James Inhofe is a far-right bomb-thrower. I know he's built a career out of saying absurd things, particularly about global warming. I know nobody expects anything different from him. Despite all that, I was astonished at his performance in today's hearing. It's not that he disagrees with Gore. Plenty of legislators in both houses disagreed with Gore, thoughtfully and respectfully. What Inhofe did is flounce around and bitch and moan like a petulant adolescent. He could not have made Gore look better if he'd tried. First, he spent the beginning of the hearing whining about the …


Grist cited in Senate hearing

We bad

In his question/rant for Gore, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) cited a quote from Gore's interview with Grist. It's this: "I believe it's appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is." The quote bounced around skeptic circles for a long time a while back. Suffice to say, it's been yanked from context and grossly misinterpreted. See the full story here.


Al Gore's testimony to the Senate

Liveblogging is the new black

Gore is just arriving at the Senate. The cameras are clicking! The crowd is buzzing! David is liveblogging! Join me below the fold. Sen. Boxer is looking quite stylish, no? Rules are being introduced. Hopefully it won't take 15 minutes like in the House. Uh oh. Inhofe's going already. Whining about getting the testimony late. Whining about the record. Whining about how much time he gets. Wow, it's clear that Inhofe and Boxer loathe one another. And ... now they're bickering. Lamar Alexander introduces Gore, and mentions he (Alexander) believes in anthropogenic global warming. Now a second introduction, from Sen. …



He was nice to Gore

One thing worth noting from this morning's hearing: Dingell, whom I expected to challenge Gore aggressively, asked him not a single question. In fact, he was enormously respectful of Gore. And the way he attempted to pronounce Bjorn Lomborg's name made it clear that it was not him who invited Lomborg. Maybe he really has had a change of heart on this.


Gore errata

If you just can't get enough livebloggin', Brian Beutler also had a running commentary on Gore's testimony over at his blog. Meanwhile, Inhofe and Co. are busy whining that they didn't get Gore's Senate testimony earlier. True statesmen. It looks like Lomborg's testimony has been delayed so long that Gore will be in front of the Senate before Lomborg starts. You can guess whom I'm going to choose to watch.