Energy and Environment Issues in the House

According to Energy and Environment Daily, House members have organized to promote energy and climate legislation “Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) are co-chairmen of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a new caucus designed to push for policies that promote renewable energy and domestic manufacturing, create “green collar” jobs, help curb global …

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More accusations of politics trumping science and law at Interior

The Washington Post reports that officials at the Department of Interior ignored “key scientific findings” and the views of National Park Service officials “when they limited water flows in the Grand Canyon to optimize generation of electric power there, risking damage to the ecology of the spectacular national landmark.”  The Post story, written by Juliet …

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Getting U.S. Automakers Real

One footnote to yesterday’s historic announcement by President Obama on national climate change policy: in signaling that the federal government will reverse course and support California’s pioneering efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicular sources, the role of the American auto industry in this debate deserves renewed scrutiny. 

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A Wavering Federal Policy on Climate Change?

President Obama yesterday made official (sort of) his plan to fulfill a campaign pledge to grant the State of California authority to adopt pioneering greenhouse gas emission controls for vehicular sources.  That announcement, while expected, is a breath of fresh air when it comes to state-federal environmental policymaking.  It comes after eight frustrating years in …

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The perfect political storm

Co-blogger Dan Farber points to a story in Tuesday’s NY Times about a new study by NOAA’s Susan Solomon and others of the environmental effects of allowing carbon dioxide to equilibrate at levels much above its current 385 ppm.  As Dan points out, the prospects for already dry areas are frightening. There’s another important lesson …

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Dust Bowl Redux

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqiblXFlZuk]According to a story in Tuesday’s New York Times: The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, projects that if carbon dioxide concentrations peak at 600 ppm, several regions of the world — including southwestern North America, the Mediterranean and southern Africa — will face major droughts as bad or …

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Engaging India on Climate

Via the Times of India, along comes the news that the state of Himachal Pradesh, just south of Kashmir, says that it will present a plan to become a carbon-neutral state. I’ll believe it when I see it, although the state seems to have a reasonable business strategy: reforest thousands of acres and sell carbon …

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The Awesome Power of the Blogosphere

Very early this morning, the good folks at the Northwestern Law Review published my article suggesting that the US Trade Representative serve as the lead agency for subsequent international climate change negotiation. A few hours later, President Obama announced that Todd Stern will serve as his international climate change representative, and work under Hillary Clinton …

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New federal appointees’ sharp differences will make EPA/OMB relationship one to watch

As Dan notes in an earlier post, Cass Sunstein has been selected to direct the White House office that oversees regulation by agencies, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and budget.   An in-depth article  in today’s Los Angeles Times discusses the controversy over his nomination among environmental and labor advocates.  From the Times: …

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Lisa Heinzerling to EPA

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has appointed Georgetown law professor Lisa Heinzerling to be her chief advisor on climate change.  Heinzerling was editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review and clerked for Judge Richard Posner.  She co- authored Priceless, a critique of cost benefit analysis,  and also wrote the lead brief for the plaintiffs in …

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