Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges To EPA MATS Rule

<> Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges To EPA MATS Rule – [See SCOTUS blog discussion] The Court accepted three new petitions, but consolidated them for one hour of argument and for decision.  The cases are Michigan v. EPA, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, and National Mining Association v. EPA.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Todd Stern on China, India and the UN climate deal

<> Todd Stern on China, India and the UN climate deal - US special envoy for climate change spells out what his country hopes to achieve in the UN's climate change deal. . .

Monday, November 24, 2014

EPA Delays Renewable Fuels Volume Standards for 2014

<> EPA Delays Renewable Fuels Volume Standards for 2014 - 11/21/14. EPA is announcing that the Agency will not be finalizing 2014 applicable percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program before the end of 2014.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014

<> Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014 - The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 1 to 12 December. COP 20/CMP 10 will be hosted by the Government of Peru, in Lima, Peru.

  • Briefing: What to expect in Lima and on the road to a Paris agreement - C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer hosted a pre-Lima briefing for journalists on Nov. 20.  Topics included recent events that have helped build momentum, a brief history of UNFCCC negotiations, likely issues for Lima, and the potential shape of the Paris agreement.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

OIG: 8 staff paid not to work nearly 21,000 hours cost taxpayers more than $1 million

<> OIG: 8 staff paid not to work nearly 21,000 hours cost taxpayers more than $1 million - EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an early warning report alerting EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the fact that employees were on extended periods of administrative leave through fiscal year 2014 – in some cases for several years.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, fails by 1 vote; Votes, Reactions

<> S.2280, to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, fails by 1 vote - 14 Democrats joined all Senate Republicans to account for 59 votes of 60 needed to pass the bill [See the roll call]

<> U.S. Senate Rejects Attempt to Force Approval of Keystone Pipeline - Environmental Defense Fund: We believe the pipeline is the wrong choice for America, a step in the wrong direction at a time when we need a rapid shift to clean energy in order to safeguard the climate and our economy.

  • Center for Biological Diversity - The pipeline, which would transport tar sands oil from Canada to Texas, would worsen the climate crisis and put rivers, streams, wildlife and pristine landscapes directly in harm's way.
  • Sierra Club - There's no good reason the Senate should have wasted all this time on yet another meaningless push for Keystone XL.
  • Some in Senate block biggest bi-partisan jobs and energy security bill - American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard said the Senate's failure to pass legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline shows a few stood in the way of the largest bi-partisan jobs and energy security bill ignoring the will of the American people on Election Day.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy - Unfortunately, there have been no indications that the Obama administration will stop ignoring the vast majority of Americans that support the pipeline, but we do know that Keystone will have even stronger support in the next Congress.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Senate To Consider Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Bill

<> Senate To Consider Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Bill - On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, following any Leader remarks, the Senate will proceed to the consideration of S.2280, a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline -- There will be up to 6 hours of debate equally divided between opponents and proponents.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Recommendations to the President from Climate Task Force

<> FACT SHEET: Recommendations of the President's State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and New Executive Actions – Nov. 17: New Climate Resilience Toolkit Unveiled to Help Plan for Changing Climate -- The Task Force's recommendations are the culmination of a year of work to solicit input from across State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, trade associations, academic organizations, civil society, and various other stakeholders and translate their first-hand experiences into action items for the Federal Government to support climate-ready communities.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

<> U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change - President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation on climate change and will work together, and with other countries, to adopt a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris in 2015.

<> Historic US-China deal marks the beginning of the end of China's coal chapter - Today could be the most important day so far this century in climate and energy politics -- China and United States have come to an historic agreement, negotiated privately over a period of months. . .

Monday, November 10, 2014

GAO Report Blasts FDA's Inadequate Pesticide Monitoring of Fruits, Vegetables

<> GAO-15-38, Food Safety: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations, October 07, 2014 - Data from 2008 through 2012 show that pesticide residue violation rates in 10 selected fruits and vegetables were low, but FDA's approach to monitoring for violations, which targets commodities it has identified as high risk, has limitations.

Friday, November 07, 2014

McConnell: Top Priority is "to try to do whatever I can to get the EPA reined in."

<> McConnell: Top Priority is "to try to do whatever I can to get the EPA reined in." - "It will be hard because the only good tool to do that ... is through the spending process, and if (President Barack Obama) feels strongly enough about it, he can veto the bill. But I view it as a complete outrage that he could not get cap and trade through the Congress when he owned the place — owned the place — and decided to do it anyway."

Thursday, November 06, 2014

President Obama Responds to "Massive Repudiation"

<> President Obama Responds to "Massive Repudiation" – [Editor's Note: If you do a Google search of the term "massive repudiation" (use quotations) over the last 24 hours you might be surprised to see how many times various Republicans, pundits and media referred to the November 4, election as a massive repudiation of everything that Barack Obama and Democrats represent.] The President responded to the election saying in part: "What stands out to me, is that the American people sent a message, one that they've sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. As President, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work"

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Republicans take U.S. Senate majority


<> Republicans take U.S. Senate majority - Republicans captured majority control of the Senate Tuesday, gaining at least seven seats as Democrats faced strong political headwinds in midterm elections where discontent with President Obama was a decisive theme.

  • Riding Wave of Discontent, G.O.P. Takes Senate - Resurgent Republicans took control of the Senate on Tuesday night,expanded their hold on the House, and defended some of the most closely contested governors' races, in a repudiation of President Obama that will reorder the political map in his final years in office

<> Here are the top candidates for Senate chairmanships under the GOP majority - Republicans gained control of the Senate on Tuesday, which means the GOP will chair the committees in that chamber of Congress next year – e.g. Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.); Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) the ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, and she could potentially succeed Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) once the GOP takes control next year.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

MapLight's Voter's Edge Launched Nationwide

MapLight's Voter's Edge Launched Nationwide - Nonpartisan Online Voter Guide Separates Fact from Fiction; Users simply type in their home address and can immediately view their personalized ballot, supplemented by helpful information such as endorsements, funding sources, candidate biographies, and more. Voters can mark selections and share their choices via social media, or create election widgets to display on their website or blog.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Final installment of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Final installment of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects - COPENHAGEN, Nov 2 – Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. However, options are available to adapt to climate change and implementing stringent mitigations activities can ensure that the impacts of climate change remain within a manageable range, creating a brighter and more sustainable future.