Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EPA confirms new cap-and-trade bill inadequate

EPA Analysis Confirms Inadequacy of New Cap and Trade Bill

When reporting EPA’s economic analysis of  Sens. Kerry and Lieberman’s “American Power Act” legislation last week, most outlets focused on its questionable projections of relatively low costs to US households. Yet, the most newsworthy aspect of the agency’s report was buried in the middle of the analysis on pages 25 and 31.
Federal analysts found the Senate cap and trade bill will not only fail to cut petroleum use in the next 20 years, but will actually increase our reliance up to 2030. Then, surprisingly, after 2030 the analysis expects that America will not be able to decrease emissions enough to stay under the proposed cap. This deficiency will result in higher costs for emissions permits and higher energy prices for American households – a fact upon which the bill’s proponents have been noticeably silent despite its potentially huge implications for the overall analysis of the cost of the program – not to mention its efficiency.
Volatility inherent in commodity markets is just one of the fundamental flaws in the kind of cap and trade systemalready in place in Europe. By failing to put a steady price on carbon, an emissions trading scheme lacks the ability to give businesses the needed incentives to switch to clean energy. A failure to make the transition to a clean economy represents a serious problem for both the climate and Washington’s clean energy agenda.
With its Emissions Trading System (ETS) in place since 2005,, Europe has experienced firsthand its inability tosignificantly reduce emissions, send a steady market signal, and avoid distorting market influences. Manipulation, cheating, and outright fraud run rampant in the European system as market specialist use insiders’ knowledge and regulators’ ignorance to their advantage to skim profits, thereby increasing national energy prices. Risky derivatives markets have also arisen in the EU program, fueling risk taking on a scale larger than the US housing market, which recently ignited a global recession when its bubble burst. A recent study by Harvard professor Richard Cooper analyzes the various phases of implementing the ETS, highlighting the layers of unintended consequences such systems place on national economies.
Hopefully, Americans can heed the warnings of the European system while grasping EPA’s findings, which indicate a similar future here at home. From the lessons learned, we must select a more suitable climate policy. This policy would need to include a steady price on carbon to send the right market signals, while having minimal costs to energy consumers in order to remain politically viable. Such a policy option exists, and it is about time we start discussing it in order to responsibly address America’s energy future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

John Rule to read from his own poetry today at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2010, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. TONIGHT!

Please click on image to enlarge to read introductory page and half of book's first poem.

John Rule served on the Carbon Caps Task Force for several years.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Clean Air Act intact for the moment!

Dear Aubrey,
Bald Eagle
Thanks to your efforts, the Clean Air Act still stands as one of our most important environmental laws, protecting public health and the environment.
Today the the Senate defeated Senator Murkowski's Resolution to cripple the Clean Air Act, and let oil and other corporate polluters off the hook.
By a narrow margin, the Senate voted 53-47 to uphold EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution and put science ahead of politics when it comes to public health and putting our country on a clean energy path.
Thank you for sending emails to your Senators — more than once! It took a strong and concerted outcry from many Americans to defeat this resolution. Our work is not finished until we have comprehensive energy and climate legislation but we will continue to work toward that goal and we know we can count on your help.
Thank you!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Contact your senators to protect clean air NOW

Hi Friend,
This Thursday June 10, the U.S. Senate will vote on Senator Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) "Dirty Air Act" resolution. The vote is, sadly, too close to call -- and we need your help! The "Dirty Air Act" resolution would gut the Clean Air Act's ability to crack down on the dirtiest climate polluters like Big Oil and Dirty Coal.

I've recorded a video about the importance of this vote, and why we all need to step up and tell our senators to reject this move to gut the Clean Air Act. Watch the video, then send your senators a message: tell them to vote 'NO' on Murkowski's "Dirty Air Act" (S.J.   Res 26):
Video with Gillian Caldwell
The Gulf Coast oil disaster and the recent coal mine tragedy in West Virginia show us what happens when we let dirty polluters run amok. Now Senator Murkowski wants to take away our best tool to keep these companies from further wrecking our lives and the planet with their climate pollution.

Please take action right away! Tell your senators to stand up to dirty polluters like BP and Massey energy by voting 'NO' on the Murkowski resolution.

In unity,

Gillian Caldwell
Campaign Director, 1Sky
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