Posts by: astern

Cap and trade (and energy policy, too)

For environmental policy wonks, few pieces of legislation have been as widely anticipated as what Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) released today in his draft American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (summary here). Waxman became chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year -- taking over from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) -- and vowed to push… read more →

Nobel Prize winning Energy Secretary knows his stuff

The new Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, spoke at an Alliance to Save Energy event in Washington last week and quickly showed why he's the right person for the job. Secretary Chu affirmed the Obama Administration's commitment to cap-and-trade legislation. He also emphasized the importance of energy efficiency in achieving ambitious carbon reduction goals. During public debate about climate policy,… read more →

Less carbon = more jobs

A common criticism of proposals to fight global warming is that the U.S. (and the rest of the world) can't afford it right now because we're in the middle of a deep recession. Critics also argue that any federal action on climate will cause job losses at a time of high unemployment. The Environmental Defense Fund paints a very different… read more →

Getting down to business

Drafting legislation is often equated with making sausage. The process isn't pretty, but you have to go through it to get a bill out the other end. With Congressional prospects for climate legislation better than ever, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) held a hearing last week on "The Role of Offsets in Climate Legislation." Markey now chairs a key subcommittee of… read more →

More than pretty pictures

It’s not every day that a mainstream magazine with a national circulation of eight million publishes a cover story on how to save energy at home. But that’s what National Geographic (March 2009 issue) delivers in an article about "the fastest, least expensive way to slow climate change.” The magazine's editor Peter Miller poses a challenge: can he and his… read more →

More room for bikes on trains

Bay Area bike commuters are popping a few celebratory wheelies at the news that Caltrain, the rail service that runs between San Jose and San Francisco, is adding more bike racks to its train cars. Overall bicycle capacity will rise 27 percent -- resulting in some carriages having as many as 40 slots for bikes. To get the job done,… read more →

Week one: climate won

If you’ve been following climate policy for the past decade, you’ve got to be encouraged by President Obama’s first major environmental decision: The president directed the EPA to reconsider a request by the state of California to enact air pollution regulations for cars and light trucks that would be tougher than current federal standards. This may sound like Washington talk,… read more →

Jatropha jet fuel

As 2009 gets underway, it's encouraging to see the world’s airlines competing for environmental credentials. I wrote last month about Emirates' claim to have launched the longest green flight, SFO to Dubai. Now Air New Zealand reports that it powered one of the engines of a Boeing 747-400 with oil from jatropha plants. Continental Airlines has a special flight planned… read more →

We poached salmon in the dishwasher

*This post was co-authored with Sasha Batz-Stern.* The holidays are often a time for families to enjoy special meals together, including trying new recipes that might not fit into a busy work and school schedule. That's what we did this week when we poached a piece of salmon in the dishwasher. We got the idea from *Food Detectives* -- an… read more →

Environmental hit parade continues

If you need any more evidence that President-elect Obama is serious about dealing with climate change, take a look at his latest appointments. During his radio address tomorrow, the president-elect is expected to name Dr. Jane Lubchenco to head the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency (NOAA) and Dr. John Holdren to serve as the president’s science adviser. Lubchenco (check out… read more →
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