Renewable energy in the House

Do your part

It's game time for renewable energy in the House. First up is the federal renewable portfolio standard. HR 969, known as the Udall-Platts Amendment, would require utilities nationwide to increase the amount of renewables in their portfolio to 20 percent by 2020. It will be voted on in the House on Friday. Take action here.

Global warring

Are we a nation permanently at war?

In his interview with Grist, Dennis Kucinich urged us all to recognize the connection between global warming and global warring. In that spirit, I thought I’d pass along an astute observation from Glenn Greenwald, who on matters of media and war/terrorism is without peer. About this quote from Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), a conservative member of the DLC: Bill Clinton ordered our troops and worked with NATO in Bosnia. That’s the kind of pro-war Democrat that we ought to be: the war that we fight wisely, the ones that we engage in wisely. Greenwald says this: This is the most …

Green Jobs Act of 2007

Pelosi’s plan to save the polar bears — and poor kids, too …

There has been a lot of discussion about the energy package that is set to pass the U.S. House this week. But the media so far has missed one of the most interesting and innovative proposals that will be voted on: the Green Jobs Act of 2007. This ground-breaking legislation will make $120 million a year available across the country to begin training workers (and would-be workers) for jobs in the clean-energy sector. When the bill becomes law, 35,000 people a year will benefit from cutting-edge, vocational education in fields that could literally save the Earth.

Prez race '08: Jolie v. Pitt

Brangelina argue over politics

Ever wonder what Brangelina fight about? Turns out it’s Barack Obama. From a super credible news source: An insider close to the Pitt family said: “They got into a huge fight about politics (Brad supports Barack Obama, while Angie’s a John Edwards fan.) Brad ended up calling her immature. He says the next thing he knew, Angie was cursing at him and throwing a glass of wine in his face.” Brad, understandably, was speechless. “He was left standing there with wine dripping down his face onto his clothes, before storming off to wash up and change. He says he was …

For now, local politics is the way to effect ag-policy change

Over the past few years, grassroots support has swelled for new federal farm policies — ones that promote healthy, sustainably grown food, not the interests of a few agribusiness firms. Udder madness. Photo: iStockphoto The target of much of this organizing has been the 2007 farm bill. If past farm bill debates have been the concern of a small cadre of lobbyists and activists, this one has hit the mainstream. Informed farm bill discussions have turned up in newspapers’ food sections, general-interest magazines, and even the best-seller list, in the form of books like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and …

Dingell argues for a carbon tax

In a prominent op-ed

Today in the Washington Post, Rep. John Dingell has an op-ed arguing on behalf of a carbon tax: I apparently created a mini-storm last month when I observed publicly for at least the sixth time since February that some form of carbon emissions fee or tax (including a gasoline tax) would be the most effective way to curb carbon emissions and make alternatives economically viable. … A carbon tax or fee has been endorsed by President Bush’s former chief economic adviser, Greg Mankiw; Nobel Prize-winning conservative economist Gary Becker; the chief executive of the largest U.S. auto-dealer chain, Mike Jackson; …

Todd Willens and the Everglades

Pombo’s old hack buddy, still at it

At the behest of the U.S. delegation, the U.N. World Heritage Committee is taking Everglades National Park off its list of endangered sites, against the advice of the committee’s science advisors and the advice of the U.S. National Park Service. Who is the head of the U.S. delegation? Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Todd Willens. Who is Todd Willens? Former legislative director for Rep. Dick Pombo, former policy director of the House Resources Committee, and leader (with Pombo) of the fight to destroy the Endangered Species Act — a fight which is ongoing. (Also recipient of corrupt Abramoff money …

Where enviros can make a real difference

Learn to look down the ballot — waaaaaay down

Here's a story that's all too common: Right-wing dominated court; likes to pat itself on the back for being a "strict constructionalist" court that, regardless of its own justices' preferences, follows the commands of the legislature expressed in the plain words of the statutes. No "judge-made law" here, just the power of the people expressed through their elected representatives. Except not. Michigan's Environmental Policy Act gave "any person" the right to sue over environmental damages, allowing people to act as citizen attorneys-general because, as the pols in the 1970s recognized, elected AGs and appointed state bureaucrats often aren't actually all that interested in confronting contribution-wielding polluters. So, this year, the Michigan Supreme Court GOP majority took off its strict constructionalist hat and donned its liberal interpretation hat to decide that, well, "any person" doesn't mean what you might think it means.

Carbon- and nuclear-free America possible by 2050

Now that’s a 12-step program

A hopeful press release touting an even more hopeful (wishful?) report:

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