The Frame and Scale of the Climate/Energy Challenge: Issues and Implications

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:00:00 GMT

“Does the current framing and scaling of the climate/energy issue adequately capture the challenge posed? If not, what might be a more appropriate frame and scale?”

Speakers
  • Dr. James G. Anderson, Philip S. Weld Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
  • Dr. Daniel Schrag, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvard University

The issues of global energy demand and climate response are, at one level, complex and contentious. However, they are joined by simple but important considerations. While the flow of energy is important to the global economic infrastructure, the flow of energy within the Earth’s climate system reveals simple but compelling conclusions. These will be explored in this briefing.

Energy Security, Energy Urgency: Key Issues Facing the Next President

Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:00:00 GMT

On December 18, the Brookings Institution will host Senator Richard G. Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for a conversation on the lack of action on U.S. energy security and the challenges the next president will face on this issue. Indiana’s longest-serving senator, Lugar was first elected in 1976, and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading voices on foreign relations and national security.

U.S. dependence on increasingly scarce fossil fuels threatens U.S. security while also undermining international stability. Absent revolutionary changes in energy policy, U.S. foreign policy goals may be undermined, living standards may erode, and the U.S. may become highly vulnerable to the machinations of rogue states. These are the urgent security questions facing the next U.S. president.

In his address, Senator Lugar will discuss the need for leadership by the next president in combating energy threats to U.S. national security. Brookings Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Carlos Pascual will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. After the program, Senator Lugar will take audience questions.

Participants

Introduction and Moderator
  • Carlos Pascual, Vice President and Director
Featured Speaker
  • Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.)

Location

Falk Auditorium The Brookings Institution 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Contact: Brookings Office of Communications

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 202.797.6105

Forest restoration and hazardous fuels reduction efforts in the forests of Oregon and Washington

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 19:30:00 GMT

Perspectives on the next phase of the global fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 19:30:00 GMT

Global Maritime Strategy Initiatives

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 15:00:00 GMT

The full committee will meet to receive testimony on global maritime strategy initiatives. In October the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps released A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.

Witnesses:
  • Admiral Gary Roughead, USN, Chief of Naval Operations
  • Admiral Thad W. Allen, USCG, Commandant of the Coast Guard
  • General James T. Conway, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps
EE News:
The hearing comes amidst growing concern over climate change in the Arctic and its effect on national security and international relations, as new shipping routes open and the area becomes more accessible for oil and gas extraction.

The issue has not escaped the notice of the U.S. military. In mid-October, the Coast Guard announced plans for an operational base in Barrow, Alaska, to deal with increased shipping in the North Pole region.

Later that month, the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines released an updated national maritime strategy, which for the first time includes global warming – particularly its effects in the polar region – as a concern for the U.S. fleet.

It is that strategy that is at the center of Thursday’s House hearing.

“As we look at maritime strategy on a global basis, we can’t ignore the future of the Arctic, the implications of access to the Arctic, national security issues, environmental issues, energy issues associated with it,” Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen said in September at a Washington, D.C., conference on national security sponsored by the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. “Where do we invest our money? How do we develop policies?”

Allen, one of three top military officials scheduled to testify at the hearing, also drew a link between climate change in the Arctic and U.S. participation in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a hot-button issue this fall on Capitol Hill.

The United States is the only major industrialized nation that has failed to ratify the 25-year-old agreement, which governs how countries manage their exclusive economic zones and seabed mineral rights, sets rules for navigating international waters, and addresses species protection and other environmental issues.

“The United States must ratify the Law of the Sea treaty,” Allen said. “We must become an international player. We must be at the table.”

Consideration of Farm Bill and Energy Bill

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 13:30:00 GMT

The Senate is scheduled to consider the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419 with S.Amdt. 3500) and the energy bill (H.R. 6 with S.Amdt. 3841).

Under a unanimous consent agreement, all amendments to the farm bill were required to get 60 votes to end debate and be accepted.

In roll call vote 424, the Dorgan-Grassley amendment (S.Amdt. 3695) to the Farm Bill was rejected 56-43.

In roll call vote 425, cloture on the latest compromise version of the energy bill was rejected 59-40.

In roll call vote 426, the Klobuchar “means-testing” amendment (S.Amdt. 3810) to the Farm Bill was rejected 48-47.

The amendment, supported by the administration, would have limited subsidies to full-time farmers making less than $750,000 a year, and landowners whose primary income comes from outside the farm making less than $250,000 a year.

In roll call vote 427, the Tester-Grassley Competition Title packer price manipulation amendment (S.Amdt. 3666) to the Farm Bill was rejected 40-55.

The amendment, as explained by Tom Philpott:
Price manipulation is clearly prohibited by the Packers & Stockyards Act (PSA), but some judges have recently ruled that price manipulation is excused if a packer or processor can show “a legitimate business justification” for manipulating prices—such as gaining access to more livestock at the price they want to pay. This defense to price manipulation is not in the PSA and the court rulings, if allowed to stand, weaken the law substantially. The amendment filed by Senators Tester (D-MT), Harkin (D-IA), and Grassley (R-IA) will clarify that the PSA cannot be interpreted to include “a legitimate business justification” for market manipulation.

S.2156, to authorize and facilitate the improvement of water management and use of water resources

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 19:30:00 GMT

S.2156, to authorize and facilitate the improvement of water management by the Bureau of Reclamation, to require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Energy to increase the acquisition and analysis of water resources for irrigation, hydroelectric power, municipal, and environmental uses

The role of speculation in recent crude oil prices

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:00:00 GMT

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Global Day of Action

Sat, 08 Dec 2007 05:00:00 GMT

The Global Climate Campaign intends synchronised demonstrations around the world on Saturday December 8th 2007 – in as many places as possible – to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change.

The ‘Call to Action’ for these demonstrations and related events that will take place on December 8th 2007 is as follows :

“We demand that world leaders take the urgent and resolute action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate, so that the entire world can move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty which is both equitable and effective in preventing dangerous climate change.

We also demand that the long-industrialised countries that have emitted most greenhouse gases up to now take most of the responsibility for the adaptive measures that have to be taken, especially by low-emitting countries with limited economic resources.”

We feel that there is an overwhelming need to create a groundswell of global opinion to push for the urgent and radical action on climate change, without which we risk a global catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

Cloture vote on H.R. 6, Energy Independence and Security Act and Debate on Farm Bill

Fri, 07 Dec 2007 14:00:00 GMT

A roll call vote is expected at about 9:20 am on the motion to invoke cloture on the energy bill as passed by the House of Representatives on December 6.

By a vote of of 53-42 the cloture motion failed.

The following Democrats voted against cloture:
  • Bayh (D-IN)
  • Byrd (D-WV)
  • Landrieu (D-LA)
The following Republicans voted for cloture:
  • Coleman (R-MN)
  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Smith (R-OR)
  • Snowe (R-ME)
  • Thune (R-SD)
The following Republicans voted against cloture but previously had voted for the earlier Senate version of H.R. 6, which included the CAFE standard, but not RES or the tax title:
  • Corker (R-TN)
  • Craig (R-ID)
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Domenici (R-NM)
  • Ensign (R-NV)
  • Lugar (R-IN)
  • Sessions (R-AL)
  • Specter (R-PA)
  • Stevens (R-AK)
  • Sununu (R-NH)
The following Republicans voted against cloture but previously had voted for energy tax provisions similar to those in the House version:
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Lugar (R-IN)
  • Grassley (R-IA)
  • Roberts (R-KS)

Following the vote, the chamber resumed consideration of the farm bill (HR 2419).

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