U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on June 1, 2010 that the federal government is opening a criminal investigation into the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Attorney General Holder did not name any specific targets of the investigation, but it’s not hard to figure out who they may be. Holder named the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act as federal laws that might have been violated. I understand that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been working on this matter since very shortly after the spill occurred.
After much anticipation, U.S. senators unveiled a cap-and-trade bill earlier this month to reduce greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020 and more than 80 percent by 2050. The House of Representatives already passed a similar bill about a year ago, but many remain pessimistic that a climate bill can pass through the Senate this year, especially with midterm elections looming in November.
While the Academy had mentioned in the past that climate change is a problem, they had never gone so far as to recommend a carbon tax or cap and trade system.
New York Times blogger Andy Revkin says there is reason to believe that the Japanese whaling industry is dying.
In a Monday morning blog post, he brought up both a Martin Fackler article in Saturday's New York Times and a series of conversations he had with Japanese diplomats a few months ago.
An outpouring of support for climate legislation followed yesterday's introduction of legislative text by Senators Kerry and Lieberman. Here is a sample:
Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Leiberman (I-CT) have released their new proposed climate and energy legislation. It's called The American Power Act.
Kerry's website makes some big, feel-good claims:
The American Power Act will transform our economy, set us on the path toward energy independence and improve the quality of the air we breathe. It will create millions of good jobs that cannot be shipped abroad and it will launch America into a position of leadership in the global clean energy economy.
U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) is an iconic legislator who has served in the Senate since 1959. He is more than a politician from West Virginia; he is the undisputed symbol of power and authority in the state. When Sen. Byrd speaks of or to his beloved state, it's tantamount to speaking for all West Virginians. This makes his recent statements on the coal industry all the more significant.
In a commentary published yesterday, Sen. Byrd called for a reconsideration of West Virginia's relationship with coal mining in the wake of the recent mining tragedy that took the lives of 29 miners at a Massey mine in West Virginia.
Oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Weather is making cleanup difficult. The US federal government talking tough. Rush Limbaugh is spreading ridiculous rumors. And BP is taking responsibility, at least partially.
On Monday, BP's CEO Tony Hayward made an appearance on NBC's Today Show. "It wasn't our accident," he said, "but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that's what we intend to do."
America took one giant step into the clean energy future today when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the Cape Wind offshore wind project. Finally, we can move forward with this critical tool for addressing climate change.
I spent every summer of my childhood on Cape Cod, digging for clams and collecting shells on Nauset Beach. My father still goes to there regularly, and the Cape means a great deal to my family.
In a Monday evening blog post on Talking Points Memo, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) wrote that "no serious legislation ever makes it very far in Congress before it's declared dead - at least once, sometimes two or three times."
He pointed out that pattern because his serious legislation, a bipartisan climate and energy bill, could be in danger of dying.