Politics

Cheney energy task force ... revealed!

Pretty much what you thought it was

Six years and a protracted legal battle later, The Washington Post has finally gotten its hands on a list of who met with Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force in 2001. Turns out it’s a bunch of oil and gas execs. Shocking. This is my favorite ‘graph from the story: The task force issued its report on May 16, 2001. Though the report was roundly criticized by environmental groups at the time, some energy experts say that in retrospect it appears better balanced than the administration’s actual policy. Sigh. Here’s the full list.

Carbon credit allocation

All the kids are talking about it

Today in Greenwire, Darren Samuelsohn rightly notes that the big — and by big we’re talking multi-billions of dollars — question around a cap-and-trade system is how the credits are initially allocated. Do you give more to utilities with lots of coal plants, because they need help transitioning to a low-carbon future? Do you give more to utilities with gas and hydro, to reward their low-carbon ways? Do you auction them all? Some mix? You can be sure lots of utility lobbyists are rapidly becoming experts on the subject. You need a subscription to read the article, so here’s a …

Lady Bird's green leanings

The passing of the former first lady (sorta) missed by enviros

Asher Price over at the Austin American-Statesman calls us out for not mentioning that Lady Bird Johnson passed away last week. The former First Lady (what did she go by, anyway? “Lady”? “Bird”? “LB”?) was a staunch environmentalist, even though she rejected the term. She was the major driving force in the more than 200 environment-related bills that her husband passed while in office, including the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, the Wilderness Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Wild and Scenic Rivers program. We got a letter from a reader about our neglect, too, that shares …

Bipartisanship on the environment

Who’s stopping it?

You hear a lot, from well-meaning Republican environmentalists of the sort you find on this site, or this one, or this one, that we’ll "never make any progress" on the environment until it becomes a bipartisan issue. Strangely, this scolding isn’t directed at the conservative movement, which has for decades obstructed any action dedicated to solving environmental problems. It’s directed instead at environmentalists who identify with the progressive movement, which has been pushing for action. Strange. I bring this up because energy and climate legislation is a hot topic these days, and several bills are winding their way through Congress. …

Post-vacation links

Stuff I missed

There are a gazillion things I missed over vacation, or meant to post about before vacation, that I’ll never have time to return to. Thus: a link post! I missed the MoveOn town hall on climate and energy. You can watch the candidate presentations here. Bill Scher has a pretty good rundown of who said what, here. Our guide to the candidates on these issues is here. FYI, MoveOn members voted John Edwards the winner. I doubt I’ll have a chance to read Chris Mooney’s new book Storm World any time soon (and — sssshhh — I must confess that …

Climate change big picture

A great piece in the WaPo

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Steven Mufson has an excellent big-picture look at the effort to fight global warming via legislation. It offers a sense of the scope of the problem: The potential economic impact of meaningful climate legislation — enough to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 60 percent — is vast. Automobiles would have to get double their current miles to the gallon. Building codes would have to be tougher, requiring use of more energy-efficient materials. To stimulate and pay for new technologies, U.S. electricity bills could rise by 25 to 33 percent, some experts estimate; others say the …

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