This week's energy conversations have been dominated by the nuclear disaster in Japan. At one particular plant, three reactors are in danger of melting down if not properly cooled by the emergency efforts. Most U.S. politicians are sticking to their former stances on nuclear power, including President Obama, who remains supportive of building new nuclear facilities in the U.S. Anti-Clean Air Act bills in the House and Senate continue to inch forward, with a House vote possible in the coming weeks.
As the 2012 elections draw closer, the numbers at the pump could directly effect the ones at the polls. President Obama has had to quash criticisms that the climbing gas prices were owed to stalled domestic oil production. Rather, the spike is owed to the Middle East instability and most noticeably the unrest in Libya.
From Wisconsin to D.C., the talk of the town this week has been conservative budget bills and their potential consequences. In Congress, the GOP-led House amended their spending package to include a complete shutdown of climate and clean energy programs ranging from subtle tweaks to all-out gutting of the Clean Air Act and state-based climate law enforcement. The budget agreed upon by the House is so drastic that leaders in the Senate will likely scrap it and start from scratch with their own version. Right now the government is funded through March 4th.
The Clean Air Act and climate change-related policies are under attack from all sides in D.C. this week. In an ongoing showdown, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering Chairman Fred Upton's (R-MI) "dirty air" bill. Meanwhile, the full House is pulling climate regulations and clean energy investments into a fight over the budget. Rhetoric suggests that the Clean Air Act and climate policy generally will continue to be points of contention throughout the upcoming budget process.
This week we're celebrating an early spring prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the great students at Purdue University, developments on the electric car and President Obama's threat to veto all the Clean Air Act roadblocks.
The leading story this week comes out of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where a local groundhog has come into the center of a climate change debate.
Climate scientist have for years complained of their inability to educate the public about the dangers of global warming.
Some of you might not know it, but I was born and raised in the great state of Alaska. In good old Anchorage, Alaska, there isn’t a lot of sun. Sometimes, local residents find themselves staring hopefully into the sky at a small spot of blue. Up north, we refer to that small patch as a “sucker hole.” Why? Because it doesn’t mean the sun is coming out, and believing anything else makes you a sucker.
The Obama administration seems to think "climate change" is too divisive to mention, but underwriting clean energy tech? That's bipartisan.
Surprisingly, conservative commentators didn't seem to buy it. Why? Government intervention, absent a large-scale emergency, goes against basic conservative philosophy. All they see is needless government intervention into energy technology, and they have a point. Absent climate change, where is the urgency?
Last week President Obama delivered a tone-setting State of the Union
Speech before the new Congress and 48 million viewers nationwide.
Widely regarded as a move to the political center, Obama's speech
addressed many criticisms levied on the president by Republicans and
the business community. The president spoke at length about the
promise of "clean" energy, yet he included nuclear, natural gas and
"clean" coal in his definition (everything but old coal plants).