November 3, 2010

Cap-and-Spayed: Real SimpleMessage Emerges from 2010 Elections: If You Voted for Cap-and-Raid in aDistrict Where Folks Were Actually Awake, You Lost. Politico (11/3) reports, “Democrats who voted for the controversialHouse climate bill were slaughtered at the ballot box, including Rep. RickBoucher, the 14-term Virginian who helped broker some of the key dealsinstrumental to its June 2009 passage. In the Senate, several reliable green advocatesalso went down to opponents who derided tough new environmental policies.There’s no hiding the House Democrats’ bloodbath, with more than two dozenmembers who voted for the Pelosi-led climate bill losing their seats, and morelikely to fall as the final tallies come in. The outcome sends a strong signalto moderate lawmakers as they consider any risky votes in future Congress’ onenergy and environmental issues. "It’s going to be cap and tax forevermore, and I don’t think any of these guys are ever going to touch itagain," said Linda Stuntz, an industry attorney who held a top EnergyDepartment spot during the George W. Bush administration. "I think anyonewho thinks there’s vitality left is kidding themselves." "I don’t thinkthere’s any question about it, cap and trade was the issue in thecampaign," Andy Wright, a former Boucher chief of staff, told POLITICO."If Rick had voted no, he wouldn’t have had a serious contest."



God Bless ‘Em: EnvirosStill Completely Clueless About What Went Down Last Night; Still PredictingCongress Will Pass Mandates In Support of Expensive Energy. E&E News(11/3, subs. req’d) reports, “Environmental groups refused to speculate lastnight on what the election results mean until the polls closed and races weredecided. But they would say that there are some areas where progress can bemade through incremental legislation and at the state level — a change oftactic that was already in the making before the House switched hands. TonyMassaro, senior vice president for political affairs and public education forthe League of Conservation Voters, said LCV is going to push for new renewableelectricity standards, increased appliance and building efficiencies, andincreased automobile efficiencies. "Those are the kind of things we aregoing to push through the next Congress regardless of what the makeup lookslike," he said. Whatever the makeup of the new Republican-led Congress,REP President Rob Sisson said the party cannot afford to abandon theenvironment, and he conceded that his group must do more to give voice toRepublican environmentalists around the country. In the next two years, Sissonsaid his organization plans to build a grass-roots effort of environmentallyfriendly Republicans so that the issue is not ceded to the Democrats.



Meanwhile, These SolarLobbyists Ain’t No Dummies – Work Quick to Congratulate GOP on Win,Remind the Press They’ve Got Plenty of Cash to Grease Them Too.The Hill (11/2) reports, “With big GOP gains looming on election night,the solar-energy industry’s main trade group put out the word that they’reeager to work with both parties. In a prepared statement Tuesday evening, SolarEnergy Industries Association CEO Rhone Resch noted that, “No matter who winsTuesday’s midterm elections, we stand ready to work with them to continueadvancing solar energy.” His statement steers clear of calling forcontroversial policies like climate legislation or a nationwiderenewable-electricity standard. And it notes that key industry tax credits werecreated during a GOP Congress and later extended under President George W.Bush’s watch. Solar-industry officials from around the country will be in week for a summit to hammer out the industry’s policy goals for the comingyear, a SEIA spokesman said. “SEIA looks forward to working with the newCongress and leaders from both parties, just as we have for the past 36 years.We also hope that the 111th Congress closes on a positive, bipartisan noteduring the lame duck session by passing policies that have helped drive solar’sdynamic growth this year,” Resch said.



LA Times FinallyAcknowledges “Pure Spin” Peddled by Backers of A.B. 32 – Was Never CA vs.TX; Was Always Greens vs. Greeners. LA Times (11/3) reports, “The fight over Proposition 23, the ballotinitiative to suspend California’s global warming law, "will definitely bea David versus Goliath battle," Steve Maviglio, spokesman for theopponents told a reporter in September. "Our slingshot versus their oilyclub." From the get-go, that’s how environmentalists characterized theirstruggle against Prop. 23 which, based on early returns, appears to beresoundingly defeated. But it was pure spin. As they say in the movie, "Followthe money." Two Texas-based oil refiners, along with California businesstrade associations and anti-tax activists thought they could halt the nation’smost ambitious effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But they were able toraise only $10.6 million. Most of California’s biggest companies, includingChevron, Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy, stayed neutral oractively opposed the initiative. Celebrities such as Edward James Olmos,Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford and "Avatar’s" James Cameron urgeda "no" vote. And Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stumped across the stateattacking the "self-serving greed" of Valero Energy Corp. and TesoroCorp., the two San Antonio-based refiners that were the principal funders.



Sante Fe Surprise: N.M.Enviro Board Knows It Has 2 Months to Install Cap-and-Raid Program Before NewAdmin Comes In – And Boy, Are They Moving Fast. ClimateWire(11/3) reports, “New Mexico regulators approved a state plan yesterday toestablish a cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases. The 4-3 decision bythe New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) authorizes New Mexico’sparticipation in the Western Climate Initiative, making it the second stateready to join the carbon market created by a group of U.S. states and Canadianprovinces. Opponents immediately vowed to appeal the decision. DeborahSeligman, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, said hergroup and others that sued the EIB this year challenging its jurisdiction willdecide on a course of action within the next two weeks. "There were a lotof missteps on the part of the Environment Department or the EIB that areappealable," she said. She indicated that legal action might focus onwhose air the state could control or on the lack of a standard for greenhousegas air concentrations. Sandra Ely, environment and energy policy coordinatorfor the Environment Department, said the state would immediately beginimplementing the plan. "We’ll move forward on this until we’re told notto," she said.



Remember That Cap-and-RaidProgram Known as “RGGI” Back East? May Go the Way of the Dodo Owing to theResults of the Election Last Night. ClimateWire(11/3, subs. req’d) reports, “The fate of state cap-and-trade programs,renewable energy programs and coal plant permits rests with the incoming groupof governors. They also will play a major role in determining which lawmakershead to Congress as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process in the wakeof the 2010 census. That could determine who casts votes for climate and energylegislation in coming years, if global warming returns to the top of thecongressional agenda. Governors can influence the review process by choosingappointees to attend negotiations, among other things. Additionally,Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut hold the majority of the initiative’scarbon allowances, so what happens with the rest of New England holds lesssignificance, said Stacy VanDeveer, a professor at the University of NewHampshire. "If Maine were to try and pull out of the program, it wouldn’tmatter as much, because it’s small in comparison to the other threestates," he said. Maine’s Republican candidate for governor, Paul LePage,did not outline his position on RGGI, but did sign a "no climate tax"pledge from Americans for Prosperity.



EPA Pushes Back New OzoneRules to Give Some Relief to Beleaguered Supporters in Congress – ButToday’s Nov. 3, and the Game Is Back On.NY Times/Greenwire (11/2) reports, “Though the Obama administration wasinitially expected to issue stricter smog standards this summer, U.S. EPA nowsays it may not be ready to release a final rule until New Year’s Eve. EPA iscurrently reconsidering the George W. Bush-era changes to the National AmbientAir Quality Standards for ground-level ozone, which is the main component insmog. A final decision is now scheduled to come by Dec. 31, the agency told afederal court yesterday. "Completing this rulemaking has taken longer thananticipated," the filing says. "EPA expects that this process will takean additional two months." It is the second time EPA has taken anextension on the smog standard. This summer, as the August deadline neared, theagency told the court it was planning to issue a final rule "on or aboutthe end of October." Some close observers suggested that the agency wouldwait until after the election to avoid a political backlash. The revisionprocess has prompted a war of words between businesses, which would need tospend billions of dollars on new pollution controls, and advocacy groups, whichare urging EPA to issue rules that protect the public from respiratory problemsand heart disease.



Working WITH MarcellusProducers in PA (Imagine That!), DEP Launches New Site with Information onEvery Single Thing You’d Ever Want to Know About Wells, Water, Etc.Scranton Times-Tribune (11/3) reports, “Those interested ingetting public information about a well in their neighborhood, for example,used to need internal information, such as a permit number, she said.Violations often were not associated with the well or permit number or aspecific well. The gas exploration industry is pleased with the site as well.It helps insulate them from accusations that they are keeping information fromthe public, industry leaders said. Violations also are more detailed. Once,violations were often maintained under broad categories that gave few or nodetails about the violation. The public had to request an in-person file reviewto see the violation reports. The new site makes available violationspreadsheets that include inspectors’ notes, which often include details aboutthe type and severity of the violation. Kathryn Klaber of the Marcellus ShaleCoalition, an industry trade group, said her group supported the legislationthat led to the higher-level reporting. She said the data, particularly theproduction data, is also a valuable planning tool for the industry. Beyondthat, she said the transparency also may increase the level of trust betweenthe public and the industry.



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