Politics

Person of the Year

Bush beats Gore, again!

Until last week, this long-beloved annual tradition seemed to be a lock for one person -- Nobel laureate, itinerant educator, and media superstar Al Gore. Sadly, he only makes first runner-up this year. Like Time magazine, our Person of the Year is awarded to the person or group who "for better or for worse ... has done the most to influence the events of the year" in the climate arena. By single-handedly stopping any international action on climate at Bali, by stopping California from regulating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions, by forcing Congress to drop almost all non-oil-related provisions to cut GHGs from the energy bill -- all in one week! -- one man proved his unchallenged high-impact misleadership on the issue of the century: Dick Cheney George Bush.

The corn supremacy

A new piece on the insanity that is U.S. ethanol policy

I have an article in Salon on the insanity that is America's ethanol policy. The new energy bill sets this country on a path to finish the assault on the world food supply begun by the (even lamer) 2005 energy bill. As I explain, our ethanol policy does not help fight global warming, but it does threaten food supplies: In just the past two years, food prices have jumped 75 percent in real terms ... The Economist points out the amazing statistic that "the demands of America's ethanol program alone account for over half the world's unmet need for cereals." By law (the 2005 energy bill) we are going to increase corn ethanol production at least 50% over the next few years. And the new energy bill will probably require corn ethanol to triple from current levels! But current levels are already bringing havoc down on the global food market.

Tax incentives for clean energy not yet renewed — but probably will be

A renewal of tax incentives for building and installing clean energy sources was stripped from the recently signed energy bill, putting wind and solar boosters …

The %$@*! filibuster

Dems can’t overcome filibuster threats to get decent legislation — so what should they do?

I’ve talked to many, many people over the past few days who are struggling to figure out how to respond to the passage of the …

U.S. House passes toy safety bill with tightened lead standards

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill yesterday aimed at improving the safety of toys sold in the country. The bill lowers the …

Tom Tancredo dropping out of presidential race; dozens of Republicans mourn

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is expected to drop out of the race today, after months of trailing at the back of the pack in …

The Bush administration's hypocrisy on federalism

Bushies laud state policies when excusing inaction, shut them down when they threaten contributors

Back in 2003, the Bush administration sent a negotiating team to Milan for international climate talks. The lead negotiator, then as now, was Harlan Watson. …

U.S. EPA won’t let California enact vehicle greenhouse-gas limits

The U.S. EPA has denied California the waiver it needed to enact a state law requiring a 30 percent reduction in vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions by …

Johnson's nuts

Analysis of the EPA’s decision to deny California’s waiver

As I mentioned below, today the U.S. EPA denied California’s request for a waiver exempting it from federal fuel economy standards, allowing it to implement …