US - Federal Policy

China Solidifies Itself as Clean Energy Powerhouse

According to a new report, China has solidified its lead over the U.S. in clean energy investment and installed clean energy capacity. With record private clean energy investments in 2010, China ranks first for the second straight year, surpassing the U.S.

Reject Proposals to Roll Back Clean Air Act Protections, Says former EPA Administrator to Congress

"The House of Representatives should reject H.R. 910 and any similar proposals to undermine the essential protections that the Clean Air Act provides for our collective health and welfare," says Russell Train, a former EPA Administrator under the Nixon and Ford Administrations, in a letter sent today (7 April 2011) to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives. "Representative Upton’s bill would effectively overturn both a scientific finding and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming EPA’s authority and requirement to regulate dangerous greenhouse gas pollutants. This legislation should be opposed."

NOAA Releases New Strategy for Addressing a Rapidly Changing Arctic

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a report on the Arctic, outlining NOAA’s vision and strategy for dealing with a rapidly changing environment and improving forecasts of the region's weather and sea ice conditions.

In Texas Field Hearing, House Subcommittee To Attack EPA as State Faces Another Year of Devastating Drought

The House Energy and Power Subcommittee will be in Texas on Thursday (24 March 2011) holding a hearing attacking EPA's Clean Air Act enforcement, including its steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  The hearing will take place against a backdrop of long-term -- and devastating -- drought in the state.  According to the Texas State Climatologist, “it is likely that drought frequency and severity will increase in Texas."  The culprit: rising greenhouse gas concentrations. 

Former EPA Administrator Russell Train Urges Senate to Repulse Attacks on Clean Air Act

"I urge the Senate to reject S.482, S.231 and any other legislation that would curtail or delay the ability of the EPA to implement the Clean Air Act and its provisions to protect the health and welfare of all Americans," says Russell Train, a former EPA Administrator under the Nixon and Ford Administrations.  "Such proposals are driven not by science but by political considerations – to stall action on an emerging threat and shield elected officials from having to make difficult but necessary decisions. But as Congress itself has made clear, the Clean Air Act was not written to protect politicians; it was written to protect the American people." Train expressed his views in a letter today (16 March 2011) to Senate leaders Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) and Mitch McConnell (Republican, Kentucky).

U.S. National Research Council: Climate Change Impacts "Call for Action by U.S. Naval Leadership"

In National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) warned yesterday (10 March 2011) that “even the most moderate predicted trends in climate change will present new national security challenges for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.” Frank L. Bowman, a retired U.S. navy admiral and co-chair of the NRC committee that wrote the report said: “Naval forces need to monitor more closely and start preparing now for projected challenges climate change will present in the future.”

EPA Clean Air Regulations Save Lives and Money, According to New Study

A new report evaluating the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, show the benefits of the regulation far outweigh the cost by a factor of 30 to 1. These amendments instituted the acid rain cap-and-trade program and covered fine particles, ozone, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. When these amendments were first being proposed, much like proposed bills to regulate greenhouse gases, naysayers predicted the cost to businesses and the economy would be too great. This report proves otherwise. 

Economist Robert Litterman: "Price Climate Risk Immediately" through a Price on Carbon Emissions

"The logic is very simple," says economist Robert Litterman.  "Not pricing risk leads to too much risk being taken; and too much risk being taken leads to disasters."

Legislation Passed by U.S. House Would Strip U.S. Funding for International Climate Change Assessment Panel

Early today (Saturday, 19 Feb 2011) -- after temperatures in Washington, DC, rose to a record high for the date on Friday -- the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, who proposed the IPCC amendment that was approved by nearly all his Republican colleagues,  claimed the U.S. would otherwise contribute about $13 million to the IPCC.  Fact-checking shows that his claim may be more than 5 time larger than the actual U.S. contribution.

U.S. House of Representatives Considers Amendments to Eliminate Support for International Climate Change Assessment

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering amendments  that would eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The amendments are among hundreds that would modify legislation (H.R. 1) to fund the U.S. government through 30 September 2011.  WWF and many other organizations are opposed.

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