Climate News

From the good folks at NRDC, also
Climate news:

June was the hottest on record worldwide, federal data shows (TheHill)
The federal agency that tracks global temperatures reported Thursday that last month was the hottest June ever, the latest of several records this year. “Last month’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made it the warmest June on record and the warmest on record averaged for any April-June and January-June periods,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the most recent monthly analysis from their National Climatic Data Center.

The Stone Soup Clean Energy and Climate Bill (CAP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced on July 13 that he plans to bring comprehensive clean energy legislation to the floor of the U.S. Senate during the week of July 26. According to Politico, “Reid confirmed the bill will have four parts: an oil spill response; a clean-energy and job-creation title based on work done in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; a tax package from the Senate Finance Committee; and a section that deals with greenhouse gas emissions from the electric utility industry.” He indicated that Senate leaders would spend the next week putting together a bill with these four titles.

Spending showdown looms as Reid clears deck for energy reform bill (TheHill)
Senate and House Democrats are headed for a clash this week over funding for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) races to clear the schedule for a long-awaited energy reform legislation. The Senate and House are squabbling over $22.8 billion House appropriators added to the supplemental bill. House lawmakers note that it’s fully paid for with offsets, such as $11.7 billion in rescissions to government programs that no longer need funding.

EIA Analysis – Economywide Carbon Cap Reduces GDP by 0.2% (NYT)
The Senate’s plan for an economywide carbon cap would probably reduce gross domestic product by 0.2 percent from 2013 to 2035, reducing household consumption by about $206 dollars a year, according to an Energy Information Administration analysis released today.

We Won’t Accept More Poison For Less Carbon (HuffPo)
As Senators enter the final rounds of negotiations on the climate and energy bill, big utility companies apparently are making unconscionable demands that threaten the health and safety of all Americans. For example, The Hill reports: “Power company officials are now asking for relief from upcoming EPA restrictions on pollution the agency has long regulated under the Clean Air Act, including ozone, particulate matter and lead.” Other stories also suggest that big utilities want the United States Senate to somehow bargain away EPA’s authority to protect America from dirty air and water. These demands are unacceptable.

Why Utilities Are Frozen In Place On Emissions (NationalJournal)
America’s electric utilities are looking for a map to guide them through the multitude of environmental mandates coming out of Washington while they work to keep their customers’ air conditioners and computers humming. Industry officials say they need to replace the nation’s aging energy production infrastructure with clean, efficient power plants. They are calling for clear regulatory signals to help them plan for those costly assets, some of which will remain on line for decades to come. The unresolved debate over federal action to curb climate change and pollution emissionsleaves utilities in limbo about how to plan for the future.

Does Middle East Oil Get a Carbon Subsidy? (NYT GreenInc)
The federal government’s position on ethanol fuel is that it must contribute less to global warming than gasoline does, or why bother promoting it. Yet by some calculations, ethanol is worse because it encourages the destruction of forests to make way for new farmland, many assert. Burning trees releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; what is more, the trees are no longer there to absorb carbon dioxide.

National Post shocking turnaround: “Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause” (DeepClimate)
First, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And then I checked the date at the top of the screen to make sure I hadn’t stumbled across a leftover April Fool’s joke. But the date read “July 15, 2010″. And the headline of the National Post’s lead opinion piece still read forthrightly: Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause

Al Gore plugs sci-fi thriller that’s aiding climate campaign (TheHill)
Al Gore is giving two thumbs up to the new science fiction thriller “Inception” that stars fellow environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio – a film that is aiding one of Gore’s climate change advocacy groups. Proceeds from the film’s July 13 premiere in Los Angeles went to the Gore-founded Alliance for Climate Protection, which is pressing Congress to approve legislation that caps greenhouse gas emissions.

West Virginia’s new senator quickly attacks carbon caps (TheHill)
West Virginia’s newly appointed senator signaled Friday that he’s unlikely to support climate change legislation, dealing a fresh blow to advocates seeking a spot for emissions caps in a broader energy bill. Carte Goodwin – who West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) appointed as an interim replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D) – said at a news conference that he was “reluctant” to discuss specific legislation.

First-Term Senate Democrats Press for Energy Bill (RollCall)
First-term Senate Democrats lent their leader a hand Friday by announcing their support for passing a clean energy bill this year. In a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the group of 12 first-termers declared, “We see the great potential for our states and our nation to benefit if we enact comprehensive energy legislation this year.”

Carbon-Pricing Plan Might Not Clear Moderate Hurdles (CongressDaily)
Senate Democrats working on a last-ditch effort to price carbon emissions of power plants face a mounting wall of resistance from moderate senators in both parties whose support is essential for the passage of any type of energy and energy bill.

What cap? Dems’ climate word war (Politico)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played dumb last week when a reporter asked him if the energy and climate bill headed to the floor would come with a “cap” on greenhouse gas emissions. “I don’t use that,” the Nevada Democrat replied. “Those words are not in my vocabulary. We’re going to work on pollution.”

Coral specis in Red Sea barely growing, thanks to global warming (Treehugger)
Global warming is wreaking havoc on plant and animal populations around the world: Polar bear habitats are melting, giant trees in Yosemite are thinning, and branched coral in the Caribbean has been largely killed by bleaching due to warmer water temperatures. Now researchers believe global warming is also responsible for slowed growth of one species of coral in the Red Sea.

California anti-climate ballot measure could have global consequences (Grist)
This November, California voters are in danger of undoing one of the most progressive pieces of environmental legislation ever passed.

Don’t Hold Your Breath — What the Gulf Spill Does (and Doesn’t) Mean for the Arctic (HuffPo)
Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was once famously asked for his assessment of the consequences of the 1789 French revolution. His response showed a remarkable sense of the slowness of history, and the solidity of its contours. “It’s too early to say”, Zhou Enlai was reported to have told his over-eager American interlocutor.


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