E2 Round-up: Browner eyes GOP climate support, a warning against an ‘energy-only’ Senate plan, NASA’s climate program expands, an LA story about green energy, and more

From The Caucus blog:

Within the 59-member Senate Democratic caucus, the conservative Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska appear out of reach. But as Mr. Graham prods his party to respond to younger voters’ environmental concerns, there is a chance of offsetting Democratic defections.

“There’s a path to five or six Republicans,” said Carol M. Browner, Mr. Obama’s coordinator of energy and climate policy. Among the prospects: moderate Senators Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine; Mr. Kerry’s Massachusetts colleague, Scott Brown; and George LeMieux of Florida, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

The Washington Post has a Monday editorial about Senate climate and energy plans. Their advice to lawmakers: Don’t be tempted by the so-called energy-only approach that abandons a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

“There is pressure in the Senate to forget about pricing carbon and just pass a bill filled with clean-energy subsidies. That would be both wasteful and inadequate given the scale of reductions needed,” the editorial states.

National Public Radio takes a look Monday at Obama administration efforts to beef up NASA’s monitoring of climate change.

The administration hopes to provide NASA’s Earth Sciences Division $2.4 billion in new funding over the next five years, a 60 percent increase, NPR notes.

Lots of that money would be spent on an expanded program to chart various climatic changes.

“We've got to measure how fast the ice is being depleted, how fast carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere as opposed to being taken out of it,” says Edward Weiler, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in the NPR account.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on efforts in Los Angeles to expand use of renewable energy. City officials and the municipal utility are fighting over the level of rate increases the power company can impose.

“Los Angeles's case could serve as a warning to officials in other cities and states who are also trying to change the energy mix of local utilities, substituting more power from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, for power from coal- or gas-burning plants,” the WSJ reports Monday.

The Guardian is taking a look at BP’s efforts to ward off increased EPA regulation of hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – the controversial drilling technique natural gas producers are increasingly using to tap abundant shale gas supplies.

“BP is also opposed to the public disclosure of the chemicals used in fracturing, on the basis that the information is commercially sensitive – something that will anger environmentalists, who are highly suspicious of the process,” their story notes.