Lemhi County Democrats    

 

 

Energy Independence?

A Serious Plan Requires Taxes, ANWR and Nukes

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/25/AR2007012501547.html

 

 


State of Energy and the Environment

In 2006, fundamental debates over energy and the environment were largely put to rest, as President Bush finally acknowledged that America is addicted to oil, and Al Gore exposed the human-induced global climate crisis that threatens our national security, our economy, and our environment. The "do-nothing" moniker earned by the 109th Congress was particularly apt regarding its approach to energy policy. Yet Congress' inaction played a significant role in the results of the midterm elections, which swept several champions of renewable fuels and energy independence into power. A senior administration official has said that during tomorrow's State of the Union President Bush will announce policies that "will knock your socks off in terms of our commitment to energy independence." But the president has pledged to reduce our energy dependence every year since he took office while consistently making the problem worse. In 2006, the real leaders on energy issues were found in the states, in the global community, and among ordinary Americans; President Bush and Congress weren't even following. (American Progress has charted the way forward to a clean, renewable energy future, including specific proposals to end America's addiction to oil, improve global energy securitygrow renewable energy solutions on American farms, and protect climate refugees.)

A YEAR OF ALARMING SCIENCE: Last year was the hottest ever recorded in the United States. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "reached a record high in 2005," the United Nations reported in November, warning that "global average concentrations of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide" will be even higher in 2006. In 2000, carbon dioxide emissions were rising less than 1 percent annually. Today they are rising more than 2.5 percent annually, with 7.9 billion metric tons of carbon added globally in 2005 alone (up from 6.8 billion in 2000). The Energy Department’s latest report projects America’s carbon dioxide emissions will increase by one third from 2005 to 2030. Meanwhile, U.S. dependence on OPEC nations for oil imports "has risen to its highest level in 15 years." In September 2006, 70 percent of oil consumed in the United States came from foreign sources, up from 58 percent in 2000. The impact of these historic environmental changes is already being felt, and will grow more severe in the years to come. Arctic sea ice coverage in March 2006 "was the lowest in winter since measurements by satellite began in the early 1970s," and a team of NASA-funded scientists found that ice is melting so fast in the Arctic "that the North Pole will be in the open sea in 30 years." Research published this year found increasing evidence that "global warming is causing stronger hurricanes," that rainfall could drop by 20 percent by the end of the century, threatening the world's deserts "as never before"; that climate change has spurred the recent "sudden and dramatic” increase in the number of wildfires and the length of the wildfire season, and will directly "increase the risk of forest fires, droughts and flooding over the next two centuries"; one study found climate change will have a devastating effect on America's bread basket, shifting crop production northward into Canada.

A YEAR OF DANGEROUS INACTION: Despite promises at last year's State of the Union, President Bush's 2007 budget actually proposed to spend less on energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy resources in inflation-adjusted dollars than was appropriated in fiscal year 2001 -- $1.176 billion in nominal dollars in both 2001 and 2007. Even as he stalled meaningful action on climate change, President Bush lifted the drilling ban for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, "clearing the way for the Interior Department to open the fish-rich waters to oil and natural gas development." Likewise, the final legislation of the 109th Congress included a measure "that would open a large swath of the Gulf of Mexico to energy exploration." The United State climate policies ranked 53rd among the 56 countries that contribute at least 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, the environmental group Germanwatch found. “Only China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia” rank lower. Energy and climate science also continued to suffer. The Bush administration went so far as to break the law to hide global warming data, ignoring a congressional requirement that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produce a report on climate change. “They’re simply not complying with the law," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said. "It’s incredible." At the same time, NASA's earth science budget has fallen 30 percent since 2000, placing our "ability to understand and predict hurricanes, drought and climate changes of all kinds...in danger." The House Government Reform Committee released a series of emails from the Department of Commerce that suggest that Bush officials “tried to suppress a federal scientist from discussing the link between global warming and hurricanes.”

AMERICA LEARNS OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS: Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was a critical and popular success, and its message is increasingly reflected in mainstream American culture. Some 59 percent of Americans say climate change warrants “some action” or “immediate” steps, up from 51 percent in 1999, according to a WSJ/NBC poll. More than half of America’s hunters and fishermen “have seen first-hand the impact of global warming," a National Wildlife Federation poll found. Fully 71 percent “said they were concerned about diminishing fish and wildlife populations and many had seen direct impacts of climate change in the field,” and a majority “also rejected the Bush Administration’s fossil-fuel-based energy policy and want more conservation and clean fuels.” Notorious climate skeptics like ExxonMobil felt enough pressure to "soften" their public image on global warming, though as one financial analyst noted, "Although the tone has changed, the substance remains the same." The Union of Concerned Scientists documented how ExxonMobil has borrowed tactics from the tobacco industry to “manufacture uncertainty” about climate change, spending $16 million on groups that question global warming.

PROGRESS AROUND THE COUNTRY, AROUND THE WORLD: Perhaps the most significant international agreement on global warming last year came when British Prime Minister Tony Blair "sidestepped the Bush administration's refusal to act on climate change by signing what was hailed as a ground-breaking agreement with California, the world's 12th largest carbon emitter, to fight global warming." This pact followed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R-CA) signing of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the "first enforceable state-wide program in the U.S. to cap all [greenhouse gas] emissions from major industries that includes penalties for non-compliance." These moves symbolize several recent trends in the energy policy landscape, including the progress being made on the state and international levels, and the growing bipartisan nature of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. The European Union declared this year that its member states should commit themselves to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent compared with 1990 levels, as well as  meet 20 percent of all energy demands from renewable sources, by 2020. Also, the Supreme Court took up arguments in "perhaps the most significant environmental case ever to reach its marbled halls," a suit by 12 states against the Bush administration arguing that the Clean Air Act requires the government to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. The outcome of the case will "likely determine whether the [Environmental Protection Agency] can regulate [greenhouse gas emissions] from power plants and other industries" as well. In Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced the Safe Climate Act, the first bill ever to target global warming pollution.

Center for American Progress Action Fund <progress@americanprogressaction.org>

 

The 2005 Energy Bill
 

What we gained and what we lost:

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/clean_energy_policies/energy-bill-2005.html

 

Energy Policy Act of 2005:

Links to Select News and Analysis

http://www.energy.wsu.edu/documents/library/EnergyPolicyAnalysis.pdf

 

 

US House takes on Big Oil

A bill to be voted on Thursday would cut federal benefits by a third and give them to renewable-energy programs.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0118/p01s01-usec.html?s=wklyenv

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats Hope to Take From Oil, Give To Green Energy

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR2007010301857.html?referrer=email

 

 

 

Biofuels: Think Outside The Barrel

Vinod Khosha presents Ethanol as alternative in this Google video.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-570288889128950913&q=lobby+firms

 

Details of Ethanol on Vinod Khosha's website:

http://www.khoslaventures.com/resources.html

 

 

 

Alternative Energy Action Network can be found at:

http://www.altenergyaction.org/mambo/index.php

They publish opinions on energy issues of the day and reviews of others on energy issues. They collect objective data and post it in a manner accessible to a general audience.

 

Oil Resources on public lands and off our shores:

Larry Craig says:

"In addition, I was pleased to lead an effort to reduce our prices at the pump and dependence on the Middle East by opening up oil resources on public lands and off our shores. As a result of those efforts, Congress passed a bill that will increase oil production in the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Florida."

From http://craig.senate.gov/wrapup109.cfm

 

Here is a study about oil resources on public lands and off our shores:

Incentives on Oil Barely Help U.S., Study Suggests  

 From   http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/22/washington/22royalty.html?_r=1&th=&adxnnl=1&emc=th&adxnnlx=1166792909-Uy825BJVt2M7B9zeOsRe1w&oref=slogin

 

 

About Oil Subsidies and Roayalties

http://www.kicktheoilhabit.org/aboutsubsidies.php

 

 

 

 

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