With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
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By Desi Doyen on 5/19/2009, 12:49pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: One step forward and two steps back for Obama and the Democrats --- the changing political climate of climate change politics.... All that and more in today's SPECIAL Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, Cash for Clunkers? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): No easy solutions for mercury pollution in the Great Salt Lake; Food industry says safety is the responsibility of consumers; Could revolutionary greenhouse design revolutionize Big Ag? ...See below for more!

Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...

  • Obama’s new mileage rules will be first real step to curb planet-warming emissions
    Another significant change is that the new standards will include tougher requirements for each class size of vehicles, as well as a higher average across each company’s fleet, according to the official. The previous rules covered only the fleet average, which meant that companies could offset a giant SUV with some more fuel-efficient models.

    “This has the effect of preserving consumer choice,” said the official. “You can continue to buy whatever size car you like, all cars get cleaner.”

  • Obama to Toughen Rules on Emissions and Mileage
  • Obama Nominates Superfund Polluter Lawyer To Run DOJ Environment Division
    On Tuesday, Obama “announced his intent to nominate” Ignacia S. Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice. Moreno, general counsel for that department during the Clinton administration, is now the corporate environmental counsel for General Electric, "America’s #1 Superfund Polluter".
  • Coal, Electric Industries Big Winners in Climate Bill Deal: Regional Interests Watering Down Bill Aimed at Curbing Global Climate Change Effects
    The saga highlights the thorny congressional climate change debate, where partisan politics takes a backseat to regional interests, and the influence of the energy lobby is king. Indeed, the concessions from Waxman and Markey to this point have been made to satisfy Democrats representing regions heavy with coal, oil and automaker interests.

    The resulting dynamic is one of multi-layered tension that pits industry against environmentalists, regional interests against national and global interests, and congressional lawmakers against emission reforms that might help the planet, but could also cost jobs in their districts.

  • Some enviro groups not happy with Waxman-Markey bill
  • GOP plans 450 climate bill changes
    They plan to introduce amendments covering a huge swath of issues from lowering the emissions targets and renewable electricity standard included in the bill to making the controversial Yucca Mountain in Nevada a storage facility for carbon capture and sequestration waste.
    ...Republicans are also considering introducing a series of state-specific proposals targeted at making lawmakers take tough votes against their home districts.
    ...
    Still, other amendments would mandate intense reporting requirements, force congressional reauthorization every two years, and limit lawsuits.
  • Warming Skeptics Get Heard on the Hill: More GOP Doubts Expressed as House Prepares to Take Up Emissions-Cap Bill
  • Paul Krugman, NYT: The Perfect, the Good, the Planet
    After all the years of denial, after all the years of inaction, we finally have a chance to do something major about climate change. Waxman-Markey is imperfect, it’s disappointing in some respects, but it’s action we can take now. And the planet won’t wait.

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!

  • No easy solutions for Great Salt Lake mercury
    Dealing with mercury problems plaguing the Great Salt Lake won't be as simple as finding and eliminating its sources, a national mercury expert said Tuesday.
  • Food Companies Are Placing the Onus for Safety on Consumers
    Yet the supply chain for ingredients in processed foods — from flavorings to flour to fruits and vegetables — is becoming more complex and global as the drive to keep food costs down intensifies. As a result, almost every element, not just red meat and poultry, is now a potential carrier of pathogens, government and industry officials concede.
  • Camarillo-area greenhouses produce 21st century crops
    The facility generates its own renewable power. It hoards rainwater. It hosts its own bumblebees for pollination. And it requires a fraction of the chemicals used in neighboring fields to coax plants to produce like champions.

    This fledgling movement to grow food crops in closed, sustainable environments could become as revolutionary to farming in the 21st century as California's development of massive farms was in the 20th, agriculture experts say.