Policy

Will Obama Sell Out the Clean Air Act for a Deal With Congress?

1
Apr
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I was going to devote this blog exclusively to the energy speech President Obama delivered at Georgetown University, but there are some disturbing reports in the press today that I need to address first.

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1Sky Policy Update 3/30/2011 - Potential Senate Climate Showdown

31
Mar
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This week the Senate could potentially hold the first set of major climate votes of the 112th Congress on up to four Dirty Air Acts: McConnell-Inhofe, Rockefeller, Baucus, and Stabenow. For years now the Senate has delayed comprehensive action on climate and clean energy - the only major votes held on climate have been votes on polluter-endorsed bills that would gut the Clean Air Act. This vote could set the stage for further Clean Air Act and climate fights as the 2012 election cycle approaches.

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Policy Update 3/24/11: Continuing Dirty Air Acts in the U.S. Senate

24
Mar
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Last week Republicans in the Senate threatened to force a vote on the Upton-Inhofe Dirty Air Act. A vote will be delayed until after the one-week recess but it goes to show how committed big polluters and their allies in Congress are to gutting the Clean Air Act every chance they get. Energy-related disasters and conflicts in Japan and Libya continue to influence the U.S. dialogue on energy and climate policy.

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Policy Update 3/15/2011: Japan Faces Nuclear Disaster

15
Mar
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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.

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Policy Update 3/8/11: Upton and Inhofe's Dirty Air Bill

8
Mar
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Politicians continue to attack the Clean Air Act on a daily basis as budget fights, science hearings, and consideration of anti-climate bills persist on Capitol Hill. The government is currently only funded for two more weeks, forcing a major budget compromise by March 18th. House GOP leadership is signaling that they are willing to back down on their most egregious anti-climate riders, but Clean Air Act-blocking legislation continues to be considered in the House and Senate with the introduction of the Upton-Inhofe bill.

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Policy Update 3/1/2011: Wisconsin and Climate

1
Mar
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Rallies sprung up nationwide this weekend in solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. Much of the opposition faced by unions is from the same polluter-funded front groups that have opposed climate legislation for years. The protests in Wisconsin have the opportunity to be a key turning point in the fight against corporate influence on our politics. The House and Senate will return to D.C. this week for further consideration of short-term spending bills.

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Policy Update 2/21/11: Climate Roped into High-Stakes Budget Fight

23
Feb
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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.

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Policy Update 2/15/2011: Three Climate Battles

15
Feb
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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.

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Why climate change is an essential part of our argument for clean energy

3
Feb
Climate Change Blackboard

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?

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Policy Update 2/1/2011: Obama calls for "clean" energy

1
Feb
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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).

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