Septbember 27, 2010

Boxer Rebellion: San Fran ChronWill Not Endorse Barbara Boxer in 2010 – Cites Ignominy of Being PushedAside on Cap-and-Raid as Example of Fecklessness. SanFrancisco Chronicle (9/26) editorializes, “It is extremely rare that thiseditorial page would offer no recommendation on any race, particularly one ofthis importance. This is one necessary exception.  Boxer, first elected in 1992, would not rate on anyone’slist of most influential senators. Her most famous moments on Capitol Hill havenot been ones of legislative accomplishment, but of delivering partisan shots.Although she is chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, it istelling that leadership on the most pressing issue before it – climate change -was shifted to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., because the bill had become sopolarized under her wing. For some Californians, Boxer’s reliably liberalvoting record may be reason enough to give her another six years in office. Butwe believe Californians deserve more than a usually correct vote on issues theycare about.  Boxer’s campaign,playing to resentment over Fiorina’s wealth, is not only an example of thepersonalized pettiness that has infected too much of modern politics, it isalso a clear sign of desperation.



Bees Go After the Queen: Big,Tough, “Anonymously Quoted” Greens Hit Carol Browner Hard for Not DraggingCap-and-Raid Over Goal Line – Want Her Gone. Politico (9/27)reports, “The administration’s so-called energy czar is just about the onlyhigh-ranking official to emerge from the BP oil disaster with an enhancedreputation — making her, some say, the most powerful woman in the WhiteHouse next to Obama’s longtime friend Valerie Jarrett. Yet even as Browner’sstock rises, her rationale for remaining by Obama’s side is declining. Thecollapse of the administration’s comprehensive climate change effort — acareer-long goal for Browner — has stoked rumors that she’ll head for theexit rather than settle for an incremental, vastly scaled-back energyagenda.  And some environmentaladvocates, deeply disappointed that Browner didn’t have enough clout to pushclimate change to the top of Obama’s agenda, blame her for the debacle. “Thereal challenge at the top is, Carol Browner is not a strategic thinker,” gripedone environmental advocate with close ties to the administration.  “It makes a lot of sense for her to go,”said another top environmentalist, who thinks Browner has been pragmatic butalso the most committed friend of the greens in the West Wing. “If you wereher, would you stick around to watch your dream being dismantled?”



Lots of Folks Talking AboutPassing a Mandates on Expensive Electricity inWashington – But There’s One Dude Who Isn’t: His Name Is Barry. EnergyGuardian (9/27, subs. req’d) reports, “Senate Energy and Natural ResourcesChairman Jeff Bingaman’s renewable electricity standard bill quickly attractedpraise from environmentalists and green energy makers. But one voice wasnotably absent: President Barack Obama. After nearly two years pressingCongress to enact climate and renewable energy legislation, the Obamaadministration has yet to publicly endorse Bingaman’s bill. And that is notlikely to change, at least before the Nov. 2 election. There’s no reason tothink that Obama would not want to see the bill passed this year, even if the 15 percent by 2021 target is considered a weak goal by someenvironmental groups. Still, the lack of visible support means Bingaman,D-N.M. will not rely on Obama to cajole their colleagues to back their bill.Senate aides said they had not seen any White House engagement on the bill. Anadministration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because theofficial was not authorized to speak publicly, said the billis being reviewed by the White House. Bingaman’s spokesman Bill Wickersaid the senator has not sought out Obama’s endorsement. “We’re not expectingto hear from them,” Wicker said, referring to the White House.



State First: Fresh Off Defeat,Mike Castle Pushes Legislation to Allocate $50 Million to Teach Children How toAdvocate for Cap-and-Raid, Green Pork.E&E News (9/24,subs. req’d) reports, “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Jared Polis(D-Colo.) and Mike Castle (R-Del.) introduced bipartisan legislation today toensure that young Americans receive an environmental education. The NationalEnvironmental Education Reauthorization Act would modernize legislationoriginally passed in 1990 that created a program within U.S. EPA to educate thepublic about the environment. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environmentand Public Works Committee, said the legislation is critical to providing theUnited States’ children with the tools to fight global climate change andcreate energy independence. "This modernization of the National EnvironmentalEducation Act (NEEA) provides the guidance and resources to advanceenvironmental education programs in New York and across the country to give ourchildren the tools to become the innovators and entrepreneurs oftomorrow," she said in a news release. The bill would refocus the officewithin EPA that handles environmental education to concentrate on the greeneconomy, preparing students for jobs in fields like renewable energy, andpromoting low-emissions vehicles and green building design among otherpriorities.



MSC Prez. Reminds PennsylvaniansThat Marcellus Shale Ain’t the Only Game In Town –If PA Wants These Jobs, Harrisburg Will Need to Step Up. Marcellus Shale Coalition president Katie Klaberwrites (9/26) in the Harrisburg(Pa.) Patriot-News, “Yet as our production expands in Pennsylvania, thecompetition for the critical capital needed to produce a Marcellus well —each requires about $4 million — grows stronger and fiercer by the day.Other shale gas-producing states — particularlyTexas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas — want those investments, andthose jobs, just as much as we do. But we’re not just competing with otherstates for these opportunities. Poland, China, Canada and other foreign nationsare working aggressively to secure the capital needed to expand their energyproduction, too. There’s a reason officials at the Kremlin read news clips fromthe Marcellus region every morning — and it’s not because they’re lookingfor coupons.  It’s no secret thatour elected officials in Harrisburg are considering a new tax on shale gasproduction. Unfortunately, some don’t seem to understand that globalcompetition for capital will react to the magnitude of the tax, evidenced bytheir consideration of a tax that would be the nation’s highest and leastcompetitive.  In fact, it would behigher than West Virginia’s, which stands as one of the least competitive inthe nation. And, as of last month, there were 16 horizontal rigs operating inWest Virginia’s Marcellus and more than 60 here in Pennsylvania. That’s not acoincidence.



Indefatigable: Sen.  LandrieuPrepared to Use Every Means Available to Stop the Insane Offshore Ban in theGulf – Latest Gambit: Block OMB Nominee. HoustonChronicle (9/24) reports, “In a bid to pressure the administration to liftits ban on deep-water drilling before it expires in late November, Sen. MaryLandrieu has vowed to block President Barack Obama’s nominee to head thefederal Office of Management and Budget. The Democrat from Louisiana explainedher single-senator blockade in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,D-Nev., insisting that Jack Lew “lacks sufficient concern for the host ofeconomic challenges confronting the Gulf Coast.” Landrieu and other lawmakersfrom the region have been frustrated with the administration’s ban —which has effectively halted deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico —and the sluggish processing of permits to explore in shallower areas. Landrieusaid she hoped that by blocking Lew’s confirmation, she would spur theadministration to change how it handles drilling. “I do not take this steplightly,” she told Reid. “But the fact is that the administration’s moratoriumon new energy exploration is profoundly impacting the economy of the GulfCoast, while doing nothing to improve safety or environmental performance.”



Sure, the Trial Lawyers ArePowerful, and Labor Occasionally Shows a Spark – But No Lobby’s Got theMoney that the Enviros Have, or as Expansive an Agenda. Mark Tapscott writes (9/26) for the WashingtonExaminer, “They marshal thousands of volunteers during political campaignsand direct millions of dollars to favored candidates and incumbents at alllevels of government. They help train journalists in covering environmentalissues, teach millions of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary public andprivate school students, and occupy posts throughout government whereverdecisions are made on where people can live, what they drive, how they earn aliving, and virtually every other aspect of daily American life. They are, inshort, Big Green, the green gorillas of American politics and public policy,allied within the Democratic Party with Big Labor, trial lawyers, collegeprofessors, and government dependents. But there is one key difference thatmakes Big Green more powerful than all of the other special interests thatcontrol the Democratic Party. Big Labor can’t tell you where you can and cannotlive. The trial lawyers didn’t turn your daily commute to work into a nightmareof congestion and delay. Similarly, college professors have no power totransform your once-fertile farm fields into a wasteland. Government dependantswill never tell you when you can cut your grass.  Only Big Green can do those things to you. And so much more.



IPCC Folks Get Set to Give It aGo Again Later This Year in Cancun – One Problem, Though: No NationsReady to Unilaterally Destroy Their Economy, Making Matters Difficult. AssociatedPress (9/26) reports, “Climate ministers and top negotiators from dozens ofnations remain deadlocked over how to cut greenhouse gases less than threemonths before the next major international climate summit. The U.N.’s topclimate official told a high-level gathering Saturday that the key issues"are frankly in a deadlock" and the official negotiating text isbogged down by national interests. Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa,who will preside over the December summit in Cancun, told 45 climate ministersand top negotiators that any agreement will require "close guidance fromthe highest levels of government." The meeting here helped to "showthat there are in fact areas, many areas, in which we can reach a significantagreement that would allow the possibility of initiating programs, projects andvery concrete actions against climate change in all countries," she latertold AP. Many of the participants, including Figueres and Espinosa, noted thepredominance of women in leading roles, which helped to set a friendly tone. InCancun, delegates from some 190 nations will seek to break the stalemate over alegally binding agreement on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and othergases blamed for global warming. "The big bargain that we expected inCopenhagen would probably not be possible," Brazilian Foreign MinisterCelso Amorim told AP, adding that other small gains might be achievable.


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