Climate & Energy

CBO vs. ACSA = TKO

The Congressional Budget Office savages the Lieberman-Warner approach to climate change pol

America’s Climate Security Act, the Senate climate bill offered by Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), offers enormous giveaways to the nation’s biggest polluters, in the form of billions of dollars worth of free pollution permits, which won’t be zeroed out until 2036. Last Thursday, while the bill was passing through subcommittee, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office was testifying to the House Budget Committee on "Approaches to Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions." According to the CBO, giving emission allowances away to fossil-fuel-intensive companies "could create ‘windfall’ profits for those firms." Even if plied with credits, power companies will likely raise …

Clinton's climate and energy plan

Some reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of Hillary’s new proposal

Efficiency and permit auctions and R&D, oh my! Hillary Clinton released her comprehensive energy and climate plan today. It is thoughtful, comprehensive, and though disappointingly conventional in a few areas, inspiringly bold in others. With the release of Clinton’s plan, all three Democratic frontrunners for the presidency now have visionary, far-reaching energy plans that would fundamentally reorient the country away from carbon-intensive energy and toward energy efficiency and renewables. It is difficult to think of a another policy issue on which the ground has shifted so far, so fast, and difficult to think of another policy issue on which the …

The advisors speak

A conference call with Clinton’s energy advisors, about her new energy plan

I was just on a conference call with the Clinton campaign’s energy advisors, who were answering questions from the press. A couple of interesting tidbits: I noted that the cap-and-trade system laid out by Clinton dramatically exceeds what’s contained in the Lieberman-Warner bill, both in terms of the permit auctions and the overall targets, and noted that Clinton’s on the Senate energy committee, which will be taking up the L-W bill soon. I asked if her bold plan meant she’d vote against it. They dodged. They said they recognized that Lieberman-Warner fell short of her plan, but said to contact …

U.S. Mayors Climate Conference: Bloomberg

Four principles that should guide federal climate change policy

The following was written before and during NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s address to the U.S. Mayors Conference on Friday, Nov. 2. Technical problems and, um, life intervened, so I’m only now getting it up. Sorry. Michael Bloomberg: Pro carbon tax, anti ethanol subsidies Photo: U.S. Mayors Conference Well, here I am, in a restaurant on the Seattle waterfront, hip deep in irony. I’m here to cover the keynote address of NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, except … I can’t get the &*$%! wireless to work, so I can’t blog about it in real time. And oh yeah … Bloomberg’s entire speech …

Public hits the streets to rally for global-warming action

Speaking of people who make it difficult for us to maintain our well-earned cynicism, Saturday’s Step It Up 2 climate rallies were, by all accounts, a grand success. Following up on the first Step It Up in April, the movement — spearheaded by author Bill McKibben — spurred some 1,000 rallies across the U.S. From gorilla-suited speakers in San Francisco to John Edwards keynoting in New Orleans, the public came together to urge creation of more “green-collar” jobs, a moratorium on new coal plants, and reduction of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Meanwhile, 5,500 enthusiastic students gathered …

Hillary Clinton's climate and energy plan

The full text of Clinton’s plan

Here is Hillary Clinton’s comprehensive new climate and energy plan, just introduced: —– Powering America’s Future: Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Address the Energy and Climate Crisis Hillary understands that we face two immense energy and environmental challenges: a growing climate crisis, and an increasing reliance on foreign oil that is driving up energy costs for Americans. She also knows that Americans have always demonstrated the will and the ingenuity to confront the problems of their times, from the New Deal, to the Cold War, to the Space Race. Today, global warming and dependence on foreign oil are two of the …

Hillary's energy speech

Clinton lays out her new energy policy

UPDATE: The full transcript of the speech is here. Hillary is getting ready to unveil her new energy strategy in a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Afterwards, her campaign advisors will be taking questions from the media. I’ll be live-blogging the speech, below: Climate change is bad; high energy prices are bad; importing all our oil is bad; power plant pollution is bad. The president has done nothing to help; he’s censored scientists. We can solve this problem. It’s what we do. We don’t wring our hands; we roll up our sleeves. WWII, blah blah. (Lordy am I sick of …

U.S. mayors hit Seattle to plot climate strategy and get a dose of hope

More than 100 mayors from across the U.S. gathered in Seattle late last week to share lessons from their efforts to address climate change, producing the world’s first climate conference that didn’t lead to a spike in Prozac sales. Perhaps it was the uncharacteristic sunshine in the Emerald City, but mayors could barely contain their excitement about the vistas that had opened up when they stopped viewing climate change as, in Bill Clinton’s words, “castor oil,” and instead starting seeing it as an unprecedented opportunity to make their cities cleaner, greener, and more economically vibrant. While they were there, mayors …

Chip on the 'Today' show

7 easy steps to reduce your carbon emissions

Grist’s valiant leader was on the Today show this morning. Check it out: Seven steps to save energy