The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund commissioned a poll from a Democratic pollster finding that voters in Rep. Fred Upton’s district disapprove of the GOP congressman’s efforts to overturn EPA’s climate change regulations. Hold the presses! Man bites dog! I mean, what are the odds that a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by NRDC would reach that conclusion?

Actually, what’s surprising is that Greenwire (May 19, 2011, subscription required) would bother covering the NRDC poll as if it were news. [click to continue…]

In yesterday’s Greenwire (subscription required), reporter Paul Voosen reviews of the efforts of various firms to develop commercially competitive motor fuel from two types of single-celled photosynthetic bugs — algae and cyanobacteria.

For several years, biofuel entrepreneurs and alt-energy gurus touted oil extracted from algae as the next big thing — abundant, cheap, home grown, hi-tech, carbon neutral. In addition, unlike corn-ethanol production, growing algae in ponds or bioreactors would not inflate grain prices or divert food from hungry mouths into gasoline tanks.

But this narrative increasingly looks like hype. Voosen summarizes: [click to continue…]

Post image for Hitting EPA’s Pause Button – What Are the Benefits, Risks? (Updated)

Yesterday (Feb. 16), House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) engaged in a colloquy with Interior and Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) on Sec. 1746 of H.R. 1, the One-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.

Sec. 1746 of H.R. 1 states:

None of the funds made available to the Environmental Protection Agency by this division or any other Act may be expended for purposes of enforcing or promulgating any regulation (other than with respect to section 202 of the Clean Air Act) or order, taking action relating to, or denying approval of state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.

Sec. 1746 would block EPA regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which ends on September 30. “The funding limitation will allow Congress to carefully and thoroughly debate a permanent clarification to the Clean Air Act to ensure it remains a strong tool for protecting public health by regulating and mitigating air pollutants, and that it is not transformed into a vehicle to impose a national energy tax,” explains Chairman Whitfield’s press release. Whitfield is a co-sponsor of the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which would overturn the legal force and effect of EPA’s Endangerment Rule, Tailoring Rule, and other rules imposing greenhouse gas permitting requirements on state governments and stationary sources.

In the colloquy, Chairman Simpson states: “EPA’s GHG regulations need to be stopped in their tracks, and that’s what section 1746 does – it provides a timeout for the balance of the fiscal year, during which time EPA will be prohibited from acting on them or enforcing them.” In Whitfield’s words: “This CR [Continuing Resolution] provision is Congress hitting the pause button during the very brief period of the CR, allowing time to go through regular order and pass the Upton-Inhofe bill.”

[click to continue…]