Waxman-Markey Bill’s Tentative Compromise on Renewable Energy Offers a Weak Standard

When Representatives Waxman and Markey introduced their energy bill concept, they included a requirement that utilities deliver 25% renewable-derived power by 2025.  According to the New York Times, a tentative agreement with Democrats unenthusiastic with the orginial proposal would reduce the target to 15% by 2020. And the 15% gets watered down even further.  States …

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Is dam removal in the offing on the Lower Snake River?

For most of two decades, environmentalists have sought removal of four federal dams on the Lower Snake River for the sake of the northwest’s wild salmon runs. So far, they have been stymied by the agencies that operate the dams — the Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power Administration — and local utility and industry …

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Nominee for key USDA post

President Obama has nominated Homer Lee Wilkes, a career employee of the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and currently the head of NRCS’s Mississippi office, to become undersecretary for natural resources and environment. That’s a key post for environmental policy because it oversees the US Forest Service as well as the much smaller NRCS. The …

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Climate bill has votes to get through key House panel, says Waxman

Breaking news: Greenwire (via the New York Times) and Grist.com are reporting that Rep. Henry Waxman said tonight he “believe[s] we’ll have the votes for passage” to move his climate bill through the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  (The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Rep. Waxman “expects” to have sufficient votes but takes a tone of skepticism.) Waxman …

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“Smoking gun” OMB memo on EPA climate change rulemaking is not what it seems

As Dan has mentioned, there has been a bit of a dust-up over a document in EPA’s rulemaking docket relating to EPA’s recent finding that greenhouse gases pose an endangerment to public health and welfare.  As Dan notes, the memo, apparently originating at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is harshly critical …

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Breaking News: Interior Nominee Blocked

HuffPost reports: Republicans have blocked President Barack Obama’s pick for the No. 2 job at the Interior Department because of a flap over oil leases in Utah. In a 57-39 Senate vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they would have needed to advance the nominee past GOP obstacles. It’s the first time Republicans …

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Going to the Dogs? Unfair Attacks on Cass Sunstein

A lot of environmentalists are uncomfortable about Cass Sunstein’s appointment as “regulatory czar” at OMB.  Reasonable people may differ about the validity of those concerns.  But now he’s been attacked from another direction — conservatives eager to paint him as an animal-rights fanatic who wants to ban hunting.  For instance, For one particularly colorful attack, …

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Environmental Hypocrisy

Recently, CBS’s 60 Minutes ran a story on the current environmental damages litigation 30,000 Ecuadorians are bringing in that country’s courts against Chevron.  The case arises out the toxic oil wastes a Chevron subsidiary left behind in the Ecuadorian rain forest following decades of oil production deep in the headwaters of the Amazon. The plaintiffs, …

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Ditching cap and trade (the phrase, not the proposal)

Looks like the White House is taking note of the same polling data Dan blogs about here on the public’s antipathy toward, or misunderstanding of, the phrase “cap and trade”.  This from the LA Times, in a story generally chronicling the administration’s efforts to figure out the best language and framing for its climate policies: …

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Pika next test for the ESA?

If you think the polar bear wrangling has been fun, stay tuned. FWS has announced that it will review the status of the American pika to determine if listing is warranted (hat tip: EarthJustice). The pika, also known as the “rock rabbit,” is a cute little creature found in the mountains of the western U.S. …

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