Politics

At least 215 climate scientists sign declaration urging action on climate change

In a notable first, some 215 of the world’s top climate scientists from over 25 countries have signed a declaration directed at the leaders attending …

Supreme preemption

Medical device case could impact global warming debate

In last week's negotiations over the energy bill, one of the most significant victories for proponents of getting serious about global warming came when Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up to yet another attempt to short-circuit efforts by over a dozen states to demand cleaner cars. The issue on which Pelosi convinced Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and other auto industry allies to back down, known in legal circles as "preemption," has emerged as a lightning rod in global warming politics. The focus on preemption has only intensified in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling this April in Mass v. EPA, recent developments in the states, and the current confused state of Supreme Court preemption law. Things could get better or worse depending how the Court disposes of a case that was argued on Tuesday. On its face, Riegel v. Medtronic, about liability for faulty medical devices, doesn't have anything to do with global warming. It could, however, be a turning point in preemption doctrine, and thus have a significant long-range impact on the global warming/federalism/politics mix. The Legal and Political Landscape My boss, Doug Kendall, noted the dynamic at stake back in May, in a Knight Ridder op-ed assessing the potential impact of Mass v. EPA:

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 …

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 …

Tracking Lieberman-Warner

Boxer statement

Barbara Boxer is, of course, glowing:

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.

A look at Fred Thompson’s environmental platform and record

Update: Fred Thompson dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 22, 2008. Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate from …

Tracking Lieberman-Warner

And the vote is …

"I now move that S.2192, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007, be reported favorably." And here's the roll call: 11 Yeahs: Baucus Boxer Cardin Carper Clinton by proxy Klobuchar Lautenberg by proxy Lieberman Sanders by proxy Warner Whitehouse 8 Nays: Alexander Barrasso Bond by proxy Craig Inhofe Isakson Vitter Voinovich A full roundup will be forthcoming.