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Green Politics: GHG Emissions Flame Debate in DC and Trenton

February 29th, 2012 | Posted by Claire Sommer in Green Politics

Keep an eye on greenhouse gas emissions as a hotly contested political issue, playing out at the Federal and state levels.

Inside the Beltway, National Journal reporter Amy Harder asks:

What’s at Stake in Climate Debate?  in the legal fight over the Obama administration’s power to regulate carbon emissions:

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments over four major lawsuits challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

What is at stake in the lawsuits regarding EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions? Will EPA or its challengers, which include a wide range of industry organizations and some states, prevail? Should the Obama administration or Congress do anything on climate change right now?

Well, she got some really interesting replies from completely opposite ends of the climate change conversation.

I’m spending time this week learning about where Climate Change skeptics are coming from. This exchange is giving me an eyeful.

What motivates someone to disavow the collected scientific consensus? What sources inform their conclusions? Who’s paying who for what? What are they really arguing for?

And closer to home in Trenton, environmental advocates and business interest square off against NJ’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The bill to keep NJ in the regional pollution-curbing consortium is on a a full vote and then the Governor’s desk.

Via Frank Brill at Enviropolitics Blog:

RGGI Revival Legislation Clears NJ Senate Ccommittee

“Is RGGI a failed program that has not reduced greenhouse gases but has jacked up electric costs? Or is it an evolving model for how other states, too, should be working to cut CO2 while boosting clean energy projects?”

And via NJ Spotlight, Tom Johnson’s excellent round-up of the positions and players:

Lawmakers, Environmentalists Want NJ Back in Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Senate Environment and Energy Committee yesterday voted unanimously, joined by a Republican legislator, to vote out a bill (S-1322) that would force the state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a 10-state cooperative effort that established a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Will Governor Christie veto it again like last year? We’ll have to wait and see.

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