Politics

Conservative conservationists?

There’s a coalition waiting

Not trying to play into stereotype, but my guess is that most people on Grist aren't regular readers of National Review. I am. And the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Cato Unbound, Reason, and many other right-leaning publications. I often disagree with what they say, but as I tell my students, understanding those you disagree with is more important than understanding those whose opinions you share. Also, every so often you come across an article like this, and you realize that sound environmental policy shouldn't be a left-right issue. The things most damaging to the environment are actually anti-market distortions such as subsidies and the incorrect pricing of polluting activities. If environmentalists can develop a strong grasp of these fundamental economic principles they will realize that there is a huge potential bipartisan coalition just waiting to be formed that will make huge strides and can accomplish most of their goals.

Hillary's new energy bill

Decent

Today, Hillary Clinton addressed the Apollo Alliance to introduce some new legislation that would call for a Strategic Energy Fund. Here’s where the fund would get its money: The legislation eliminates oil company tax breaks and ensures that they pay their fair share of royalties for drilling on public lands. The legislation also places a temporary fee on major oil company profits that exceed a 2000-2004 profit baseline. The fee would be in place for two years, and companies could offset their fee by investing in alternative energy technologies such as ethanol and wind power. The Strategic Energy Fund would …

If At First You Don’t Secede

Five western states form regional climate-change partnership Citing a federal leadership void, the governors of five western U.S. states have formed a regional partnership to cut greenhouse gases and fight climate change. The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, which includes Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, will create a regional target for cuts over the next six months and a market-based plan for meeting the goal within 18 months. Like the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the partnership “shows the power of states to lead our nation addressing climate change,” says California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), whom we just …

Detroit Should Get an Award for Ending Every List

New report ranks U.S. cities on environmental and social realities A new report ranks 72 U.S. cities on their greenness — but we’re not talking just parks and bike paths. The Urban Environment Report, put out by the Washington, D.C.-based Earth Day Network, includes a “vulnerable population index” that takes into account the segment of a city’s population that is most susceptible to environmental changes, including those who are unemployed and uninsured. “This study is the first of its kind, not only because of the sheer quantity of environmental data analyzed, but also because it redefines the term ‘environmental’ to …

What, Me Warring?

President Bush visits North Carolina lab, burbles about alternative fuels Tired of explaining why other countries are pulling troops out of Iraq, President Bush switchgrassed to a favorite topic yesterday: alternative energy. A photo op at a North Carolina research facility saw the Commander in Chief don a lab coat, squint thoughtfully at a jar o’ science, and proclaim, “Fission accomplished.” OK, we made that quote up, but the rest is true. Bush used his visit to Novozymes North America, which is developing enzymes to make cellulosic ethanol, to tout his carefully nuanced vision of America’s future: “I like the …

Don’t Just Kiss Our Babies

New Hampshire climate activists take advantage of election spotlight The wee state of New Hampshire hopes to take advantage of its front-running primary election to make climate change a priority at the federal level. In March or thereabouts, at least 180 communities, constituting more than 75 percent of the state, will vote on a resolution that calls for the feds to get off their arses and support a national greenhouse-gas reduction program and sustainable-energy research. The (hopefully favorable) results will be compiled by the nonpartisan Carbon Coalition — composed of greens, business groups, scientists, and others — and presented to …

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