Latest reports on the climate debate

On Grist, Frank Senso asks why the Gulf oil spill hasn’t done more to advance comprehensive climate and energy legislation. “A few weeks ago we talked to John Pemberton of Southern Company, who says that instead of furthering the debate over a climate bill, the oil spill as stalled it. The emotional power of the disaster will make congressional members less likely to compromise and take “small steps forward”: “We still have a long term energy debate in congress that is not going to solved with short term political decisions.”

Over at Treehugger, Brian Merchant speculates if utilities are supporting climate legislation in hopes of getting trading their support for exclusion from new EPA Clean Air Act regulations. Needless to say, he is opposed to this deal: “Giving the biggest, dirtiest polluters in the nation a license to dodge regulations in exchange for that is a tradeoff that’s simply not worth making.”

Christian Parenti of The Nation has a (lengthy but) good piece on Huffington Post stating that “the fastest, simplest way” to spur innovation and growth in clean energy and technology and away from fossil fuels, “is to reorient government procurement… to use the government’s vast spending power to create a market for green energy. After all, the government didn’t just fund the invention of the microprocessor; it was also the first major consumer of the device.”

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