User: flenvcenter Topic: Energy-National
Category: Policy
Last updated: Feb 11 2016 14:35 IST RSS 2.0
 
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The Whistleblowers' Plan Offers Hillary the Perfect Opportunity 11.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
I am writing as one of the four founding members of Bank Whistleblowers United. We came together recently to create a detailed plan that could restore the rule of law to Wall Street and dramatically reduce the risk and damage of future financial crises. We crafted it so that it could be implemented without any new legislation or regulation. We offered our aid in the implementation process to any candidate who wins the election - and pointed out that President Obama could implement it immediately. Our plan and approach virtually defines the word "pragmatic." It would also transform finance and begin to end its corrupt culture. In response to Bernie's big election win in New Hampshire, a political scientist rushed out a piece in the New York Times advising Hillary how to do a PR makeover. His advice was " peddling pragmatism ," by which he meant the opposite - an effort to rebrand Hillary through slogans. The political scientist does, however, understand Hillary's key liability - the one that ...
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High court emissions ruling won't deter clean energy drive 11.2.2016 Yahoo: Top Stories
By Valerie Volcovici and Scott DiSavino WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. power sector's shift toward burning less coal and using more natural gas and renewable energy will not be derailed by the Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration's limits on carbon emissions, state regulators and utilities said on Wednesday. The U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 on Tuesday to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon emissions crackdown on coal plants until a legal challenge is resolved.
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#OdingaTime 11.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
I have not agreed with Raila Odinga on all his policy positions: I did not agree with his support for Operation Linda Nchi, which in retrospect has proven to be the epitome of a phantasm of Kenyan power play in East Africa. I did not agree with his signing of the peace accord in 2008, and the subsequent coalition government because I was alive in 2002 and saw the disintegration of the NARC government. I do not agree with the continued shambolic manner in which the Orange Democratic Movement conducts its bureaucratic affairs; it is not only a recipe for loss in the general election, it also makes it practically impossible to consolidate the backing of the rest of the country in uniting to combat ethnic tyrants of Jubilee. But I also know that despite the failings of dogma around Raila, despite the failure of strategy and the image management disaster that plagues his crusade after 2007, the son of Jaramogi remains an enigma in Kenyan politics. I know too that policy is immaterial without a political ...
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The Supreme Court Just Did Serious Damage to the Fight Against Climate Change 11.2.2016 Mother Jones
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to President Barack Obama's climate agenda Tuesday evening by putting his flagship greenhouse gas emissions rules on hold . In a 5-4 ruling, the justices granted the stay in response to a lawsuits by coal companies and two dozen coal-reliant states. The plaintiffs have argued that by setting new limits on carbon pollution from power plants, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is overstepping its authority to control the electricity sector. The ruling is far from a death knell for the Clean Power Plan, as the policy is known. Rather, it allows power companies and state official to hold off on preparing for the new regulations until the courts decide whether the administration went too far. The cases will most likely end up in front of the Supreme Court sometime next year, so there's still plenty of time before the plan's fate is sealed. According to Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, the Court's track record on EPA regulations is pretty ...
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The Supreme Court Threw A Big Wrench In The Future Of Obama's Climate Legacy 11.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Climate change isn't getting much play in presidential politics, but the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an astonishing reminder of the fractious politics of environmental justice -- and the stakes for who next occupies the White House. In a series of unprecedented orders, the five conservatives on the court sided with a consortium of states and industry groups to effectively apply the brakes on the future of President Barack Obama's environmental legacy . The fate of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan , an ambitious regulatory regime that calls for a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants -- mainly coal-fired ones -- by 2030, now hangs in the balance. And it will stay that way until well after the next president takes office. To get a sense of how key the carbon rule for existing power plants is to Obama's legacy on climate, consider the EPA's own description of it in its 2017 budget proposal to Congress -- announced, as fate would have it, ...
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Delay of clean power plan stokes worries about Paris treaty 11.2.2016 Seattle Times: Business & Technology

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration asserted Wednesday that a Supreme Court order delaying enforcement of its new clean-power rules will ultimately have little impact on meeting the nation’s obligations under the recent Paris climate agreement. But environmentalists and academic experts are more nervous. They are concerned that any significant pause in implementing mandated reductions […]
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Delay of clean power plan stokes worries about Paris treaty 11.2.2016 Yahoo: Top Stories
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration asserted Wednesday that a Supreme Court order delaying enforcement of its new clean-power rules will ultimately have little impact on meeting the nation's obligations under the recent Paris climate ...
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Clean Power Plan: 50 Ways to Get More Clean, Local Energy 11.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Democratic Energy weekly update . Six months ago, the Obama administration released the Clean Power Plan , requiring substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the electricity sector. The Plan sets targets from the top down, but largely leaves the details to states, providing a significant opportunity to craft rules that encourage energy development and ownership from the bottom up. These 50 state plans have huge stakes. Collectively, U.S. electric customers spend over $360 billion each year. Most of that is generated from fossil fuels, frequently extracted outside their own state. In other words, most of that money leaves their community to pay for dirty energy. But the electricity system is in the midst of an enormous transformation from the bottom up just as the federal plan pushes utilities to cleaner energy from the top down. Driven by improvements in energy efficiency, electricity ...
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China's struggle to turn the corner on coal 11.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Air Pollution in Beijing by 大杨 @flickr In early February, Chinese officials announced that no new coal production would be approved for the next three years, while existing production will be reduced by 500 million tons in the next three to five years. The latest State Council decision is an economic one, tied to market reforms that are likely to kill jobs in the heavily industrial coal and steel sectors, but the move is also consistent with China's environmental policy and carbon reduction goals. These targets, aimed at improving air quality and public health in Chinese cities while advancing the nation's compliance with global carbon emissions agreements, cannot be achieved without meeting the formidable challenge of weaning China away from its reliance on dirty coal. There is good news on that front, even as millions of Chinese continue living in Beijing or Shanghai under toxic clouds of smog and constant public health alerts. It's hard for Westerners to envision just how bad coal-related pollution in ...
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The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now) 11.2.2016 NPR News
Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
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Advanced Electric Water Heaters Could Save Money and Cut Pollution 11.2.2016 Switchboard, from NRDC
Robin Roy, Director, Building Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Strategy, Washington, DC: The humble water heater used to heat water for bathing and washing dishes in America's homes also may be a promising new tool for cutting residential utility bills, promoting clean energy, and strengthening the reliability of the power grid -...
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Illinois Leads on LEED, but Greater Energy Management Opportunity Awaits 11.2.2016 Main Feed - Environmental Defense
By Ellen Bell I’ve always been proud to be from Illinois. As a Midwestern girl who went out East for college, I spoke often about the wonders of my hometown of Chicago: from our miles of gorgeous public lakefront, to our proud history as the home of the first skyscraper. We have a scrappy side, too. As a city that rebuilt itself from scratch after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, we’ve always worn the title, ‘Second City’ as a badge of honor (and a chip on our shoulder, when it’s used as anything but a compliment). That’s why when the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its annual Top 10 States for LEED , it came as no surprise to me that Illinois topped the list for the third year in a row. The ranking evaluates states based on sustainable building design, construction, and transformation, demonstrating Illinois’ progressive leadership when it comes to energy management in buildings. Illinois has taken the lead, but property managers who haven’t jumped on the energy efficiency bandwagon yet ...
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Oregon's Healthy Climate Bill Can Lead the State to Greatness 10.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Co-written with Maggie Tallmadge of Coalition of Communities of Color The United States is on the threshold of greatness and Oregon may be leading the charge. While attention is focused on one battleground state after another to see which political juggernauts will end up at the presidential ballot box, significant change is making its way through city and state legislatures -- change that has an opportunity to bring environmental and economic freedom, curb environmental tragedies, and provide justice to marginalized communities. More than anything else, it can provide a working model for the rest of the country. On February 2nd, the Oregon state legislature held a hearing on the Healthy Climate Bill (SB 1574). The bill works economy-wide to limit climate pollution and account for its cost, accelerating the transition to clean energy and creating a healthy future for our children. What's perhaps most exciting, holding polluters accountable is a strategy built by many hands. Businesses, public health, ...
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Utilities, solar energy and the fight for your roof 10.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Seth Blumsack , Pennsylvania State University Solar power in suburbia: what's not to like? Gray Watson, CC BY-SA By many accounts, the spread of solar power is unstoppable. Costs continue to fall at a blistering pace, solutions to give consumers a solar-powered home without needing to connect to the grid for back-up power are emerging, and even the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in, with a recent ruling that is favorable for the solar energy market . Seen another way, though, solar power is seeing serious threats. Predictions from even last year were that solar energy would soon match the price of electricity from utilities - known as "grid parity" in the business. But the plummeting cost of natural gas, which has become the most used fuel to generate power , has kept electricity prices low. And after dropping precipitously for several years in a row, solar panel prices have recently leveled off , making grid parity more elusive. Solar businesses are feeling some of this market instability. First Solar, ...
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Supreme Court Block on Climate Change Rule Is Unprecedented 10.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Apparently for the first time ever, the U.S. Supreme Court last night, by a 5-4 vote, blocked a federal regulation from taking effect while that rule was still up for review in a federal appeals court. The unprecedented maneuver by the Court's five-Justice conservative majority stays implementation of the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan. That rule,  issued last August by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, directs states to significantly scale back emissions of greenhouse gases from electric power plants. The regulation, a centerpiece of President Obama's strategy to fight global warming and toxic pollution, would push utilities away from coal and toward alternative sources of energy. Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, voted to halt the regulation. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan opposed  that decision. Last month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington unanimously rejected the plea of 29 states and a large ...
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Obama vows to press ahead on Clean Power Plan after setback 10.2.2016 Yahoo: Top Stories
WASHINGTON (AP) — The administration of President Barack Obama is vowing to press ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after a divided Supreme Court put his signature plan to address climate change on hold until after legal challenges are ...
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Yellen to face Congress amid uncertainty on Fed rate policy 10.2.2016 Seattle Times: Top stories

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will address Congress on Wednesday at a time of deepening uncertainty about the Fed’s interest rate policies. Since the Fed raised rates from record lows in December, the economic landscape has become clouded by falling stock markets, global weakness and sharply lower energy prices. Against that backdrop, […]
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Supreme Court puts Obama's Clean Power Plan on hold 10.2.2016 Yahoo: Top Stories
WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are ...
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Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Carbon Emissions Plan 10.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama by blocking federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the centerpiece of his administration's strategy to combat climate change. In a highly unusual move, the court voted 5-4 along ideological lines to grant a request made by 27 states and various companies and business groups to block the administration's Clean Power Plan. The move means the regulations will not be in effect while litigation continues over whether their legality. The plan was designed to lower carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. It is the main tool for the United States to meet the emissions reduction target it pledged at U.N. climate talks in Paris in December. For Obama, executing his climate change strategy would be a key legacy accomplishment as he nears the end of his time in office in January 2017. The brief order from the justices said that the ...
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O'Malley's Green Legacy & Lessons for Those Who Will Follow 10.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By the time we get to the next Democratic presidential debate in Flint, Michigan, on March 6, we'll have a lot better feel as to who will go forward as the party's nominee. But now, there are only two Democratic candidates, because Martin O'Malley has ended his campaign. While no one, probably including him, thought he had a real chance to be the nominee, that doesn't mean his candidacy was in vain. On the contrary, his commitment to the greater public good led him to enter the race as a champion of the environment. And it's a shame we won't see him in Flint, because it's the kind of backdrop O'Malley deserved to help draw attention to the environmental issues he works so hard to champion. Certainly he'd carry an authentic, all-in environmental message to this event, formed by his deep belief that the threat of climate change is real; that the clean energy economy is a job generator; that big data is a tool we've only just begun to apply to solving environmental and other problems at community scale. In ...
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