You win summit, you lose summit

Not everyone jazzed about the G8 climate agreement

While G8 leaders are touting yesterday’s climate agreement in Hokkaido as “a significant step forward,” enviros and other world leaders are scoffing at the very idea that any progress was made. G8 leaders agreed yesterday to “consider and adopt” the goal of cutting emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050, though they didn’t agree on how to reach those goals, or any of the other particulars that would need to be hashed out in a global deal. U.S. Climate Action Network (CAN) has rounded up some of the less-than positive responses to yesterday’s climate agreement at the G8 summit. …

Goode grief

Virginia candidates split on personal transit choices

Rep. Virgil Goode, the incumbent Republican in Virginia’s 5th District, appeared in a Scottsville, Va. Fourth of July parade last week accompanied by a Hummer H3. His opponent in this year’s House race, Tom Perriello (D), appeared on a float pulled by a biodiesel-fueled tractor. Perriello fans put together a video highlighting the candidates’ automotive choices:

The Obama-vore's Dilemma

Alice Waters: Dem candidate gets it on food issues

I read once that during the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy met Norman Mailer, already a lion of American letters. If I remember correctly, Kennedy let slip that his favorite novel was Mailer’s The Deer Park — thus establishing his impeccable taste and intellectual rigor in the eyes of that mercurial novelist. Mailer went on to write about Kennedy as a kind of existential hero, doing his bit to burnish the Camelot mystique. A similar event has evidently happened regarding Barack Obama and the sustainable-food movement. Check out the video below — Berkeley icon Alice Waters regaling a crowd …

Top Dems in Congress open to possible compromise deal on offshore drilling

Some key Democrats in Congress have said they’re willing to work out a compromise deal to open some offshore areas in U.S. waters to oil and gas drilling. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he’s “open to drilling and responsible production.” He also said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might also support limited offshore expansion. Though opening offshore areas to production wouldn’t actually lower oil or gasoline prices until about 2030 (and even then only slightly), Congress folk are under heavy pressure from constituents to do something (or even just look like they’re doing something) to …

Notable quotable

Oil in the ocean: light as a feather!

“These [oil] firms have learned a lot over the past two decades and three decades about their ability to go out and put a platform in water and extract oil and do it in a way that they’re not causing any environmental harm at all.” – White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto

Cheney reaction

Ex-EPA official details White House interference on climate action

In a letter [PDF] made public today, former deputy EPA administrator Jason Burnett indicates that both the Office of the Vice President and the Council on Environmental Quality have attempted to censor discussion of the consequences that global warming poses to human health.   Burnett, who went public about the administration’s obstruction after leaving the EPA in early June, detailed the interference in a letter to Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer responding to an inquiry [PDF] she sent to him last week. In the letter, which was made public today, Burnett outlines several instances of White House interference …

Energy ad wars begin

New Obama ad knocks McCain’s energy policy

Barack Obama’s campaign has released a new ad to counter those from the Republican National Committee criticizing his energy plan. Obama’s ad, called “New Energy,” accuses opponent John McCain of being “part of the problem” and hits on his support of drilling and tax breaks for oil companies. The ad says that energy independence is an “urgent priority” for the Democratic candidate, and notes his plans to invest in alternative energy and tax cuts for the middle class to help cover rising fuel costs: The ads are running in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

E.U. committee vote signals backstep from biofuels

The European Union took another step back from biofuels late Monday, as the Parliament’s environment committee approved 36-0 a proposal to lower the E.U.’s original target for biofueled transportation. The committee’s proposal would have the E.U. source just 4 percent of transportation fuels from biomass by 2015, then do a major review before jumping to the current target of 10 percent by 2020. The measure now moves to the full Parliament. The committee is in an advisory role and the proposal holds little legislative weight on its own, but the vote signals a significant shying away from full-speed-ahead biofuel boosting, …

Summit of its parts

Bush administration, other G8 leaders agree to halve emissions by 2050

Today at the G8 summit, which began yesterday in Hokkaido, Japan, world leaders reached a landmark deal: agreeing to cut emissions in half by 2050. The leaders agreed to “seriously consider” this goal last year, and six of the eight leaders have been trying desperately to get George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper — who continued to resist mandatory cuts as of Monday — on board. That is, until a breakthrough today. Well, sort of: The Bush administration agreed to the 50-percent-by-2050 goal while still bucking at the idea of any shorter-term targets. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised …

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