Politics

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?

The Middle East

NYT: The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq. Discuss.

Congestion pricing saves more than it costs

Bloomberg’s law: Environment equals economic growth

This guest essay comes from Steven Cohen and Jacob Victor. Steven Cohen is executive director of Columbia University's Earth Institute and director of its Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs. Jacob Victor is an intern at Columbia's Earth Institute. After overcoming numerous obstacles in Albany, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial congestion-pricing plan finally appears to be slowly moving forward. Thanks to a last-minute deal between Bloomberg and the leaders of the state Assembly, it is almost certain that New York will receive a $500 million federal grant to fund the equipment and upgrade mass transit in order to begin the program. While New York City has not been given permission to charge tolls to enter Manhattan south of 86th street, the first steps in implementing congestion pricing were authorized by New York state's famously dysfunctional state government.

Boxer Sticks It to Johnson

Senate hearing probes EPA chief’s delay on tailpipe decision Can U.S. states enact stricter tailpipe regulations than the feds? That question has been hovering in the air since California requested a waiver from the U.S. EPA in late 2005. Why no answer yet? At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing yesterday, EPA head Stephen Johnson said the delay is due to a “rigorous analysis” of 60,000 public comments. But committee chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said some 53,000 of the comments were a mass mailing supporting the waiver, and Johnson’s position is weak. “When history is written, I …

At Last, Some Consensus

House votes today on universally despised farm bill Today finds the House scrambling to pass its controversial version of the 2007 farm bill. And by controversial, we mean everyone hates it — Democrats, Republicans, and the White House. The $286 billion package, which contains about $42 billion in subsidies, ends subsidies to farmers with an income of over $1 million, down from $2.5 million. Some Democrats want to lower that cap further, and other Dems worry that the bill doesn’t contain enough funding for conservation and nutrition. Republicans are upset about a proposed tax on the American holdings of overseas …

Economic effect of cap-and-trade: A wager

Will you take it?

So, Reuters took a look at the EPA’s economic analysis of the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act (so I didn’t have to!). In case your memory is hazy, the CSA is a cap-and-trade bill that would cut emissions 65% by 2050. Here’s the nut: The EPA found that the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007 would shave up to 1.6 percent, or $419 billion, off a baseline forecast for U.S. gross domestic product in 2030 and up to 3.2 percent, or $1.332 trillion, by 2050. That is, by any reasonable measure, a modest price to pay. Even so, I bet …

Cheney suppressed evidence of market manipulation in California power crisis

New investigative report

Don’t miss Jason Leopold’s crack investigative reporting on Truthout today: This story is based on a two-month investigation into Cheney’s energy task force; how the vice president pressured cabinet officials to conceal clear-cut evidence of market manipulation during California’s energy crisis, and how that subsequently led Cheney to exert executive privilege when lawmakers called on him to turn over documents related to his meetings with energy industry officials who helped draft the National Energy Policy and also gamed California’s power market. Truthout spoke with more than a dozen former officials from the Energy Department and FERC as well as current …

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