E2 Round-up: Obama to meet govs on energy, tea leaves on cap-and-trade, California carbon plan faces attacks, and Reid eyes new Yucca Mountain uses

Kate Sheppard, writing in Mother Jones, said Obama “seems to be caving to the demands of the Senate’s most conservative Democrats on the issue.”

The Wall Street Journal headline says “Obama retreats from goal of cap-trade bill.” Planet Gore, the climate blog of the National Review, notes that Obama “seemed to acknowledge that cap-and-trade legislation is unlikely to survive the Senate."

But Center for American Progress climate blogger Joe Romm penned a lengthy post arguing that Obama’s comment has been overblown in various accounts because “the media very much wants to declare all of Obama’s major initiatives to be dead, dead, dead.”

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports that trade groups for the oil, chemical and trucking industries filed a lawsuit in a California federal court Tuesday to overturn the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

The ethanol industry is also challenging the regulation that requires reduced greenhouse gas emissions from fuels sold in the state, as we noted here.

The recent White House budget request put another nail in the coffin for plans to build a high-level nuclear waste repository inside Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. The demise of Yucca is a victory for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a longtime foe of the project.

Now, the Las Vegas Sun reports that Reid is asking the Government Accountability Office to start talking with federal agencies and state officials about other possible uses for the site.

“Reid requests that the offices explore alternatives for the facility 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, including: The development and testing of renewable energy technology, training grounds for the military, arms control activities, a lab for underground experiments or a hide-away for the government in case of emergency,” the story states.

From nukes to wind: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited Massachusetts Tuesday to see the Nantucket Sound site that would be home to the controversial Cape Wind project. Salazar plans to make a final decision about the project this spring – one way or the other.

“For opponents and supporters of the wind farm, the day appeared as a kind of last stand after a nine-year permitting saga,” notes the Boston Globe account of the visit.

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