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Last chance for climate change legislation?

29 04 10 - 20:41 Last chance for climate change legislation?

By Brad Knickerbocker,

It's crunch time for climate change legislation on Capitol Hill, and the bill to be introduced Monday could be the last chance for passage before lawmakers face voters this fall.

The bill coauthored by Sens. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts, Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, and Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut has as its main goal a 17 percent reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions (mainly carbon dioxide) from 2005 levels in 10 years and 80 percent by 2050.

It has easier requirements on emissions caps for power plants and other major contributors of greenhouse gases - easier than previous legislative proposals. It also has incentives to build new nuclear power plants. There are also provisions for offshore oil drilling.

The measure pleases no one entirely. But many environmentalists see it as the most realistic option given the current political climate. And it's been endorsed by the Edison Electric Institute (which represents the nation's largest power producers) as well as three major oil companies - Shell Oil Co., BP and ConocoPhillips.

Still, it's an uphill climb for supporters of climate change legislation - which is also a top priority for President Obama.

"Despite the fanfare that is likely to accompany the announcement, the bill is running almost two months behind schedule and has been losing political momentum for an even longer period," reports International Oil Daily, noting pressing unrelated issues as well questions about the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill itself. "Over the next several weeks energy legislation will have to compete for time on the Senate schedule with contentious financial reform legislation and the confirmation process for a new Supreme Court justice. The possible introduction of major immigration legislation this summer could also make it more difficult to pass climate change and energy legislation."

Among what some lawmakers see as unknowns in the bill is whether its transportation provision might amount to a tax on fuel - not a welcome prospect for anybody when economic times remain tough.

"I'd like to support it, but I have to look at it," Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine told the Washington Post, adding that she was concerned about what it would do to home heating oil and gas prices. "In this economy, we have to see how much we can do."

Then there persistent questions about the best way for individuals to do their part in reducing the effects of climate change. For example, in a six-part investigative report the Monitor concludes that buying carbon offsets may ease eco-guilt but not global warming.

But writing at Politico.com - as many Americans were celebrating Earth Day with local events focusing on climate change - Senator Kerry warned of trying to separate domestic energy needs from the longer-range goal of preventing (or at least slowing) global warming.

"In an election year, it is tempting to settle for the "energy-only" bill - then go home and declare victory," he writes. "But the stakes are too high to do less than we know we can. Workers are counting on the new jobs - now. Our troops are counting on us to break dependence on foreign oil - now. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us to address the climate threat and its effects on the planet they'll inherit - now." Used tags: , , ,
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Season Alternative,different foot outside brief worker section support straight few occasion national call colour note have audience cause argue wish somebody street read drug add together lean deliver effort song perfect which gentleman certain sufficient opinion bedroom down clear finally build sector realise culture hall start direction requirement tradition appeal would industrial beyond terms damage image judge use context chief concern operation shape amongst critical just reveal enable oil below government character red acid definition league centre southern if paint vote spend within mental editor hand clearly like out seem post direct film
Guenstig Uebernachten (URL) - 24 12 10 - 03:30

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Supreme Court takes global warming case that targets power companies

Monday 13 December 2010 at 03:21 am By Warren Richey,

Washington - The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a major environmental lawsuit that seeks to force six electric power companies to cap and reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

The lawsuit - filed in 2004 by eight states, the City of New York, and three land trusts - targets what it claims are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States and among the largest in the world.

It seeks a judicial order declaring that the fossil-fueled power plants are a "public nuisance." It also seeks a judicial order capping the plants' greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the plants to adopt a schedule of reduced emissions in future years. more

Outside Cancun climate conference, Caribbean Sea testifies to global warming

Monday 13 December 2010 at 03:09 am By Ezra Fieser,

Bayahibe, Dominican Republic - This summer's extreme heat may seem like a distant memory as winter approaches the United States.

But the summer that broke heat records across the Northern Hemisphere is still being felt below the surface of the Caribbean Sea: 2010 will likely be one of the most deadly years on record for coral reefs.

If diplomats attending the two-week global climate change talks that opened Monday in Cancun, Mexico, want more evidence of the negative and potentially devastating affects of warming temperatures, they need look no further than the blue sea outside their hotels. Researchers say that throughout the Caribbean coral reefs are "bleaching," a condition that occurs when they are under extreme stress due to warmer-than-normal sea temperatures. more

China denies any rare earth mineral export embargo

Tuesday 26 October 2010 at 10:56 pm By Peter Ford

Beijing - China sought Wednesday to reassure the world it had not and would not use its choke hold on supplies of critical rare earths for political purposes, and pledged to maintain its exports.

"China will continue to supply rare earths to the world," the Commerce Ministry said in a faxed statement, denying earlier reports in the official China Daily newspaper that the government planned to cut exports next year by 30 percent.

While insisting that politics is not being played with the class of minerals, the government nevertheless is cutting exports. more

China's climate change talks: What's changed since Copenhagen?

Tuesday 26 October 2010 at 10:37 pm By Jonathan Adams

Taipei, Taiwan - United Nations climate officials say they hope to get talks for a new global deal on carbon cuts back on track after last year's climate talk debacle in Copenhagen. This week's climate change conference hosted by China in Tianjin could give them just that opportunity.

But with mistrust still high and feelings raw, few expect any big breakthroughs in Tianjin, or at higher-level talks beginning in late November in Cancun, Mexico. Instead, participants are focusing on smaller side deals that are more realistic, observers say, indicating that though a comprehensive deal might not get finalized here the real success of the conference will be in smoothing relations with small steps. more

Solar panels on the White House? Not on Obama's watch

Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 9:15 pm By Mark Clayton,

President Obama is the biggest booster of renewable energy since President Jimmy Carter. But on Friday he declined - or White House officials declined for him - to follow Mr. Carter's footstep and put solar power on his home rooftop.

Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben and a band of college students tried Friday to put the president on the spot over his green credentials. Bopping down the highway from Maine with a 31-year-old solar panel strapped to their van, the merry band tried to return the panel to its former home: the White House roof. more

Becoming friends of the Earth

Wednesday 15 September 2010 at 9:05 pm By Jason Francis

Friends of the Earth, founded in 1969, is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC. It is part of Friends of the Earth International, a network of 77 national groups and more than 5,000 local activist groups working together to create a more healthy and just world. With over 2 million members and supporters worldwide, their campaigns include focusing on clean energy as a solution to global warming; protecting people from potentially harmful technologies; promoting low-pollution transportation; and generating support for a financial transactions tax to fund anti-poverty and climate change programs in the developing world. more

University of Georgia report reveals 80 percent of oil from BP spill remains in Gulf

Tuesday 24 August 2010 at 03:36 am University of Georgia report reveals 80 percent of oil from BP spill remains in Gulf

Atlanta - The University of Georgia says their latest study suggests up to 80 percent of the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil rig collapse is still present and remains a threat to the ecosystem.

The report was announced Monday, the same day the fall shrimping season began in the Gulf of Mexico.

The report, authored by five prominent marine scientists, strongly contradicts media reports that suggest that only 25 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill remains. more

Energy Dept. awards $5.9 million for three Ohio energy research projects

Wednesday 14 July 2010 at 10:27 am By Cameron Glover

Washington - The U.S. Department of Energy granted $5.9 million to three Ohio businesses for their efforts in researching and creating "transformational changes" in new energy technology.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said during a conference call Monday the Advanced Materials Group in Hudson, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus are among 43 national projects to receive funding.

He announced the grants as part of a $92 million fund supported by DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy. more

EPA moves to cut power plant emissions to fight air pollution

Saturday 10 July 2010 at 10:40 pm By Mark Clayton,

The Environmental Protection Agency moved Tuesday to dramatically curb power plant emissions across the central US and East Coast, a step the federal agency says will significantly reduce health and pollution impacts across that 31-state region.

Responding to a 2008 court ruling, the EPA proposed sharp cuts in emissions from some 900 coal-, natural gas-, and oil-burning power plants - a 52 percent reduction in nitrous oxide (NOX) and 71 percent cut in sulfur dioxide (SOX) by 2014. more

Bridging the gap between the Smart Grid green energy program and home appliances

Thursday 24 June 2010 at 11:51 am By Dave Porter

Reno - Axial Vector Energy Corp. (OTC: AXVC) may be one of the first green energy companies to have bridged the gap between the $3.4 billion smart grid energy program announced by the U.S. Department of Energy and home appliances when the Company unveiled its product which controls individual home appliances more efficiently using Bluetooth technology. more