One for All — All for One?

The Huffington Post reports that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is seeking a single, comprehensive energy bill that establishes a strategy for deriving energy independence and fighting climate change.  She is quoted as saying “I would like to see one bill, which is the energy bill, with the cap and trade and the grid …

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Is Geoengineering Inevitable?

As I write, talk, teach and think about climate change seemingly non-stop these days, I frequently come back to the pessimistic conclusion that we cannot solve the climate problem through mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.  I have this pessimistic thought while believing wholeheartedly that we must enact aggressive policies to cut emissions dramatically. My pessimism stems …

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Bad ESA rules not yet undone

(Cross-posted at the Center for Progressive Reform blog.) The Bush administration’s last-minute ESA (non)consultation rule is getting almost as much attention now as it did during the comment period. Then, the administration reportedly received more than 300,000 comments, the vast majority of them negative. Those objections were, of course, quickly swept under the proverbial rug …

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Chocolate Coated Coal?

The Associated Press reports that Lindt USA (that’s right, the chocolate company) and Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) served up a new form of fuel on Tuesday when they mixed 18 tons of crushed cocoa bean shells with 600 tons of coal to power an electric power plant.  The shells are a byproduct of chocolate production, …

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The new American Dream

Anti-government conservatives have long ridiculed urban planners and environmentalists for their efforts to concentrate development in urban centers and limit the growth of sprawl. They argue that these ‘grand visionaries’ and urban planners are attempting to engineer top down control over consumers, who by and large desire the stereotypical American dream: a detached, single family …

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A pointed end to the Julie MacDonald era

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its revised critical habitat designation for the Canada lynx. (Hat tip, ESABlawg.) Back in the day when Julie MacDonald was serving Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, FWS had designated just over 1,800 square miles as lynx critical habitat. After MacDonald was forced out …

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New Standing Decision

The Supreme Court announced its decision in Summers v Earth Island Institute this morning.  The full opinion is on the Supreme Court site.)  In a 5-4 split, the Court denied standing in an opinion by Justice Scalia.  As Justice Stevens’ dissent explains: The Court holds that the Sierra Club and its members along with other …

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Still waiting on Lubchenco and Holdren

On February 12, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing (see here for the webcast) on the nominations of Jane Lubchenco as NOAA Administrator and John Holdren as head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Although Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) questioned Holdren sharply over some papers Holdren …

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Why is GM using taxpayer funds to fight clean car progress?

Just back from a weekend conference where climate litigator Matthew Pawa gave a keynote address.  He’s one of the lawyers who successfully defended California’s right to demand that automakers make cars that limit their greenhouse gas emissions, calling and cross-examining witnesses in a dramatic 2007 trial that put climate change science on the stand.  In …

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Don’t hamstring the Endangered Species Act

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a vitally important bulwark in the legal protections for our environment in the United States. The ESA provides essential life support to a wide range of species on the edge of extinction, species such as our native salmon, grizzly bears, and California condors. The Act has helped to …

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