Climate of Ecopolitics: A Citizens Guide

As the pope cries out for the planet, Latin America listens attentively but quizzically
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Snowe made a statement in support at CONG. S Feb. The lead co-sponsor of the Resolution, Olympia J. The Sense of the Senate on Climate Change. S June 22, , stated:. It is the sense of the Senate that, before the end of the first session of the th Congress, Congress should enact a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that-- 1 will not significantly harm the United States economy; and 2 will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.

The measure was defeated by roll call vote of 44 to 53 on June 22, S, S , emphasizing the uncertainty of climate science and the potential damage to the economy. In April , in Berkeley, California, Task Forces in the following major energy-intensive sectors in Partner economies met to begin developing task force plans. In a later meeting in October , in Korea, nearly individual projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the last few years were endorsed.

On May 22, , over 20 Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups, including the National Association of Evangelicals, sent a letter to President Bush and Congress urging action on climate change. The Vatican held a conference on climate change in April ; a papal encyclical was debated. In an address to foreign ambassadors on Jan. Opponents of evolution among evangelical Christians are getting around that by insisting that global warming be debated along with evolution, the origin of the universe and other allegedly controversial issues, thus encouraging academic freedom in general.

States with either enacted or un-enacted legislation or pending bills to that effect include Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Republican Sen. GHG legislation: Senate , has been roundly criticized by conservatives for doing so. However, in March , the Christian Coalition with 2.

These issues continued over into the Obama administration. In November , Democrats won a narrow majority in the House and the Senate, which meant that the chairmanships of important environmental and energy committees would change. EPA , union representatives of over 10, EPA scientists, engineers, specialists and support staff members, filed a mass petition calling for Congress to take immediate action against global warming, and for an end to political interference with climate change scientists. Political Interference with Climate Science. Senator John McCain spoke also, claiming that Congress would act soon on climate change legislation.

John Dingell D-Mich.

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Joe Barton R-TX , the outgoing chair and the new minority leader on that committee, is unabashedly skeptical of the science on climate change. The latter three have all supported legislation to reduce GHG emissions.

Surprisingly enough to Democrats, on Jan. These cars sold in Europe meet or exceed U. Senator Boxer has added two global warming subcommittees to Environment and Public Works. Joseph Lieberman I-Conn. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi co-sponsored with other representatives H. Speaker Pelosi established a select House committee to gather scientific information to improve public awareness of climate change, [] called the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Ed Markey D-Mass. On the same day, Rep. Rahall, II, and co-sponsors, introduced H. See infra for discussion of H. It was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee on March 29th, [] reported back to the Senate without an amendment or a written report, and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders, Calendar No. The th Congress began with several important bill introductions, including:.

The executives were not opposed to mandatory carbon emissions limits, but were predictably concerned about increased utility charges. Henry Waxman, with cosponsors, introduced H. Later that day, Mr. Gore had many recommendations for Congress, including an immediate freeze on CO2 emissions, a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants that cannot capture and sequester CO2, a carbon tax on industries, banning incandescent light bulbs, and tightening fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.

General Gordon R. One of them, retired Air Force Gen. Charles Wald, ranked climate change among the top three security threats to the U. The White House was not enthusiastic. On June 12, , the U. Senate began debates on a new energy bill, which Speaker Pelosi wanted to have enacted by July 4 th. See below. William R. On May 20th, Senator Boxer introduced a tougher climate bill, S. Lieberman had hoped. Published on Nov. EPA notwithstanding. However, few believed the bill to have significant support, and it did not emerge after referral to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Hearing transcripts are located on committee websites for a while but they are not archived there. I give the links to hearings when updating, but eventually they will not work. Later, some hearings will be on the FDsys website , from the th Congress to current, or on ProQuest Congressional by subscription only. Committee reports are here from the th Congress to current. Bills are also; the Bill Text feature covers the st Congress to current; Bill Summary and Status covers the 93rd Congress to current.

Hearings in the House of Representatives:. Atmosphere of Pressure , supra, was presented on Tuesday, Jan. Testifying were Francesca T. Grifo , Ph. Drew T. Pielke , Jr. A transcript is no longer on Dec. In his opening statement, Chairman Waxman stated that the documents produced since the earlier hearing on Jan. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama in Huntsville. Senate Hearing:. Additional Examples:. Commentary Includes:. Norton , in December, , in the U.

Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne , No. Robert C. Two companion bills were introduced in the first session of the th Congress: H. Neither was reported back to Congress by the committees to which they had been referred. Geological Survey released New Polar Bear Finding , the results of 9 studies on the effects of climate change on polar bears. The studies were to determine whether the bears should be regulated under the Endangered Species Act.

Although a final decision on the listing was due on Jan. Kempthorne , N. Derocher , Gregory W. The Service proposed the designation in October, Young of Alaska introduced H. It has no co-sponsors. Times , Aug. Penguins : In Sept. Salazar et al. If the listing happens it would complicate the approval of fishing permits, and compel federal agencies to assess the impact of GHG emissions on penguins and attempt to mitigate the potential harm to them.

Massachusetts v. EPA , U.

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In October , 12 states, 3 cities, and 10 environmental groups filed suit in the Court of Appeals for the D. EPA , et al.

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A three-judge panel of the D. Circuit issued three opinions, only one of which favored the petitioner states. Oral argument in Massachusetts, et al. EPA , No. The Bush administration argued that the alleged damage suffered was too generalized to be addressed by a court. The case came down on April 2, , in a decision in favor of petitioners. The opinion was written by Justice Stevens; two dissents, by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, were joined by the other conservative justices.

The court recommended that if the agency cannot show that CO2 is not implicated in global warming, the agency should regulate it. Bush stated on April 3 rd that he considered the measures he has taken to address global warming to be sufficient, the opinion was welcomed by Congress and the states, 40 of which have filed at least bills addressing GHGs and climate change. Code Regs. Federal Response to Mass. EPA , Browner and William K. The notice appeared on April 30, , at 72 82 Fed. Brown Jr. If the EPA actually took 6 months, the waiver would have been pending for nearly 2 years.

The comment period ended June 15, , see supra. Acting DOT General Counsel Rosalind Knapp denied that such lobbying violates anti-lobbying rules regarding federal employees as they did not apply to contacts between executive branch officials and members of Congress.

The EPA rules will allegedly be proposed before the end of , but the amount of reduction is still undecided. Environmental Protection Agency in U. District Court for the District of Columbia, accusing the EPA of unreasonably delaying its decision on its waiver, originally requested on Dec. There is absolutely no legal justification for the Bush administration to deny this request—Governor Schwarzenegger and I are preparing to sue at the earliest possible moment.

What started off as foot-dragging is looking suspiciously like a cover-up. What is Stephen Johnson trying to hide? The Administrator will be appearing before the Committee on Jan. In a Jan. EPA , 9 th Cir. Circuit on Oct. See supra, under the Obama Administration. Fourteen other states have adopted California's standards, or are in the process of adopting them.

Another four are moving toward adopting the California standards. Altogether, those 19 states represent more than ,, Americans - a majority of the U. EPA , and as the agency promised to do by the end of At a March 13, , hearing before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Administrator Johnson would not commit to issuing a CAA finding of endangerment from CO2 emissions, because it would trigger burdensome requirements on emitting facilities.

For continuing developments re. For academic commentary on Mass. EPA , see, e. Climate change was an issue for candidates of both parties in All the Republican candidates were in favor of nuclear power. Fred Thompson suggested that we need more research in the area. President Obama referred to the importance of dealing with global climate change in his inaugural address on Jan.

GHG legislation:. They estimate an increase of more than percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years, or about four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress. For academic commentary on U. House of Representatives. On June 26, , the House of Representatives passed H. In April , Senator Harry Reid is considering amending this bill with broader climate change provisions. EPA estimated that the impacts of S. They suggested lowering expectations, rather than raising them, say, by looking for a strong interim agreement instead of a new binding GHG reduction agreement.

Three days of hearings began on Oct. Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking Republican on the committee and a global warming skeptic, and Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, expressed serious doubts about the costs of and potential benefits from the bill. Max Baucus D-Mont. On Thursday, July 22, , Senator Reid announced that there would in fact not be a climate bill this session. In the meantime, another participant noted that climate action plans have been adopted by 38 states so far, and 41 states, 10 Canadian provinces, six Mexican provinces, and four native sovereign nations participate in a voluntary Climate Registry for emissions measurement and reporting.

Additionally, 3 regional GHG emissions trading programs—in the Northeast, Midwest, and West—have 33 state participants or observers. Congress as a Whole. Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to a joint session of Congress on Nov. She received many standing ovations, except when she spoke in favor of a climate change agreement in Copenhagen, and then many Republicans remained seated. Under Mass. On April 24, , EPA proposed a finding that GHG emissions endanger public health and welfare, and that emissions from cars and light trucks cause or contribute to the endangerment, entitled Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section a of the Clean Air Act ; the Agency reported receiving over , comments on the proposal.

Mobile Sources. GHG emissions, to track and report their emissions to inform future policy decisions. Under the rule, suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial GHGs, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and facilities that emit 25, metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions are required to submit annual reports to EPA. It is first such rule in the U. EPA , D. Comments will be accepted until Aug.

Two lawsuits filed Dec. LP, v.

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Steven D. Despite the flurry of proposed regulations, the administration would prefer that Congress pass legislation to limit GHG emissions in lieu of a regulatory approach, but the president has encouraged EPA to move forward with regulations to hopefully goad Congress into acting and to offer as an indication of the U. The official version was not published until May 7 th , at 75 Fed.

Starting with model year vehicles, the rule requires automakers to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide GHG emissions by approximately five percent every year. By , new cars will have to get an average of Nationally, it will conserve about 1.

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Paul Taylor has a Los Angeles environmental science and regulatory consulting practice. Mr. Taylor is an expert witness, and has a speaker series based on his. "Climate of Ecopolitics" is a vital Citizen's Guide that sorts out the millions of bits of information on global climate change. Global warming has been described as .

And tomorrow [April 1, ], after decades in which we have done little to increase auto efficiency, those new standards will be finalized, which will reduce our dependence on oil while helping folks spend a little less at the pump. Southeastern Legal Foundation v. These appear to be huge litigations; see infra, 4. Stationary Sources. Petitions, motions and filings are on Lexis, Westlaw and Pacer in Feb. On May 21, , President Obama instructed the NHTSA and EPA to begin developing first-ever standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for model years , as well as new standards for cars and light trucks for model years , as the current standards recently promulgated, see supra, expire in See infra , Canada.

In Jan. In July, the administration and car makers were still heavily debating what the standard should be. EPA is proposing that new cars and trucks should get as much as Currently the U. Times , July 3, Quite surprisingly, and to the delight of ENGOs, carmakers acquiesced to an increase nearly that high, However, the improvements are more modest for SUVs and light trucks: 3.

However, states complained that many more sources would be covered by PSD under the 25, ton rule than previously thought, and in March , Administrator Jackson offered to raise the threshold to 75, tons for the first 2 years. Also, for the first 6 months of it will only apply to sources that are already subject to criteria air pollutant standards for other pollutants.

In the second half of , however, PSD would apply to all sources about that emit over 75, tons. The final rule was published on June 3, , at 75 Fed. Circuit Court of Appeals. A timeline of permitting steps, see infra, is also available on the EPA web page. On Monday, Mar. On April 2, , the regulation which postponed regulation of stationary sources to give industry more time to comply and which may apply only to sources emitting over 25, or more tons per year, when the tailoring rule is finalized, see supra was challenged in the D. Circuit by mining and agricultural groups in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v.

The lawsuit was subsequently joined by another group, in Southeastern Legal Foundation v. Chairman Edward Markey D-Mass. EPA proposed a confidential business information rule on July 7, , at 75 Fed. Eighty-seven new Republican members of the House were sworn in on Jan. According to the N. John M. Broder , E. Walsh, Has ' Climategate ' Been Overblown? This controversy affected the discussion in the U.

Jackson refused, saying the evidence is overwhelming. A letter to Nature in the Jan. This crucial record remains unchallenged. Senator Inhofe, not to be deterred, released an page report on Feb. Inhofe appears to be trying to find a way to criminalize the 17 key researchers involved with the IPCC Assessment Reports. Pachauri announced on Feb. In the U. Times , May 25, Phil Jones, see supra, was reinstated to a job similar to the one he had resigned from during the investigation of the CRU.

It was the 5 th review of the controversy to come to that conclusion, and the most comprehensive. For additional information, see the following:. Marsha Blackburn and cosponsors on Jan. A bill, H. It has 5 cosponsors. Jerry Moran, also disapproving the EPA endangerment finding. Apparently it was learned that the Murkowski amendment was written in collaboration with several dirty energy lobbyists. The resolution reads:. With 41 votes including herself, Murkowski is still shy of the 51 she would need in the Senate to invoke expedited procedures for overturning unpopular federal rules under the Congressional Review Act of as opposed to 60 needed to avoid a filibuster ; but even if she got 51 she still would need the House and the President to approve the resolution, as the latter especially is highly unlikely to do.

According to Republican aides she plans to petition the EPW Committee by the end of February to force the release of the resolution, which she can do with the votes she has. She is looking to bring the resolution up for a vote in mid-March, , but as of March 16 th that had not yet happened. Senate newbie Scott Brown R-Mass has not signed on. Robin Bravender , Sen. See the discussion at Cong. Back in the House, Rep. Ike Skelton D-Mo. Skelton's bill H. Skelton introduced H. Boehner Ohio ; Darrell Issa Calif. Jay Rockefeller introduced S.

There were no cosponsors. On the same date, a companion bill, H. Nick Rahall D-W. Legislation against GHG regulation in the th Congress. Early in the th Congress Jan. See, e. Blackburn R-Tenn. Poe with 53 cosponsors, and H. Times green , Jan. Times, Jan.

Senator Rockefeller, true to his word, introduced S. Both bills were referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Another is S. Walberg with 6 cosponsors. Times, Feb. Cosponsors are Sen. Inhofe R-Okla. Whitfield R-Ky. Among other things, the draft bill would repeal the endangerment finding 74 Fed. Post, Feb. Amena H. If enacted, H. The committee chair, Mr. The subcommittee is expected to approve the bill later in the week.

Broder , At House E. Times , Mar. It did so on Mar. Then the Senate will have its say, and then, should it pass, the President. Circuit Dec.

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William H. Circuit challenging the endangerment finding. The Foundation had filed a petition for reconsideration of the finding in December and is filing a supplemental filing the week of Feb. The lawsuit, Linder v. Chamber of Commerce v. EPA , [] No. Circuit challenging the endangerment finding; however, as the finding imposes no requirements in and of itself, petitioners may have a problem establishing standing to sue at all. According to Warming Law, four additional petitions for review were filed in the D.

Circuit challenging the finding: National Mining Assoc. EPA , No , for a total of 17, not including the state suits mentioned supra. On June 16 th , a 3-judge panel of the D. On April 15, , attorneys general from Alabama and Virginia filed a motion in the D. On July 30, , EPA announced that it had rejected 10 petitions, including the one filed by the state of Texas, and on Sept.

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Texas v. EPA , C. It joined four other challenges to the rejection which were filed in August, including one by the U. Chamber of Commerce. The deadline for filing challenges is Oct. Mississippi Gov. EPA , nos. The ruling was in response to a request by plaintiffs in Coalition for Responsible Regulation Inc. EPA , supra, that the rules be stayed pending court review. Times green blog , Nov. Obama Administration and Energy. In his Feb. EPA also launched its Rulemaking Gateway on the same day, in order to provide greater transparency in its regulatory process.

See Breakdown of U. Solar News: On Oct. Offshore Drilling. The map below, brazenly, though respectfully and gratefully, copied from the N. Times , compares the new areas of exploration and protection to existing areas of exploration note the approximate location at the red star of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, infra. The reason given for the move was the national security interest in reducing oil and gas imports. Inevitably, it drew criticism not only from environmentalists, but also from Republicans, who claim he did not go far enough, and some Democrats as well.

The Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Who will be held responsible for Deepwater Horizon? On May 19 th it was revealed that another company, Schlumberger Ltd. Transocean Ltd. Times , July 7, See Controlled Burn Approved for May 5 They have also tried to contain the oil with booms, and skimming it from the surface. BP largely supported the first site since April, and will contribute to the costs of the new one. EPA created a Web page to track its efforts at containment and cleanup.

See also:. On Saturday May 15 th , EPA and the Coast Guard approved the use of underwater dispersants to prevent the oil from reaching the surface. On Sunday, May 16 th , BP finally reported a modicum of success. They inserted a tube into the pipe from which most of the oil is escaping, and began to divert the oil to a tanker on the surface. This is only a temporary measure, however, as they still need to stop the flow altogether.