LOCK AND LOAD: The Obama administration readied its ammunition on Tuesday ahead of next week's United Nations climate summit in New York. President Obama will attend the summit and the administration is eager to show 125 other countries that the U.S. can lead on climate change.
While President Obama's climate rule on carbon pollution from power plants is the best evidence the administration has to show global leaders that the U.S. isn't just all talk on climate action, a round of new voluntary pledges from industry to cut a potent greenhouse gas from supply chains will help the White House gain an edge as Obama heads to the summit.
The coolant, R-134a, a hydroflourocarbon (HFC), along with similar compounds found in nearly every office, home and automobile, are some of the strongest greenhouse gases, 10,000 times more potent that carbon dioxide.
While hydroflourocarbons make up about 2 percent of emissions in the U.S., the move by retailers like Coca-Cola, Red Bull, and manufacturers of aerospace products like Honeywell, was touted by industry as a big step in the right direction.
Why it matters... With the new voluntary pledges, industry representatives said they were hopeful other nations would be more willing to follow suit. India, the second greatest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world is one country against cutting HFCs, posing a problem for forging a global pact.
Stephen Van Maren, director of The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, which started the work between the White House and industry leading to Tuesday's announcement, said one of the goals was to "show the commitment U.S. industry is making."
"We think we can get the competitive juices flowing," Van Maren said. "We also think it shows the commitment of industry in U.S. and sets an example for other countries who are opposing it."
"India is the most vocal," Van Maren said, adding that the majority of those opposing action on phasing out the popular coolant are "developing ... or hot climate countries."
Still, many officials came out of the White House meeting optimistic that the new measures would encourage other countries and bulk up the administration's case for next week's summit, and ultimately the Paris talks in 2015.
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JINDAL ON CLIMATE: Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal allowed for some limited efforts to battle potential climate change in an energy platform he announced Tuesday, but that didn’t stop him from sharply criticizing environmentalists who want strong action.
“For some on the left, climate change is simply a Trojan horse,” he said at a Heritage Foundation speech. “It’s a way for them to come in and make changes to our economy that they would otherwise want to make.”
He went on to describe his energy platform, which is a collection of many proposals that are popular among Republicans.
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ON TAP TUESDAY I: White House science adviser John Holdren will testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on the president's climate rule on carbon pollution from existing power plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency's head of air and radiation, Janet McCabe, will also be testifying before the committee. Republicans will likely slam the two administration officials for the proposal, which the GOP has painted as a "war on coal" and jobs.
ON TAP TUESDAY II: The Center for American Progress will host a discussion on what to expect next week at the United Nations’ climate summit and what it means for next year’s attempt to hammer out a global climate agreement in Paris. It will feature former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner, UN Assistant Secretary-General Bob Orr, World Bank Climate Envoy Rachel Kyte and Climate Advisers Chief Executive Officer Nigel Purvis.
Rest of Tuesday's agenda...
The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on "reforming the energy tax code." Democrats are working to shore up support for legislation that would extend tax credits for renewable energy sources.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee will hold a hearing on the 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act, which would require the Energy Department to establish a program to provide training for energy-related jobs. The panel will hear from Dot Harris of the Energy Department’s economic impact and diversity office, in addition to executives from the American Petroleum Institute, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the American Association of Blacks in Energy and the American Coalition for an Energy Efficient Economy.
The Coalition for Green Trade, a business group, will host a discussion on the World Trade Organization’s Environmental Goods Agreement, which it supports. The Capitol Hill discussion will feature Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenSenate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order DNI confirmation hearing expected on Senate return Senate confirms Mnuchin as Treasury secretary MORE (D-Ore.), Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and United States Trade Representation Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: WH floats Mexican import tax | Exporters move to back GOP tax proposal | Dems rip Trump adviser's Goldman Sachs payout Froman heads to Council on Foreign Relations Overnight Finance: Carson, Warren battle at hearing | Rumored consumer bureau pick meets Trump | Trump takes credit for Amazon hirings | A big loss for Soros MORE.
Got water? The attorneys general of seven states and the District of Columbia submitted comments Tuesday defending the EPA’s waters of the U.S. rule, which would redefine its jurisdiction over ponds, streams and other water bodies. The attorneys general of Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island and Washington also signed on.
“The rule is based on sound science, and takes into account the practical and ecological realties of our nation’s interconnected waters,” wrote the attorneys, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “It promotes the consistent and efficient implementation of state water pollution programs across the country in accordance with the principles of ‘cooperative federalism’ on which this landmark statute is based.”
AROUND THE WEB:
TransCanada Corp., the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, has been saying for a while that it would move oil sands by rail if Keystone weren’t built. But Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said Tuesday that his company is likely to move oil by rail even with Keystone in place, Reuters reports.
India is not going to announce any commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at next week’s United Nations climate summit, the Economic Times reports.
A new study has linked most earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico to injections of wastewater from oil and gas drilling, ScienceDaily reports.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Check out Tuesday's stories...
- Markey to seek halt on federal coal leases
- Reid: If I'm around Yucca nuclear dump will stay dead
- Al GoreAl GoreObamas sign with agency for speaking gigs Pence to attend Super Bowl: report The war against science MORE taps celebrity power to push climate action
- White House threatens to veto House energy package
- DiCaprio to open UN climate summit
- Senate confirms Nuclear Regulatory nominees
- Senate bill would speed permits for pipelines like Keystone
- EPA extends climate rule comment period
- Jindal: Climate change a 'Trojan horse' for the left
- Sierra Club throws weight behind Udall
- Climate action won't break the bank, report says
- Greens: Climate change to add up to $60 billion to wildfire costs
- China bans coal with high ash, sulfur content
- California to restrict groundwater pumping
- Obama unveils major new effort to tackle climate change