Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Today I taped an upcoming TV debate criticizing the House Republican vote to defund the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as ordered by the US Supreme Court. My opponent in the debate, Fred Smith, argued that Obama’s EPA was a “rogue” agency hell-bent on killing jobs and harming small businesses. I reminded Mr. Smith that Obama’s EPA ordered that small businesses be exempt from the proposed greenhouse gas emission rules, as only large entities emitting at least 25,000 tons of CO2 per year would be subject to the regulations. Now, it is unclear whether the EPA can legally exclude such small emitters from the rules, as the Clean Air Act doesn’t expressly allow for it. But instead of working with the Administration on clarifying the law to ensure that we have a science-based approach to addressing climate change that goes after major corporate polluters while holding small businesses harmless, but instead they are pursuing a cynical strategy to demonize public health protections and question the science. This is particularly appauling given the high-profile flip-flop of Rep. Fred Upton, who in the recent past acknowledged the science behind climate change and supported legislative efforts to address it – but now leads the effort to attack the science and demonize efforts to protect public health. Shame, Mr. Upton, Shame.

Tyson Slocum Directs Public Citizen’s Energy Program

703476356_990e40a55a

The new principles for transportation legislation announced today by Rep. Jim Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will affect more than just cars and roads. They also have serious implications for public health and climate protection.

Highway safety is a major public health concern. With so much emphasis on health care, this transportation legislation provides an opportunity to modernize our laws to reduce the nearly 40,000 fatalities on our highways each year.

The principles released today identify safety as an important objective. In addition to the safety improvements included in the Chairman’s white paper, such as mandates for electronic on-board recorders that ensure truck drivers comply with hours-of-service driving restrictions, Public Citizen believes the following protections must be included in the legislation:

Continue Reading

3489206349_e223351b42

The climate change legislation that will be debated this week is a huge disappointment. Not only will it prove a boon to energy industries, but it won’t protect consumers and may very well not even curb global warming. The first draft, penned months ago, was on track to accomplish these goals, and we applauded it as a great start. Since then, however, lawmakers have met in secret with representatives of the coal and oil industries and facilitated industry efforts to gut the bill.

The Obama administration got it right when officials released a budget that would auction 100 percent of pollution allowances. As long as pollution allowances are auctioned, the government will have the revenue necessary to mitigate energy price increases through rebates while having money to invest in the sustainable energy infrastructure we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels.

This was further reinforced by President Obama’s selection for the new chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, who said that “we may not need any” new nuclear or coal power plants because we have yet to harness the capacity of renewables and energy efficiency.

But the House of Representatives has not followed the administration’s lead.

Continue Reading

April 24, 2009 by citizensarah

According to a Bloomberg article this morning, San Antonio Representative Charlie Gonzalez has joined

a group of Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee (who) want to give utilities free permits for all their existing carbon emissions, according to people familiar with a plan sent to the committee’s chairman.

Continue Reading

© Copyright Public Citizen. All Rights Reserved.