US - Federal Policy

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New Report: Climate Change Impacts Threatens U.S. with "Prohibitive Costs"

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) today (10 September 2009) released a brief report assessing the economic costs of climate change in the U.S., concluding that "every region in the country will confront large costs from climate change in the form of damages to infrastructure, diminished public heath, and threats to vital industries employing millions of Americans." 

Security Implications of Climate Change

In a column in the Washington Post on Sunday (8/2/09), Kathleen Parker argues that the Waxman-Markey climate change bill currently before Congress would undermine our national security by making us more reliant on Middle East oil, a provocative claim for which she provides no support.  The bill would place a limit on dirty, carbon-based fuels, including foreign oil, making home-grown, non-polluting, renewable energy sources more economically attractive.  Free market forces would eventually reduce demand for all fossil fuels, including oil – both for

U.S. House of Representatives passes Landmark Energy and Climate Bill

UPDATE: U.S. Senate introduced related legislation. See Kerry/Lieberman's American Power Act and Kerry/Boxer's Clean Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733).

Household Costs of Cap-and-Trade Proposal: Less than 50 cents daily

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on 19 June 2009 released an analysis (also available as PDF file)concluding that the cap-and-trade program currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would by 2020 cost an average of $175 per household annually. Representing 0.2 percent of the average households’ after-tax income, the estimate falls far below the inflated estimates made by opponents of H.R.

Legislators' Action on Climate Change Bill "a watershed moment"

Upon approval of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, by the Energy and Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives, Lou Leonard, Director of U.S.

WWF on the revised draft American Clean Energy and Security Act

WWF’s President and CEO Carter S. Roberts responds to the revised American Clean Energy and Security Act resulting from difficult negotiations within the Committee on Energy of the U.S. House of Representatives. It commits the “United States to take its first serious steps towards combating climate change” but falls short in some important respects. See the full WWF press release

Congressional Budget Office: beware of lower-probability – but catastrophic -- consequences of climate change

A report issued this week by the Congressional Budget Office raises the importance of reducing the risk of the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. It says that “policymakers might wish to consider taking more action as a hedge against those severe outcomes than they would just to address the expected or most likely outcome.” More specifically, the CBO says:

With Just Six Months Until Copenhagen, US-China Discussions Intensify

President Obama said on 5 June 2009 that “unless the United States and Europe, with our large carbon footprints, per capita carbon footprints, are willing to take some decisive steps, it’s going to be very difficult for us to persuade countries that on a per capita basis at least are still much less wealthy, like China or India, to take the steps that they’re going to need to take in controlling carbon emissions.” Actions by the U.S. and China – and interactions between the two countries – will be especially important.

Senate Committee Holds Roundtable on "The Global Implications of a Warming Arctic."

On Tuesday, May 5 2009, Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts) heard from Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski (Republican) and Mark Begich (Democrat) and a group of Arctic experts in a roundtable on “The Global Implications of a Warming Arctic.” Among the experts were:

House Science Subcommittee Chairman says U.S. must prepare for climate impacts

The chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy & Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives, warned this week that “the climate is changing” and that the U.S. “needs a scientifically and operationally robust system to prepare, adapt, and respond” to future changes. At a hearing of the Science Committee on 5 May 2009 on “Expanding Climate Services at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Developing the National Climate Service,” Chairman Brian Baird said:

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