WonkLine: May 8, 2009

Posted by Wonk Room Fri, 08 May 2009 14:31:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.


“Thousands more people have been forced to flee their homes as strong winds drive fierce wildfires” fueled by “temperatures in the 90s, dry air and wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour” in California, now in a state of emergency.

“Climate change is the greatest strategic risk facing property and casualty insurers”: Studies conducted in the last few years have demonstrated that “global warming is causing wildfires in the Western U.S. to occur more frequently, last longer, and cover more ground than they did in the past,” and “more and more severe wildfires will raise insurance rates, too.”

An unusually warm spring thaw in Alaska is causing some of the state’s worst flooding in decades, with rising rivers wiping out an entire village,” forcing Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) to declare a disaster for the flooded areas and to cancel her attendance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

WonkLine: April 14, 2009

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 14 Apr 2009 23:46:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Yesterday, the Energy Department proposed lighting standards for fluorescent and incandescent lamps that could “save consumers and businesses almost $40 billion between 2012 and 2042 and eliminate the need for as much as 3,850 megawatts of power generating capacity by that date.”

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), speaking at an MIT conference on a clean-energy economy yesterday: “We have to set aside a certain amount of carbon credits to ensure that the steel and the paper and other trade-sensitive, energy-intensive industries are not exploited in the near term by the Chinese and others.”

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced it “will protect habitat for belugas in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, despite a lawsuit from Gov. Sarah Palin (R) seeking to wrest the whales from federal management.”