A roundup of environmental news from the presidential race
• The Wall Street Journal spazzes out about Obama adviser Jason Grumet’s assertion that a President Obama would fight climate change under the Clean Air Act if Congress doesn’t move to address the issue within 18 months. Obama, the paper fears, would wield the EPA’s “so-called ‘endangerment finding’ on carbon … as a political bludgeon” and allow the EPA to move forward with a “unilateral carbon crackdown.” “That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress,” writes the editorial board.
• IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri said that electing Obama would help progress on an international climate treaty. “If Obama is elected, and this seems more likely, this would create positive momentum” for the upcoming climate talks in Poland and Denmark, Pachauri told Bloomberg.
• Andrew Revkin has this piece on the presidential candidates and climate, highlighting the fact that they both agree that climate change should be acted upon. “Such rare agreement has both industry and environmental groups expecting a big shift, no matter who is elected, on three fronts where the United States has been largely static for eight years: climate legislation, expansion of nonpolluting energy sources and leadership in global talks on fashioning a new climate treaty,” he writes. Yet he warns, “[Q]uick progress could be held hostage to the financial crisis and the prospect of a worldwide recession.”
• Politico talked to William Antholis, managing director of the Brookings Institution, about energy, the environment, their national security implications, and the presidential election. “The next administration will see climate change becoming the single most important thing the [Environmental Protection Agency] does, maybe even folded into the Department of Energy,” said Antholis.
• Newsday brings us a story on the presidential candidates and climate, leading with the premise that “[a]fter years of federal inaction on global warming, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have made confronting climate change the focus of their environmental and energy plans.” If that’s indeed true, one wonders how much longer reporters will give unexamined credence to the sort of argument found later in the article from a resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute: “Cap-and-trade is essentially an economic cap that will raise the cost of energy and everything associated with it.”
• Alternet offers up a progressive voter guide to the environment, looking at where the candidates stand on 10 green issues.
• The Associated Press looks at Sarah Palin’s environmental record in Wasilla and as governor, noting that “her pro-business mind-set often puts her at odds with environmentalists.” Reporter Matt Apuzzo notes, however, that “when thinking green did not jeopardize jobs or growth, she has been a leader” — calling for $250 million in renewable energy research and $60 million in consumer rebates for home energy efficiency.