Politics

Ask the Washington Post to stop lying about climate change

I really wanted to get a post into last week's newsletter regarding the George Will flap, but deadlines being what they are, it didn't happen. Happily, the controversy continues to sputter along, so it's not to late for me to get my word in. Or rather, it's not too late for you to get your word in. In a nutshell:… read more →

Obama’s budget assumes a cap-and-trade system

President Obama recently announced a plan to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term, in part by raising revenue through the auctioning of carbon permits under a cap-and-trade system. In one sense, there's no new information here. Obama campaigned heavily on cap-and-trade and he's always favored auctioned permits, so the plan is just a… read more →

Obama’s grid

The New York Times speculates: > President Dwight Eisenhower is remembered for creating the nation's system of interstate highways. Judging from the enthusiasm of his secretaries for "smart grid" projects, perhaps President Barack Obama aspires to be known for transforming the nation's electricity system. Let me help out this reporter with a super-secret scoop: Obama absolutely aspires to be known… read more →

Is Kyoto working?

Although rumors of its death may be exaggerated, the Kyoto Protocol hasn't so far been anyone's idea of a rip-roaring success. The question remains: is the international treaty fundamentally flawed, or is it a fixer-upper that bureaucrats are slowly tweaking into an effective carbon-fighting regulatory framework. Two pieces of recent evidence boost the fixer-upper view. The first is a report… read more →

Environmentalists and economists engage in slap fight while world burns

Eric Pooley, a former Editor at Time Magazine, has been studying the media treatment of climate change, and comes to the fairly unsurprising conclusion that the press has done a terrible job of informing the public about the issue. Recently, he offered the more surprising conclusion that, just as scientists are in basic agreement about climate change, there exists a… 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 →

Journalists still confused over carbon prices

Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were at it this week, flogging stories about how falling carbon prices are threatening clean technology. I've written before about how easy it is to get distracted by carbon prices, which, under cap-and-trade are more of a symptom of broader issues, not a cause. The Journal piece is fairly defensible.… read more →

Cap-and-trade shuts down U.S. coal plants

We tend to see a lot of handwringing over the fact that Europe has a carbon cap in place, yet they're still adding coal to the mix. But stories like this never seem to get reported the other way. Did you hear the good news? Dynergy scuttled six coal plants because of the U.S. carbon cap: > "The development landscape… read more →

Battery makers come begging

American lithium-ion battery makers, including giants like 3M, are banding together to try to extract a few billion dollars from Congress so they can build a shiny battery manufacturing plant that, for whatever reason, they aren't willing to spend their own money on. This latest handout request is a fairly dubious idea* that is nevertheless likely to appeal to a… 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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