February 6, 2012
Hot for Hotline? Tell Us What You Think.
Hello Friends and Colleagues,
This week we’ve kept our feature short and hope you will take a moment or two and fill out a quick survey about the Climate Action Hotline brought to you weekly by US Climate Action Network. Our goal is to bring you relevant climate and energy news of the week and to direct you, our members, to the key developments and action opportunities as well as keep our international colleagues informed of the US situation. Please take a moment to tell us how we’ve been doing with Hotline overall by filling out the survey today!
As we reported in last week’s Clean Air Digest, draft regulations for reducing greenhouse gases from new and modified power plants have been under review at Office of Management Budget and are expected to be released in the next several weeks. On February 1st, House Energy and Commerce Republican leaders sent a letter to the OMB arguing that the Administration should not go forward with the regulations. Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Joe Barton (R-TX), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) claim the standards will harm the economy. Carbon pollution threatens the health of Americans and power plants are the nation’s single largest source of climate change causing air pollution by pumping roughly 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. Appropriately close to Ground Hog Day, this new letter repeats the House’s 2011 dirty track record of attempting to roll back EPA authority under America’s landmark public health law, the Clean Air Act. For a more in-depth look at the latest clean air attacks and what you can do to help, stay tuned to the weekly Clean Air Act Digest here.
Also last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced that the department’s renewable energy initiative has cleared an important environmental review, allowing Interior to move forward with the process for wind energy lease sales off Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware. This news came on the heels of President’s Obama’s call for an “all of the above” energy strategy, including a continued push on clean energy, and was welcomed by many of our member groups. Vanessa Pierce, Eastern Region Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, said, “Offshore wind will create thousands of jobs and give an economic boost to the mid-Atlantic at a time when the region badly needs it,” adding, “the transition to clean energy is imperative; at the same time, we must ensure these resources are developed responsibly. We will continue to engage in the Department of the Interior’s Smart from the Start process to ensure that offshore wind development is done right.”
Early Friday morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a five-year, $260 billion reauthorization bill that is reportedly set to hit the house floor next week. Part of the proposed bill would be funded with the revenue from an array of domestic energy production measures that would open up drilling in offshore areas and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Several environmental groups sent a letter in opposition to H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. The letter asked law makers to invest in infrastructure that creates good jobs and protects public health and the environment, instead of this bill that includes a raft of extreme anti-environmental proposals, to be funded by new drilling. The proposed bill slashes funding for clean transportation choices, short-circuits environmental reviews, and is stapled to a set of controversial and extremely damaging drilling bills. To take action, see this week’s action alert below.
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Marie Risalvato, Communications Coordinator