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Mitt Romney's Extremist Energy Plan by Michael T. Klare, The Nation | October 30, 2012As he seeks the support of undecided voters in key swing states, Mitt Romney is portraying himself as a centrist at heart—not as the “severely conservative Republican” he said he was during the hard-fought GOP primaries. This kinder, gentler Romney was very much on display in his televised debates with President Obama. But a close examination of his energy plan, released on August 23, reveals no such moderation; rather, it is a blueprint for the systematic plunder of America’s farm and wilderness areas, coupled with a neocolonial invasion of Canada and Mexico. Essentially, the plan is intended to remove most impediments to the exploitation by U.S. energy firms of untapped oil, gas and coal fields in the United States, Canada and Mexico, regardless of the consequences for national health, safety or the environment. In particular, the plan has five key objectives. read more »
Sandy And The Real Climate Change Question by Natasha Lennard, salon.com | October 30, 2012While Hurricane Sandy batters increasing stretches of the East Coast, she has also thrown up somewhat of a false dichotomy question: “Climate change or freak storm?” Climate scientists remain split on the debate of whether extreme weather can indicate a shifting global climate, as Tom Chivers of UK newspaper the Telegraph noted, “The answer is no, or yes, or better yet ‘you’re asking the wrong question’.” While millions of Americans batten down the hatches and millions more stay glued from afar to Sandy’s ruinous spectacle, no resolution will be found to the climate change/freak storm question. But it is nonetheless the question on millions of minds today, as it is every time an extreme weather event strikes. So why is neither presidential candidate this year exploring the issue with us? read more »
Frankenclimate by Sarah Laskow, prospect.org | October 30, 2012Here is what it’s possible to say for certain: Climate change is happening. It’s likely that we’ll get better at dealing with erratic and extreme weather. There’s a high probability that, over the next decades, we’ll worry more often about crops dying and about monster storms. And just as it’s almost normal now for each passing year to be one of the hottest ten on record, soon it may seem routine to hear that the hurricane that’s currently headed towards your city is the largest ever measured. The two men running for president did not mention this issue when they met in three debates, and neither has shown much interest in addressing it in the next four years. But if the summers stay hot and the hurricanes abnormally large, enough people might start believing that climate change is problem that they’ll have to. read more »
Is Hurricane Sandy God's Punishment For Ignoring Global Warming In Debates? by Dave Johnson, OurFuture.org | October 29, 2012Conservatives and the Christian Right regularly blame hurricanes on abortion, liberals, government and "teh gay." But Hurricane Sandy actually is an "unprecedented." This "Frankenstorm," with a gale-force wind diameter of 1040 miles, is the largest hurricane in Atlantic history, with the lowest barometric pressure. read more »
Frankenstorm: God’s Latest Warning? by Ted Glick, grist.org | October 26, 2012It is ironic, way beyond ironic really, that the Nation’s Capital – and the entire Northeast – is staring down the barrel of an incredibly powerful storm about which a National Weather Service meteorologist has said, ”I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.” Perhaps this weather scare that may well be much more than just a scare is God’s revenge for the refusal of the U.S. government to take action on the climate crisis. read more »
Obama And Romney Ignore Climate, Could Learn From Hillary Clinton by Lisa Hymas, grist.org | October 23, 2012The climate silence is complete: Climate change got not a single mention in any of the three presidential debates nor in the vice presidential debate this year. That hasn’t happened for 24 years. In the final debate on Monday night, focused on foreign policy, moderator Bob Schieffer didn’t ask anything about energy or climate, but he posed a couple of open-ended questions that would have given easy entrée to either candidate had they any inclination to bring up the topic: “What is America’s role in the world?” and “What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country?” In a debate about global challenges and global threats, Romney and Obama both chose to say nothing at all about the climate crisis, the most global of all challenges and threats. read more »
A Report from Tar Sands Blockade in Texas by Julia Butterfly Hill, earthisland.org | October 22, 2012In January 2012, I, like many other people, thought the Keystone XL pipeline controversy was over. We had won a hard-fought victory in suspending the proposed tar sands pipeline from crossing the border from Canada into the USA. But shortly after reveling in the victory, I read the words of President Barack Obama said during a March speech in Cushing, OK. “And today, I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done,” the president said. To my horror and disappointment, that is exactly what he did. Today TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, has already started construction on the southern leg of the pipeline. Some residents in Texas and other allies who have come from all over the country are trying to stop this from happening. I am honored and humbled to be able to share part of their story. read more »
Why The Chill On Climate Change? by Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post | October 19, 2012Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change. President Obama understands and accepts the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is trapping heat in the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects. Mitt Romney’s view, as on many issues, is pure quicksilver — impossible to pin down — but when he was governor of Massachusetts, climate-change activists considered him enlightened and effective. Yet neither has mentioned the subject in the debates. Instead, they have argued over who is more eager to extract ever-larger quantities of oil, natural gas and coal from beneath our purple mountains’ majesties and fruited plains. read more »
Bob Schieffer, Do What No Debate Moderator Has Done Yet. Mention Climate. by Bill Scher, OurFuture.org | October 19, 2012We've had four and a half hours of presidential and vice-presidential debates. We've covered a lot of ground. There's been a lot of substance. Yet it is unconscionable that the biggest crisis the world faces has not yet warranted a mention: global warming. Will it be mentioned in the last presidential debate on Monday? read more »
What We Can Learn From Europe's Cap-And-Trade System by Brad Plumer, The Washington Post | October 18, 2012We know, we know. No one in Washington wants to talk about climate change. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney mentioned the subject in the second presidential debate on Tuesday. And there’s a widespread belief that a cap-and-trade program to cut carbon emissions won’t resurface in Congress anytime soon. Still, that hasn’t stopped our friends on the other side of the Atlantic from tackling the issue. And there’s a new report from the analysts at the Environmental Defense Fund, looking at the track record of Europe’s cap-and-trade system over the past seven years. Some of the lessons here are worth a closer look. read more »
House Dems Unveil Oil Spill Plan Ahead of Friday Debate, thehill.com | July 27, 2010
House Democrats on Monday unveiled their strategy to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a package headed for the floor late this week that would shore up offshore rig safety standards and block BP from obtaining new offshore drilling leases.
The bill, slated for debate Friday, also increases oil companies’ liability for damages from offshore spills. read more »
Brownback Calls for Passage of Renewable Energy Standard, washingtonindependent.com | July 27, 2010
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) announced today his support for including a renewable energy standard in the energy bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to unveil tomorrow. read more »
Daschle, Reid Differ on 60-Vote Prediction for Green-Power Mandate, thehill.com | July 27, 2010
Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and other advocates of a first-time federal renewable electricity production mandate insist they have enough votes to include it in an upcoming Senate oil spill and energy package, despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) prediction to the contrary. read more »
Dems Press Reid to Put Renewable Power Standard in Energy Bill, thehill.com | July 27, 2010
Nearly half the Senate’s Democrats are pressuring Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a national renewable electricity mandate in the slimmed-down energy bill expected on the floor this week.
But they face an uphill battle — Reid argued over the weekend that a renewables mandate won’t fly in the Senate. read more »
Reid’s Energy Bill Delayed Until Tuesday, blogs.wsj.com | July 27, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is keeping much of Washington – and the business community - in suspense over what will be in his energy bill. Reid announced the broad outlines of the bill last week, but has yet to publish the text. read more »
Climate Change Linked to Possible Mass Mexican Migration to U.S., articles.latimes.com | July 27, 2010
Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number could amount to 10% of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65. read more »
U.S. Faces Climate-Driven Water Shortages , grist.org | July 27, 2010
As global warming accelerates, the world will become not only hotter, flatter, and more crowded but also thirsty, according to a new study that finds 70 percent of counties in the United States may face climate change-related risks to their water supplies by 2050. read more »
Cap-And-Trade Advocates See Tougher Battle After Elections , The New York Times | July 27, 2010
With Republicans expected to pick up seats in both the House and Senate on Election Day, most advocates of carbon caps say they face a tougher playing field in 2011.
"From an objective standpoint, it looks like what might be the shift in party balances a little bit might make it harder," said Joe Mendelson, director of global warming policy at the National Wildlife Federation. read more »
Reid Says Renewable Electricity Mandate Lacks 60 Votes, thehill.com | July 26, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Saturday said he does not have enough support now to move a renewable electricity production mandate promoting sources like solar and geothermal that are important businesses in his state.
“I don’t think I have 60 votes to get that done,” Reid said at the progressive Netroots Nation conference in Las Vegas.
Utility Companies `Just Exhausted' After Defeat on Cap-and-Trade Measure, bloomberg.com | July 26, 2010
Every month over the past two years, Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo of the utility Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. traveled to Washington from Newark, New Jersey, to meet with more than 50 senators and advocate for climate-change legislation. His efforts may have been in vain. read more »