September 22, 2021

Most Important Climate and Energy Vote of Year Tests Senate Direction

Late last year when Senator Lisa Murkowski announced she would vigorously oppose any effort to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions, environmental leaders in Washington understood the significance of the Alaska Republican’s challenge. A loyal ally of fossil fuel developers, Senator Murkowski attracts more campaign financing from the oil and utility industries than all but two other Senate lawmakers, according to federal election records. The months-long skirnishing between Senator Murkowski and environmental …

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Oiled Dogs of May: Obama’s Gulf Crisis

Day 40. Great gouts of oil still rush from the ruptured BP well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. A frustrated president visits the scene of the disaster to literally dab his finger at a tar ball washed up on the Louisiana beach. Television news, enlivened by easy-to-get pictures, sets its stand-ups in strategic positions, broadcasting the drama of competition between spreading pollution and technological limits to a nation that clucks about the …

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Michigan: Where New U.S. Efficiency and Emissions Rules Really Count

On Friday, May 21, President Obama gathered in the Rose Garden the chiefs of his transportation and environmental departments to take the next big step to leverage federal climate policy and clean energy investment to spur new job growth. The president directed Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to draw up new rules that make heavy trucks much more fuel-efficient and produce less global warming gases. “This standard will …

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Obama Makes Progress on Climate But Environmental Community Divided

President Obama on Friday directed the EPA and the Transportation Department to develop a national policy to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks in time for the 2014 model year. The action comes almost exactly one year (May 19, 2009) after President Obama set new fuel and emissions standards for new cars and light trucks sold in the United States beginning with the 2012 model year. The 2009 …

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Hour of Choosing Arrives: American Power Act Introduced

In a long-awaited proposal designed to secure existing domestic energy sources and develop new ones that begin to reverse the damaging effects of global climate change, New England Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman today introduced comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. The co-authors of the bill, one a Democrat from Massachusetts and the other an Independent from Connecticut, insisted that its vision is to change the direction of some of the nation’s toughest systemic …

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A Miserable Week

A week that began with a political blow – the disruption of the bipartisan Senate team drawing up climate and energy legislation – ended in environmental disaster. A vicious oil spill, produced by the explosion and sinking last week of the Deep Horizon drilling rig, inundated the Gulf shoreline and threatened to wreck the aquatic diversity that makes the Louisiana coast one of the world’s most productive fisheries. Twenty one years ago, as a reporter …

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Obama’s 3 Heaters, And A Wild Pitch

The Obama administration threw heaters this week to influence climate and energy policy and practices. The first announcement — to end a long-standing moratorium on offshore oil drilling — was seen as a wild pitch. The president said the Interior Department would open large swaths of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Alaskan coasts to oil and natural gas development. The drilling zone on the East Coast extends from Delaware to the central coast of Florida. The …

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McCain Blinks on Debating, The Bailout, WMD, And Our Responsibility

Listen up kids. This stuff just doesn’t happen but once in a lifetime.  Century-old billion dollar financial institutions crumbling in a matter of days. Nearly $100 billion bailouts decided in closed session by a tiny group of government bankers. An American political party tossing out the central tenets of the free-market, deregulatory, anti-tax, anti-government ideology that fostered its political ascendancy for nearly 30 years and is now backing a $700 billion taxpayer-financed government takeover of …

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Obama, His Shorthand, Energy, and the Frustration of Self-Interest

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of people I know out here in the Bay Area attended one of the San Francisco fundraisers more than a week ago, during which Barack Obama talked about white working class Americans in Pennsylvania and the Midwest who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” The comment attracted no attention at all among the liberal, well-heeled Democratic donors gathered in the  …

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