Politics

Sweet and Sour Pork

Like any good observant lapsed Jew, I’m always on the lookout for tasty pork. But as Jonathan discussed on this blog, the highway pork in the stimulus bill is looking most unsavory — especially relative to the sweeter meats of public transit funding. No doubt, money for public transit agencies would go a long way …

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Judd Gregg on oceans

It often seems that Commerce Secretaries come in knowing little or nothing about their Department’s responsibilities for ocean resource management and ocean and atmospheric research.  One reason many environmentalists were excited about the prospect of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson taking on the job was that Richardson had expressed a strong commitment to ocean protection. …

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DEMON SPAWN OF THE STIMULUS

From an initial concept by H.P. Lovecraft: The Boxer-Inhofe Amendment SEE! $50 billion in new stimulus money for highways to be introduced on the Senate floor tomorrow!!!! HEAR! Nothing for transit!!!!! SMELL! (TASTE?) (FEEL?) Alleged environmentalist Barbara Boxer (D-Marin County) writing a bill with climate denier James Inhofe (R-Olduvai Gorge) to build thousands of miles …

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Barack Obama: America’s #1 Liberal

…if you follow Robert Frost and define a liberal as a man “who is too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.” He lets Daschle go today after allegedly fully backing him yesterday. More to the point for this weblog, in the Senate, he completely checks out on the fight over transit funding, …

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Federal scientists could get increased whistleblower protection

Before it passed the economic stimulus bill on Wednesday, the House grafted on the text of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, H.R. 985, from the previous Congress.  That bill, which passed the House last year, would (among other things) have extended whistleblower protection to federal workers who reveal the dissemination of “false or misleading” scientific …

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Conflicting data need not make environmental controversies worse

Anyone interested in the resolution of environmental controversies featuring conflicting or incomplete scientific accounts (and what interesting environmental conflict doesn’t fit in that category?) should read this article by Biggs et al. in the January issue of BioScience (subscription required). As the authors explain, the fact that two scientific studies produce conflicting results or lead …

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A republican moment on climate change? Maybe not yet

The environmental community has been understandably excited about the prospect of finally getting U.S. legislative action in light of the popularity of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, the development of a public consensus on the reality of global warming, the election of Barack Obama, and strong Democratic majorities in both House and Senate.  That optimism, …

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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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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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