January 20, 2011

Republicans appear to be growing some backbone, which as you mightexpect, bothers the Murkowski crew. Politico. Withthe backing of GOP caucus leaders, aides for House Energy and Commerce ChairmanFred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee rankingmember Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) are seeking unwavering support from a host ofindustries for an all-out push to block federal and state climate rules. Sen.Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) – who last year offered a Senate resolutiondisapproving of EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas regulations –was not involved in the meeting or this initial effort, but continues todiscuss the issue with fellow lawmakers. Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon saidshe is coordinating with Rockefeller on legislative language as Rockefellerprepares to re-introduce language this Congress aimed at delaying EPA climaterules for stationary sources. “Senator Murkowski has told Rockefeller that shedoes support his goal of reining in the EPA,” Dillon said. But she’s keepingher options open, he added, and is supportive of all the measures aimed atblocking EPA climate rules…Murkowski is known – both on and off her topRepublican position on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee – totake some more centrist positions than some GOP leaders are seeking in thiselection cycle and has shown more willingness to strike deals with Democrats.


This guy needs to understand; the bureaucracycouldn’t care less about flowery rhetoric, or even what their bosses want. They demand obeisance.New York Times. Ken Button, the president of Verengo Solar Plus, a residentialsolar panel installer in Orange, Calif., says his company — and hisindustry — are being strangled by municipal red tape. Fifteen Verengoemployees, Mr. Button said, are dedicated solely to researching and tailoringpermit applications to meet the bureaucratic idiosyncrasies of the dozens oftowns in the company’s market. And because most jurisdictions requireapplications to be submitted in person, Verengo employs two “permit runners”whose only job, Mr. Button said, is to “take those permit packs and physicallydrive them around, stand in line, and pay the fees.” “We have 50 differentpermitting authorities within 50 miles of our office,” Mr. Button said. “Theyall have different documentation requirements, different filing processes,different fee structures. It’s like doing business in 50 different countries —just in Southern California.” His lament is being echoed by solar companiesacross the country…The analysis, which will be released publicly on Thursday,was prepared by one of the nation’s largest solar leasing companies, SunRun,and endorsed by Verengo and at least a dozen other service and installationfirms.

Ithought we were supposed to be cutting regulations? Obama announces two newgroups to oversee offshore energy production.WashingtonPost (1/20/11) reports: The Obama administration continued to shake up theagency that oversees oil and natural gas drilling, announcing a plan Wednesdayto create separate offices to promote energy development and enforce safety…Themission of the former Minerals Management Service to promote resourcedevelopment, maximize revenue and enforce safety regulations had a built-inconflict, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. "Those conflicts, combinedwith a chronic lack of resources, prevented the agency from fully meeting thechallenges of overseeing industry operating in U.S. waters," Salazar said.


Two things. Which September is the storefront cowboy talkingabout? And what, exactly, is Michael trying to do that has been taking so damnlong?Politico. InteriorSecretary Ken Salazar hopes to complete the revamping of the agencies thatoversee offshore oil and gas drilling by the end of September, he said today. Inthe wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 and subsequent Gulfof Mexico oil spill, Salazar last May set in motion plans to split theoft-criticized Minerals Management Service into three agencies under the Bureauof Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) banner. ButSalazar has yet to embrace one of the major recommendations of the commissionfor Congress to set up an independent safety agency within the InteriorDepartment that would be headed by a presidential appointed and Senateconfirmed official for a fixed term of years. This is similar to that whichgoverns the term of the director of the FBI. “It’s a recommendation which inbroad sense to me makes sense,” Salazar told reporters after his speech. “Butit is also is one we have to recognize how it’s going to affect the functionalityof what Michael is trying to do.” He added: “I don’t want to move forward in away that does not make organizational sense.”


The Nobel Prize has been going downhill ever since they gave oneto Yassir Arafat, or Jimmy Carter if you prefer. Sydney Morning Herald. Aclimate change study that projected a 2.4 degree Celsius increase intemperature and massive worldwide food shortages in the next decade wasseriously flawed, scientists said Wednesday.


Onceagain, big auto and big government come together in order to build aninefficient and expensive vehicle with your tax dollars. Reuters(1/19/11) reports: Chrysler, which has been criticized for a lineup heavy ongasoline-guzzling trucks and sport-utility vehicles, plans to design and buildthe hydraulic hybrid minivan by November and complete testing by July 2012…Theproject comes as automakers scramble to meet strict new fuel economy standardsexpected to take effect after 2016 that have forced automakers to rethink thedesign of their fleet…Marchionne appeared on Wednesday with EPA AdministratorLisa Jackson at the agency’s laboratories in Ann Arbor.

The study was posted Tuesday on EurekAlert, a independent servicefor reporters set up by the American Association for the Advancement ofScience, and was written about by numerous international news agencies,including AFP. But AAAS later retracted the study as experts cited numerouserrors in its approach. "A reporter with The Guardian alerted us yesterdayto concerns about the news release submitted by Hoffman & Hoffman public relations,"said AAAS spokeswoman Ginger Pinholster in an email to AFP. "Weimmediately contacted a climate change expert, who confirmed that theinformation raised many questions in his mind, too. We swiftly removed the newsrelease from our website and contacted the submitting organization." ScientistOsvaldo Canziani, who was part of the 2007 Nobel Prize winningIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was listed as the scientific advisorto the report. The IPCC, whose figures were cited as the basis for the study’sprojections, and Al Gore jointly won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2007"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge aboutman-made climate change," the prize committee said at the time.



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