Posts by: astern

Obituaries aside, the climate bill still lives

Ever since President Obama took office 15 months ago and said that federal energy and climate legislation would be one of his top domestic priorities, we have seen a steady stream of political obituaries written about such bills. Many of these stories have a kernel of truth: our nation faces complex challenges in any transition from our fossil fuel economy… read more →

Battle over California’s climate law heats up

What was speculation for months is now confirmed: Texas-based oil companies are the principal funders of a state ballot initiative that would suspend California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Reports(pdf) filed last week with the Secretary of State reveal that Valero Services Inc. ($500,000), Tesoro Co. ($100,000) -- both of San Antonio, TX -- and several other oil companies… read more →

Opponents of California’s climate law face challenges

Backers of a voter initiative that would suspend California’s landmark climate law (AB 32) have delayed the launch of their signature-gathering campaign, raising questions about whether their proposal will qualify for the state ballot in November. The promoters of the ballot measure – Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue, Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA), and taxpayer association director Ted Costa – also face… read more →

New threat to California’s climate law

The most far-reaching climate law in the country faces a new threat from a ballot measure that Californians may vote on in November. Long-time foes of environmental regulation have banded together with anti-tax activists to try to stop the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) before it takes effect in 2012. Advocates for the ballot measure are seeking to… read more →

Riding in bike commuter heaven

A welcome side benefit of attending the UN climate talks in Copenhagen earlier this month was the chance to see and experience the city’s legendary support for bicycling. Even in the dead of winter when daylight lasted only seven hours and snow settled over the streets, cyclists of all ages were out in force (see my Biking in Copenhagen photos).… read more →

Obama starts to look like a climate peacemaker

President Obama’s personal engagement in the UN climate talks in Copenhagen last week, and his success at securing a significant if imperfect agreement among the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, may have put him on a path to realize the promise expected of him when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 15 hours of high stakes diplomacy, the… read more →

Live from Copenhagen

Making sense of the UN climate talks – even when you’re in Copenhagen with an access badge – is no easy task. The bustling clamor of 15,000 negotiators, policy experts, business leaders, and environmental activists in the Bella Center can leave experienced observers still searching for clarity. But after nearly a week of watching, listening, and asking questions, I’m hopeful… read more →

California sends a message to Washington and Copenhagen

California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) released draft cap-and-trade regulations (pdf) last week, which will be a central part of the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The agency’s proposal is a timely reminder to senators in Washington and negotiators at the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen that ambitious, cost-effective emission reductions are within reach.… read more →

Refuting the carbon offset guilt myth — again

On a day when President Obama and President Hu announced new U.S.-China climate agreements in Beijing, the editors at the New York Times chose to give front-page visibility to a story that criticizes carbon offsets. Surely history will judge the progress announced by the American and Chinese leaders as more significant than the offset story. But the prominence of the… read more →

Gore’s hopeful new climate book

When Al Gore released his movie and book *An Inconvenient Truth* in 2006, he was praised for raising awareness about global warming. For those who wished he had included more information about solutions, the former vice president has responded forcefully with a new book, *Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis*. Published just weeks before UN climate talks… read more →
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