The Dernogalizer

September 29, 2010

Obama: Yes to 2011 climate bill push

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 2:01 pm

Climate activists including myself have been disappointed too many times in the last two years to take too much from Obama’s statement on pushing climate legislation in 2011, but it’s nice to see President Obama explicitly state his commitment.

“One of my top priorities next year is to have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our overreliance on fossil fuels,” Obama said. “We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation. But we’re going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it’s good for our national security and, ultimately, it’s good for our environment.”

August 12, 2010

Failure of Senate Climate Bill: Immediate Economic Implications

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 7:36 pm
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Check out this article in Reuters about Deutsche Bank, which manages over $700 billion in funds, and invests $6-7$ billion dollars into green tech and climate related products.  The bank will be putting its dollars to China and Western Europe, where political leaders are more serious about pricing carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the usage of clean energy.

From the head of the bank’s Global Asset Management Division: “They’re asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry,” Parker said of Washington’s inability to seal a climate-change program and other alternative energy incentives into place.”

“We’ve said that we’re going to put our capital in places where we can get our arms around regulatory risk,” Parker said. And what that required, he said, were government policies that provide “transparency, longevity and certainty.”

For Deutsche Bank, which has erected a “carbon counter” in Manhattan to tick off the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that means concentrating on investment opportunities inGermany, Italy, Spain and China, according to Parker.

“The U.S. hasn’t even entered the race yet” for a clean-energy economy, Parker said. Indicative of that was the fact that of the nearly $7 billion in green investments his fund currently juggles, only about $45 million originated in the United States, according to Deutsche Bank.”

Sadly, this bank is just one example of many more investors and businesses that will be investing where the regulatory climate favors green tech.

July 27, 2010

Two out of Three

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 9:40 pm
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Tom Toles cartoon in the Washington Post the other day sums up my frustration with Congress, the Obama Administration, and the death of the climate bill.

Cartoon by Tom Toles, Wash Post.

July 23, 2010

Senate Fails to Take Up Climate Legislation

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:00 am
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It was revealed Thursday that the Senate isn’t going to put any kind of climate bill/cap on carbon to a vote because they can’t find 60.  It’s pretty  disgusting, especially considering the momentum from the oil disaster the Democrats and Obama should have used more aggressively to make the case for a clean energy future.

In 18 months a Senate with 59-60 Democrats couldn’t find the time or the heart to even take climate legislation to the floor.  Pretty pathetic.

Here is the article breaking the news, and here is a blog post by Joe Romm at Climate Progress that appropriately divides up the blame between the Republicans, the media, Obama, the Democrats, and the activists.  Below is an excerpt from the news article.

“At a press conference this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the Democrats’ top climate and energy negotiator, acknowledged officially, and with obvious disappointment, that they lack the votes to pass legislation limiting carbon pollution, and that forthcoming energy legislation will be extremely narrow, in a bid to overcome a GOP filibuster.”

July 19, 2010

General Under Patraeus in Iraq Backs Clean Energy Plan


“It’s time for our senators to choose: Pass a clean energy climate plan that makes us more secure… or let America keep paying the price.”

WASHINGTON,DC – Brigadier General Steven Anderson (Ret.), Chief of Logistics inIraq under General David Petraeus, calls for the U.S. Senate to pass a Clean Energy plan in a new television ad launched today, citing how our dependence on oil has led to American deaths in the warzone.

The ad can be viewed here:

The television spot is an over half a million dollar buy on national cable, with versions of the ad running in four states – North Dakota, Arkansas, Virginia, and West Virginia.  The full script with backup is below.

In the ad, General Anderson says, “Our troops are getting killed moving fuel we wouldn’t need if our military was more efficient — and our enemies know we’re hooked on their oil…. That’s why breaking our addiction must not only be a military priority, but America’s mission, and why the Senate needs to pass a clean energy climate plan.”

“It’s time for our senators to choose: Pass a clean energy climate plan that makes us more secure… or let America keep paying the price,” he concludes.

General Anderson’s call for more energy independence and a move off of fossil fuels is the latest in a steady stream of both active and retired military calling for a clean energy revolution.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, a memo written by deputies of Major General Richard Zilmer in 2006 called for more renewable sources of energy, in a Priority One request to the Pentagon, writing, until such energy sources are made available, U.S. troops “will remain unnecessarily exposed” and will “continue to accrue preventable … serious and grave casualties”

This year, the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review cited global climate change as a security threat, stating, “Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment. Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security and economic stability are inextricably linked.”  Additionally, the Pentagon has been “war gaming” the effects of climate change, to gauge the effect environmental strife would have on our own military’s commitments around the world.

And, earlier this year, a compelling poll ofIraq and Afghanistan veterans commissioned by, found that 73 percent of them support Clean Energy Climate Change legislation in Congress, 79 percent believe ending our dependence on foreign oil is important to national security.

General Anderson, a career military officer, retired from active duty in November 2009. During that time, he served on the Army Staff in the Pentagon as the Director, Operations and Logistics Readiness, Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, and served five years as a general officer in the US Army, including 15 months as the senior US and coalition logistician in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom is a pro-military organization ofIraq and Afghanistan veterans, dedicated to the destruction of terror networks around the world, with force when necessary.  It primarily focuses on education and advocacy on issues of importance to the troops and veterans, and holding politicians accountable for their actions on these issues.


July 16, 2010

How Climate and Clean Energy Policies Can Safeguard Water in the West

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:19 pm
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I just read through a great report by Western Resource Advocates and the Environmental Defense Fund about the connection between climate, clean energy, and water in the West.  I’d encourage you to check it out, the 4 highlights on the side of the report’s page give a hint at the strong case to be made that in the West, a strong climate bill is a good water policy.  I’m reposting those 4 highlights below.

1.  Thermoelectric power plants in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah consumed an estimated 292 million gallons of water a day (MGD) in 2005 — approximately equal to the water consumed by Denver, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, combined.

2.  In the Colorado River Basin, climate change issues could not be more pressing. The river supplies water to over 30 million people and 1.4 million acres of farmland, but an 11-year drought in the basin has left the two main reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, at only 55% of their total capacity.

3.  Since it started its water conservation program in 1994, Albuquerque’s water utility has saved over 136 billion gallons of water and over 1 million tons of carbon dioxide.

4.  Xcel Energy has invested heavily in wind power – it now has over 1200 MW of wind power on the ground in Colorado, which saves – each year – approximately 1.6 billion gallons of water.

July 9, 2010

40 Years and Still No Action

A solid new video from the Environmental Defense Fund

July 8, 2010

Clean Energy Coalition Launches Major Ad Buy to Counter Big Oil

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:47 am
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This 6-figure ad buy is running for one week on national cable television.

June 30, 2010

Mark Begich Wants Clean Energy and Climate Bill

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 10:35 pm
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It’s good to see a Senator from Alaska talking like this

June 24, 2010

The Senate is Going for It!

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 10:46 pm
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By the looks of it, Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are going to make a big push for clean energy and CLIMATE legislation next month, tied together with an oil spill response package.  Props to my MD Senator Ben Cardin for being a strong voice as always.  See below!

“Democrats put on a show of unity this afternoon, claiming a special caucus on energy legislation was an emotional and inspirational success of the first proportion.”

Emerging from the hour-long meeting in the Capitol, Reid described the caucus as “inspirational” where members uniformly supported moving an energy bill to create “clean energy” jobs, reduce pollution and bolster national security by reducing US spending on foreign oil.”

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning a high-risk, high-stakes strategy for bringing climate and energy legislation to the floor ahead of the August recess.  The gamble: yoking a bipartisan, fast-track measure to overhaul offshore drilling rules with a broad, contentious bill capping greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise would have almost no chance of passage on its own.”


From a “Hill Source”  GO CARDIN!

– 20 members spoke in the one-hour caucus, with member after member standing up to say we need to bring a comprehensive bill to the floor in July that finally puts a price on carbon and hold polluters responsible

– Majority Leader Reid promised to bring a comprehensive bill to the floor in the next work period.

– Senator Cardin made a big push that pricing carbon is an essential component in solving the energy crisis. He reiterated that we cannot compromise on this measure, that we have to fight on a bill that we can be proud of as Democrats.

– Senator Landrieu discussed the devastation in the Gulf and the real impacts of our oil addiction both at home and across the globe.

– Senator Merkley spoke passionately about the need for oil independence.

– Senator Sherrod Brown said there is only one side to be on in this debate – and that Republicans must join Democrats to protect the security of the nation.

– Senators Begich and Shaheen said this is the year for action.

– Senators agreed that they would work together and with any and all brave, willing Republicans to bring the best possible bill to the floor this summer.

– The Senators also agreed, however, that that bill must include a mechanism to reduce carbon pollution, and on that point, they were steadfast in their commitment.

– Senators described the strategy of this legislation as more akin to the financial regulatory legislation than of health care, with Democrats bringing to the floor an impenetrable package that the Republicans could not roadblock.

– Senator Feinstein commented that in 18 years, no one has ever worked harder on  any bill than Senator Kerry has worked on climate change.

– Senator Kerry closed the meeting with a few remarks to drive the message home that this is our year for action.

– Senators Reid, Bingaman, Kerry, Lieberman, Boxer, and Cantwell then went to a stake-out where the reconfirmed their commitment to bringing a comprehensive energy bill to the floor this year.

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