Politics

One Giant Bleep for Mankind

Bush, Brazil sign controversial biofuels pact Faced with protests and anger at home? Why not escape to a place where you can take solace in … protests and anger. President Bush is making few friends in Brazil, on the first stop of a Latin American tour that will see him visit four other countries. But he does have a big ol’ friend in Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva: the two announced today that their countries have signed a pact that aims to boost ethanol production throughout the region. “It makes sense for us to collaborate for the sake …

Multiple-choice Mitt visits West Virginia …

… and touts coal. Bold!

Membership of the new House committee on global warming

All but one of the R’s voted against it

Pelosi has announced the membership of her new global warming committee. Here are the Democrats, appointed by Pelosi: Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Chairman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon Jay Inslee of Washington John Larson of Connecticut Hilda Solis of California Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri John Hall of New York Jerry McNerney of California Here are the Republicans, appointed by John Boehner: James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Ranking Member John Shadegg of Arizona Greg Walden of Oregon John Sullivan of Oklahoma Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee Candice Miller of Michigan Some 50 GOP members voted for the creation of …

Split over nuclear versus renewables threatens EU global warming pact

Spring summit underway

From an article in the Guardian: Divisions over nuclear power and renewable energy threatened to derail the EU's campaign to assume a global leadership role in the fight against climate change at the bloc's spring summit which began last night. [...] But France, backed by several east European countries, insisted carbon-free nuclear power be included within the EU energy mix and rejected [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel's proposal to make a 20 percent target for renewable energy binding on all 27 members. At his swansong summit, the outgoing French president Jacques Chirac insisted that he would only agree to binding energy targets if nuclear power were included and proposed that 45 percent of the mix come from non-fossil fuel sources. France gets 80 percent of its power from nuclear power plants.

House creates global warming committee

Vote passes easily

Today the House of Representatives voted to create the much-discussed committee on global warming: The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday passed a rule to create a committee that will focus on climate change. On a vote of 228-195, the House approved creation of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has been pushing for the committee as a way to raise public and lawmaker awareness of climate change. Congressional aides say Ms. Pelosi is likely to appoint Rep. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) an outspoken proponent of climate change policy, to chair the …

Wave of Futilation

U.S. House, at odds with White House, passes $1.7 billion wastewater bill The U.S. House made waves yesterday by passing the first of three water-quality bills it will consider this week. Faced with White House disapproval, feisty U.S. reps voted 367-58 to spend $1.7 billion over five years to modernize wastewater systems and stem sewage overflows across the country. The funding would be a drop in the bucket compared to the U.S. EPA’s estimate of a coming $300 billion to $400 billion shortfall in the country’s sadly neglected wastewater treatment infrastructure over the next two decades. “No American should have …

Vive la Discorde

E.U. leaders gather for summit, squabble over renewable-energy target As European Union leaders gather for a two-day summit that starts tomorrow, one question is dominating the agenda: what exactly did the Olsen twins buy on their recent Paris shopping spree? Once that’s answered, the heads of state will move on to more mundane topics like emissions cuts and renewable energy. While the summit is expected to result in an agreement to cut carbon emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 — and as much as 30 percent if other nations around the world agree to cuts — there’s strife …

The Hill Is Alive With the Sound of Musing

Pelosi and Boxer aim to green Capitol Hill Tired of talking the energy-efficiency talk in an eco-unfriendly setting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) are aiming to green Capitol Hill. On Friday, Pelosi wrote a letter directing the House chief administrative officer to look into implementing “the most up-to-date industry and government standards for green building and green operating procedures” in da House. Preliminary recommendations are due by the end of April, and may include thoughts on parking-lot materials, public transportation, and recycling. Boxer has set up a pilot program encouraging energy-efficient lighting in Senate offices, …

Like a spam filter for your mailbox

Knock that junk off

Washington state is one of a half dozen states considering legislation this year to create a "do not mail" list for residents, similar to the feds' popular "do not call" registry. And like the telemarketing industry's cries that it would be utterly destroyed and millions of contented telemarketers would be out of a job, similar forces are mobilizing against the "do not mail" bills, including the Direct Marketing Association, the mail carriers' union, and others who argue that junk mail is simultaneously essential, irreplaceable, and innocuous. Bollocks.

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