Foreign Policy Blogs

Catching Up , October Edition

Mea culpa.  Let me just here say that I've been behind the eight ball and I will continue to try to get out and get some more posts up and running here. 

Big News Item: Lawmakers propose bill on global warming from the AP, was the big story from last week.  Legislation introduced by Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) received the endorsement of the Senate Environment Committee Chair, Barbara Boxer (D-CA).  She said " today will be remembered as a turning point in the fight against global warming."  Warner said "Today we introduced a balanced bill. Senator Lieberman and I found a good, sound, starting point that sends a significant signal that the U.S. is serious about taking a leadership role in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions."  Steve Cochran, National Climate Campaign Director for Environmental Defense said "Lieberman and Warner have paved the way for a historic committee vote on a bill that promises to make great strides toward climate security and economic growth."    

Where are we going with this?  Let's hope that the energy legislation (see next item below) will fall into place, and then the House and Senate will follow through on the critical climate change legislation.  There are obstacles by the truckload in reaching a bill that will become law and be fully implemented, but we do seem to be grinding our way slowly forward.   

Energy Legislation Update , The Democratic leadership teams in Congress are going to short-circuit the traditional route to reconciling draft Senate and House legislation in a "conference committee" and are going to proceed with negotiations so that an energy bill can be put on the President's desk for signature (or veto) before the end of the year.  You can refer to "Forbes" for this article, Dim Prospects, for some news on this.

Special interest groups such as the oil and gas industry, the auto industry, and the electric power industry have been fighting tooth and nail to block, respectively, in each group's case, the rescission of $16 billion in tax breaks (see "Denial Of Oil And Gas Tax Benefits" at this House Ways & Means Committee document) that would be devoted to renewable energy development, the upgrading of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for motor vehicles, and the  creation of a 15% renewable energy portfolio for American power producers. 

See the blog posts Energy Bill Conference Committee from last month on this, And the Winner Is on the House package from August, and The Morning After from June on the Senate package. 



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change