Politics

Oregon trail

Grist talks to Oregon Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Merkley

Oregon Senate candidate Jeff Merkley was in Austin for Netroots Nation, where he appeared on a panel about energy issues. Merkley is attempting to unseat Gordon Smith, the sole GOP senator on the West Coast, …

Bush admin proposes rules for domestic oil-shale development

The Bush administration today will propose rules for tapping the U.S.’s vast oil-shale deposits, estimated to hold up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Oil shale development is enormously expensive and spectacularly polluting, but …

What do Juneau?

Grist talks to Alaska Democratic Senate candidate Mark Begich

Anchorage’s Democratic mayor, Mark Begich, is challenging Republican incumbent Ted Stevens for his Senate seat this November. Begich, 46, is in his fifth year as mayor, and is the city’s first mayor actually born in …

Cape blind

A failure of leadership in the wind

This recently appeared in Wendy Williams' blog. She is coauthor of the book Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound, now out in paperback -- a fascinating and horrifying read. ----- I've been giving lots of talks about Cape Wind around the country, and I can tell you -- the American people are getting really angry. Both Democrats and Republicans are equally disgusted by what they read in our book about Cape Wind. At this point, they're angry about a lot more than Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney getting together behind the scenes or over dinner to plot about how to kill Cape Wind.

<em>USA Today</em> on Obama, on coal

Has the candidate’s stance shifted?

Obama loves coal! No, he’s a flip-flopper who’s ready to embrace policies that would hurt America’s coal industry and its many employees across the country. So which one is it? USA Today is the latest …

Score one for Dow Chemical

In the EPA’s Midwestern division, a pro-industry stalwart replaces a dioxin stickler

Back in May, Mary Gade found herself unceremoniously ousted from her post as Midwest regional administrator of the EPA. According to an excellent Chicago Tribune article by Michael Hawthorne, Gade had been locked in a …

Newt's got a song

Will Washington buy his brand of snake oil?

One of the all-time great episodes of The Simpsons is "Marge vs. the Monorail," written by Conan O'Brien. The EPA fines Mr. Burns for dumping nuclear waste, leading to an unexpected cash windfall for Springfield. Marge suggests spending the money to repair the town's tattered infrastructure. But just as her proposal is about to pass, a fast-talking charlatan named Lyle Lanley arrives and sells the ever-gullible people of Springfield on a plan to build a monorail, climaxing with the monorail song (sung to the tune of "Trouble" from The Music Man). As the monorail plan passes, Marge remains unconvinced: Marge: I still think we should have used the money to fix Main Street. Homer: Well, you should have written a song like that guy. Now Newt Gingrich is ready to march into the halls of Congress to deliver his petition on opening up more of America's public lands to oil and gas drilling. He even still has floor privileges, so you can almost imagine him marching through the House with Republican leadership trailing behind, chanting drill, drill, drill. But drilling wouldn't solve our problems any more than the monorail solved Springfield's. Fortunately, we couldn't ask for a less-beloved figure to be trying to lead the American people in a sing-a-long. Would you believe he's nearly as unpopular as Dick Cheney?

Speaker for yourself

Grist talks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi about climate and energy politics on the Hill

For House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), any action on climate change hinges on Barack Obama winning the White House this fall. Only the bully-pulpit of the presidency can hope to overcome the deep pockets of …

Next roots nation

Netroots Nation needs a reboot

Netroots Nation was a blast. It’s great to meet and hang out with people you spend all year interacting with as names on emails and blog posts. (As a side note, it’s been my experience …

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