Politics

The hole truth

EPA proposes new regulations for injecting carbon into the ground

The EPA released a proposal for a new rule on Tuesday that lays some of the groundwork needed to get carbon capture and storage technology up and running. If formally adopted, the new rule would create a new class of injection wells under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control program. There are currently five different types of wells; this would add a sixth for those created to store carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The rules would guide the siting, constructing, testing, monitoring, and funding of these underground chambers. They would apply to owners and …

Nothing Newt under the sun

Gingrich’s ‘grassroots’ drilling campaign is funded by Big Oil, report says

*Several corrections have been made to the original post to fix inaccuracies in the report from Alaska Wilderness League. “Green conservative” Newt Gingrich is scheduled to deliver his “Drill here, drill now, pay less” petition to Congress today. According to his American Solutions website, more than 1.3 million people have signed the petition. But who’s funding the campaign that Gingrich is touting as a grassroots, bipartisan effort? Turns out a large portion of the money behind his organization comes from Big Oil, according to a new report [PDF] from the Alaska Wilderness League. The group analyzed the donors to Gingrich’s …

Come health or high water

EPA scientists spell out dangers of climate change while EPA chief delays action

While EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and the rest of the Bush administration have decided to run out the clock on regulating greenhouse-gas emissions, EPA scientists have released their own document [PDF] detailing the health risks posed by a warming planet, including wildfires, smog, disease, and an increased number of heat-related deaths. The 149-page endangerment analysis outlines the risks that global warming poses to human health, as well as air quality, sea levels, food production, water resources, forests, ecosystems, and wildlife. “Risk increases with increases in both the rate and magnitude of climate change,” the document states. It supports the notion …

Hog heaven, part 2

Climate action requires leadership beyond political ‘reasonableness’

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. Let's face it: The Bush Administration has made a mess of things, as noted in "Hog heaven, part 1." It is now clear, if it hasn't been all along, that by the time George Bush leaves office, the White House will have wasted eight years of leadership on the Mother of All Issues. If those eight years are a profound disappointment looking backward, then they are a profound tragedy looking forward. The head of the IPCC is spreading the message that the world community has seven short years to act decisively to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Dr. John Holdren is among the prestigious U.S. scientists who now say more openly that the effects of climate change already are upon us. Dr. Jim Hansen now estimates that atmospheric concentrations of carbon must level off at 350 ppm, nearly 30 percent lower than everyone thought was needed to keep climate change at "safe" levels. Anyone who's paying attention sees that the impacts of global warming are occurring much faster than predicted. If this year's weather extremes are a sample of climate change, how much worse will they be 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years from now, as today's rising and accumulating emissions take their toll?

Fighting the full court press

Cost-benefit analysis can help environmentalists battle offshore drilling

In a time of fiscal crisis, environmentalists will have to make a strong case against the economic wisdom of offshore oil drilling to ensure that Congress does not pay dearly for its continued opposition.

Strategy 101 for greenhouse-gas deniers

Using doubt to compete with a scientific body of fact

This will come as no surprise to Grist readers, but it's nice to see it in mainstream print. The Chicago Tribune had a nice piece in the Sunday paper articulating how those on the wrong side of science have consistently used doubt as a strategy to maintain a scientifically-uninformed policy. In particular, note that:

Hog heaven, part 1

Increased offshore drilling does not substitute for national energy policy

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. When it comes to energy policy, Amory Lovins has proven again and again that he's a pretty smart guy. At the moment, nothing seems more insightful than one of Amory's comments in the May/June issue of Mother Jones. Asked what energy policies the next president should champion, Lovins was skeptical. He believes energy policy will continue to be made not at the national level, but by communities and states. "With modest exceptions," Amory said, "our federal energy policy is really a large trough arranged by the hogs for their convenience." Right now, the hogs are eating very, very well. With voters struggling from record prices for gasoline and all of the products made from petroleum and with no end in sight, the oil companies are pushing for more leases to drill for more oil on more public lands. President Bush, Big Oil's special friend in the White House, is pushing for more drilling, too, as are a number of people in Congress. At the moment, most Democrats on the Hill seem to be holding fast against this strategy -- but there's an election coming up.

Tanks, but no tanks

Bush to lift executive ban on offshore drilling signed by his father

President George Bush will announce this afternoon that he is lifting the executive ban on offshore drilling that has been in place since his father, George H.W. Bush, signed an executive order as president in 1990. The move is mostly symbolic, however. Unless Congress repeals its long-standing ban on offshore drilling, nothing will change. The executive order Bush intends to repeal bans oil companies from exploratory drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. Last month, Bush called on Congress to first lift its ban, which has been in place since 1981. At a press conference this morning, White House Press Secretary …

Czar Schwarzenegger?

California governor says he’d be willing to serve in Obama’s cabinet

On ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, California’s Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a McCain supporter, suggested that he’d be willing to serve as “energy czar” for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Host George Stephanopoulos asked the governor about a report that he attributed to Newsweek that said Obama would consider Schwarzenegger for a cabinet post, possibly one dealing with energy and environmental issues. Here’s the exchange: Stephanopoulos: If he were president and he called, you would at least take that call? Schwarzenegger: I would take his call now, I will take his call when he’s President. Any time. Remember, no matter who …

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