Climate & Energy

California declares emissions-reduction target, requires industry to track emissions

As California’s landmark global-warming law requires the state to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the state Air Resources Board has determined just what that goal will be: 427 million metric tons of …

Bartlett opposes energy bill over RFS

I’m a fairly enthusiastic supporter of the energy bill that just left the House, but I am painfully aware that the Renewable Fuel Standard, which would mandate (insofar as one can mandate ponies) 36 billion …

Cap dunce

A carbon tax isn’t the only solution

At least someone gets it: All three of the leading Democratic candidates have proposed cap-and-trade plans that auction 100% of their CO2 permits. This is, economically speaking, the same thing as a carbon tax. The context: New York Times columnist Tom Friedman is complaining that no major presidential candidate has proposed a carbon tax -- which he takes as evidence that nobody has had the guts to take a stand in favor of policies that would "trigger a truly transformational shift in America away from fossil fuels." But as uber-blogger Kevin Drum points out, this is simply rubbish.

What does climate change look like?

Northwest flooding gives some clues

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, it looks like the last few days, according to this report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In pictures, it looks like this and this.

And now a word from their sponsors

Industry groups lobby against climate legislation

If you want to get some sense of what Lieberman-Warner — or any piece of climate legislation — is in for when it hits the floor of the Senate, have a look at what its …

Prius smackdown, round two

High gas prices make hybrids look even better

A couple of years ago, I ran some numbers trying to figure out which was the better buy for the planet -- a biodiesel Jetta or a hybrid Prius. And I came to the tentative, but perhaps counterintuitive, conclusion that the best buy was ... wait for it ... a Toyota Corolla. The Corolla, you see, was thousands of dollars cheaper than the Prius (the runner-up), even after I accounted for all the savings on gas from driving a fuel-miser. And if you were a green-minded consumer -- someone whose top priority was reducing climate-warming emissions, say -- you could probably put those thousands to better use somewhere else. Depending on the circumstances, I figured that lots of other investments -- power-sipping appliances, say, or a furnace upgrade, or home insulation, or even donations to a worthy cause -- might all count as "better buys" than a brand-new Prius. But with recent gas-price spikes, I wondered if my earlier calculations were still holding true. And I've got to admit it: if you're in the market for a new car, a Prius is looking better and better all the time.

Cloture vote fails in Senate

Reid will have to decide whether to trim back the bill to get it through

As expected, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a cloture vote this morning, trying to force a vote on the energy bill. It failed 53-42. There isn’t much time left this session. Reid has two …

Cap-and-trade through musical chairs

A quick, easy-to-follow introduction to the basics of cap-and-trade legislation

Holmes Hummel, a Stanford PhD and Congressional Science Fellow for Rep. Jay Inslee, has put together two PowerPoint presentations, one brief, one longer. She says: "These overview pieces are for The Curious & Concerned, a …

Bali conference continues

The news from Bali: When the U.S. Senate Environment Committee approved a bill calling for a mandatory cap in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, some in Bali took it as a sign that the U.S. was budging …

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