Politics

Attribute-based CAFE standards

Are wack

In his SOTU speech earlier this year, Bush proposed updating and reforming CAFE standards. Skeptical? Good. You’re not stupid. As I wrote here, one of his reforms is to make the whole CAFE system "attribute-based," meaning different mileage standards would apply to different classes of vehicles based on their, um, attributes — mainly size. This would make things unnecessarily complicated and perpetuate the double standard that has encouraged the domination of ginormous SUVs for the last decade. Under Bush’s plan, the double standard would become a multiple-standard, an open sop to the Big Three automakers. Anyway, that was just my …

50 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power, the public-teat suckingest industry in history

Your government at work

This is how we make energy policy: A one-sentence provision buried in the Senate’s recently passed energy bill, inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, could make builders of new nuclear plants eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees. Lobbyists have told lawmakers and administration officials in recent weeks that the nuclear industry needs as much as $50 billion in loan guarantees over the next two years to finance a major expansion. PS: the biggest supporter of this boondoggle is a Republican, from the party of small government and free markets. Har.

Edwards on the Issues

A look at John Edwards’ environmental platform and record

Update: John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 30, 2008. During his single term representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, John Edwards received a middling 63 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters — a score lower than might have been expected because he missed a number of key votes while campaigning for president and vice president in 2003 and 2004. In his current campaign for president, Edwards has been more aggressive on the issue of climate change than other Democratic candidates, who’ve ended up following his lead. Read an interview with John Edwards by …

MoveOn comes out behind a national RPS

Good on ‘em

I just got this email from MoveOn.org: Dear MoveOn member, Did you know the U.S. right now gets only 2% of our electricity from clean energy sources like solar and wind? We have the technology. We know people want it. We just haven’t had the political will. But Congress is voting this week on H.R. 969, a bill that will dramatically boost solar and wind energy. If it passes, it’ll be like taking 37 million cars off the road.1 Along with the rest of the energy package, it’ll be the biggest step in two decades toward a clean planet and …

An interview with Barack Obama about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside. Barack Obama at an Earth Day 2007 event. Photo: Michael Millhollin In his two and a half years in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama has been active — even hyperactive — on matters of energy and the environment. The Democrat from Illinois has introduced or cosponsored nearly 100 eco-related bills on issues ranging from lead poisoning and mercury emissions to auto fuel economy and biofuels promotion. Along the way, he’s racked up a notable 96 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. …

Senate may improve Farm Bill

Harkin wants to boost land conservation

Here’s some reasonably heartening news from CQ.com: The Senate is prepared to write a dramatically different farm bill than the version the House passed last week. The Senate debate will not happen until September or later. For now, Senate Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has promised to increase funding for land-conservation programs far above House numbers. The $286 billion, five-year House measure (HR 2419), which passed, 231-191, on July 27, would impose new limits on farm subsidies, increase support for fruit and vegetable growers, boost land conservation and increase funding for nutrition programs. Farmers making more than $1 million a …

Coal is the enemy of the human race: Harry Reid edition

Senate Majority Leader vows opposition to Nevada coal plants

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has occasionally been viewed with suspicion by enviros, thanks to his friendliness with the mining industry. This should help patch things up: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada sent a letter this week to four companies telling them not to build planned coal-burning power plants in his state. … “Because I believe that developing renewable energy in Nevada is far preferable to coal for the sake of our economy, public health and the environment, I will use every means at my disposal to prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants in …

Obama on the Issues

A look at Barack Obama’s environmental platform and record

Updated 22 Aug 2008 In the early months of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, enviros were skeptical of his (now heavily qualified) support for coal-to-liquids technology and unvarnished enthusiasm for ethanol, but he earned their respect with his aggressive climate and energy plan. The plan centers on a cap-and-trade system that aims for 80 percent emission reductions from 1990 levels by 2050 and calls for auctioning 100 percent of the pollution permits. It also includes a $150 billion investment to boost clean energy and create green jobs, along with fine-grained proposals to boost efficiency, build a smart electricity grid, and encourage …

Acronym smackdown: ACORE vs. CEI

Republicans get catty with each other

Wow, two Republicans representing two very different groups have been going after each other on the blogosphere with words and phrases like, "It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar" and "nasty-gram" -- OK, nasty-gram isn't a word, but what do you expect from CEI?