November 2, 2010


Bifurcation Station: GreensAlready in Spin Cycle Pre-Butting Election Results Tonight – InsistVoters Aren’t “Thinking About” Cap-and-Raid, Just the Economy (!)ClimateWire(11/1, subs. req’d) reports, “President Obama was still trying to motivate hisbase on the eve of elections. He has campaigned hard to turn out the vote forweeks. Yesterday, he gave campaign-themed interviews to radio stations inFlorida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all battleground states whereDemocrats could lose seats. Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, onthe other hand, is using anti-climate messaging to drive her own base to thepolls in Delaware. O’Donnell, who beat cap-and-trade supporter Rep. Mike Castlein a Republican primary, is warning voters that Democrat Chris Coons couldsupport a similar carbon plan this fall. Still, the midterm elections areunlikely to pivot on climate issues. The stubborn economy and unemployment holdpriority with voters. Joshua Freed, director of the Clean Energy Initiative atThird Way, a think tank for centrist Democrats, cautions about reading too muchinto the nation’s attitude on climate change through the election results."They’re voting on the economy," he says of voters. "People arenot flocking to the polls thinking about the president’s energy policy one wayor another."



In Retirement, Veritas:Outgoing House Dem Who Voted for Cap-and-Raid Says Bill “Didn’t AccomplishMuch, Was Enormously Complicated and Expensive.” John Fund reports (11/2) for the Wall Street Journal, “When President Obama was elected in 2008,Mr. Baird was again optimistic that Democrats could bring real reform. Butfierce Republican partisanship and the White House decision not to focus on jobcreation as its "number one, two and three" priority dashed thathope. "Obama decided we weren’t going to have a highway transportationbill because it might have required a gas tax increase," he recalls. Afterpassing a misdirected stimulus bill, Mr. Obama made the fatal error of pushingforward with other priorities: cap and trade, financial services reform, ObamaCare.Each became compromised quickly. "You don’t get real reform by panderingto every special interest. With cap and trade we wound up with a bill thatdidn’t accomplish much, was enormously complicated and expensive." Mr.Baird is especially upset that "good solid members will lose this fallbecause they took a tough vote for a cap-and-trade bill that never made itthrough the Senate." He has told environmental groups that they lost sightof the goal of reducing carbon emissions by focusing on the minutia of regulationto achieve it.



What Might a GOP Wave Meanfor the House Resources Cmte? Well, Might Mean that Rahall Doesn’t Have to BeJohn Lawrence’s Errand Boy Any Longer.Politico (11/2) reports, “Republicans and energy lobbyists say thatshould change should the GOP take control. “The Republicans have got to decidewhether that committee should continue to be a parks and recreation committeeor whether they should get their s—- together and be a powerhouse,” saidan energy lobbyist close to the panel. West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall, thepanel’s chairman since 2007, has won kudos from the environmental community forhis efforts to shepherd a host of wilderness bills through the committee and tooverhaul federal onshore oil and gas and geothermal stream leasing systems. Buthe’s come under fire from the right for being too subservient to theenvironmental community and House leadership – namely Speaker NancyPelosi. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, in line to chair the Parks, Forests andPublic Lands Subcommittee, said Rahall is a decent person, but he always gotthe feeling that the chairman “had limitations placed on him coming from thespeaker’s office.” Pelosi’s chief of staff, John Lawrence, was staff directorof the Natural Resources Committee under former Chairman George Miller(D-Calif.) and a former Republican committee aide suggested that he may bepulling the strings of the committee from Pelosi’s office.



Bode In Motion: AWEA ChiefFuming Mad that Big Wind’s Association with Chinese Manufacturers AttractingAttention Outside Washington Beltway.Wall Street Journal (11/2) reports, “At least a dozen adsportray stimulus spending on wind power or renewable energy as an example ofwaste. Another dozen or more allege the stimulus sent jobs overseas to China.None explicitly calls for ending the tax breaks for the wind-power industryonce they expire this year, but the wind association fears the criticism willmake them harder to renew. The Republican campaign committee claims it hasidentified 11 U.S. wind farms that used stimulus grants to buy wind turbines,with 695 of the 982 total coming from overseas suppliers. The Republican groupis calling for more stringent Buy American provisions throughout the stimuluspackage. General Electric Co., the largest wind turbine maker in the U.S., with40% of installed capacity, said orders dropped by 30%, or $600 million, in thethird quarter. The company, which has roughly $5 billion in wind turbinerevenue each year, wants to expand by selling more units in China and the U.K.GE’s chief wind turbine rival globally, Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark,said Tuesday it could cut 3,000 jobs at three plants in Denmark and one inSweden to stay competitive.



Fig Leaf Is Gone: Facingthe Re-Elect Fight of His Life, Rep. Hinchey Panders to Most Radical Elementsof the Anti-Marcellus Set in NY – Gets Huge Influx of Cash from TheirPAC. Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (11/1) reports, “Hinchey has been a criticof fracking — a drilling technique where a water, sand and chemical mix isblasted underground to break shale and release gas — and has authored federallegislation that would require greater chemical disclosure for gas companies.Phillips, meanwhile, has offered praise for the industry and pointed to thepotential economic benefits it could bring to the state. An article in the NewYork Times on Friday said the vote "could become the first publicreferendum on shale-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing." Drilling inthe Marcellus Shale formation, which stretches across the Southern Tier andmost of Pennsylvania, has been on hold in New York since 2008 as the statefinalizes its permitting guidelines. "I believe we can do it safely,"Phillips said at a GOP rally in Vestal on Saturday. "I think it’s justcritical for our area here when it comes to jobs and we can move forward withsafe environmental standards. I intend to be an advocate, and I think the statecan handle it." Addressing the media Monday before the film, Hinchey saidhe would not support gas drilling until any toxic chemicals used in the processare eliminated, though companies have said the chemical mix used is crucialduring the fracking process. "We need to make sure that this dishonest,irresponsible drilling does not take place in New York," Hinchey said."This drilling for natural gas is dangerous and completely dishonest.



Here’s One for You: NYIsn’t Interested in Revenue that Marcellus Could Provide – Even ThoughIt’s So BROKE It Had to Scrap Its Superfund Program This Week. Albany Times-Union (11/1) reports, “Iwanowicz, who was namedto the top spot Thursday after Gov. David Paterson fired Commissioner PeteGrannis Oct. 21 over a leaked DEC memo on the dire impact of planned layoffs,also faced another major environmental downsizing during his first day on thejob. He offered few details on Paterson’s decision last week to eliminate thestate’s 30-year involvement with the federal Superfund pollution cleanupprogram. New York state is home to the nation’s largest Superfund project, thedredging of toxic PCBs from a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson River that startedin 2009 and is expected to run for years to come. He could not say how muchmoney Paterson hopes to save by pulling the state from Superfund, which is runby the Environmental Protection Agency. There are currently 114 federalSuperfund cleanup sites in the state. General Electric Co., which dischargedPCBs into the Hudson from its plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, is payingfor the Hudson cleanup, which is overseen by EPA and DEC. Dave King, EPAproject administrator for the Hudson River cleanup, said no one from DEC talkedwith him about Superfund. "We hope to have some kind of workingrelationship with DEC on this project," he said



Here’s What Happens WhenYou Let Companies Look for Energy Offshore: They Find It. Just Like XOM DidThis Week Off the Coast of Nigeria.Houston Chronicle (11/1) reports, “Exxon Mobil Corp.’sNigerian unit said it made a “rich gas condensate” discovery off the southeastcoast of the West African nation. The Pegi discovery in the company’s OilMining License 104, 75 kilometers offshore, forms part of exploration effortsaimed at expanding output capacity and meeting growing domestic demand forfuel, the subsidiary said in an e-mailed statement today. Condensate is alow-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids. President Goodluck Jonathan inAugust announced a plan to end the state power monopoly and allow privatecompanies to build gas-fired, coal-fueled and hydroelectric plants to end thecountry’s power shortages. Nigeria has natural gas reserves of 185 trillioncubic feet, the world’s eighth-largest, according to the U.S. EnergyInformation Administration. Exxon Mobil holds a 40 percent stake in a jointproject it operates for state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Theventure produces 700,000 barrels a day of oil, condensate and natural gasliquids, according to the statement.


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