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Climate Policy Watch

PLANNERS, LAWYERS EXPECT FLOOD OF CEQA GREENHOUSE GAS SUITS

Attorneys and government officials expect a flood of lawsuits against new development and state and local land-use plans because the plans fail to weigh the potential impacts of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, based in part on language in the state's new climate change law, AB 32. The litigation is expected to claim that planners and developers are failing to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires a thorough review of potential environmental impacts of proposed development.

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Senate Eyes Test Votes On Climate Bills To Boost Future Industry Talks

Senate proponents of comprehensive bills mandating carbon dioxide (CO2) emission cuts are downplaying prospects for passage of legislation in the 110th Congress, instead touting a strategy for test votes to pressure industry to negotiate on a bill and pave the way for enactment of legislation when the Bush administration leaves office.

Republican sources and critics of aggressive legislation say Democrats' apparent plan for a series of climate hearings rather than quick legislative action contradicts Democratic rhetoric about the need for urgency in acting on global warming.

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EPA Adviser Calls For Climate Policy Discussions Despite Uncertainty

A prominent EPA science adviser is arguing in a draft document currently being prepared for a leading White House climate research group that scientific uncertainty surrounding climate change should not prevent EPA and other agencies from considering policy options.

M. Granger Morgan, a top climate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and chair of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), is preparing a paper on uncertainty for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). The CCSP is charged with integrating federal climate change research from EPA and other agencies.

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Environmentalists Tout Power Project As Climate Change Test Case

Environmentalists are touting their fight against a proposed Midwestern energy project as a test case of their ability to force greater scrutiny of the environmental and financial viability of new coal-fired power plants given growing discussion of possible greenhouse gas emissions limits in the next few years.

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FORMER U.S. OFFICIALS READY CRITIQUE OF VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL PLANS

Two former government officials are poised to release a new book early next year which analyzes voluntary programs for addressing environmental problems such as climate change and finds most programs have positive but limited results, according to a description of the upcoming book.

The book's release comes amid continuing pressure on the Bush administration to reevaluate its emphasis on voluntary rather than mandatory efforts to curb greenhouse gases, as well as calls to reassess the administration's current voluntary approaches for encouraging greenhouse gas reductions.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS TOUT POWER PROJECT AS CLIMATE CHANGE TEST CASE

Environmentalists are touting their fight against a proposed Midwestern energy project as a test case of their ability to force greater scrutiny of the environmental and financial viability of new coal fired power plants given growing discussion of possible greenhouse gas emissions limits in the next few years.

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NEW YORK PLAN FOR CO2 AUCTION MAY HOLD LIMITED VALUE AS U.S. MODEL

A groundbreaking New York state proposal to sell, rather than give away, emissions allowances under the Northeast's climate initiative -- considered to be a national model -- is raising questions about whether an auction approach would be politically viable under a federal program, given resistance from major electricity generators that would have to pay for the allowances, according to observers on all sides of the debate.

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EPA-FUNDED MODEL FINDS EARLY ACTION EASES CO2 COSTS, BENEFITS UNCLEAR

BALTIMORE -- A new EPA-funded risk framework examining how global policy options could affect the potential impact of climate change indicates immediate regulatory action could offer significant long-term savings but may also provide uncertain benefits, according to an official at a consulting firm developing the framework.

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FORMER U.S. OFFICIALS READY CRITIQUE OF VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL PLANS

Two former government officials are poised to release a new book early next year which analyzes voluntary programs for addressing environmental problems such as climate change and finds most programs have positive but limited results, according to a description of the upcoming book.

The book's release comes amid continuing pressure on the Bush administration to reevaluate its emphasis on voluntary rather than mandatory efforts to curb greenhouse gases, as well as calls to reassess the administration's current voluntary approaches for encouraging greenhouse gas reductions.

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NEW MEXICO CLIMATE PLAN WILL HELP SET FLOOR IN UPCOMING FEDERAL DEBATE

An aggressive climate change agreement between stakeholders in New Mexico will pressure the state's two senators -- who are both expected to play key roles in next year's federal climate change debate -- because the state plan sets a floor that the lawmakers will not be able to cross, sources say.

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