After a week of friction amongst Democratic leadership, the legislative
calendar is coming into focus. The Senate is on the verge of passing
street reform, which if done quickly will leave space for a
energy and climate bill to be considered this spring. Co-sponsors of the
legislation have yet to set out a new timeline for the bill's release,
tensions have eased considerably since the initial disagreements began
With Congress on recess, this week was marked by
big news from the Obama
Administration, including a disappointing announcement about offshore
oil drilling and a more encouraging one about mountaintop removal coal
Meanwhile, 1Sky supporters turned out in impressive numbers to
"storm" in-state Congressional offices nationwide, demanding that
members of Congress oppose the "Dirty Air Act" proposals currently
This week's round-up features climate news from across the spectrum. Politically, the Obama administration announced both good and bad news. Economically, it looks like clean energy holds great hope for our Irish friends as well. Scientifically, a finding was released regarding the scientists attacked by climate skeptic hackers last fall. And in the world of April Fools, the ultimate eco-hoaxters released a video of their greatest hits.
Update: Soon after my exchange with President Obama, I sent him this letter urging him to abandon the fantasy of "clean coal." I received a reply by an official from the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy, to which I replied soon after. Click here to read the exchange.
Last night, I went to hear what President Obama had to say at a Gen44 event organized by the Democratic National Committee (note that I took time off from 1Sky to attend the event because 1Sky is a 501(c)(3) organization and we can’t -- and don’t -- do any electoral work).
Anyway, I happened to catch President Obama on a rope line and decided on the fly to challenge him on the mythology of clean coal since our base has been so concerned about his repeated calls for clean coal (and nuclear and oil drilling) alongside real renewable energy solutions. My partner Louis captured the exchange on his iPhone.
Here is what happened and a transcript as best as I can put it together since the audio isn’t great, especially on my voice -- although Obama comes through loud and clear and we have our work cut out for us!
Last week Senators Kerry (D-MA), Graham (R-SC), and Lieberman (I-CT) indicated they are working to introduce a comprehensive climate and energy bill as soon as possible. The trio generated much buzz after they gave a general description of the new approach to emissions reductions that will be included in their bill. While many key senators seemed open to the new proposal, others -- joined by members of the House -- launched new attacks on the Clean Air Act, gaining praise from Senator Murkowski (R-AK).
The Senate just passed a bipartisan jobs bill and health care returned to center stage in Washington. Debate heated up as Senator Murkowski's attack on the Clean Air Act gained both new support and new criticism. Also this week, a Senate climate trio including Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman has reaffirmed their commitment to passing a climate bill this year, beginning with a draft bill.
1Sky and dozens of partners including Clean Energy Works are gearing up for a major call-in campaign taking place this week from March 2-4 asking senators to defeat Senator Murkowski's efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act and urging the Senate to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.