Politics

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 …

Grist gets results

When I interviewed Richard Louv — author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder — back in 2006, he jokingly said, "If we were really interested in education reform we’d have a ‘No Child Left Inside’ movement." Well lookee here: John Sarbanes (D-Md.) has just introduced the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007. (via GreenOptions)

Cost containment for the carbon market: A step toward cap-and-trade

Moderate senators are ready to get on board

As Joe mentioned yesterday, four moderate-to-conservative senators — John Warner (R-Va.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) — just proposed a measure to achieve "Cost-Containment for the Carbon Market." I wanted to spend a bit of time on what’s in it and what it means. You might think, given the business-friendly senators involved, that the measure’s going to be a gimmick to let industries off the hook. Happily, it was jointly developed with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, a sharp new outfit at Duke University. It appears to be a credible attempt to devise …

A better idea than the 'safety valve'

Borrowing and banking carbon — the new black

So you want to have greenhouse gas standards with teeth, but you want to minimize the risk they take too big a bite from the economy. And, of course, like me, you don't like the safety valve idea. What do you do? Banking and borrowing, of course. With "banking," the right to emit carbon can be saved for future use. With "borrowing," current emissions are extended against future abatement. What is fascinating is that today a detailed banking and borrowing proposal, "Cost-Containment for the Carbon Market," was put forward by four moderate senators -- Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and John Warner (R-Va.) -- with the help of Duke University's environmental program. A Greenwire piece (sub. req) notes "a top environmental group also didn't shy away from the latest idea": "This is an interesting proposal to help address cost concerns while maintaining the integrity of the emissions cap," said David Doniger, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Borrowing and repayment is far preferable to the safety valve, which breaks the cap by allowing firms to increase emissions with no payback requirement. I agree. Kudos to the Senators for moving the debate forward. Here are more excerpts from the piece:

Lieberman-Warner bill — draft language

Available here.

Lieberman-Warner hearing, liveblogged

Oh, the excitement!

Speaking of the Lieberman-Warner hearing on carbon legislation: it’s going on right now, and Brad over at HillHeat is liveblogging it.

EPA economic analysis of cap-and-trade program

Like Christmas for nerds

For the hardcore dorks out there, the U.S. EPA has just finished an extensive economic analysis of Senate Bill S.280, the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act. This analysis is likely to carry considerable weight as Lieberman and Warner put together their new cap-and-trade bill. I’m going to look at this a bit later and report back with details.

Energy and environment in the Democratic YouTube debate

Lots of good answers

I haven’t watched all of the YouTube/CNN Democratic debate yet. Early reviews are good, and from what I’ve seen it was unusually substantive and spontaneous, but I agree with Josh Marshall that some of the cutesy videos tarnished the dignity of the proceedings a bit. There were three questions on energy and environment. How can we reduce America’s energy consumption? Gravel is loopy; Dodd is solid but kinda boring; Cooper indulges in a silly gotcha. How will we stop global warming? (A silly cartoon? Are you kidding me?) Kucinich goes the hell off. Do you support nuclear power? Edwards knocks …

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