Politics

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 …

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, …

Lieberman and Warner move closer to climate legislation

But what will it look like?

Sens. Lieberman (I) and Warner (R) are, as you may know, attempting to put together a global warming bill that can get through the Senate. …

The future is solar; politics is ethanol

Hillary pays tribute to Iowa politics

This is (bitterly) funny: As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton climbed onto a makeshift stage at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and embraced motor fuel from corn …

Make me change my ways

Individuals support policies they don’t live by voluntarily

Over at the New Yorker, James Surowiecki draws our attention to this oddity: The curious fact is that many people buying three-ton Suburbans for that …

Dear Nancy Pelosi: Deliver us a better Farm Bill

Now’s the time to speak up

Can an Armani-clad gal from the big city be the champion of the good farmer? After giving two thumbs up to the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill last Thursday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi's rise to rural populist hero-status seems as likely as old Bessie having twins. Said Pelosi: ... the bill represents a critical first step toward reform by eliminating payments to millionaires, closing loopholes that permit evasion of payment limits, and promoting our nation's family farmers. But Pelosi still has a chance to emerge as the defender of real farm bill reform. And why shouldn't she? After all, the farm bill is about food and taking care of the land. It impacts all of us whether you live in Schuyler, Nebraska or San Francisco.

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