Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment

Another poll shows narrative on climate change is dead wrong

Last week a campaign spending analysis documented the unchecked and mostly undisclosed spending by shadowy front groups on energy-related advertising designed to influence the 2010 congressional midterm elections. That report found that these shadow front groups are spending big — more than $68.5 million on energy-related ads alone.

Now along comes a new poll, the latest in a string of public and private polling that demonstrates that these front groups are just dead wrong when it comes to climate and energy policy and that voters are not motivated to vote against climate and energy supporters.  


Climate-change witchcraft

Republican Senate candidates may or may not agree on the science behind witchcraft, but they are united in disbelief in the overwhelming science that demonstrates manmade causes to global climate change. Increasingly, these candidates are doing their best to boil a witch’s stew of doubt by attacking the veracity of science and scientists.

Emerging from the campaign trail is the notion that vulnerable House Democrats are “losing” their races due mostly to their vote in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). Let’s ignore the fact that the election isn’t over yet and drill down on the false pretense that the ACES vote or support for addressing our energy security and climate change is unpopular with voters.


House Republicans go green, recycle decades-old ideas as new

The “Pledge to America” is settling in. There has been lots of media interest — who could resist that great photo-op at the hardware store with the Republican leadership jacket- and tie-less in their starched white dress shirts as they rolled out these new ideas?

So far, the best take I’ve seen was Jon Stewart’s on the Sept. 23 “Daily Show.” If it weren’t funny, it would make me cry. Take five minutes and watch it here.


How far will Big Oil go for profits?

Disturbing news about just how far Big Oil will go for profits:

Think Progress’s Josh Dorner released an analysis of recent lobbying disclosure documents filed by the Big Oil companies that outlines the industry’s lobbying of Congress and the administration on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act in order to protect and pad their already record-setting profits.

Coming on the heels of recent reports about BP’s alleged role in seeking the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted bomber of Pan Am flight 103, in order to score more profits through oil concessions in Libya, this news is another startling example of how far Big Oil will go for profits — even if it means putting national security, indeed global security, at risk.


Tight calendar for Congress

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard answers viewer questions about the possibility of Congress moving on energy and immigration measures.


Dealing with the BP disaster

Yes, a congressman apologizing on camera to BP was obnoxious, and calling the White House meeting with BP executives a “shakedown” was provocative. One hundred forty-four Republicans in the House had called it a “Chicago-style shakedown.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), every liberal’s demon mouth, called the $20 billion a “redistribution of wealth fund.” Even liberal New York Times columnist Frank Rich referred to it as a “down payment of blood money.” White House adviser and tactician Rahm Emanuel told an ABC Sunday talk show that the president “forced” BP to set up the fund, The Washington Post reports.


BP: Too big to fail?

Maybe it's from all those years of driving on the wrong side of the road. It's hard to say.

What's certain is that BP continues to make every conceivable misstep in its handling of the Gulf oil spill. If Tuesday's concessions to the White House checked Americans' ill will ever so slightly, hostility toward the oil giant resumed in even higher gear after BP CEO Tony Hayward's dismal performance before a congressional subcommittee Thursday.


Dumb comments aside, it was still a botched response

In retrospect, it seems a working blowout preventer was also required for defenders of the oil industry this week, as BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg took to microphones in the White House driveway to pledge his concern for "the small people" and then the House GOP's leading man on energy issues called the $20 billion compensation fund a "tragedy" and offered a profound apology to BP. Taken together, the two sets of comments turned what was originally a bad week for the White House into a Democratic campaign commercial for the midterm elections and was as close to a "Saturday Night Live" skit as reality gets.


Joe Barton’s oil slick

Much has been made of Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) unbelievable statement at the hearing yesterday. Apologizing to BP and calling the funds to help people in the Gulf a “shakedown,” Barton showed his true colors. After accepting over $1.4 million from oil interests, he showed how deep “in the tank” he really was!

I have to hand it to him — how much more loyal can you get? But, as they say, with friends like him, who needs enemies? Not only did BP have to wince, but it was the Republicans who realized the fix they were in yesterday. Unfortunately for them, it was a fix of their own making.