Companies and Environmental Groups Announce Blueprint for Climate Legislation

Photo of Tony Kreindler Key players are getting right to work to move strong global warming legislation through Congress. This morning, an impressive lineup of CEOs and environmental leaders announced a consensus blueprint for U.S. climate policy. It's built around a cap on the pollution that causes global warming. See details on the USCAP site.

And right afterward, Congressman Henry Waxman, the new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is convening the first major climate hearing of the year. You can follow the hearing on the committee's site.

The Washington Post describes the announcement in a detailed story. We'll add links to other noteworthy stories as they come in.

Update – More news stories:

From The Hill: "Waxman to push global warming bill"
From the AP: "Waxman promises quick action on climate"

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6 Comments

  1. cdevries7
    Posted January 15, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I am looking for the blog by Gernot Wagner….and it disappeared. I wanted to leave some comments for him but cannot find it so I will leave them here. First, are you the AFS son of Sharon and Ron H. in Minnesota. If so, Sharon was my matron of honor in my wedding…..they are lifetime friends.

    Second, I want to encourage carbon caps for certain. Having just spent one week gasping for air in New Orleans, this is most imperative everywhere but definitely there it is CRUTIAL to their recovery process. When the shopkeepers showed me the rags they keep under their counters to wipe off the black residue from all the surfaces in their stores, I can just imagine what it looks like inside of their lungs. The humid, heavy air traps the carbon and they are doomed if something is not done. This must combined with planting the plants and getting rid of the salt water canals there which have killed the green buffer near the water and prevent any new growth from taking hold. There is no healthy exchange of oxygen because they have nothing to produce the oxygen. It is a carbon dominated environment…..detrimental to tourism, healthy living, and peaceful coexistence among the inhabitants. Crime has multiplied there….witness the police stationed every two blocks on Bourbon Street and this was not even during Mardi Gras. They have no real buffer for the next storm to come their way….and with all the polar caps melting and changing the salt/fresh water flow, another big storm is almost inevitable. So….to sum it up….horrible carbon trapped in humid air….waterfront greenery non-existent….no buffer for wind and water….and missing oxygen exchange…..right now, there is a formula for a worse tragedy than has already occurred. The people are trying….they have stayed or returned and are trying to help each other. But as it is, the deck is stacked against them. They are trying to rebuild….but why….the new levees have no release mechanisms in place yet when another wall of water hits them. So no matter how many new houses Brad Pitt builds in the sub sea level land, there is much to be done before this wonderful humanitarian effort can truly offer folks security and promise for a healthy future. Cap the carbon but also plant the plants and finish the pressure release mechanisms on the levees and before 2010 (this is the target date our guide mentioned to us). Then all of the community of folks who are working so hard to rebuild their lives will have a better chance for long range and healthy survival.

  2. lorax
    Posted January 16, 2009 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I can't believe you're supporting cap-and-trade. First, the philosophy is wrong – you don't reduce the murder rate by allowing 100 murders this year and 95 next year. Second, it hasn't worked in Europe over the last several years when it's been in place.

    And how do you apply it to individuals? Is there someone I have to buy a credit from if I want to turn up my thermostat in the winter?

    We really should be pushing a tax on GHG emissions.

  3. Posted January 17, 2009 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    CO2 production must be reduced 90% by 2050. USCAP is too lenient and possibly suicidal. We can and must reduce to 60% by 2015.

    Would the extinction of the human species have enough economic impact for those economists?

    Global Warming can lead to Hydrogen Sulfide gas coming out of
    the oceans. Hydrogen Sulfide gas will Kill all people. Homo
    Sap will go EXTINCT unless drastic action is taken NOW.

    October 2006 Scientific American

    "EARTH SCIENCE
    Impact from the Deep
    Strangling heat and gases emanating from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same killer-greenhouse conditions build once again?
    By Peter D. Ward
    downloaded from:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00037A5D-A938-150E-A93883414B7F0000&sc=I100322

    ………………..Most of the article omitted………………….
    But with atmospheric carbon climbing at an annual rate of 2 ppm and expected to accelerate to 3 ppm, levels could approach 900 ppm by the end of the next century, and conditions that bring about the beginnings of ocean anoxia may be in place. How soon after that could there be a new greenhouse extinction? That is something our society should never find out."

    Press Release
    Pennsylvania State University
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Monday, Nov. 3, 2003
    downloaded from:
    http://www.geosociety.org/meetings/2003/prPennStateKump.htm

    "In the end-Permian, as the levels of atmospheric oxygen fell and the levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide rose, the upper levels of the oceans could have become rich in hydrogen sulfide catastrophically. This would kill most of the oceanic plants and animals. The hydrogen sulfide dispersing in the atmosphere would kill most terrestrial life."

    http://www.astrobio.net is a NASA web zine. See:

    http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=672

    http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1535

    http://www.astrobio.net/news/article2509.html

    http://astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2429&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

    These articles agree with the first 2. They all say 6 degrees C or 1000 parts per million CO2 is the extinction point.

    The global warming is already 1.3 degree Farenheit. 11 degrees Farenheit is about 6 degrees Celsius. The book "Six Degrees" by Mark Lynas agrees. If the global warming is 6 degrees centigrade, we humans go extinct. See:
    http://www.marklynas.org/2007/4/23/six-steps-to-hell-summary-of-six-degrees-as-published-in-the-guardian

    "Under a Green Sky" by Peter D. Ward, Ph.D., 2007. Paleontologist discusses mass extinctions of the past and the one we are doing to ourselves.

    OIL SHALE, TAR SANDS AND COAL MUST BE LEFT IN THE GROUND TO AVOID THE EXTINCTION OF US HUMANS.
    We have to convert to plug-in hybrid cars so that electricity made by low-CO2 methods powers most of our driving. Nuclear power produces the least CO2 of ANY source of electricity.
    32 countries have nuclear power plants. Only 9 have the bomb. The top 4 producers of CO2 all have nuclear power plants, coal fired power plants and nuclear bombs. They are the USA, China, India and Russia. Reducing CO2 production by 90% by 2050 requires drastic action in the USA, China, India and Russia. Coal, oil shale and tar sands must be left untouched in the ground.

    I have no connection to the nuclear power industry.

  4. Posted January 17, 2009 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    See:
    http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/climate411/2008/01/14/global_winds/

    James Wang, Ph.D., a climate scientist at Environmental Defense says that the desert of the southwest could suddenly expand. The farm belt could become desert. No more food. Who knows when?

    Reference: "The Long Summer" by Brian Fagan. Dozens of prior civilizations have collapsed and disappeared due to climate changes smaller than the one we have already made. When agriculture collapses, so does civilization.

    Reference: "Collapse" by Jared Diamond.

    Reference: "Six Degrees" by Mark Lynas See a summary at:
    http://www.marklynas.org/2007/4/23/six-steps-to-hell-summary-of-six-degrees-as-published-in-the-guardian

    Conclusion: USCAP is so wimpy that we will all die of starvation soon if we follow it.

    See: http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com
    We CAN do a 40% reduction in 8 years.

  5. robertk
    Posted January 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree that a climate tax is highly preferable to a cap-and-trade system. My take is that the CAP position in favor of cap-and-trade relfects their stakeholder mix, many of whom are fearful of any tax when times are tough. Also, the CAP targets for GHG emissions are pretty weak in comparison to some out there.

  6. riverducky
    Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    What I can't believe is that NRDC would support this 'blueprint' when it includes incentives for the development of "clean coal" technology. There is no such thing as clean coal, and we all know it. This makes me want to re-consider my support of NRDC. What is the rationale behind this?

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