Politics

Daily Kos founder misfires on 'clean coal'

For shame

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is interviewed in the spring issue of Terrain, the publication of the excellent Ecology Center in Berkeley, Calif. He has some interesting views to share about the green movement, including his disappointment that the top six environmental groups have more cash assets than the "vast right wing conspiracy," yet they keep their pet issues so siloed that they cancel their collective clout, keeping a national green agenda effectively sidelined. But where he loses me is with his tepid but clear endorsement of clean coal: I'm a big supporter of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who is one of the heaviest proponents of clean coal technology and carbon sequestration. Right now we're dependent on the Middle East for a large percentage of our energy needs, and it's clearly making us weaker from a national security perspective. It precipitated the horrid war in Iraq, and it may precipitate another one with Iran. Anything that weans us off that foreign energy and makes us self-dependent I think is a better thing in the short term. He definitely needs some more data.

Kerry: Utilities must act

Letter in the Washington Post

John Kerry had a letter in today's Washington Post:

Brit's Eye View: New prime minister steps up to the plate

A glimpse of environmental policies to come from Gordon Brown

Peter Madden, chief executive of Forum for the Future, writes a monthly column for Gristmill on sustainability in the U.K. and Europe. Britain has a new prime minister. After leading the country for 10 years, Tony Blair has stepped down. Gordon Brown, Blair's number two for the past decade, takes up the reins. Brown is viewed as solid and dependable, if a little dour. He is slightly to the left of Blair on most issues, though he has also pushed through a lot of business-friendly policies. Gordon Brown is notoriously difficult to read; he gives very little of himself away. So what can we expect on the environment from a Brown premiership?

Al Gore's call to action

An editorial in the NYT

Al Gore: … we should demand that the United States join an international treaty within the next two years that cuts global warming pollution by 90 percent in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy Earth. … We should aim to complete this global treaty by the end of 2009 — and not wait until 2012 as currently planned. … A new treaty will still have differentiated commitments, of course; countries will be asked to meet different requirements based upon their historical share or contribution to the problem and …

U.S. House takes first step toward passing 'Green Jobs Act Of 2007'

Bill passes House; now on to conference committee

Hooray! This week Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (CA-32) officially became the most important environmental heroine you've never heard of. Solis, a Latina Congresswoman from Los Angeles, introduced the Green Jobs Act of 2007 (H.R. 2847). The Act represents a smart, far-sighted effort to fight pollution and poverty at the same time by creating federally-funded job training within the green economy. Guess what? On Wednesday, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee passed her bill by a bipartisan vote of 26 to 18. This is the first step in the House toward providing job training every year for about 35,000 U.S. workers (and would-be workers) in green and clean industries. The Act would help to meet green industry's demand for a skilled "green-collar" workforce in areas like solar panel installation, building weatherization, wind farm construction, etc. And it will help create green pathways out of poverty for those seeking job opportunities in the booming green economy. Similar legislation was offered as an amendment to H.R. 6 by Sens. Sanders and Clinton and passed by voice vote this month. For decades, Congress has been bogged down in a stale debate: "Should we grow the economy or protect the environment?" Solis is leading the Congress to embrace a new approach. She is saying: "Let's grow the economy by protecting the environment." For more information about the Green Jobs Act, you can contact Megan J. Uzzell. She is Congresswoman Solis' awesome Legislative Director (megan.uzzell[at]mail.house.gov). And to learn more about Congresswoman Solis's work, please visit her webpage or view clips of Congresswoman Solis at work. We at the Ella Baker Center -- as well as the National Apollo Alliance, Center for American Progress, the Workforce Alliance, and many other organizations -- are proud to support Congresswoman Solis, Congressman John Tierney (D-MA), Congressman George Miller (D-CA), and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as they lead this important effort. Here is the press release George Miller's office put out yesterday:

House Party

U.S. House works on energy bill, passes Interior appropriations bill The House of Representatives is gettin’ jiggy with eco-legislation this week. On Wednesday, it passed a bill declaring that — gasp! — global warming is a “reality,” and mandated funding for climate research. The House hopes to pass comprehensive energy legislation by July 4; proposals on the table include tough efficiency standards for lighting and appliances, smart-grid incentives, expansion of biofuels research, and funding for carbon capture and storage (shockingly, and wonderfully, not applying to coal-to-liquid technology). However, the various proposals exclude any mention of fuel-economy standards or biofuel production …

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