With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Climate Change Legislation Special Edition
By Desi Doyen on 6/30/2009, 12:02pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: The heat was on as members of the U.S. House of Representatives angrily debated and narrowly passed the landmark American Clean Energy & Security Act, a sweeping overhaul of the nation's energy systems and the first attempt to address the oncoming freight train of climate change...in this special edition of the Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? 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): Canada's problems with new nuke power plants; Beijing's air still polluted, even after olympic effort for Olympics; Q&A on CFLs wtih Consumer Reports.... PLUS: Is it illegal to capture rainwater in your area?

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

  • In Close Vote, House Passes Climate Bill; Measure Aims to Change Energy Use (Washington Post)
  • House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer's empassioned speech in favor of Waxman-Markey (Transcript):

  • Next on climate: Improve Waxman-Markey innovation provisions in Senate (Grist.org)
  • Europeans ‘Demand More’ From Americans (Green Inc., NYT)
  • The CBO Gives A Big Boost To Climate Policy (The New Republic)
  • One at a Time, Waxman, Markey Chase Votes (Wall St. Journal)
  • Waxman Incorporates A Score Of Amendments Into Final Version Of His Clean Economy Legislation
  • How Did Your Representative Vote? The Climate Dividing Lines (National Journal Online) [emphasis added]:
    Another telling, if somewhat less powerful measure, was the degree to which a member's state relied on coal to generate electricity. Thirty of the 121 Democrats from states that generate at least 40 percent of their power from coal voted against the bill; just 14 of the 134 Democrats from states that are less reliant on coal joined them in opposition. That means about one-in-four of the coal state Democrats voted no, compared to only a little over one-in-10 of everyone else.

    Of the 29 "McCain Democrats" who opposed the bill, 21 represent states that are heavily dependent on coal. Six of the eight Republican supporters came from states that don't use much coal --- though the vast majority of all Republicans from those states opposed the bill.

  • Carbon Trading: What Europe Can Actually Teach Us (The New Republic):
    Of all the questions about climate policy, one of the biggest is whether a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases will even work. Will it actually and tangibly reduce emissions? The only real-world example we have is the EU's Emissions Trading System, set up in 2005. Conservatives take it as a given that the ETS has failed—see Martin Livermore's Wall Street Journal column last week. But on closer inspection, the ETS seems to be working pretty well after a few early miscues, and there's plenty that American policymakers can learn from Europe's experience.
  • Betraying the Planet (Opinion, NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?
    ...
    But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn’t see people who’ve thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they’ve decided not to believe in it — and they’ll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

    Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.

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