Climate & Energy

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.

How many Texas mayors does it take … ?

... to change the lightbulbs Texans use? The answer turns out to be ... five:

Tracking Lieberman-Warner

Boxer statement

Barbara Boxer is, of course, glowing:

Severe precipitation in U.S. significantly increased over past half-century, says report

The number of severe rainfalls and snowstorms across the U.S. has increased by around 24 percent in the last 50 years, says a new report from green group Environment America. In five states — Louisiana, …

Tracking Lieberman-Warner

A roundup of today’s action in the Senate Environment Committee

It took nine and a half hours of chipping away at a seemingly infinite stream of amendments -- some positive, some poison-pills -- but the Senate Environment and Public Works committee favorably reported Joe Lieberman and John Warner's greenhouse gas bill, America's Climate Security Act, today. The process wasn't easy. Republicans came armed with about 150 amendments, some of which were so toxic and clearly non-passable that it appeared they were simply trying to obstruct or derail the proceedings altogether. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, aware that the amendment avalanche would take hours to overcome, called the Senate floor to order at noon, two and a half hours later than usual, to help the bill along. It was a procedural move, designed to buy the committee time lest Republicans take advantage of a rule that would have allowed them to derail the entire proceeding. Perhaps thanks to Reid's maneuvering, that never came to pass. Unfortunately, neither did a handful of extremely important amendments -- introduced by Senators Clinton and Sanders -- that would have strengthened ACSA enough to please dark greens, a constituency that has thus far been unimpressed with the bill's wide array of compromise measures. At the end of a very long day, though, there were only a couple of surprises. That the bill passed was expected; that the bill was only modestly improved was expected; that Hillary Clinton didn't show up was expected. What wasn't expected -- at least at the outset -- was that the whole process would go so smoothly. Yes, it took an extremely long time, but in the end, the minority withdrew or didn't introduce most of their amendments, and they never overtly attempted to derail the proceedings, allowing the process to be completed within one day. Then there was the other big surprise: Sen. Bernie Sanders voted to report the legislation favorably out of the committee.

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