Who Took The 'R' Out of USCAP?

When 10 of the largest U.S. corporations and four environmental groups joined forces last January to lobby for federal regulations to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions, it was seen as a watershed in corporate environmentalism.

The U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), comprising 27 companies from General Electric to General Motors, won praise from enviros by endorsing cuts—10% to 30% of heat-trapping emissions within 15 years and 60% to 80% by 2050 – to avert some of the severest consequences of global warming. Behind the scenes, however, several companies that belong to USCAP are simultaneously supporting efforts and organizations that oppose mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases or promote policies that would make the USCAP reductions nearly impossible to meet.

'70s Scientists More Worried about Warming than Cooling

Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center has finally and convincingly dismissed the mythical '70s “consensus” that the planet was in imminent danger of cooling. In fact, his research shows that the overwhelming majority of scientific articles during that period were already predicting global warming.

The Lieberman-Warner Conundrum

Recently, a debate among environmental advocates over global warming strategy has spilled out into the public arena, apparently triggered by signals from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, that she will try to move a bill to address global warming this year.

(For more details, see this recent story in the LA Times.)

The bill in question, the bipartisan Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, would ratchet down U.S. emissions by something on the order of 70 percent by the year 2050.

Big Coal Bribes Kansas Legislature To Approve New Coal Plants

From ThinkProgress:

Sunflower Electric, a leading Kansas power company, has offered millions to Kansas State University for energy research — that is, if the legislature approves its bid for new coal plants first. Speaker Melvin Neufeld (R) emphasized the large cash gift yesterday as he urged his colleagues to approve the plants:

Neufeld, R-Ingalls, noted the plant’s developers, Sunflower Electric Power Corp., have entered into a memorandum of understanding to pay $2.5 million to Kansas State University over 10 years for energy research if the plants get built.

BC Implements Carbon Tax

The (right-of-centre) government of the Canadian province of British Columbia broke ground Tuesday, becoming the second Canadian jurisdiction to implement a carbon tax to address climate change.

The tax, which will eventually apply to all fossil fuels, starts small - amounting to 2.4 cents per litre of gasoline (around 0.6 cents per US gallon) in its first year - but quadruples in four years and will bring in a total of $1.8 billion Canadian over that time, according to Finance Minister Carole Taylor. It is also designed to be revenue neutral, and the government has promised to account for the offset so people will be able to see where exactly the increased revenue is being returned to taxpayers.


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