Climate Change

Today, Sean Slone and I release our latest report, Green Transportation.  The report highlights several initiatives states are taking to green-up their transportation system, including developing alternative fuels and electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as adopting policies that seek to reduce the overall number of vehicles on the road.

Green transportation - transportation that produces less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline—is needed to mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on foreign oil. State and local governments are updating vehicle fleets to greener forms of transportation.

As I previously predicted, climate change legislation is dead in 2010.   Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that there will be no bill this session that would cap emissions of greenhouse gases.

China officially passes the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer, according to the International Energy Agency, although the US is still the world’s leader in energy consumed per capita by a considerable margin.  However, that per capita gap is expected to decrease as the Chinese economy becomes wealthier and consumers purchase more energy intensive products.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis reported that the climate change bill, the American Power Act, being sponsored by Sens. Kerry and Lieberman, would reduce the federal deficit by approximately $19 billion over the next ten years.  This squares with the EPA analysis which reported that the bill would have a modest impact on families.  However, it still seems unlikely that such a bill will pass this year.

Though I predict climate change legislation will not pass in 2010, it will come to pass, most likely beginning with a utility sector cap.  Thus, it is essential to advance the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in order to curb coal-fired power plant emissions.    

Shy of 60 votes in the Senate, a still shaky economy, and November elections all lead to the forecast that climate change legislation, featuring a cap and trade element, is unlikely to happen in 2010.

Climate Progress recently compared the two competing bills on climate change—the Waxman-Markey bill which passed the House in June of 2009, and the Kerry-Lieberman draft bill introduced today in the Senate, along with President Obama’s campaign promises.

Nearly 20 percent of our nation's electricity is generated by nuclear energy.  Nuclear energy is expected to play a key role in mitigating climate change.

Transportation is the second-leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and constitutes a key target in the battle against climate change. But by taking a proactive approach, states can moderate its effects and reduce its impacts.

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