The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

After midterms, uphill climb for environmental legislation grows steeper

With climate bill all but dead, even limited action is in doubt“After a year of frustration in the Senate for environmentalists and climate activists, a slowly building expectation that it would be nearly impossible to pass significant climate legislation in the chamber in the near future appears to have been cemented last night. One of the few bright spots for Democrats in the midterms was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) come-from-behind win over Tea Party darling Sharron Angle. The big question going forward, however, is what will can and will Reid do on energy and climate legislation next Congress. It will be next to impossible to pass comprehensive climate legislation in the next two years, but it appears Reid will focus on a series of low-hanging-fruit provisions that are popular on both sides of the aisle, including bills to incentivize electric vehicles, improve energy efficiency and weatherize homes.

The fate of two big-ticket items for environmentalists — a renewable energy standard and a much-delayed oil spill response bill — remains unclear. “

Eco News Roundup

Energy Policy Explored As Cap-And-Trade Dies

“President Obama’s push for the cap-and-trade program died this week with the Republicans taking over the House of Representatives. The day after the elections, Obama announced a shift in his energy policy when he told a news conference: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat. It was a means not an end, and I am going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” To find out what other means the president may use, Robert Siegel talks with Roger Pielke Jr., professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado and author of The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You about Global Warming.”

Eco News Roundup

World energy demand to triple by 2050

“The world’s energy demand will triple by 2050 with the population to be around nine billion, said Senior Lecturer, University of Moratuwa, Dr. Janaka Wijesundara.

He was addressing the media at a ceremony to launch the International conference on ‘Use of Renewable Energy Technologies for Sustainable Living’.

He said the use of costly thermal power has given rise to many adverse issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, climate change, depletion of fossil fuels and a threat to the existence of life on the planet. “Over 80 percent of the world’s electricity is produced by fossil and nuclear fuels with transportation mainly fuelled by petroleum”, Dr. Wijesundara said. According to geological surveys global oil production will go into terminal decline with the rapid increase in demand for fuel. Marion King Hubbert, a Texan oil geologist predicted that oil production in any given region would reach a peak and then slip into terminal decline. Staggering energy bills, drain on foreign exchange and environemtal degradation are the outcome of the use of diesel fuelled thermal power. “Sri Lanka is blessed with ample sunlight and water which could be harnessed to produce energy for the country.Population and industrial expansion in the country has increased the demand for energy”, Dr. Wijesundara said.”

Eco News Roundup

Prop 23 is dead: Long live California’s green guinea pig

““When policies advantageous to moneyed interests confront policies focused on emissions reduction, it is the moneyed interests that will win out every time.” source California’s Prop 23 was thumped last night in a 61% to 39% defeat. This suggests that this quote is wrong or isn’t nuanced enough.

Does this California vote to unilaterally battle climate change make any sense to political economy scholars? For all those who fear the pernicious effects of “Big Oil”‘s petro dollars and the political influence it is supposed to buy, why didn’t the Texas “invasion” of California’s airwaves succeed?

Now, the interesting fact in this case is that the “moneyed interests” split on this issue. To speak in cliches, the dinosaur fossil fuel companies supported Prop 23 while the “New School” green techn interests supported it. Anticipating that green investors need certainty and clear signals from government, I support the roll out of AB32. We need to play the green card to achieve a game changing technological leap.

I don’t believe that we will cap global greenhouse gas emissions any time soon but we can slow the increase in emissions through such technological advance. I don’t care whether fears of Peak Oil or the anticipation of government regulation drives technological advance to encourage us to substitute away from fossil fuels.”

Eco News Roundup

The fake populism from those pushing the anti-science disinformation of the plutocrats and pollutocrats

“A favorite attack line of conservatives and/or disinformers is that progressives are elitists who supposedly “espouse their intellectual superiority.” The goal of this disingenuous attack is so that they can push the Big Oil, Corporate Polluter agenda and appear to care about the middle class, while putting the screws to them, and so they can undercut the credibility of all ‘experts,’ especially scientists, whose work is crucial to preserving clean-air, clean water, and a livable climate.

The attack is particularly laughable coming from elite disinformers who themselves treat the American public with so much disdain by lying non-stop to further an agenda that will enrich the rich and put the screws to pretty much everyone else.

Remember, perhaps the main reason the country has failed to act on climate change is the immoral, but brilliantly successful, disinformation campaign funded by Big Oil and billionaire polluters — the pollutocrats (see “From promoting acid rain to climate denial — over 20 years of David Koch’s polluter front groups“) — and embraced by the elite conservative media, pundits, and politicians.”

Eco News Roundup

Weekly Climate Change Policy Update – November 1, 2010 (From Van Ness Feldman)

“With just days to go before the vote on Proposition 23, the California Air Resources Board released its draft regulations for implementation of A.B. 32. Under the draft regulations, nearly all allowances would be allocated for free during the first compliance period. In addition, regulated entities would be able to meet up to 8% of their compliance obligation with offsets . . . The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) issued a status report concluding that Texas will be the only state that will not be legally authorized to issue Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits for GHG sources once GHGs become regulated Clean Air Act pollutants on January 2, 2011.”
– President Obama Discusses Expectations for Climate and Energy Legislation in 2011.
– EPA and NHTSA Issue Proposed GHG and Fuel Economy Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks
– GAO Recommends Further Research on Fighting Climate Change Through “Geoengineering.”
– Graham Urges Republicans to Work With Democrats on Energy—Minus Cap-and-Trade
– Washington Court Dismisses Challenge to Executive Order on GHG Emissions
– DOJ Defends Scientific and Legal Basis for EPA’s GHG Regulations in Response to Motion for Stay
– California Agency Releases Final Draft of State Cap-and-Trade Program
– British Columbia Details Cap-and-Trade Design
– Oregon Finalizes GHG Emissions Reporting Program
– NACAA Claims Texas Will Be Sole State Unprepared to Issue GHG Permits in 2011.
– CCX to End Voluntary Emission Trading in 2010
– Industry Associations Urge Senators to Impose Moratorium on EPA GHG Regulations.
– CRS Report Favors Allowance Auctions and Economy-Wide Vs. Piecemeal Cap-and-Trade


Special thanks to rb137 for sharing these links.


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