“Here’s a novel concept for Congress. Do something. Anything. Move.”


Wow. Following up on my earlier post about a regional cap and trade agreement between Midwestern states, it now appears there’s a full-scale governors’ revolt underway.

In the West, three governors will begin appearing in ads urging Congress to act. The bipartisan group includes two Republicans and a Democrat (Schwarzenegger, Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah, and Brian Schweitzer of Montana, respectively). Beyond the nice bipartisan sheen, these three represent an interesting cross-section of the West. California is, well, California. Utah is the reddest of red America. And Montana is a big coal state. If this rainbow coalition can get together on climate change, you have to sort of wonder whose left on the other side.

Separately, nine Midwestern governors have formed an emissions-reduction alliance patterned on the regional agreements in the Northwest, Southwest, and West.

Goals will include increasing production of biofuels and finding ways to store carbon dioxide, which can come from coal-fired power plants, so it does not go into the atmosphere.

For instance, the deal calls for the region to decrease its energy consumption by 2 percent by 2015, and then by that same amount each year after that, Doyle said. By the same year, 15 percent of gas stations will offer the ethanol-based gasoline known as E-85. Ten years later, one-third of stations will offer that.

This isn’t exactly what I’d call an aggressive plan, and I’m pretty unenthusiastic about the ethanol and clean coal stuff, but progress still feels good, don’t it?

Photo available under Creative Commons license from Flickr user ThunderChild5.

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  1. Adam - November 20, 2007

    I have to agree with you about being unenthusiastic about the ethanol and clean coal initiatives but this certainly is a step, even if just a baby step. Congratulations to those states that are trying to do something.

  2. Jen Benoit - November 20, 2007

    Adam Stein –
    Kiddo, I just love the way you write. The title of this blog entry made me chuckle out loud. I haven’t signed up for TerraPass yet (still waiting for the hubby to get all the figures together to calculate our footprint), but I’ve been reading your newsletter for about a month, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading them for two reasons: they’re so well written (straightforward, humorous, and sincere) and your information is current and relevant. Keep up the great work, and we’ll be joining TerraPass before the end of ’07! Thanks!

  3. Adam Stein - November 20, 2007

    Thanks! You’re my new favorite commenter. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. smarsman - November 21, 2007

    Yes, we should tip our collective hats to these governors for at least doing something. However, the moves to switchgrass, getting the auto industry to manufacture engines that are totally compatible with biodiesel as well as raising CAFE standards, and refining the technology of sequestering carbon from coal fired plants all have a ways to go. And by the way, Idaho is the reddest of red states, not Utah who remember, even has Rocky for a mayor in SLC.

  5. JB - December 6, 2007

    This is a my first visit to a carbon offset organization. I appreciate the passion of people who are trying to improve our world. I absolutely believe that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our environment. If it were up to me we would all be riding bikes and scooters :-)
    However…I think carbon offset concept is, well, suspicious. If one is wealthy enough to buy offsets he/she can live as opulently and irresponsibly as they want. Hmmm…fly to Bali on a private jet for a conference, or buy that third home which you will use once a year, and then pay someone to plant a bunch of trees to make everything alright. Why not teleconference to Bali, or be satisfied without the third house and still plant the trees? Also, if I buy offsets and my money funds a renewable energy business project, the business owner is getting money for nothing. And, of course, the broker must be getting a share too. I’m sorry, but I am suspicious…very suspicious.