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Aaawkwaaard [sing-song voice]

Which is more painful, Giuliani's line that we can deal with global warming through energy independence or Romney's line that it's not "American warming" but "global warming"? (A question for the Mittster: if, as you say, tackling this problem is going to enrich our economy, our environment, and our national security, why on earth would we wait for China to act? Seems like we'd want to get right on that, no?) (Thanks LL!)

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Second-to-last issue of the Bali ECO newsletter

Issue #10 if the Bali ECO is here (PDF). You may need to read between the lines a bit if you haven't been following the negotiations. But it's not hard.

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Yet more energy bill woes

This may seem narrow and technical, but it's actually extremely significant: The White House has raised last-minute concerns over regulation of automobile emissions and fuel economy that aides said Tuesday could lead to a presidential veto of the energy bill now before Congress. The bill, which passed the House and is pending in the Senate, requires automakers to meet a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, but does not specify which government agency should enforce the new rule. Primary regulation of mileage standards has historically fallen to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an arm of the …

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Energy bill to be voted on in Senate tomorrow

Some days are uneventful, with little but the promise of extra pie for dessert to get you through. And then ... some days are pivots upon which the course of history turns, moments in time when each of us are called upon to decide the kind of future we want for ourselves and our children, and take to the ramparts. Tomorrow is one such day. Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on a revised energy bill. Negotiators have jettisoned the renewable electricity standard (RES) and altered some of the revenue-raising tax provisions to make it more palatable to oil-aligned senators and …

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The sad state of Bush’s science advice

Most science advisers have taken as their job to inform the president and his administration, as well as Congress, the media, and the public, of the thinking of the scientific community on key science issues of the day. Bush's advisor, John H. Marburger III, takes the opposite view. He believes his job is to inform (misinform? disinform?) the scientific community, as well as Congress, the media, and the public, of the "thinking" of the Bush Administration on key science issues. In 2006, he summed up the "technology, technology, blah, blah" strategy of Luntz/Bush: It's important not to get distracted by …

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The economic benefits of going green

Earlier this week, senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, Dan Weiss, went on CNBC to discuss "the economic benefits of going green" as it relates to the energy bill currently in Congress. Weiss, a strong advocate of the clean energy provisions, went head to head with Max Schultz of the Manhattan Institute, whose sole platform was costs. The unjustifiably controversial renewable portfolio standard was the heart of the debate. As Weiss pointed out, half of the states in the union have already adopted their own renewable energy standard. Yet Schultz claimed a nationwide …

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Greenpeace India points out the obvious

The taxi driver that took me from the Bali airport to my hotel in Nusa Dua, the secure "green zone" where the climate negotiations are taking place, didn't speak much English. Just well enough to say, haltingly, that he was "too stupid" to have a better job, he didn't drink, and he was very depressed because he was lonely, but too poor to get married. Oh, and that the Westin, where I was not staying, was the "best" place. Very "luxury." Very "Western." Now, about a week later, I've been in lots more cabs. I can report that Third World …

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Bush to ethanol industry: don’t worry, you’re gonna get your fat mandate

The stock market is a glorified casino, and I'm no betting man. Plus I'm broke. But if I were flush and even a bit of a gambler, I'd be buying up shares in ethanol companies and corporations that sell inputs to corn farmers. Why? Because every U.S. politician who matters seems determined to engineer conditions that will make corn-based ethanol production triple over the next several years, reaching what most people consider its maximum of 15 billion gallons. The House and the Senate are divided over the energy bill, but both chambers have signed off on one aspect: a mandate …

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U.S. and allies are, as expected, stick-in-the-muds at Bali conference

Bali update: The latest draft of negotiations is said to still contain text saying that developed nations should cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The U.S., Japan, Canada, and Australia are against said provision, non-binding as it is; it will likely be removed by the end of the week, as final guidelines must be unanimous. The European Union has been pushing a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Fahrenheit, but is highly unlikely to get that into a final document. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Bali to preside …

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HRC taps a CAFO champion as co-chair of Rural Americans for Hillary

"A lot of pig shit is one thing; a lot of highly toxic pig shit is another. The excrement of Smithfield hogs is hardly even pig shit: On a continuum of pollutants, it is probably closer to radioactive waste than to organic manure. The reason it is so toxic is Smithfield's efficiency. The company produces 6 billion pounds of packaged pork each year. That's a remarkable achievement, a prolifigacy unimagined only two decades ago, and the only way to do it is to raise pigs in astonishing, unprecedented concentrations." -- Jeff Tietz, "Boss Hog," Rolling Stone, Dec. 14, 2006 Why …

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