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Weekly roundup 1/07/11: Keeping up with Boxer (VIDEO)


Weekly roundup 1/07/11: Keeping up with Boxer (VIDEO)

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Let's start the New Year off right. While Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has taken a firm stance in keeping the EPA's regulation in place at the start of this year, Kyle Gracey at Grist explains his top resolution is to use his words carefully and correctly, starting with calling carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions exactly what they are: pollution. He calls on everyone to take the neutral word out of deadly substances. He points out,

If people who care about stopping climate change can't even call it pollution, why would anyone else, and why would we be surprised if people aren't that worried?"
Perfect way to kick off your 2011.

Canceling coal

Keeping up with our theme to start 2011 off with a bang, construction on the Smith I coal plant in Kentucky has been canceled. 2010 marked the second straight year construction did not begin on a new plant. Here's to making 2011 the third!

Senator Barbara Boxer comes out swinging

Much to Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)'s chagrin, the EPA's emissions rules launched on Sunday, kicking off the two year phase in process to get energy plants in greener, cleaner code. Sen. Rockefeller reaffirmed his intention to stop the EPA's climate regulations by planning to reintroduce legislation that met without success in 2010.

But the bigger fish to fry seems to be Representative Fred Upton (R-MI). Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones has noted his shift from a carbon emission pollution combatant to a one who falls more in line with the climate-change denying cohorts.

In the past, Upton -- the incoming chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee -- has advocated taking action on global warming. 'I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions,' he once stated on his website. But that statement recently vanished from his site-along with, it seems, his concern about global warming.

He even went on to co-author a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying EPA regulation, "presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced." Leave this to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to come out swinging. The Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman pledged yesterday to fight Rep. Upton at every turn:

I want to tell [Upton] that I will use every single tool to me as chairman of this committee and as a senator from California to oppose any legislative effort that threatens the health or safety of the well being of the people of this great nation."
She furthermore went on to say that if legislation to stop the EPA reached President Obama, she'd fully expect his veto.

Nataniel Keohane comes to the White House

Nataniel Keohane has joined the White House staff to help direct environmental and energy policy for the National Economic Council. He comes on board off of his stint as chief economist at the Environmental Defense Fund. Check out his video on the ins and outs of cap and trade legislation.

Remembering Judy Bonds and Pete Postlewaite

Lastly, take a moment to remember two great environmental leaders that we lost this week, Judy Bonds and Pete Postlewaite. Bonds, the 2003 Goldman Prize winner, was described as a "force to be reckoned with when it came to ending mountaintop removal coal mining. She died this week at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer. Love for her family and the community within the West Virginia hallow she called home drove her relentless battle to end the toxicity pumped into the lush valleys she didn't want to see become a part of history.

Below you can watch a video of a few excerpts of Judy Bonds at her finest from the documentary On Coal River, which follows a West Virginian community surrounded by mountains and toxic waste. Get a firsthand look at the fiery spirit we should all look up to.

Judy Bonds from On Coal River on Vimeo.

Oscar nominee and self-professed "climate change party bore," Pete Postlewaite died this week at the age of 64. Playing a role behind climate-change activism wasn't just a part in movies for Postlewaite. In addition to starring in 2009 film, Age of Stupid -- where Postlewaite plays a man living in environmentally ravaged future and asks why more measures to stop climate change weren't taken -- he was an active climate hawk and the proud owner of a wind turbine set up right outside of his home. Postlewaite is best known for his work in The Usual Suspects, Jurassic Park and most recently Inception and The Town. See him at work in this trailer for Age of Stupid:

The Age of Stupid: Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer from SPANNER FILMS on Vimeo.

Take care, and good weekend to all. As a nice weekend treat take a gander at Grist's "climate bill in six acts." Here are some really great strips on your favorite subject from Thomas Pitilli and Warp Graphics. Your appetite for graphic novels comics may be insatiable, but hopefully this will keep you at bay over the weekend.

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