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The Energy Bill has been shelved for now — another Price exacted by the Do Nothing Party.
Senate Halts Effort to Cap CO2 Emissions
Democrats Forgo Centerpiece of President Obama’s Energy Plan, as Cap-and-Trade Fails to Lure Broad Support in Congress
By Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal — July 23, 2010
Mr. Reid refused to declare the idea dead. But Thursday’s decision called into question when or whether any legislated cap on greenhouse-gas emissions would reach Mr. Obama’s desk.
Now, businesses, such as wind-turbine makers, that had bet on a greenhouse-gas provision to make alternatives to coal and oil more cost-competitive must recalculate how long it might take for that to happen.
[…] the solar industry is growing at the rate of about 40% a year in terms of electrical power installed and is likely to continue to grow, said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Corp.’s Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group in Huntington Beach, Calif.
We need some new Senators (at least 60), who actually care about Energy Independence — enough to act.
How are Clean Energy companies ever to get a serious foothold, when the trail ahead, keeps disappearing from legislative washouts?
Flag on the play, Halt all Forward Progress … It’s the 80’s all over again, with the Clean Energy demand being undercut at every turn.
Clean Energy? … Who Needs it?
(continuing with the breaking news from WSJ …)
Senate Democratic leaders Thursday shelved their effort to cap greenhouse-gas emissions as part of a broad energy bill, putting aside indefinitely a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s ambitious effort to transform the way Americans produce and consume energy.
The proposal would have allowed utilities to trade permits to pollute as they worked to shift away from coal-a concept commonly called “cap and trade.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that neither he nor the White House had managed to line up 60 senators to support even a limited proposal seeking to cap carbon-dioxide emissions from electric power companies.
Mr. Reid’s decision to pull cap-and-trade from the energy bill could reverberate on Wall Street, where banks and brokerage firms had been anticipating climate legislation that would lead to widespread trading of carbon “credits.”
There is already a global carbo-trading market, with the majority of the trading taking place in the regulated European markets. It amounted to $127 billion last year.
But other business could be chilled if Washington abandons entirely the idea of raising the price of consuming fossil fuels. Companies trying to develop and sell solar and wind energy technology, energy-conservation systems or electric vehicles have hoped that caps on greenhouse gas emissions would jump-start demand.
Mr. Reid’s decision leaves EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in charge of setting federal limits on greenhouse gases. She has already adopted rules limiting emissions from cars and requiring state regulators to account for such emissions when they issue air-quality permits to large refineries and manufacturing facilities.
The agency’s authority to do so is under assault. Business groups have sued, challenging the legality of EPA proposals to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.
Leave it to the EPA to prime the Clean Energy pump ?
Even when Wall Street is chomping on the bit, to get first crack at the US Carbon Credit Market?
I thought the EPA and CO2 Regulation Issue — was already a “done deal”. Something about the Supreme Court ruling CO2 ACTUALLY IS a harmful Pollutant … and that was in the W-Decade, too …
EPA: Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment
Science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity
Release date: 12/07/2009
President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress’ efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants.
What did the Supreme Court say?
Short answer: the EPA had to “regulate greenhouse gases” … like it or not.
High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions
Critics of Bush Stance on Warming Claim Victory
By Robert Barnes and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writers — April 3, 2007
The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration yesterday for refusing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, siding with environmentalists in the court’s first examination of the phenomenon of global warming.
The court ruled 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Clean Air Act by improperly declining to regulate new-vehicle emissions standards to control the pollutants that scientists say contribute to global warming.
“EPA has offered no reasoned explanation for its refusal to decide whether greenhouse gases cause or contribute to climate change,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the majority. The agency “identifies nothing suggesting that Congress meant to curtail EPA’s power to treat greenhouse gases as air pollutants,” the opinion continued.
So what has the EPA, done with this ruling, in the meantime?
They took time to study it. They issued 2 Findings, basically confirming the Court’s ruling.
Climate Change – Regulatory Initiatives
Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
On December 7, 2009, the Administrator signed two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:
— Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) – in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.
— Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.
These findings do not themselves impose any requirements on industry or other entities. However, this action is a prerequisite to finalizing the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emission standards for light-duty vehicles, which EPA proposed in a joint proposal including the Department of Transportation’s proposed CAFE standards on September 15, 2009.
And what has the new Administration’s EPA, done with this ruling, more recently?
They issued a Memorandum, and created some new fleet standards … woo hoo
May 21, 2010
President Obama Directs Administration to Create First-Ever:
National Efficiency and Emissions Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks
The White House — Office of the Press Secretary
Calls for increased support for electric vehicles, extension of national policy for cars and light- trucks
Signing a Presidential Memorandum in the Rose Garden at the White House today, the President directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a first-ever National Policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for Model Years 2014-2018. […]
Will those new EPA “Regulatory Initiatives” create the ground-swell of Economic Demand to get Clean Energy industries off the ground? (in the same way that a Carbon Credit Market would?)
Harry Reid seems to think so, for now. He has passed this Energy “Hot Potato” to the EPA to handle, for now … will THEY manage to come up with that Forward Progress, that the country so desperately needs? (to start to break our addiction to Oil and Coal?)
Or will they hem and haw, and eventually Punt, on some future 4th Down Play, later this year? (and “fumble” the ball back to Congress, who THEN will likely have even LESS of a consensus to make any “serious” Forward Progress.)
Like I said before:
We need some new Senators (at least 60 of them), who actually care enough about Energy Independence and the Future of the Planet — enough to act … to act NOW. … It’s NOT getting any easier, from here on out, if you ask me.