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Energy & Climate Archive

Increased Arctic Presence Would Put Pressure on Coast Guard Budget, Ice Breaker Fleet

The U.S. Coast Guard will need to expand its presence in the Arctic year-round as oil and gas exploration and general maritime activity increase in the region, researchers say, but paying for such a presence is likely to be difficult as Congress wrestles with austere budgets.

Environmental, Cost Concerns Drive Arctic Oil Exploration Reticence

The United States has become a global leader in developing previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves by revolutionizing drilling technology, but one area has remained just out of reach — the Arctic Ocean.

Flood Insurance Vote Underscores Need for National Mitigation Strategy | Commentary

After abandoning the reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program it proposed in 2012, the need for Congress to develop a national mitigation strategy has taken on renewed urgency.

New Rules for Chemicals Needed to Protect Health | Commentary

Congress has utterly failed to effectively regulate the chemical industry, and thus shares responsibility for widespread toxic chemical contamination of people and the environment. In our daily lives we are exposed to hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of chemicals from a wide range of sources, including personal care and cleaning products, food packaging, plastics, children’s toys, furniture, air, water, our workplaces and our neighborhoods. While most Americans believe chemicals are tested for safety, the unfortunate reality is federal law does not require the chemical industry to prove chemicals safe before they can be used in products we come in contact with every day.

We Can Fix Our Broken Climate Debate | Commentary

The news a person watches often says a lot about his or her politics. But what does it say about how they view science?

WGDB: Good Friday News Dump Riles Keystone Supporters on the Hill

Landrieu has been, perhaps, the biggest Democratic advocate of the pipeline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nevada Is Not a Wasteland: What Doesn't Happen Here Shouldn't Stay Here | Commentary

In 2010, when the Department of Energy correctly made the decision to put an end to the misguided Yucca Mountain project, it did so after decades of debate and extensive study with little to show for it except $15 billion wasted and a big hole in the side of a mountain. According to the Government Accountability Office, had the project been completed, it would have cost more than $80 billion just for initial construction.

Wind Power Is a Win for Americans and the Environment

Wind power is a win-win for consumers and the environment.

Pesticides Unfairly Targeted For Pollinator Decline | Letter to the Editor

The National Cotton Council of America (NCC) appreciates the Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s concern for the relationship between honeybee colony health and U.S. economic and food security (Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse, Roll Call, April 7, 2014). While cotton is one of many crops that does not require the assistance of bees for pollination, the NCC, along with many other agricultural organizations, industries and non-government organizations, continue to seek scientific causes of the decline in honeybee health. Leading scientists, including Dr. Jeff Pettis to whom the congressman referred, have conducted many studies seeking the cause of the honey bee decline and have reported in many open forums that pesticides are only one of many possible factors contributing to the decline in honeybee health. In USDA’s Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honeybee Health (October 15–17, 2012), Pettis reported, “No single silver bullet will solve the problems affecting honeybees and other pollinators.” Similar information was provided in an earlier Congressional Report identifying the multiple factors contributing to the decline in honeybee health.

Small Streams Matter to All Who Live Downstream | Commentary

Trout season — the harbinger of spring and warmer weather — is upon us, and I’m looking forward to taking my kids fishing and swimming in our favorite stream along our land in West Virginia.

Natural Gas: An Opportunity for All Americans | Commentary

Changing energy dynamics are reshaping America’s energy future and creating a new era of possibility for U.S. consumers and businesses. This new energy future is reinvigorating American manufacturing, creating new jobs and driving economic growth, and it is saving Americans billions in heating and cooling bills — $1,200 per year on average according to IHS.

Congress Should Extend the Production Tax Credit, Develop a Long-Term Alternative | Commentary

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee addressed several expiring tax provisions, including the production tax credit for wind energy. Although this provision has been extended multiple times with broad bipartisan support since 1992, it is one of several energy policies that have become unnecessarily politicized.

A Warning to Congress: Renewal of Wind Energy Subsidies Will Lead to a Big Boost in Carbon Emissions | Commentary

The wind industry may be feeling butterflies as the sector’s Production Tax Credit (PTC) is up for renewal again. But Washington’s usual handout to keep the turbines spinning may be harder to win this time round because of a new twist: experts are warning a renewal will lead to increased carbon emissions.

Why Budget Politics Matter | Commentary

Early this month, President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2015 budget blueprint — a document that would look familiar to anyone who has reviewed the budgets of preceding years. The document — and the administration — takes the position that we need to address and resolve the challenges of our tax code. What are needed now are substantive steps to make tax reform a reality. Political talking points need to be transformed into meaningful reforms.

Scientists Warn Severe Weather Risks, Health Impacts of Global Warming Are Imminent

A United Nations report this week warned that a warming planet will exacerbate existing health problems in the coming decades — and U.S. scientists will caution later this month that those and other public health concerns are imminent.

As Climate Change Alters Ecosystems, Scientists Worry That Exotic Diseases Will Spread

Another public health challenge the National Climate Assessment will explore is the likelihood that diseases native to other geographical areas will migrate to the United States as climate changes alter ecosystems.

A Clean Energy Economy and Jobs

Ocean energy provides an exciting opportunity for the United States to help advance the goal of developing clean, renewable energy, lessening our reliance on foreign oil, and creating new industries and thousands of rewarding jobs. In my home state of Maine, tidal energy and deepwater, offshore wind are just two examples of ocean energy demonstration projects where inspiring vision and effort are helping to lead the way.

Keystone XL Is a Pipeline for Imbalanced Energy Policy Decisions

The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline is about more than clean energy. The scientific documents being used to support it are riddled with corporate conflicts of interest. The business case has never been strong. Officers at the State Department — on the job since before Secretary John Kerry’s tenure — greased the skids for the pipeline despite being paid to render impartial judgment. Every aspect of the project, from business to science to politics, truly stinks.

We Must Ensure the Reliability, Affordability of the Electric Grid

No other electricity network on Earth provides as much power to as many people as reliably and affordably as the American grid does. But keeping the lights on is a highly complex undertaking.

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