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Climate Policy


Bidding farewell

Tim DeChristopher found guilty, shows power of nonviolent civil disobedience

Tim DeChristopher.Photo: (C) 2011 Daphne HougardClimate activist Tim DeChristopher, who was put on trial in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week for his interference with an oil and gas auction held at the end of the Bush administration, on Thursday was found guilty by a jury. He faces a sentence of up to 10 years, to be determined by a judge. After finding out the jury's decision, DeChristopher spoke to supporters outside of the courthouse. "We now know I'll have to go to prison. That's the job I have to do," he said. In a recent interview with Grist, DeChristopher …


Tim for a change

As climate crime continues, who are we sending to jail? Tim DeChristopher?

They've got the wrong guy.Photo by Cliff LyonLet's consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk.  But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on Thursday, that'll get you not just a week in court, but potentially …


fred the inhaler

Fred Upton’s bizarre war on 24 million Americans with asthma

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is teaming up with House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to introduce a bill to allow America's biggest polluters to continue dumping unlimited amounts of carbon emissions into the air. It's not that surprising that Inhofe is pushing this in the Senate. After all, Inhofe has always prided himself on being a little "out there" in a distinctly Charlie Sheen "wild man" kind of way. But what is going on with the formerly-known-as reasonable Rep. Upton? Just about every major health group in the United States is …


The Big Red Elephant in the Room

Climate challenge hinges on fueling China with clean and cheap energy

Originally published at the Breakthrough Institute. I've said it before and I'll say it again: When it comes to the global climate challenge, as goes China, so goes the world. Soaring CO2 emissions from energy use in China drive global greenhouse-gas trends. (Click for a larger version).Graph: CO2 ScorecardDriving that aphorism home, CO2 Scorecard, a not-for-profit project that closely tracks global greenhouse-gas emissions, now reports that China's CO2 emissions increased by 906 million tons in 2009 -- the second largest annual increase for any country in recorded history. China's soaring emissions were enough to completely offset the drop in emissions …


25 percent Lawyers by 2025

Can states keep clean energy jobs at home?

Photo: GreenforallCan a state with a renewable energy mandate require green jobs to stay at home? Litigation has made states into tepid defenders of their job rights, but states have the legal ground to go great lengths to keep more of the economic development from their renewable energy industry inside their borders. No renewable energy mandate passed a state legislature without the promise of thousands of new jobs, but many states have shared the recent experience of Massachusetts: the state’s largest solar manufacturing plant announced that it is moving production to China. Evergreen Solar is moving despite the state’s commitment …


Into the belly of the beast

Secretary Clinton stresses importance of international climate investments

Secretary Clinton made a compelling case for why pollution-reducing investments are in the U.S. interest.In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that U.S. investments in global efforts to reduce carbon pollution are strongly in the U.S. interest. She also made the case for why these investments are a key priority. The House Republicans passed a budget which dramatically guts U.S. international investments in efforts to cut carbon pollution, while President Obama’s budget request makes key investments in these efforts. This hearing comes at a critical moment, as there are two competing …


The people want to topple the old energy regime

Schwarzenegger calls for Tunisian-style green revolution

Hasta la vista, air pollution.He's back. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday all but called for a Tunisian-style revolution to overturn the United States' old energy order. "It is breathtaking to see: people by the hundreds of thousands who want change ... who want to throw off the old order and subvert the status quo. It is fascinating to me how rapidly the debate in the Middle East shifted from -- could the people rise up to could the rulers hang on?" Scharzenegger said at the United States Department of Energy's ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in National Harbor, Md., according …


situation womb

Upcoming congressional hearings at which a fetus should testify

Source photo: Lunar CausticThe Ohio state legislature is preparing to hear testimony from a 9-week-old fetus, which I assume will actually be a lawyer making a squeaky voice from behind a picture of an ultrasound. The fetus is testifying about whether it should be able to freeload off a woman's organs while it's waiting to turn into a person, but we think there are a lot of other bills a fetus should have a say in. Like the ones covering pollution, climate change, and oil. Here are some of this week's committee meetings that we think would benefit from the …


the jury is in

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher goes to trial in Salt Lake City [VIDEO]

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher’s trial began Monday in Salt Lake City, Utah. He spoke with Grist recently about facing jail time, his fears, and how to make a difference through nonviolent direct action. Here's the exclusive video interview: Monday morning, Terry Tempest Williams, Daryl Hannah, and other allies rallied to show their support. Peter Yarrow is scheduled to be at the courthouse singing protest songs in support of DeChristopher’s climate activism. You can read more about DeChristopher’s case here.


Sen. Sherrod Brown and the Clean Air Act

Sen. Sherrod Brown.Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. There are things to like in Sen. Sherrod Brown's (D-Ohio) letter to President Obama today about the Clean Air Act and carbon pollution. However, the letter is off base in its concern about EPA's reasonable steps to assure that big new plants reduce their pollution to protect public health. Sen. Brown starts by recognizing the achievements of the nation's 40-year-old air pollution law: "For decades, the Clean Air Act has been a remarkably successful law that has protected the health and well-being of all Americans by significantly reducing the emissions of …