Friday, 7 January 2011

Forebodings fulfilled

The Republican majority in the US Congress has wasted no time.  The Guardian newspaper reports that on their first full day, the Republicans have put forward three bills which are aimed at limiting the scope and authority of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), specifically its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The three bills have been put forward by the Representatives of  Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia and propose to remove greenhouse gas emissions from governance under the Clean Air Act, reversing a 2007 Supreme Court ruling.  The second proposal aims to block funding to any US government agency involved in cap-and-trade.  The third proposal is more modest (and possibly therefore more likely to pass) and it proposes a 2 year delay on the EPA management of carbon dioxide and methane emissions. 

This is after they dissolved  The Select Comittee for Energy Independence and Global Warming and after Rep. Darrel Issa (Republican California), who is now head of the new House Comittee on Oversight and Government Reform, has been asking business interests (many of them contributors to the Republican Party) what Obama Administration regulations they find most irksome. 

The "National Economic Interest" triumphs again.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year thoughts

As we enter 2011, I have some foreboding. 

In the US, the Republican majority in Congress leads me to suspect that the climate will be downplayed in favour of the economy (more than it has been previously).  
In the UK the coalition government has plans to sell off our forests and the second reading of the Energy Bill was described  by one peer as "a dogs breakfast"  . 

It remains to be seen whether this foreboding is justified, or if it is just the usual post seasonal blues.