Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emergency Action Alert--Please call Senators today

Please go to the Environmental Defense Fund's link here for details.  While I don't like this bill as well as the CLEAR bill (see my posts on the CLEAR bill  here and here), I think any bill we can get passed this year that reduces CO2 as much as possible by 2018 is much better than no bill, and it sounds like there is a need for action today.  So I'm going to tell my Senators just that.  Please call yours, too! 
Thanks, and
Stay cool,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Veterans Getting Behind Clean Energy

If you need any more evidence that climate change is real and we need to take action, check out this link:  National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.  This report, directed by 11 retired US military admirals and generals, says "The U.S. should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate changes at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability."  A large majority of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan believe our energy policy undermines national security, and over 70% support changes that promote clean energy and reduce climate change, according to a poll done by Vote Vets, reported on the radio program Living on Earth.  Just as in the first Earth Day, veterans are getting involved in environmental work.  Some have joined conservation programs, are installing solar panels, or have joined Operation Free to strengthen support for national legislation on climate change and green energy.  These veterans have seen lives being lost because of failed US energy policy and want to prevent more loss of life and health due to climate change.  I recently started bicycling home again after my crash in January to reduce my carbon footprint.  I'm sure many of you are taking action to reduce climate change.  Inspire others by sharing what you're doing in the comments! It may seem small, but multiplied many times it adds up. 
Stay cool,

Friday, April 16, 2010

More on the CLEAR Act

I hope you'll find ways to celebrate Earth Day in your community.  In Santa Fe, here is a listing of fun possibilities (scroll down; they're on the left).  Feel free to post other events in any community in comments to this post.  Here are some interesting comments on the CLEAR Act, which I posted about last week, and comparisons to other national legislation to reduce greenhouse gases:  What people are saying about the CLEAR Act; World Resources Institute Analysis of the CLEAR Act and Other Climate and Energy Proposals; The Economist Endorses the CLEAR Act.  I'm intrigued with the idea of capping greenhouse gas emissions, auctioning off permits for the right to emit a steadily decreasing amount of carbon dioxide, and dividing up the proceeds among the American public (with 25% going to further emissions reductions and to help those most affected adjust to the disruptions of climate change). What do you think?  I'm going to start putting these blog posts on the Green Line, the Santa Fe New Mexican's green living website, as well as here.  If you know of other places on the web I can post, let me know, and
Stay cool,

Friday, April 2, 2010


In December, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the CLEAR Act, another promising bill to reduce climate change.  CLEAR stands for Carbon Limits and Energy for American Renewal. Its approach is called cap-and-dividend.  Under this bill:
  • the Department of Energy would auction carbon shares (1 share = a permit to emit a ton of CO2), to U.S. companies that import and produce fossil fuels
  • 75% of the auction proceeds would be divided evenly among U.S. consumers each month
  • 25% would go to a fund (the Clean Energy Reinvestment Trust Fund) to pay for additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions, low‐carbon energy investment, climate change adaptation, and regional economic adjustments
  • The number of permits sold each year would decrease to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020 and an 83% reduction by 2050 
  • The permit price would be determined by bidding on permits but regulated to be within a certain range to reduce the economic damage caused by too much price volatility 
  • Only producers and importers would be required to purchase permits and allowed to bid
The apparent advantages of this bill, pointed out by Mike Sandler at the Huffington Post, are that 100% of permits are auctioned, no offsets are allowed (offsets let an emitter buy shares in a project that reduces CO2 rather than reducing the emitter's CO2 production), and no one but producers and importers can bid on permits (no speculators, investment firms, etc.). In other bills, such as ACES (Waxman-Markey, which passed the House last year), many permits were given away for free, offsets were allowed, and third parties could buy and sell permits.

What do you think of this bill?  Post your comments, and
Stay cool,