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Archive for May, 2010

THE NEW CLIMATE BILL!!!

The American Power Act: A New Start for Clean American Power and a New Economy (5/12/2010)

Senator John Kerry’s web site that is currently hosting the new climate bill.

Read the bill.

Read a short summary of the bill.

Read a section by section summary of the bill.

Read a one page explanation of the bill’s support for American manufacturing.

Read a one page explanation of the bill’s section on transportation and refined products.

Read a one page explanation of the bill’s push to free us from our addiction to foreign oil.

Read a one page explanation of the bill’s help for American consumers.

Read the press release announcing the introduction of the bill.

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Websites

Model Forest Policy Program

Local leaders from over 1000 cities and 36 counties have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing their community to designing and implementing climate protection measures. MFPP provides climate conscious communities with sound forest policy recommendations and sustainable forestry educational tools that integrate ecological integrity with economic benefits. We provide an active communication network that connects you to professional policy advisors, current publications, new laws, and enables a rich exchange of information among participants and stakeholders.

The Pacific Forest Trust

The Pacific Forest Trust is the only organization solely dedicated to conserving America’s working forests for all their public benefits – wood, water, wildlife and a well-balanced climate. We strive to keep these vast and vital forests working by pursuing a comprehensive strategy to Retain, Sustain and Gain. This website has a very interesting Publications Link, with article titles such as:

– Forest Carbon in the United States: Opportunities & Options for Private Lands

– Opportunities for Investment: Capital Markets and Sustainable Forestry, and much more!

Articles

Gulf Oil Spill Threatens to Rearrange Washington’s Climate Agenda (5/4/2010)

The New York Times

While the full impact of the huge and spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t known yet, it is already creating political ripples in Washington, where energy experts, interest groups, politicians and some Capitol Hill aides see the pending legislative agenda being quickly reshuffled for a legislative response to the crisis.

Growth Energy: Purdue Study Shows Land Use Impacts of Corn Ethanol Overstated By CARB (4/29/2010)

Biofuels Journal

Washington, DC—A new estimate of corn ethanol’s impact on land use shows that California’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) unfairly penalizes the corn ethanol industry, according to a statement by Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters. The new study, led by Purdue University agricultural economics professor Wallace E. Tyner, shows that the Air Resources Board (ARB) significantly overestimated corn ethanol’s Indirect Land Use Change emissions under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by more than twice as much.

The Big Question: How Much CO2 Can the Earth Hold? (4/28/2010)

The New York Times

UTRECHT, the Netherlands — The Dutch used to discover new worlds across unexplored seas. Now, they are beginning to trace the edges of a new undiscovered country, and it is right beneath their shores. The Netherlands, a country that chose to build many of its cities below sea level, is famous for its pragmatic, long-term planning. So it should be no surprise that, when it comes to efforts to store carbon dioxide underground for a millennium or more, Holland has been leading the way, planning for years to turn declining natural gas fields off their shores into storage sites.

Senate Climate Bill Trio Headed in Different Directions (4/27/2010)

The New York Times

Prospects for the Senate climate bill grew even dimmer yesterday after the trio working on a comprehensive measure emerged from a closed-door meeting headed in separate directions — both literally and figuratively. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made no joint statements following a 45-minute meeting in the Capitol, their first chance to huddle in person since Graham threatened over the weekend to abandon the talks because of the Democratic leadership’s decision to also tackle the hot-button issue of immigration. Instead, each senator went his own way.

23 Energy Policies That Could Save Americans $5 billion a Year (4/27/10)

Center for Climate Strategies

As Sens. John Kerry and Lindsey Graham prepare to unveil their compromise climate and energy plan next week, Congress is getting a detailed look at what stakeholders around the country would like to see. The Center for Climate Strategies analyzed climate actions plans and proposals created in 16 states by teams of stakeholders — leaders of businesses, industries, environmental groups, local governments and others. In a report being announced on Capitol Hill today, it narrowed down the more than 900 policy options to 23 that it dubs the “super options.” In general, those super options have either the greatest greenhouse gas reduction potential or they are highly cost-effective.

Industry, Enviro Groups Spar Over Senate Climate Bill’s Biomass Provisions (4/23/2010)

The New York Times

Environmentalists and the timber industry are taking their long-running battle over biomass energy into the Senate climate debate. At issue is how legislation being written by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will treat the harvest of forest materials for biomass-power production in the bill’s renewable-energy sections. The bill is scheduled for release Monday.

Utility chief urges Senate bill’s supporters to emphasize job creation (04/23/2010)

E&E News (subscription required)

Senate swing votes for a climate bill can be won by emphasizing long-term payoffs for the U.S. economy, the head of a major electric utility said today. “I think we can really make the case to members of Congress that if we don’t act, we are going to be missing the boat on what is a clear shift in our economy,” said Ralph Izzo, chairman, president and CEO of New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., or PSEG.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Makes Case for Stronger Rural America (4/21/2010)

USDA News Release

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today testified on the status of the current Farm Bill and the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture. In his remarks, Vilsack provided a national perspective on the challenges facing rural America based on his travels to rural communities throughout the country. He also discussed the state of agriculture today, the need for a strong farm safety net, and new approaches to create income opportunities and generate wealth in a stronger, more prosperous rural America for generations to come.

The Role of Forests in US Climate Policy (October, 2009)

Land Lines (start page 4 of PDF),

Like many schoolchildren, I learned that years ago a squirrel could cross the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean never touching the ground, using our magnificent forests as an aerial highway. After massive clearing and development for agriculture, cities, and roads, those forests are now a tattered patchwork, and are nonexistent in many places. More than a squirrel’s dilemma, though, the loss and altering of America’s forests have created both an enormous challenge to climate health and an opportunity for climate policy and action. More than 30 percent of U.S. forests have been converted to other uses….

Reports

Adapting to Climate Change: A Call for Federal Leadership

Pew Center on Global Climate Change, April 2010

This report highlights the important role of the federal government in reducing the vulnerability and strengthening the resiliency of our economy and natural resources in the face of these changes. In addition to managing a significant amount of land and infrastructure that will be affected by climate change, the federal government is uniquely positioned to provide the necessary leadership, guidance, information, and resources. While many efforts to adapt to climate change will occur at the state and local level, the federal government is a critical player in an effective and coordinated approach to climate change adaptation in the United States.

From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency

Pew Center on Global Climate Change, April 2010

In the last decade, rising and volatile energy prices coupled with increasing concern about climate change and growing support for action on energy and environmental issues has driven a surge of corporate environmental commitments. Energy efficiency has emerged as a key component of these commitments. Leading firms that give greater attention to energy efficiency report billions of dollars in savings and millions of tons of avoided greenhouse gas emissions, according to Pew Center’s report “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency.” This report documents leading-edge energy efficiency strategies, describes best practices, and provides guidance and resources for other businesses seeking to reduce energy use in their internal operations, supply chains, and products and services.

The report was developed over nearly two years of effort, including a detailed survey of the Pew Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) members and other leading companies, in-depth case studies of six companies, a series of workshops on key energy efficiency topics, broader research in the corporate energy field, and development of a full-featured Web portal to provide a platform for highlighting and updating key findings from the project as well as providing tools, resources, and other important information. The project was funded with generous support from Toyota.

Announcements

Sally Collins to Speak at OSU — Starker Lecture Series

Sally Collins, Director, USDA Office of Environmental Markets

Investing in Ecosystem Services

  • Thursday, May 6, 2010, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

OSU, LaSells Stewart Center Construction & Engineering Auditorium (Corvallis, OR)

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