Politics

China wrestles with carbon footprint

The U.S. and China collectively emit over 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, so relations between the two nations are rightly seen as central to a new global climate treaty. After a visit this week from Todd Stern, the United States' top climate negotiator, China declared it would not accept binding emissions reduction targets at this time, a position Stern accepts… read more →

Taking the long view on Waxman Markey

I haven't really had the energy to try to say anything clever about the American Clean Energy and Security Act -- better known as Waxman Markey -- primarily because of this: it makes little sense to view Waxman Markey as anything other than a single, big step in a multinational negotiation that is unfolding over a period of at least… read more →

Greens take another look at offsets

The public perception of carbon offsets has cycled over time, although lately offsets haven't been in the news much at all, perhaps because the climate change debate has tended to focus on bigger picture issues surrounding the legislation pending in congress. Very recently, though, offsets have garnered some positive press that may signal another turn in the tide of conventional… 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 →

Did environmentalists get played on cap and trade?

Although it's not his regular beat, Kevin Drum blogs sensibly about carbon policy from time to time. Recently, though, in an otherwise agreeable post about the fecklessness of opponents of climate change legislation, Drum offers up a narrative that is both fairly commonplace and also riddled with misconceptions: > It also goes to show how fleeting conservative support for "market-oriented… read more →

Get ready for the offshore wind boom

Some of the principal obstacles to the development of clean energy are not economic or technological, but regulatory. America's government consists of myriad fiefdoms, divided by geography and administrative function, each presiding over a crazy quilt of rules that often reflect outdated historical circumstances. Regulatory reform is desperately needed, but it's also one of the most boring topics in 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 →

Earth Day action: comment on the EPA’s carbon finding

Speaking of citizen action, now is an excellent time to let the EPA know you feel about its recent endangerment finding for greenhouse gases. They've even set up a handy email address (GHG-Endangerment-Docket@epa.gov), so you can show your support for meaningful climate change legislation in less time than it takes to get to the bottom of this blog post. Background… read more →

Is cash-for-clunkers a good idea?

About a year ago -- when the economy was merely bad, not yet apocalyptic, and automakers were still solvent -- economist Alan Blinder proposed a left-field stimulus plan: the government should pay people to take their old, crappy automobiles off the road. Cash-for-clunkers programs supposedly offer three benefits: environmental, because old cars pollute more; social, because the money primarily flows… read more →

Climate policy question #1 is simple: “Are we in?”

*This is guest post from K.C. Golden, the Policy Director of Climate Solutions.* Climate and energy policy touches everything. So it's no surprise that as Congress finally sets to work on a national climate policy, it confronts a blizzard of complexities. **But at the end of the day, Congress will face some stark questions. Will they step up to a… read more →
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