River and water supply management bills

Thu, 26 Jul 2007 18:30:00 GMT

S.300, to authorize appropriations for the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program in the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada, S.1258, to amend the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act of 1978 to authorize improvements for the security of dams and other facilities, S.1477, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to carry out the Jackson Gulch rehabilitation project in the State of Colorado, S.1522, to amend the Bonneville Power Administration portions of the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act of 2000 to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2008 through 2014, and H.R.1025, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a studyto determine the feasibility of implementing a water supply and conservation project to improve water supply reliability, increase the capacity of water storage, and improve water management efficiency in the Republican River Basin between Harlan County Lake in Nebraska and Milford Lake in Kansas

Cooking With The Sun - Saving the Planet

Thu, 26 Jul 2007 16:00:00 GMT

A public demonstration of eight solar cookers on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. from 12 – 6 PM in Upper House of Representatives Park behind the Longworth Building.

On Friday, the demonstration will be held 12 – 6 PM in Upper Senate Park by the fountain.

According to the EPA, almost three billion people still cook every day with traditional solid fuels (primarily wood, charcoal and animal waste). Their numbers are expected to increase substantially by 2020. The vast majority of these people live within thirty degrees north or south of the equator where the sun shines much of the year. The World Health Organization reports that over 1.5 million people die of respiratory disease each year by inhaling the fumes of their cooking fires. In developing nations millions of women and their children (who should be in school) spend hours each day foraging for fuel, resulting in denuded land, soil erosion, flooding and reduction in forest cover.

Solar cooking can dramatically reduce these problems. Solar cooking, when used as part of an integrated cooking program can reduce fuel consumption by more than 75%.

More than one million solar cookers are in use in China and India alone.

For additional information please contact: Pat McArdle at 703-254-8916/703-578-2932 [email protected]

The case for the California waiver, including an update from the Environmental Protection Agency

Thu, 26 Jul 2007 14:00:00 GMT

_Witness_
  • Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

10:53 Inhofe is attacking a statement made by the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy. This is so typical of these hate-filled people. I was called a traitor by one of the extreme left. See if it’s appropriate to be a part of this organization. “It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. I will launch a campaign against you. Go ahead guy, take me on.” The waiver request strikes me as a backdoor effort, though I need some education on this, to usurp the Congress’s role in setting CAFE standards. If a handful of states are able to come up with standards different from the United States, what will happen to CAFE standards?

Johnson There are two sections of the Clean Air Act: Section 209, for California waiver petitions. There are three conditions if any are triggered to deny the petition. Section 202 deals with mobile sources.

Inhofe It’s very elaborate what the law requires you to do. I think you have done your job. How can California assess the CAFE standards to be so radically different from the Department of Transportation’s estimation? CARB requires about 44 MPGs and 27 MPGs for trucks. Don’t you think the federal regulators know more about it than CARB? How can CARB’s mistaken feasibility assessment be corrected?

Johnson There is a case before the 9th Circuit. In the meantime we are continue to review and evaluate voluminous and unprecedented comments on the waiver.

11:01 Lautenberg I think you’re wrong on this issue. It amounts to footdragging.

Johnson I don’t believe it is legal for me to lobby any member of Congress. I think it is good for members of Congress to talk with each other. The responsibility to make a decision lies solely with me.

Lautenberg We’re talking about a forever delay here. Eighteen months while the air is pollution, despite Sen. Inhofe’s disbelief climate change is happening. He called it a hoax. We have hoax floods and hoax droughts and hoax hurricanes and hoax tornadoes. Mr. Johnson, the one thing I don’t want to see happen is the demise of our automobile industry. But it ought not be juxtaposed with the threat of climate change. This footdragging is unacceptable. Is it true that the request for the waiver has been in for eighteen months?

Johnson The waiver request came in December 2005. In February of 2007 we informed California that we were going to await the Supreme Court decision.

Lautenberg Those details are irrelevant to the urgency of climate change.

Johnson I agree that there is an urgency to deal with the voluminous comments. Climate change is a very serious issue and we have a responsibility to deal with this in a timely and deliberate fashion. There are still thousands of comments. We just received 800 pages from California. It takes time for our staff to do a thorough review.

Lautenberg Why don’t we see the urgency to do something about climate change? Can you imagine that California is trying to delay this?

Boxer California is going to sue to get action.

11:12 Lautenberg If this was a fire, action would be taken. We are facing lots of dangerous situations. Any delays put our society at risk. I urge you to try and expedite this waiver request.

11:14 Carper I want you to fully respond to my request.

Johnson Thank you for your leadership. I want to apologize for any miscommunication.

11:24 Boxer These thirteen states want to do it yesterday.

11:30 Boxer The EPA’s job is to protect the public health and welfare. Is the Bush administration opposed to granting the waiver?

Johnson We’re going through a very deliberate process.

Boxer Is the administration opposed to granting this waiver?

Johnson The administration recognizes the responsibility to make an independent decision.

Boxer The DOT was calling members of Congress attacking the waiver. Is it appropriate for the administration to lobby Congress against the waiver?

Johnson I respectfully defer to the Department of Transportation.

Boxer You are responsible for the health and welfare of the people of this country. You sit here and can’t condemn that this administration has been lobbying Congress against this waiver.

Johnson I’m not responsible for the DOT. I defer to the DOT.

Boxer If you defer you say that you think it’s okay.

Johnson I defer to the DOT.

Boxer Since we know members of DOT were actively lobbying members of Congress, were you aware this was going on?

Johnson I told the secretary of the DOT I was inclined not to grant an extension.

Boxer That’s not my question.

Johnson I described my awareness in my conversation with the secretary of the DOT.

Boxer Did you try to stop the DOT from soliciting opposition?

Johnson My responsibility is not to the DOT.

Johnson I’m good, but I’m not that good to oversee every email in the DOT. I did not see a script;

Boxer You did not know they were lobbying Congress.

Johnson I only talked with her about talking with her constituency.

Boxer Who’s her constituency? She’s not an elected official.

Johnson There are members of Congress and governors who are particularly interested in transportation issues.

Boxer Your constituency is the American people. I believe this administration has already decided not to grant this waiver. My belief is there’s going to be hiding behind this executive order. Now you’re using the comments, most of which are form letters in favor of the waiver, as an excuse. You’ve said nothing to condemn what the DOT did. Your job is to protect my constituents and the rest of the country. I couldn’t be more disappointed. We’re going to keep the pressure on. Thank you very much and we stand adjourned.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice programs

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 18:00:00 GMT

Panel 1
  • Granta Nakayama, Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Wade Najjum, Assistant Inspector General for Program Evaluation, Office of the Inspector General, Environmental Protection Agency
  • John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Panel 2
  • Representative Harold Mitchell, South Carolina State Legislature
  • Dr. Robert Bullard, Director, Environmental Justice Resource Center, Clark Atlanta University
  • Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT)
  • Dr. Beverly Wright, Founder and Director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice
  • Michael W. Steinberg, Senior Counsel, Morgan, Lewis, Bockius LLP

Bipartisan Support for Clean Energy Provisions in House Energy Bill

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 16:00:00 GMT

Members of the House will hold a news conference to urge support for the inclusion of clean energy provisions in energy legislation that will be taken up by the House in order to address the problem of global warming and provide solutions the nation’s energy challenges. The bills supported are the Udall-Platts Renewable Electricity Standard (HR 969) and the Markey-Platts Fuel Economy Reform Act (HR 1506).

Contact: Liz Hitchcock at 202-546-9707, ext. 316

  • Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-Md.
  • Rep. Paul W. Hodes, D-N.H.
  • Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.
  • Rep. Todd R. Platts, R-Pa.
  • Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
  • Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Energy and Resources Bills; DOE and Interior Nominations

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:30:00 GMT

  • S 645 — A bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to provide an alternate sulfur dioxide removal measurement for certain coal gasification project goals.
  • S 838 — United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act
  • S 1089 — A bill to amend the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act to allow the federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects to hire employees more efficiently, and for other purposes.
  • S 1203 — Department of Energy Electricity Programs Enhancement Act of 2007
  • HR 85 — Energy Technology Transfer Act
  • HR 1126 — A bill to reauthorize the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988.* S 169 — National Trails System Willing Seller Act
  • S 289 — Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act
  • S 443 — Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Act
  • S 444 — South Park National Heritage Area Act
  • S 471 — A bill to authorize the secretary of Interior to convey to The Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center Foundation, Inc. certain federal land associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Nebraska, to be used as an historical interpretive site along the trail.
  • S 637 — Chattahoochee Trace National Heritage Corridor Study Act of 2007
  • S 647 — Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act of 2007
  • S 722 — Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2007
  • S 800 — Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Act
  • S 817 — National Heritage Areas and National Heritage Corridors Technical Corrections Act of 2007
  • S 955 — Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Act
  • S 1148 — Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commemoration Commission Act of 2007
  • S 1182 — Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor Amendments Act of 2007
  • S 1728 — Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau Advisory Commission Reauthorization Act of 2007
  • HR 247 — A bill to designate a Forest Service trail at Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest in the state of Oregon as a national recreation trail in honor of Jim Weaver, a former member of the House of Representatives.
  • HR 407 — Columbia-Pacific National Heritage Area Study Act
  • HR 995 — A bill to amend PL 106-348 to extend the authorization for establishing a memorial in the District of Columbia or its environs to honor veterans who became disabled while serving in the armed forces of the United States.
  • HR 1100 — Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act of 2007
  • H Con Res 116 — A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the National Museum of Wildlife Art, located in Jackson, Wyo., shall be designated as the “National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States.”
Nominations
  • Kevin M. Kolevar to be assistant secretary of Energy for electricity delivery and energy reliability
  • Lisa E. Epifani to be assistant secretary of Energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs
  • Clarence H. Albright to be undersecretary of Energy
  • James L. Caswell to be director, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior
  • Brent T. Wahlquist to be director, Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Department of the Interior
  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee 366 Dirksen
    permalink, rss, atom

Economic and international issues, focusing on global warming policy 1

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 18:30:00 GMT

From CQ Green Sheets: Senate Environment Presses Ahead on Federal, State Climate Action

Summary: Lieberman & Warner are working on carbon cap-and-trade legislation. Their staff is working hard right now to get the legislation written before the August recess, but they might not make that target. The witnesses at this hearing give a hint as to what the legislation will look like.

Witnesses

  • Timothy Profeta, Director, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, former Lieberman staffer and the principal author of the 2003 Lieberman-McCain cap-and-trade legislation
  • Blythe S. Masters, Managing Director, JP Morgan Securities, Inc., supporter of carbon trading
  • Robert Baugh, Executive Director, Industrial Union Council, AFL-CIO, supports Bingman-like (S 1766) elements like “safety valve” emission cost caps and money for carbon sequestration
  • Garth Edward, Trading Manager, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company, supporter of carbon trading
  • Margo Thorning Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation, believes cap-and-trade evil and the European experience a failure

Energy Conversation: No Longer Tilting At Windmills

Mon, 23 Jul 2007 21:45:00 GMT

EnergyConversation.org

Co Sponsored by: DoD, DoE, USDA, EPA, DoT, DHS, FERC, Commerce, State, and DNI on behalf of the entire intelligence community.

5:45 PM -8:30 PM Doubletree Hotel, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA

Wind technology is evolving rapidly and becoming more cost effective compared to conventional generation sources.

This month’s Energy Conversation will review the evolution of the technology over the past 25 years and evaluate the future development expected. Dr. Bob Thresher, Director of The National Wind Technology Center, and Rob Gramlich, Policy Director at The American Wind Energy Association, will illustrate the future potential for development both on land and in the ocean and describe the challenges.

Rob Gramlich is Policy Director of the American Wind Energy Association, the trade association for over 1000 entities involved in development, manufacturing, and construction of wind energy facilities. He leads the association’s policy analysis, regulatory policy, electric industry, and transmission efforts. He was Economic Advisor to Chairman Pat Wood III of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2001 to 2005 and has held market and policy analysis positions with the PG&E National Energy Group, PJM Interconnection, the World Resources Institute, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He has a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and a BA with honors in Economics from Colby College.

Dr. Bob Thresher is the Director of the National Wind Technology Center in Golden, Colorado, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He earned a tenured professorship in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University where he taught courses in Applied Mechanics, and initiated pioneering researcher in the mechanics of Wind Energy Systems during the 1970’s and early 80’s. He joined NREL in 1984 and has provided leadership for the growth of NREL’s wind program from $5MM/year at its inception, to its current level of about $30MM/year. He has published extensively and is recognized internationally as one of the leading experts in research, development and commercialization of wind technologies. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Panel on Ocean Energy Technologies for the Electric Power Research Institute.

  • THE EVENT IS FREE*
  • Registration is not mandatory but STRONGLY encouraged
  • Refreshments: A vegetarian friendly buffet is available for $10.
  • Transportation. The Pentagon City Metro on the blue/yellow line is just 3 blocks from the hotel.
  • Parking: Street parking is limited. Hotel parking with validation costs $8.

To register for this event email Sarah Minczeski at: [email protected]

To continue consideration of H.R. 2419, the 2007 Farm Bill

Thu, 19 Jul 2007 14:00:00 GMT

From CQ.com, coverage of Thursday’s markup:

Passed by voice vote:
  • An amendment by Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, that would give broadband companies that bring services to rural areas 35 years to repay Agriculture Department loans. Currently, loans are typically paid off in 10 to 15 years.
  • An amendment by Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., that would create a preference within USDA loan programs for projects that process and distribute locally.
  • An amendment by Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., that would set aside federal dollars to help public television stations in rural areas upgrade equipment.
  • An amendment by Adrian Smith, R-Neb., that would include ethanol by-product utilization as an objective of USDA alternative energy research.
  • An amendment by Conaway that would add goat meat to the list of products that should be included under the country-of-origin labeling law.
Defeated:
  • an amendment by Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La., that would have allowed states to hire outside contractors to administer food stamp programs.

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