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Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gas emissions’

Today’s Flickr photo

Flickr photo by alkhodarev.

If you read one thing today . . .

Now that climate legislation in Congress is all but dead for at least the next two years, all eyes will be focused on the EPA, which has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The question, David Roberts write in Grist, is how much power does the EPA actually have in this area and will it use it? The answer is bound to leave those who have fought for climate change solutions a little frustrated.

Documents released early this week finally start to offer a glimpse into EPA thinking. Long story short: Climate hawks shouldn’t expect much from these upcoming regulations. They won’t be a substitute for the climate bill. Not even close.

Here’s the basic problem the EPA faces: The best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources — primarily power plants — is to approach the situation holistically: shut down a bunch of dirty power plants, build a bunch of clean power plants, and push hard on efficiency to cover the cost differential and protect ratepayers. Legislation could have done that. EPA can’t. EPA can’t make anybody build anything.

Overheard:

In a WaPo op-ed this past weekend former ABC Nightline host Ted Koppel compared Keith Olbermann and other partisan cable news show hosts to huckster Bernie Madoff, who told his investors what they wanted to hear, instead of the truth. Olbermann, fresh off his brief suspension for contributing to three Democrats, fired back at the end of his Monday show:

“I may ultimately be judged to have been wrong in what I am doing. Mr. Koppel does not have to wait,” Olbermann said. “The kind of television journalism he eulogizes failed this country because when truth was needed, all we got were facts — most of which were lies anyway. The journalism failed, and those who practiced it failed, and Mr. Koppel failed. I don’t know that I’m doing it exactly right here. I’m trying. I have to. Because whatever that television news was before — now we have to fix it.”

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Today’s Flickr Photo:

Flickr photo by tcktcktck

If you read one thing today…

It is T-minus 11 days away from Election Day, but one contentious race is being covered far less than the Tea Party revolution. It’s the battle of the corporations in California over Proposition 23, a measure that would suspend California’s landmark greenhouse gas law until the state’s unemployment level dropped. Both Big Oil and the developing green industries are dishing out the major moolah to sway voters on this referendum to the tune of $16 million.

The Washington Post’s article features a quote from the outgoing Governator that pretty much says it all.

“Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs?” Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently. “This is like Eva Braun writing a kosher cookbook. It’s not about jobs at all, ladies and gentlemen. It’s about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”

Overheard

In other campaign finance news, the corporation arguably spending the most on the upcoming midterm elections, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been pouring enormous gobs of money into highly contested races. And not so surprising, it has not disclosed where it’s getting the big bucks from this year.

Of the Chamber’s spending, John Motley, a former lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business said:

“They’ve raised it to a science, and an art form,” he said of the chamber’s pitches to corporate leaders that large contributions will help “change the game” in Washington.

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Congrats to James Ploeser and Jamie Trowbridge for wrapping up the first week of the Climate Reality Tour, a cross-country bike ride to raise awareness about the climate change crisis. The pair left Washington, D.C. on Oct. 8 and plan to arrive in Cancún, Mexico in time for the United Nations climate negotiations starting Nov. 29 . They spent their first week riding through Appalachian coal country, talking to residents and activists, ending their first week with a talk on the University of Louisville campus in Kentucky.

Ploeser, who is taking leave as an organizer for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division, and Trowbridge are documenting the trip on their blog at www.ClimateRealityTour.org and on Facebook. Ploeser explained the motivation behind the ride:

We’re calling our ride the Climate Reality Tour – because the U.S. needs a reality check, not just about global warming, but about the economic model that creates it, one that we’ve helped export over the whole world. We believe that to solve the climate crisis we must undo the root causes of global warming – namely our unfair global economy that pits working people against one another, and against our shared environment.

It was devastating to see already-compromised climate legislation die in the U.S. Congress a few weeks back. As concerned global citizens, we clearly need a new approach. We believe that a holistic campaign for a sustainable global economy could be a winning recipe. It’s going to take a unified, diverse, massive movement to win that sort of change. We hope that by facilitating discussions on root causes and highlighting the connections between our many movements, we’ll help sew, fertilize, and cross-pollinate the seeds of change.

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