Climate & Energy

Dingell concedes

House Energy Committee chair John Dingell expresses support for Energy Bill

House floor debate on federal Energy Bill

Forget live blogging. Watch it live on your computer via C-span.org.

At least 215 climate scientists sign declaration urging action on climate change

In a notable first, some 215 of the world’s top climate scientists from over 25 countries have signed a declaration directed at the leaders attending the United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, urging strong …

Supreme preemption

Medical device case could impact global warming debate

In last week's negotiations over the energy bill, one of the most significant victories for proponents of getting serious about global warming came when Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up to yet another attempt to short-circuit efforts by over a dozen states to demand cleaner cars. The issue on which Pelosi convinced Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and other auto industry allies to back down, known in legal circles as "preemption," has emerged as a lightning rod in global warming politics. The focus on preemption has only intensified in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling this April in Mass v. EPA, recent developments in the states, and the current confused state of Supreme Court preemption law. Things could get better or worse depending how the Court disposes of a case that was argued on Tuesday. On its face, Riegel v. Medtronic, about liability for faulty medical devices, doesn't have anything to do with global warming. It could, however, be a turning point in preemption doctrine, and thus have a significant long-range impact on the global warming/federalism/politics mix. The Legal and Political Landscape My boss, Doug Kendall, noted the dynamic at stake back in May, in a Knight Ridder op-ed assessing the potential impact of Mass v. EPA:

The good and the bad

Why cap-and-trade is preferable to a carbon tax

The Washington Post ran an interesting op-ed in its Think Tank Town section last week, arguing for a carbon tax. The nut graph: The only effective way to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slow global climate change is to make it more expensive to emit carbon dioxide. Unless businesses and consumers pay a price for carbon dioxide, neither will make the investments in technology and changes in energy use needed to dramatically reduce emissions. Rock on, Think Tankers. But that's just the start of the goodness. The authors -- two researchers from RAND Corporation -- also put forth a nifty idea about how to cushion the economic impacts of new taxes:

Obama expecting ‘serious conversation’ about ‘drastic steps’ on climate change

There was — see if this sounds familiar — almost nothing about climate or energy in the recent Democratic primary debate hosted by NPR. There was one intriguing tidbit at the end, however, triggered off …

Senate Environment Committee approves Lieberman-Warner climate bill

A climate bill with a mandatory cap on U.S. CO2 emissions cleared a significant hurdle yesterday. America’s Climate Security Act, cosponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), was voted through by the …

The Syllogism of Doom [dum dum duuum]

Why clean coal is so darn appealing

Andy Revkin has a great op-ed over on NYT, laying out our collective coal dilemma and the difficulty in communicating effectively about it. I’ve been pondering why clean coal — a climate solution that does …

Get your No-Doz out

The neverending debate on corn ethanol continues

This is my response to Brooke Coleman's response to, uh, this response ... Welcome back, Brooke. I do think ethanol is better than oil ... Hundreds of millions of Americans do not "think" that the theory of evolution is valid. What you or I want to believe is largely irrelevant. The arguments we bring to the table to back up what we "think" is what matters. The following graphic is an attempt to explain a concept called leakage -- the fatal flaw in any attempt to divert food crops to gas tanks: Pop in to visit Biofuel Bob while you're at it.

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