Foreign Policy Blogs

New Energy Act and Suing EPA

Energy , The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has a concise summary of the new energy legislation here.  As I've said a number of times, there's a whole truckful of good stuff in this package.  

One big part of the pie is geothermal and the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) has a summary here of what's in the bill for R&D in this critically important area.  On geothermal, in January last year a major new report found enormous " potential for geothermal energy within the United States" and " that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact." See this from the M.I.T. news service and the report itself. (Big file , 14.5 mb!) 

In addition to the new energy law, the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) notes in its weekly newsletter that the omnibus appropriations act passed in late December provides a 17% increase in funds for them.  This is not, as the saying goes, chopped liver. 

Lawsuit , California, 15 other states, and five major nonprofits have filed suits challenging EPA's recent denial of California's request to implement its landmark law limiting global warming pollution from new automobiles.  See this from the A.P. and also this from "Wired Science" that reports on the investigation launched by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman of undue political influence on EPA's decision.  (Waxman's a hero of mine going way back to the Acid Rain Wars of the 1980's when he was chair of the Health and Environment Subcommittee.)

Another old hand, Jim Tripp, general counsel of Environmental Defense, had this to say about the EPA's decision:  "The agency's decision defies the law, the science and the will of states representing nearly half of the U.S. population."  Come on, Jim, say what you mean.  Environmental Defense is one of the five nonprofits involved in the suit.  See their release.

The gloves are off, folks.



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