Monthly Archives: July 2009

Three Governors: Climate Policy Can Create Jobs

Last week, the governors of three states from vastly different parts of the country — New Jersey, Colorado, and Washington — traveled to Washington, D.C., to show their support for the climate bill.

They appeared before the Senate to report that “efforts to curb global warming and spur the development of cleaner sources of energy have created jobs and new businesses in their states, a trend that could expand nationwide if Congress passes federal legislation.”

The governors are the newest addition to the climate bill fan club.  Small business owners, electric company CEOs, environmentalists and a majority of the House of Representatives already back climate legislation.

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr., talked about the revitalization of an old steel town in his state. He explained the lesson “good energy policy and climate policy can energize the economy and help create good-paying private sector jobs.”

More on the hearing.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation, Jobs / Comments are closed

Enemies of Climate Action Turn Up the Heat

The radical right is organizing an all-out, take-no-prisoners campaign to block President Obama’s efforts to reform America’s energy policies and stop global warming. Led by Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, right wing ideologues are lining up with big polluters to defeat climate action this year.

Joe Romm talks about their “passionate intensity” in a blog post today. His key points:

[T]he entire conservative messaging apparatus is full-throated in its opposition to this bill — and they have well-heeled funders, aka the dirty-energy bunch. […]

But we should be equaling, if not beating, calls to key senators right now. […]

Reason enough for passage of a bill with emissions targets like Waxman-Markey (preferably stronger) is to give the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen (and beyond) a fighting chance — and not to strangle a global deal in the crib as the deniers and polluters hope to do with their immoral and ultimately self-destructive filibuster.

And to prove his point, this just in from Twitter: The opposition is being extremely vocal towards Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska:

kate_sheppard RT @Populista: Ben Nelson says letters in Nebraska are running 99-1 against #ACES. Says people at parades are shouting “No cap and trade”

You can help fight back by calling your Senators today.

And if Sen. Nelson is your Senator, here are various ways to let him know you support climate action.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation / Read 5 Responses

The Real Story: Home Energy Provisions in the Climate Bill

The Web and the Twitterverse are awash with nonsense about the clean energy bill that passed the House in late June.

The bill’s opponents are trying to scare homeowners by making them believe an energy audit or retrofit is required before they could sell their homes.  That’s nuts — the bill does nothing of the kind.  Here’s what it actually does:

  • For existing homes, the bill creates incentives to encourage people to do retrofits of their homes. It doesn’t require anything.
  • For new homes, the bill establishes federal guidelines for energy-efficiency labeling. It’s up to local governments whether they want to have new homes in their area labeled or not.

See more details in our fact sheet on home energy in the climate bill.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation / Read 1 Response

How Cap and Trade Was Born

The latest Smithsonian magazine has an in-depth piece that tells the story of “How an unlikely mix of environmentalists and free-market conservatives hammered out the strategy known as cap-and-trade.”

The story is powerful — it starts with a hike,  leads to fury within the Bush White House and ends with results:

Almost 20 years since the signing of the Clean Air Act of 1990, the cap-and-trade system continues to let polluters figure out the least expensive way to reduce their acid rain emissions. As a result, the law costs utilities just $3 billion annually, not $25 billion, according to a recent study in the Journal of Environmental Management; by cutting acid rain in half, it also generates an estimated $122 billion a year in benefits from avoided death and illness, healthier lakes and forests, and improved visibility on the Eastern Seaboard. (Better relations with Canada? Priceless.)

Cap-and-trade — a term that first appeared in print that year — quickly went “from being a pariah among policy makers,” as an MIT analysis put it, “to being a star — everybody’s favorite way to deal with pollution problems.”

Posted in What Others are Saying / Comments are closed

Link Round-Up: How Many Ways Can Sarah Palin Get It Wrong?

You have to give Sarah Palin credit for getting attention — her op-ed in the Washington Post on climate change legislation triggered an avalanche of blog posts and opinion columns. Here’s a round-up:

The facts, please!

Why is she doing this?

Really, everyone is piling on!

It wasn’t just the usual environmental crowd who were taken aback by Palin’s claims. People taking issue with her stance popped up in unexpected places:

Posted in What Others are Saying / Read 1 Response

EDF to the Senate: Agricultural Offsets Are Key to Climate Policy

Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday, and gave an impassioned plea to include a strong, credible agricultural offsets program in Senate climate legislation:

Environmental Defense Fund believes that an effective climate solution must include US agricultural offsets. American farmers, foresters, and landowners can provide creditable emissions reductions while earning a new income stream, and we must give them that opportunity.

Fred outlined ways to create credible offsets program that would benefit the entire country – including farmers and taxpayers. He stressed that any program must be science-based and must provide real, measurable, verifiable benefits to the atmosphere.

The highlight of the hearing was a spirited exchange between Fred and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) about gas prices. (In the video of the hearing released by the committee, advance to 89:40 to see the back-and-forth.)

Of course, Fred also heaped praise on the House for passing the American Clean Energy and Security Bill, even as he told Senators they could strengthen that critical legislation even more by improving the offsets provisions.

Here’s a link to Fred’s full written testimony [PDF].

Posted in Climate Change Legislation / Read 1 Response