The Skywriter

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Weekly roundup 5/14/10: Expanding the gulf liability, leak stoppage failed and more

14
May
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Unfortunately, the biggest story this week is still the Gulf Coast oil disaster caused by the explosion of an offshore BP oilrig. The first attempt to stop the flow of oil into the gulf has failed. New ideas about how to stop the oil flow have arisen, while new underwater footage of the leak has been released. In other news, legislation has been introduced to expand the amount of damages the oil companies are liable for in this unprecedented disaster. Finally, the Kerry-Lierberman "American Power Act" is out and pending analysis.

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DC Hill Update 5/17/10: American Power Act released, Murkowski Dirty Air Act vote this week

18
May
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Last week was a busy one for climate and energy legislation on Capital Hill. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) finally unveiled the climate and energy bill they've been working on for the last several months with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who did not join them for the bill's release.

Meanwhile, Senator Murkowski (R-AK) plans on releasing her "Dirty Air Act" for a vote in the Senate, which could shut down greenhouse gas regulations being developed by the Obama Administration.

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Climate debate heads into "Murky" waters

19
May
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These can seem like very discouraging times. As our planet continues its dangerous trajectory towards a steady boil, many of our politicians, like latte- day Neros, choose to fiddle around with short sighted politics as our planet burns. Even with the effects of our addiction to fossil fuels appallingly visible in the Gulf of Mexico, most of our leaders in Washington don’t appear to feel the slightest sense of urgency beyond saying whatever will maximize their chances in November’s mid-term elections.

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Maryland county moves to make polluters pay

20
May
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I have some shocking news. Are you sitting down? Good.

Here it is: Despite the congressional near-total paralysis -- and in some cases outright regression -- on climate, we actually can make polluters pay for their climate change pollution. Maryland's Montgomery County (where our own office happens to be located) shows the feds one way it can be done:

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The best oil spill cleanup tool: political will

20
May
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Nick Santos was formerly a policy fellow with 1Sky and now heads up consumer information group The Environmental Consumer in California. The author's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the 1Sky campaign.-- Luis

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Weekly roundup 5/21/10: Gulf liability expansion blocked, and more

20
May
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This week was taken up again largely by news about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. Attempts to raise the liability cap for oil spills failed again this week, thanks to familiar pro-oil senators. In other news, Lisa Murkowski’s resolution to gut the Clean Air Act has come back from the dead. Finally, some good news on the climate from our own Montgomery County, Maryland.

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Guest blog: A post-BP oil disaster journey along the Gulf Coast

21
May
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By Joanna Pollock, a 1Sky Regional Coordinator in Arkansas. -- Luis

Checking into the India House hostel in New Orleans at 3 AM seemed tame enough. If you didn’t know about the massive 37,500 gallon per day (an average of the two estimates we’ve been given of 5,000 from BP and 70,000 from magic volumetric formula guy) oil volcano on the Gulf floor, one may not have noticed the ominous foreboding that hung heavy in the air. Pictures of stale, polluted water lapping at the hostel steps hung on the walls…memories of Katrina, far from faded, forever etched in NOLA consciousness. It was 3am so I restrained myself from asking the clerk at the hostel his sincere thoughts and feelings on the oil spill.

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DC Hill Update 5/24/10: Murkowski Dirty Air Act threat persists

24
May
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Last week, the Senate passed Wall Street reform which is expected to be conferenced with the House legislation and signed into law in the coming week. After Memorial Day recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hopes to unite his caucus around an energy bill capable of attracting 60 votes. This week, the climate community continues fight against Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) "Dirty Air Act," which threatens to block the Clean Air Act from regulating carbon emissions.

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'Dirty Air Act' vote set for June 10th -- time to take action

25
May
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By 1Sky Policy Fellow Gabriel Elsner -- Luis

Senator Lisa Murkowski, working on behalf of oil companies, large utilities, and coal companies, will force a vote on the Dirty Air Act on June 10. If passed, the “disapproval resolution” would gut the Clean Air Act and stop the first meaningful regulations of greenhouse gasses from vehicles and big polluters, like coal plants. Initially, the Senator planned on forcing a vote this week, but grassroots pressure has pushed the vote until after Memorial Day recess.

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Training climate leaders in Boulder

26
May
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Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure to trek over to Colorado and help run a leadership summit with Micah Parkin, our fabulous Southwest Coordinator. This summit was part of a series of grassroots advocacy trainings designed to refine the skills of 1Sky supporters to build a powerful base this summer. Upcoming trainings include Philadelphia, PA (June 20), Columbus, OH, (June 26) and Concord, NH, (July 10). Check out our sign-up page for either training.

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