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Climate Policy Watch

Top California Energy Official's Support Of Coal Offsets Criticized

A policy memo by one of California's top energy officials indicating support for pollution offsets for certain coal power plants, is drawing objections from clean and renewable energy advocates.

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CRITICISM MAY FORESHADOW STATE-LEVEL FIGHTS ON REGIONAL CLIMATE PLAN

The Northeast's greenhouse gas trading program is facing a late spate of criticism from environmentalists and industry groups, which may persist and plague the nine states' effort to implement the landmark program after top environment officials approve it as soon as this week, observers say.

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ENERGY PANEL CHAIRMAN'S SUPPORT FOR COAL OFFSETS SPARKS CRITICISM

A policy memo by one of the state's top energy officials indicating support of pollution offsets for certain coal power plants is prompting clean and renewable energy advocates to object, and may create a conflict within the administration, according to sources. The policy memo comes at a time when Cal/EPA is heading an administration initiative to draft recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which some believe may be compromised if the state allows certain coal plants to flourish in the West.

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Criticism May Foreshadow State-Level Fights On Regional Climate Plan

The Northeast greenhouse gas trading program is facing a late spate of criticism from environmentalists and industry groups, which may persist and plague the nine states' effort to implement the landmark program after top environment officials approve it as soon as this week, observers say.

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WARMING RULING COULD HAVE BROAD IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL TORT SUITS

A federal judge's decision last week dismissing a landmark climate change lawsuit because it represented a "political question" could undermine a host of toxic tort claims that courts consider to be political issues, including pending cases addressing contamination caused by the fuel additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), environmentalists and some legal experts say.

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CIWMB ADVANCES PROJECTS TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The waste board this week approved funding for projects aimed at better defining the board's role in Cal/EPA's Climate Action Team, a Schwarzenegger Administration initiative to curb global warming through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.

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Climate Change Ruling Could Have Broad Impact On Toxic Tort Suits

A federal judge's decision last week dismissing a landmark climate change lawsuit because it represented a "political question" could undermine a host of toxic tort claims that courts consider to be political issues, including pending cases addressing contamination caused by the fuel additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), environmentalists and legal experts say.

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INHOFE EYES HEARING TO DEBUNK CLIMATE CHANGE-HURRICANE INTENSITY LINK

Senate environment committee chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), a long-time skeptic of scientific claims that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change, will likely use already planned hearings to debunk recent claims by environmentalists that the effects of climate change increases the intensity of storms, like Hurricane Katrina.

Supporters of Inhofe's effort say such a hearing could be aimed at preempting hearings by Senate proponents of climate controls, such as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who may seek to bolster such a link.

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CALLS FOR CHANGES MAY COMPLICATE UPCOMING NORTHEAST CLIMATE PLAN

Northeast states are facing competing pressures from industry and consumer and environmental groups to make changes to what would be the nation's first mandatory plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as states work to finalize the program by the end of this month.

Observers say the outside criticism may not necessarily delay the plan, but it could foreshadow complications when individual states develop implementing rules and legislation.

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WARMING RULING COULD HAVE BROAD IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL TORT SUITS

A federal judge's decision last week to dismiss a landmark climate change lawsuit because it represented a "political question" could undermine a host of toxic tort claims that courts consider to be political issues, including pending cases dealing with contamination of the fuel additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), environmentalists and some legal experts say.

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