Energy & Environment

Can the EPA unite the Senate?

Today the Senate is voting on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions through the Clean Air Act. In the months and years to come there is going to be a long and spirited debate about the desirability and structure of any federal government effort against carbon pollution.


It is time to make the BP pledge a binding commitment (Sen. Byron Dorgan)

BP has consistently said it will provide the funding necessary to pay for the damages caused by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.  But when I asked the Justice Department, in a recent hearing, whether the BP pledge would be binding on the company the answer from the Justice Department was that it is not binding.


Just the facts

We live in an increasingly complex, unpredictable and interrelated world, heavily reliant on independent scientific analyses. A volcano erupts in Iceland and millions of travelers are stranded. An offshore oil drilling rig explodes, threatening the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf coast and jeopardizing thousands of jobs.


Resolution would increase US oil dependence even as BP’s oil spill keeps gushing (Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin)

Our nation’s failure to enact a comprehensive energy bill hurts Americans in many ways.  One of the harms is on horrific display right now in the Gulf of Mexico.   

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the eleven workers who died and to the thousands of fishermen and other hardworking Americans whose jobs are threatened and lives are in turmoil in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.   


An easier way to be green

Following his trip to China, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) noted the country's massive resource commitment to clean technology and our nation's "appallingly little" investment.  Indeed, the global race to become greener, smaller and better has reached a fevered pitch and while policymakers are focused on large-scale changes, they shouldn’t overlook the low-hanging fruit.


The Big Question: Will anyone from BP be prosecuted over spill?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today. ...

Today's question:

BP is under criminal investigation for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Is there a real chance that BP workers will go to jail?


The Murkowski resolution: A step backward for American clean energy

In the last 18 months, the United States has taken major steps forward in the transition to a clean energy economy. With historic investments in solar, wind and other innovative renewable energy sources, we are positioned to compete for the clean energy jobs of today and tomorrow, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and to cut the pollution that harms our families and the future for our children and grandchildren.

With all those steps forward, now is not the time to take a big step backward, by doubling down on the kinds of energy and environmental policies that keep America addicted to oil -- especially foreign oil. As the President has said, traditional sources of energy have to be part of the mix as we transition to a clean energy economy, but they can't be our only sources.


New energy taxes will kill jobs, increase foreign dependence

The president's call yesterday for billions of dollars in new taxes on American oil and natural gas producers is not new, and is not good energy or economic policy. While many reports characterize this initiative as taxing Big Oil, it is not. Regrettably, this Administration continues to fail to recognize that this enormous tax burden would hit America's small, independent producers especially hard. The combination of increased taxes and halting offshore exploration seems like the worst option for the President to choose at this time. Our policies should encourage responsible, American energy production, not shutting down the industry altogether.


The Big Question: Will the Gulf spill change the energy debate?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer their insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.


Today's question:

Will the Gulf Coast oil disaster bolster the political will to pass a comprehensive energy bill?


Vitter calls on Obama to replace deepwater rig shutdown with immediate safety inspections

Dear President Obama,

I am very concerned about the recently announced shutdown of deepwater rigs for a minimum of six months. I urge you to replace this moratorium with immediate rig safety inspections.

Under this alternative, the approximately 33 affected deepwater rigs in the Gulf would receive immediate rigorous safety inspections. They would be shut down if inspections identified safety problems, but not otherwise.