Climate Compass Blog

The 112th Congress on climate change: Deadlocked

As Congress heads home this week to campaign for re-election, we thought we’d round up a list of all the bills, resolutions, and amendments so far this Congress that focus on climate change.  (For brevity, all legislative proposals are referred to here as “bills.”)  This is not a comprehensive list of the more than 1,000 bills touching on energy, environment, transportation, agriculture and other areas that would have an impact on climate change.  Rather it’s a list of the bills whose authors thought it was important to explicitly reference climate change or related terms such as greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide – terms that themselves have become political flash points.


“Energy independence” is a slogan. Our real goal should be energy security

I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, "How close is the United States to reaching the elusive goal of energy independence?"

You can read more on the original blog post and other responses here.

Here is my response:

What can Hurricane Isaac teach us about climate vulnerability?

As with any single event, Hurricane Isaac doesn’t tell us anything about whether hurricanes are getting worse due to climate change. But Isaac’s impacts should be examined to teach us about our vulnerabilities to the types of extreme events scientists tell us climate change will make more common.

How Romney and Obama would address climate and energy issues

I recently responded to a question on the National Journal blog, "What do the energy and environment policies of President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney bode for the country?"


New car rules get it right on energy, the environment and the economy

Today the federal government issued vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards that enjoy broad support from automakers, auto workers, environmental groups, and consumers. Why is everyone so happy, when the idea of regulation is anathema to so many? It’s both because of what the rules do, and how they do it.

As a result of these new standards, we will see the fuel economy of the average new vehicle increase by up to 90 percent by 2025. That will save each car buyer thousands of dollars in fuel costs. We’ll also see greenhouse gas emissions from the average new vehicle decrease 40 percent.

This represents the single largest step ever by the federal government aimed at reducing the carbon emissions that are warming the planet.

The new rules achieve these important goals by setting tough environmental and energy objectives, but leaving it to businesses to innovate to achieve them. This flexibility means that consumers will still have a wide choice of vehicles in the marketplace.