In the News
News You Can Use
Tuvalu Is Growing
Tuvalu has been the face of small island nation states during international negotiations for a climate treaty. In 2003, for example, Tuvalu’s prime minister earned headlines by presenting the United Nations with a bill for the damages caused to small islands by rising sea-levels. So it should come as a great relief to the people of Tuvalu that 86% of the islands that comprise the country are growing thanks to sediment and coral accretion, according to a study this week from the New Scientist.
Inside the Beltway
President Pitches a Climate/BP Bill
President Barack Obama renewed his call for comprehensive energy-rationing legislation in a speech Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The President argued that BP’s leaking deep sea oil well in the Gulf of Mexico was another compelling reason for passing such legislation in order to get the country off foreign-sorry, domestically-produced-oil.
Obama admitted that “the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months” in the Senate to pass the Kerry-Lieberman bill. “I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can. I will work with anyone to get this done. And we will get this done.”
Politico then reported Thursday morning that the White House is planning a big push for energy-rationing in the Senate after the financial regulation bill is signed into law, which they think will happen around the Fourth of July. Mike Allen, Jake Sherman, and Tim Alberta further reported that “the strategy now will be to include climate provisions in a BP SPILL BILL tightening industry controls, on the theory the bill will be hard to oppose.”
This is interesting, if true, but adding unpopular cap-and-trade or similar provisions to reduce energy supplies and raise energy prices is going to be a heavy weight on any bill, no matter how popular it is. One problem with trying to take political advantage of the BP oil leak is that the worse it gets, the more it makes Obama look like an ineffectual leader and thereby weakens him politically.
This is not to say that I think this is fair to the President. The leak is BP’s fault, and BP’s unpreparedness to stop it before it became a disaster is shameful.
Congress has been away on the Memorial Day recess this week. On Thursday, June 10, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) Resolution of Disapproval of the EPA’s Endangerment Finding. I still think it’s going to be a very close vote, although the numbers may shift after it’s clear whether it’s going to pass or fail. How a number of Democratic Senators from heartland States are going to vote is still unknown. It was reported this week that a consortium of environmental pressure groups was going to run several hundred thousand dollars of radio and television advertising opposing S. J. Res. 26 in the States of some of these Senators.
Across the States
Connecticut Governor M.Jodi Rell (D) this week vetoed a “green” energy bill, the ironically titled Act for Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy, because she feared it would raise electricity costs thereby further weakening and already weak economy. The Governor also expressed displeasure with the process by which the bill passed in the state Legislature. The Democratic-controlled House introduced the bill at 3:00 A.M on the last day of the legislative calendar, and it passed at 6:00 A.M.
The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website, www.globalwarming.org.