I can take a deep breathe and come back to post regularly now, since I finally only have one apartment again, and most of my boxes are empty and their contents distributed. It’s been a long move, and I’m very glad it’s over. I’ll give you a summary along with the six-month review and March monthly goal I owe you, but not yet.
Tonight, you get a few links to stories from the past week I’ve been itching to put up for days. Guiding theme is legislative.
The EPA released their actual reason for denying a waiver to California and about 16 (or maybe 18, depending on which article you read) other states so that they may pass their own emissions laws, the same week as memos from the EPA’s staff opposing the decision were made public. The agency said in December that they’d deny the waiver, for reasons that would be forthcoming. After over two months, they’ve come up with
“While I find that the conditions related to global climate change in California are substantial, they are not sufficiently different from conditions in the nation as a whole to justify separate state standards,” Johnson [the EPA head] wrote.
The policy director for the National Resources Defense Council called that statement “both factually and legally wrong”. Johnson’s own EPA agrees with the NRDC.
“It is obvious to me that there is no legal or technical justification for denying this,” Margo Oge, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, warned in talking points prepared for a meeting with Johnson in October 2007.
While the EPA is taking their bold, defenseless move, the House has passed a bill with a much less certain future. A plan to shift funding to renewable energy resources, paid for by removing tax breaks given to oil and gas companies, passed the House Wednesday. No idea on when the Senate will get to it, but Bush has of course threatened a veto. After all, American oil companies (who are hitting year after year of record profits– not just records for them, but records for any American business ever- and record profits, not just record income, straight-up profits) are suffering badly, and may not survive much longer without those tax breaks. Limping along, suspended by a thread, suffocating under the weight of their own cash, etc. You know how it is. The NYT article on the House bill highlights Republican reasons for opposing it (besides the poor, poor oil companies) (ok, “poor” is a bad word choice), and what doesn’t boil down to “taxes==evil” goes along the lines of “energy prices are high enough, and this will increase our dependence on foreign energy supplies”. I’ll go ahead and call that laughable, considering how dependent on foreign oil resources we already are, and considering that the main gist of the bill is to shift energy production to sources that Americans control, on US soil. Let’s see how the Senate takes the idea before we get all excited, though.
And in a Wired piece, recycling at the Obama campaign! Not speeches (har-dee-har), no, but campaign materials themselves. For those of us who’ve been hankering after a teeshirt, you know that the Obama campaign is trying to fill such a huge demand for their merch that their orders are being delayed by weeks, and the ObamaCycle site is emerging as the most effective way to get posters where they’re needed fast. Considering the political litter all over our corner of Alexandria, I hope more campaigns pick up the idea. Of course, since total inundation seems to be the general goal of the posters, perhaps the best I can hope for is that all those signs end up in a recycling pile by November.