Politics

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 →

Do you like tar? How about sandy tar?

Recently the 100th proposed coal plant was stopped by a combination of grassroots organizing, rising costs, legal pressure, and proposed legislation. Increasingly organizers are turning their attention to another highly polluting source of energy: the Albertan Tar Sands. Because it is so difficult to to extract oil from tar sands, the process involves even more environmental degradation and greenhouse gas… read more →

Waxman Markey changes the climate in Australia

I've argued before that it only makes sense to consider Waxman-Markey as part of ongoing, twenty-year international negotiation, not as an endpoint or a piece of standalone legislation. One problem this presents is that international relations tend to be even more sluggish, boring and inscrutable than the parliamentary maneuvering that takes place in our own Congress, and certainly a lot… 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 →

Seriously: the Waxman-Markey bill is good

Thomas Friedman makes a bunch of very good points in his recent column on the Waxman Markey climate change bill that just passed in the House. But the opening comes on awfully strong: > There is much in the House cap-and-trade energy bill that just passed that I absolutely hate. It is too weak in key areas and way too… read more →

Waxman-Markey passes the House

So, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 passed the House on Friday. First, to get the necessary throat-clearing out of the way: this is an historic moment that was both an extremely long time in coming and also a lot speedier than many dared hope. When Henry Waxman announced his intention of bring the bill to a… read more →

Flying the more expensive skies

The American Clean Energy and Security (née Waxman Markey) covers an impressive swath of the U.S. economy -- nearly 85% of total carbon emissions, as compared to Europe's 52%. One area it doesn't cover, however, is aviation, at least not via the cap-and-trade mechanism that puts a hard limit on total emissions. Instead, the bill makes brief mention of creating… read more →

Did Chicago get burned on parking reform?

Last year, I wrote about Chicago's decision to lease its parking spaces to a private company. Although no vendor had yet been selected, the deal seemed like a good idea in principle. Parking reform -- which generally means raising the price of curbside spots to something approaching market rates, and perhaps even dynamically adjusting them based on time, location, and… read more →

Environmental leaders weigh in on Waxman-Markey

The online publication Yale Environment 360 recently asked eleven environmentalists and environmental groups for their reactions to the Waxman-Markey climate legislation, now that the bill has spent some time marinating in various congressional committees. The question takes on particular relevance as environmentalists wrestle with the issue of how far to compromise on various key issues. Here's a round-up of the… read more →

Leading scientists say urgent action needed

I'm not one to usually trot out the latest "open letter" or what-have-you from some consortium of Very Important Scientists regarding climate change, but I think this one bears mentioning. Issued today, the open letter from 20 U.S. climate scientists and experts calls for quick passage of the Waxman-Markey bill. The letter is postmarked from the Woods Hole Research Center… read more →
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