Posts by: astern

Prospects brighten for climate bill in Senate

Optimism is growing in Washington that the U.S. Senate could pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation by early next year. A series of developments, including a recent New York Times op-ed by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), show a path to the 60 votes needed in the Senate to overcome a likely filibuster. In a piece… read more →

Saving the planet over lunch

Reaching a climate agreement among the 190 countries expected at the UN talks in Copenhagen in December remains a daunting task. The political and economic differences between industrialized and developing nations may prove intractable. But in Los Angeles last week, three climate policy stars – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate… read more →

Schwarzenegger Defends AB 32

Speaking on the third anniversary of the signing of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) in San Francisco yesterday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a full-throated defense of the state’s landmark law that seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. He also directly responded to Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO and now a Republican candidate in… read more →

Climate ads running on TV

Television advertising may be pivotal in the coming debate about climate legislation in the U.S. Senate. Analysts believe that 20-25 senators may still be undecided on how they will vote on an energy/climate bill later this year. That leaves room for TV ads like this one from Clean Energy Works, a coalition of environmental and labor organizations, to make a… read more →

Reading the tea leaves on the climate bill

The dog days of summer will soon arrive with Congress starting a month-long recess and official Washington becoming a very quiet place. But behind the scenes, negotiations on a federal climate bill will continue as legislators and their staffs try to find the formula that can garner 60 votes in the U.S. Senate in the fall. In recent weeks, most… read more →

Boxer preps the Senate to act on climate

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) isn't wasting any time. The chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on climate policy today that sought to build on legislative momentum created by the House’s passage of the Waxman-Markey bill last month. This is the first step towards marking up a Senate bill -- a process Boxer hopes to… read more →

Deutsche Bank’s New Carbon Counter

Deutsche Bank launched a carbon counter in the heart of Manhattan (Herald Square, 7th Ave @ 33rd St) last week. The counter, which is based on NASA and NOAA data and projections by MIT scientists, displays a running total of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Today's count: 3.64 trillion metric tons. The numbers grow quickly in real time (800 metric… read more →

Lyndon Baines Waxman

If Rep. Henry Waxman's *American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009*, or some version close to it, actually becomes law, policy experts and historians may compare this congressman's legislative skills to those of Lyndon Baines Johnson. When Johnson was Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate (1953-61), he mobilized support to pass the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which at the… read more →

Obama the Explainer

If your friends and family perceive you as the local environmental expert, you've probably been in social situations when you had to answer this question: How does cap and trade work? Drawing upon your best environmental economics plus a dash of conversational flair, you stumble through the subject and leave your listeners thinking they sort of understand it. Too bad… read more →

More ways to cut car emissions: reflective glass and paint

Most of the effort to reduce greenhouse gases from cars has focused on improved fuel efficiency, low-carbon fuels, and alternative engine types like hybrids and plug-in vehicles. These approaches will be critical to meeting GHG targets established in California’s landmark global warming solutions law, as well as similar goals proposed in federal legislation. California is taking this work a step… read more →
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