cap-and-trade

Thu, 2014-09-25 05:00Mike G
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China To Create National Cap-And-Trade Program As Obama Admin Must Bypass U.S. Senate On Climate

The Obama Administration is pursuing an international climate agreement that would be “politically binding” but would not be a treaty requiring ratification by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, China has announced it will create a national cap-and-trade program.

These two facts amount to a stunning juxtaposition. China, currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution, is taking decisive action to lower its emissions, while the leader of the United States, historically the world’s largest climate polluter, must circumvent his own government to take even modest first steps towards dealing with climate change.

According to the latest Global Carbon Budget report, CO2 emissions rose 2.3% in 2013, with China responsible for 28% and the United States contributing 14%.

Emissions are projected to increase by another 2.5% in 2014, according to the report, which also notes that the world is on track for a temperature rise somewhere between 3.2 and 5.4 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels by 2100—well above the 2-degree mark scientists say we must limit warming to in order to avert the worst effects of climate change.

The New York Times reports that negotiators for the Obama Adminstration are calling an international agreement that bypasses the treaty ratification process in the Senate the only viable path forward:

Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.


This is not the first time Obama has gone around Congress to take action on the climate. The centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan uses authorities granted to the EPA under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon emissions on a state-by-state basis and requires states to come up with plans to achieve those cuts.

But even the Obama Administration admits that this type of measure is not, in and of itself, a solution to the climate crisis we’re facing.

“The point is, that this is a start,” White House science and technology advisor John Holdren recently told the House Science Committee. “The carbon-action plan is a start, and if we do not make a start, we will never get there.”

Tue, 2012-12-11 11:09Steve Horn
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ANGA Lobbyist Spins Through Revolving Door To Work For Fred Upton

The revolving door spins with rapidity in Washington following election season, and Tom Hassenboehler serves as an Exhibit A.

Hassenboehler served for the past two years as a lobbyist for America's Natural Gas Alliance, the most powerful lobbying force for the unconventional oil and gas industry. Hassenboehler recently accepted a new position working for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee, and will serve as Senior Counsel under the tutelage of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the head of the Subcommittee.

Upton is the cousin of Katie Upton, the wife of controversial Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon. McClendon, in turn, was one of the founders of ANGA. Given these ties that bind, one can safely hypothesize that Hassenboehler will continue his promotion of fracking as a “public servant.”

Prior to working for ANGA, Hassenboehler served as a Congressional staffer for climate change denier, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

Thu, 2009-07-16 12:59Kevin Grandia
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Sarah Palin Wants to Be Poster Child of Anti-Science and GOP Fear Mongering

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin penned an op-ed in Tuesday’s Washington Post slamming Obama’s “cap-and-tax” plan and promoting America’s home-grown, (not) cheap, (not) clean, (not) abundant fossil fuel supply. 

Palin clearly wants to be relevant in her forthcoming post-resignation days, and what better way than by declaring herself the lead spokesperson attacking efforts to stop climate change?

In true GOP fashion, Palin seeks to put the fear of God and all things scary into readers minds, foretelling an apocalyptic future for any who subscribe to the idea that we need to curb carbon emissions to save the climate and protect our economy from carbon dependence. 

Palin declares Obama’s cap-and-trade (er, sorry, she says “cap-and-tax” four times) energy plan an “enormous threat to our economy” that “would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.”

Permanent damage?  You mean the tipping point beyond which scientists conclude that we won’t be able to recover the climate and will surely face more devastating floods, droughts, and heat waves?

No, no. That’s not the “permanent damage” Sarah Palin predicts.

Instead, Palin is talking about the damage that efforts to curb carbon emissions might have on the profits of the world’s largest polluters, including the oil industry which has treated her and her family so well over the years, providing gobs of campaign funding and a job for dear husband Todd (when he’s not out snowmobiling, of course).

Tue, 2009-04-14 18:51Leslie Berliant
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Jim Sensenbrenner: Full of Opinion and Hyperbole on Climate Change Legislation but Very Few Facts

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Voters will be pleased to know that as a member of that committee, Sensenbrenner continues to live up to the accolades bestowed upon him by Rolling Stone Magazine which named him as one of the ten worst members of the 109th congress.

Here’s a little background on Jim “the Dictator” Sensenbrenner:

Sensenbrenner, whose $10 million fortune stems from his great-grandfather’s invention of the Kotex sanitary napkin, won $250,000 in the lottery in 1997. He also enjoys the perks of office: No congressman has racked up more frequent-flier miles on junkets sponsored by corporate lobbyists. While he was enjoying the good life last year, Sensenbrenner took time out to make life tougher on working families, winning approval for a bill that makes it harder for Americans overwhelmed by debt to declare bankruptcy. The congressman refused to consider an exemption from the bill’s restrictions for victims of Hurricane Katrina – and even voted against the aid package designed to help them recover from the disaster. - Rolling Stone

Fri, 2007-11-16 12:40Bill Miller
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The tail is now wagging the dog in U.S. climate-change struggle

As the world prepares to meet in Bali next month at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, U.S. governors have decided to take action at home. Weary of Congressional foot-dragging, the governors have made regional agreements on global warming and joined hands in a concerted bid to generate public and political support for legislation now before the Senate. But can anything meaningful take place while President Bush is still in office?

Mon, 2006-10-02 10:18Richard Littlemore
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Has Canadian Environment Minister Had a Climate Change Epiphany?

Enviro Minister Rona AmbroseThe National Post, through which the Canadian Conservative government has been floating all its climate change policy trial balloons lately, now suggests that “Tories to regulate industries for CO2.”

This would be fabulous news if it were true, and not just “positive spin on a made-in-Canada solution.”
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