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Climate Policy Watch

DEMOCRATIC STATE WINS MAY NOT PROMPT BROAD ENVIRONMENTAL PUSH

Democrats picked up a slew of governorships and statehouses in the mid-term elections earlier this month, but the victories are unlikely to translate into broad environmental policy gains that many activists are seeking, observers say.

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BOXER FACES TOUGH CHOICE ON CONTROVERSIAL EPA AIR CHIEF'S NOMINATION

Incoming Senate environment panel chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) may be forced to gamble on a risky Senate floor vote should she try to kill the Bush administration's nomination of acting EPA air chief William Wehrum because federal law allows Wehrum to remain in an acting capacity as long as his nomination is stalled.

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SENATE CLIMATE PANELS COULD HEDGE AGAINST POSSIBLE CO2 LAWSUIT LOSS

Incoming Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) decision to create two separate global warming subcommittees along with a Clean Air Act subcommittee could be a strategy to hedge against a possible Supreme Court ruling that EPA lacks authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2), industry sources and environmentalists say.

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NEW SCIENCE PANEL CHAIR PLANS KEY FOCUS ON CLIMATE, ENERGY RESEARCH

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), who is slated to chair the House Science Committee next year, is planning a major focus on climate and energy research in the 110th Congress, including a push for the creation of a new research agency within the Department of Energy (DOE) to foster development of clean energy technologies, Democratic and GOP sources say.

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BOXER SPLITS CLIMATE CHANGE JURISDICTION IN SUBCOMMITTEE SHUFFLE

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), incoming chairwoman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, is splitting global warming jurisdiction between two subcommittees, her office announced Nov. 16.

One of the subcommittees will have jurisdiction over public sector efforts to address climate change and will be chaired by Boxer, while the other will have jurisdiction over private sector and consumer climate efforts, including technology, and will be headed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), according to the announcement. The announcement is available on InsideEPA.com.

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WARNER BID TO HEAD EPW MINORITY MAY PROMPT SHIFT IN CLIMATE DEBATE

Sen. John Warner's (R-VA) bid to be the ranking member on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW) in the 110th Congress sets up a battle with current environment panel chair Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) that could dramatically alter the congressional debate on climate change if Warner wins, sources say.

Warner on Nov. 17 announced his bid to seek election as ranking member on the environment panel next year, using his seniority to trump challengers under Senate Republican rules and procedures.

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DEMOCRATS, ACTIVISTS CLASH IN EARLY ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY BATTLES

Despite strong election support for Democrats, environmentalists are now clashing with key Democratic leaders over a host of agenda items and other issues, and appear likely to continue to skirmish over upcoming personnel and policy issues.

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Mandatory CO2 Credit Purchases Eyed As Remedy In Climate Change Suits

PHILADELPHIA -- Some legal experts are suggesting that courts could require industry defendants to purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions credits as a remedy in a slew of pending climate change cases, which could help plaintiffs overcome industry arguments that courts are unable to address the issue because the scope of the problem is beyond their jurisdiction.

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CLIMATE ASSESSMENT SUIT HIGHLIGHTS KEY ISSUES IN LOOMING POLICY DEBATE

New litigation by environmental groups challenging delays in the Bush administration's evaluation of global warming risks highlights a likely avenue for further congressional scrutiny of the Bush administration in the wake of promises of increased climate change-related oversight by newly empowered Democrats on Capitol Hill, according to Hill sources and other observers.

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MANDATORY CO2 CREDIT PURCHASES EYED AS REMEDY IN CLIMATE CHANGE SUITS

PHILADELPHIA -- Some legal experts are suggesting that courts could require industry defendants to purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions credits as a remedy in a slew of pending climate change cases, which could help plaintiffs overcome industry arguments that courts are unable to address the issue because the scope of the problem is beyond their jurisdiction.

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