No wavering in waiver battle

No one is backing down yet in the multiple battles over California's request for a Clean Air Act waiver to allow it to implement its rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.  EPA's announcement that it would reconsider the Bush administration's denial of that request was published in the Federal Register on March 6.  The agency held a public hearing on the waiver issue on March 5.  The transcript has now been posted in the public docket -- it's do...

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Don’t Judge a Book By Its Title

Some months ago, the publisher sent me a free copy of a book by Fred Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner.  I left it sitting around but  didn't plan to read it -- the title sounded unpleasantly self-righteous and simultaneously self-flagellating.  I finally did leaf through it and ended up reading the whole thing. It's not only a good read but very interesting, and not at all the exercise in eco-piety that I expected.  The subtitle, "Tracking Down the Sources of M...

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Must Be Green to Apply — Unless You’re Not Green

Not all "green" transmission lines are good for the environment. E&E Daily reports on Thursday's hearing before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Commitee discussing separate transmission siting and planning bills circulated by Senators Reid and Bingaman.  Both would expand Federal siting authority and require regional planning for transmission lines intended to deliver renewable energy.  The plans differ, however, when it comes to making sure the new l...

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Environmentalists v. Environmentalists: The Case of Alternative Energy

A shift to alternative forms of energy and away from conventional carbon-intensive fuels like coal forms the centerpiece of virtually all carbon-reducing strategies.  28 states have enacted mandatory renewable portfolio standards (RPS) (requiring their utilities to procure a set percentage of energy from alternative/renewable sources); the President's stimulus package includes block grant money and tax credits to promote alternative energy; and green jobs are central to...

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Good news for gondoliers

The Gallup poll showing increasing public skepticism about the climate change threat, which Holly blogs about below, does not bode well for Venice, California--unless you're a gondolier.   A report was released yesterday, sponsored by several California agencies, giving more detail than ever before about the threats to California's coast from rising sea levels.  Margot Roosevelt of the LA Times has a nice story about it here. The visuals showing flooding of souther...

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From Our Far Flung Correspondents: Copenhagen Day 3

A  Ph.D student in the Berkeley Energy and Resources program  writes: The third & final day of the climate conference dawned bright & sunny in Copenhagen, and I jammed myself & my poster onto a packed subway car for the trip back to the Bella Center. Trains run every 2-4 minutes in Copenhagen at rush hour; nonetheless, passengers are packed like sardines, especially when 2000 conference attendees try to get on within a few stops! Before jumping into tod...

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TSCA Reform: Show Me The Money

It's a new year so it must be time for renewed debates over the future of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  In late February, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing specifically to revisit TSCA.  With chemical policy reforms occurring in Europe with REACH and at the state level in California, Washington and Maine, there is increasing interest in taking action at the federal ...

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Global warming still a partisan issue

The latest Gallup Poll on attitudes toward climate change has a disturbing message for advocates of strong policies either to limit greenhouse gas emissions or to promote effective adaptation. Forty-one percent of respondents think that news coverage generally exaggerates the seriousness of global warming, the highest number since Gallup started asking the question in 1997. Worse, the partisan divide continues to grow -- 66% of Republicans and 44% of independents, but on...

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A little knowledge

As directed in the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, and less than six months late, EPA has now issued a proposed rule requiring mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The preamble can be found here, the proposed regulatory language here, and additional information about the proposed rule here. Relying on its broad information-gathering authorities under Clean Air Act sections 114 and 208, EPA proposes to require annual reporting beginning next year both ...

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Bill that would have designated over 2 million new acres of wilderness defeated in House – gun politics to blame?

Today, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act (S. 22), an important land preservation and management bill, was defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives, despite bipartisan support.  The bill would have protected over 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states, enlarged the boundaries of several national parks, and authorized land swaps that would have helped to protect western water supplies and other resources, among other features. S. 22 actually combined wel...

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