Environment Authorization Debate C-SPAN LIVE

House of Representatives
Debate on HR 2643, 2008 Interior Dept. Budget

The House of Representatives is considering H.R. 2643, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008. WATCH LIVE ON C-SPAN.

The bill authorizes $27.6 billion, $2 billion more than the Bush version, 4.5% over 2007 levels.

White House objections (aka good stuff):

  • $437 million above Bush's request for EPA's Clean Water State Revolving Fund

  • A provision that will create an interagency commission on mitigating and adapting to climate change

  • language that seeks to force oil and gas companies to renegotiate leases issued in 1998 and 1999

GOP amendments include two amendments from John E. Peterson, R-Pa, that would lift the ban on drilling for natural resources off the outer continental shelf.

Democratic amendments include one from Eddie Bernice Johnson to block EPA's relaxed pollution-control requirements for some industrial facilities that emit air toxics such as benzene, chlorine and asbestos.

There's more...

Hill Global Warming Week: Energy Bill Checklist

Last week I diaried on the key battles in the Senate energy bill:

* No on Coal-to-Liquid

  • No on restricting EPA or state regulation of motor vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases
  • No on diluting definition of biofuels
  • No on changing "renewable" to "alternative" in legislation
  • No on offshore drilling
  • Yes on strong CAFE standards (no on weakening further)
  • Yes on price-gouging regulation (the right-wingers are fighting this hard)
  • Yes on national Renewable Portfolio Standard of 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020 (if we're lucky, we'll get legislation for 15% by 2020)
  • Yes on incentives for distributed generation (aka cogeneration, net metering, electranet) at the commercial  and residential level
  • Yes on support for energy efficiency, especially
  • Yes on funding of The Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Yes on funding renewable energy by removing some oil subsidies

So what were the results?

There's more...

Global Warming Week: Live blogging House Energy Utility CEOs Hearing

  • Michael Morris, Chairman, President, & CEO, American Electric Power, OH
  • James Rogers, President & CEO, Duke Energy, NC
  • Jackson Reasor, President & CEO, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, VA
  • Jeffry Sterba, Chairman, President & CEO, PNM Resources, NM
  • David Sokol, Chairman & CEO, MidAmerican Corp, ND
  • Milton Lee, GM & CEO, CPS Energy, TX

live webcast

10:28 Hall (TX): Today we're seeing an attack on energy. There's a saying, "Kill the stomach and you kill the head." All these punches are stomach punches. The head is global warming. Nobody is talking about anything how it costs. What about China? What about Russia?

10:33 Shimkus (IL): I had an electronic town hall meeting. Not one question about global warming, but many about electric bills. Once consumers start receiving the bill, consumers will talk to us. It will not be a pleasant conversation. It'll be devastation for this country. Our energy demands are not going down, they're going up. We're in deep trouble on this cap-and-trade. I'm very quizzical that we human beings think we can affect global climate. Some would argue this planet is carbon-starved. I'm a creationist. If you're in the evolutionary scientific model, the planet balances itself out.

10:37 Dingell: The US is dependent on coal. We've explored some opportunities for using coal more cleanly.

There's more...

Global Warming Week: Live blogging Political Interference with Climate Change Science Hearing

Monday, March 19, 2007
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Hearing on Allegations of Political Interference with Government Climate Change Science (Part II)
2154 Rayburn

Live Webcast

Panel I

  • Philip Cooney, former Chief of Staff, White House Council on Environmental Quality

  • Dr. James Hansen, Director, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • George Deutsch, former public affairs officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Panel II

  • James Connaughton, Chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Panel III

  • Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama in Huntsville

There's more...

Live-blogging Fred Singer at Heritage Foundation

Live Video Stream

The hype surrounding global warming has reached ridiculous proportions.

Last week a Czech economist came to Washington. He called Al Gore insane. I wish we had people in our government who were that outspoken.

On March 26 I'll be at American University, on the 28th, Vermont.

What is the most fundamental scientific issue in this whole business of climate change and global warming? The single issue is not whether glaciers are melting, or there's a drought, sea level rise.

Is it natural or is it due to human activity? If it is natural, and I hope to convince you it is, there's nothing we can do about it. It's unstoppable.

Global warming is caused by nature.

Slide: No Evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming.

He's waving a "government report" around. Why has it been ignored? There isn't any competence anywhere to recognize what's in the report. So I'll connect the dots for you.

The summary of the report misrepresents what's in the report. The sad thing is most do not read beyond the summary. You're going to be the first group here to learn what's in this report. You're going to get some of the returns from your hard-earned tax dollars.

Al Gore and others tell us there's a scientific consensus. That's laughable. Even if 99% of scientists agree, that wouldn't mean it's right. The way in which science works is that when the facts diagree with the hypothesis you have to throw out the hypothesis.

He's discussing continental drift. I think the same thing will happen here.

Glaciers are melting. Sea ice is melting. Polar ice is melting.

That just means it's warming. The thermometers don't lie. The logical error is to confuse the consequence of warming with the cause of warming.

There's more...

NYT Hit Piece on Gore

The NYT piece on anti-Gore scientists by William J. Broad is a classic hit piece which sounds like it comes from a GOP press release instead of a newspaper like the Times.

There are 12 scientists quoted. Seven -- Don J. Easterbrook, Richard S. Lindzen, Bjorn Lomborg, Roy Spencer, Benny J. Peiser, Robert M. Carter, Paul Reiter -- are global warming skeptics. Only one is a climate scientist.

The other five quoted -- Kevin Vranes, Roger A. Pielke Jr., Tim Killeen, James E. Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer -- have their statements framed in a way as disparaging to Gore as possible.

There's more...

Global Warming: Where's the Media?

Yesterday Congress held three separate hearings on global warming, including prominent figures such as Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service, Adviser to Her Majesty's Government on the Economics of Climate Change and Chad Holliday, CEO of DuPont.

The hearings covered an industry & environmental organization-supported plan for a cap-and-trade system, the looming crisis in our climate change research because of the impending loss of all of our science satellites, and Stern's economic analysis of the costs of fighting global warming versus waiting.

So you might think that something newsworthy would come of it.

But there was essentially no coverage of any of the hearings.

There's more...

Why I hate political reporters


Washington: Shailagh, Who do you think is more cynical, you or the people you cover?

Shailagh Murray: You can't be a cynic and spend all day on the campaign trail answering the same questions and delivering the same speeches, and ultimately putting your name on a ballot.

Reporters, on the other hand, are standing on the other side of the rope line, shuddering in the cold and trying to get their wireless cards to work. We know the candidate is going to lose.

That's the basic difference.

There's more...

Expectations: Should Democrats End Bush's Irresponsible Tax Cuts?

The New York Times's Steven Weisman on Bush's $2.9 trillion budget with military spending increases, reductions in popular domestic programs and calls to extend tax cuts, in which he pretty much spends the whole piece the Democrats a bunch of weak-kneed principle-less cowards.

But few Democrats are expected to look for new revenues by calling for an end to Mr. Bush's tax cuts, instead of extending them as the president proposed Monday.

I don't know about you, but I for one expect Democrats to call for an end to Bush's tax cuts for the superwealthy.

Our troops shouldn't be the only ones to sacrifice for his pointless war.

Our children shouldn't be the only ones to sacrifice for his feckless priorities.

There's more...

Global Warming 101

Climate scientists have not been sitting on their thumbs for the last 25 years.

There just aren't that many potential causes of the present global warming trend.

It's either caused by more heat coming in to the atmosphere or less heat coming out.

If it's an increase in heat going into the system, then the possible sources are:
# increased insolation
# increased geothermal
# increased anthropogenic heat

All of these have been studied extensively and any increase in heat entering the system cannot account for the present global warming.

Thus less heat is coming out, which can be caused by:
# decrease in planetary albedo
# increase in greenhouse gases

Again, these have been extensively studied.

Change in planetary albedo does not explain current global warming, although pretty much all of the decrease is anthropogenic.

So we're left with greenhouse gases.

And in fact we find that greenhouse gas concentrations have skyrocketed.

And if we separate natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas contributions we find that the increases in greenhouse gases are primarily anthropogenic.

It's certainly a lot of work to eliminate the other possibilities, but that work has been done.

There's more...


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