April 29, 2012

The Week in Green Politics: 4/29/12

Reid says Senate Dems will hold the line on Keystone XL

Republicans in the Senate are driving to include KXL in the transportation funding bill. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) said the effort wouldn't get far. "...personally I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can." 

An amendment that would have forced approval of the pipeline ran out of gas last month, lacking just four votes. Says Republican and KXL fanboy Fred Upton, “We’re not giving up on the issue. There’s no white flag.” Or concern for the future, apparently.

Massachusetts Senate candidate endorsed by two green groups

Elizabeth Warren, a liberal Democrat running against Scott Brown (R-MA), has now been endorsed by both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters. LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski said in a statement,

“We are confident that as Senator, Elizabeth Warren will be a strong voice for environmental policies that make corporate polluters pay their fair share and build a clean energy future for America.”

Warren has expressed concern about climate change, called for greater investments in clean energy, and lambasted Senator Brown for supporting oil tax breaks. 

ALEC plans to create legislation to take down state renewable energy targets

Via Think Progress:

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a “stealth business lobbyist” that works with corporate interests to help them write and implement “model” legislation — says it may soon start crafting laws designed to kill or weaken state targets for renewable electricity, heating and fuels.

ALEC goes beyond traditional lobbying by helping corporations draft and pre-approve actual legislation. For instance, the organization worked with for-profit prison lobbyists to create a "model" immigration law for Arizona. In the environmental scene, ALEC provided the framework for the House bill to prevent the EPA from regulating coal ash. More broadly, ALEC serves as a leader in the fight against responsible climate and environmental policy.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans tell EPA to set carbon limits

Just ten days after the EPA announced its first-ever rules for carbon pollution, over 700,000 Americans had voiced their support for the new proposal. It's not surpising, since most Americans like the agency and support limits on pollutants, including CO2.

And in other news, a Tea Party congressman proclaimed, "We must cut the EPA's legs off!" He continued, "...every group I talk to is the same message, ‘please stop them, please stop.'” Out-of-touch? I'll let you decide.