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Climate Policy Watch

Key Senator Sees House Taking Early Lead In Hill Climate Change Debate

Senate energy committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) says the House is likely to move faster on climate change legislation than the Senate, signaling a shift in the process that many congressional and other sources had previously believed would start in the upper chamber.

"The House looks like they are on a pretty fast track," Bingaman told reporters Jan. 30 in response to a question about whether the Senate or House will move first on climate legislation.

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Industry Boosts Defense Of Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Environmental Impacts

The coal industry is seeking to strongly debunk concerns about the carbon dioxide (CO2) impacts of coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuels raised by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), environmental groups and others after President Bush indicated his tacit support for CTL fuel in last week's State of the Union address, which followed the introduction of a bill to foster CTL development by Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Jim Bunning (R-KY).

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Dingell Proceeds With Climate Agenda Amid House Panel Uncertainty

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) is proceeding with efforts to position his committee as a central player in the debate over climate change emissions, even as Dingell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are still at odds over her plan to create a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change --- which Dingell has criticized as superfluous.

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BUSH FOCUS ON 'ALTERNATIVE FUELS' SPURS FEARS OF CO2 EMISSIONS BOOST

President Bush's State of the Union focus on developing "alternative fuels" -- rather than "renewable fuels" -- as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, as well as to help address climate change, is prompting concern from Democrats and activists that the administration will encourage controversial coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuel projects that they warn would lead to a significant increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and actually worsen global warming.

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TEXAS PERMITS SPUR HILL PLANS TO LIMIT CO2 CREDITS FOR NEW COAL PLANTS

Efforts by Texas officials to quickly approve plans for over a dozen proposed coal-fired power plants are spurring a host of national efforts to prevent utilities from winning credits for plants built just before a future federal cap-and-trade scheme takes effect.

The chairs of the Senate environment and energy committees this month jointly warned that they would be creating disincentives for new coal-fired power plants built without "advanced clean-coal" technology under any future federal climate regime.

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AUTOMAKER CO2 SUIT DELAY HIGHLIGHTS STAKES OF SUPREME COURT DECISION

A California judge's recent decision to delay an auto industry lawsuit over the state's greenhouse gas rules for cars pending the outcome of a separate Supreme Court case over EPA's authority to regulate vehicle-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) significantly raises the stakes of the upcoming high court decision, environmentalists and industry sources say.

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PELOSI CLIMATE PANEL AIMS TO PRESSURE SENATE, BOOST DEMOCRATS IN 2008

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) plan to create a select committee on global warming appears in part to be an attempt to put pressure on the Senate to speed its development of climate legislation, while at the same time keeping the issue alive for Democratic candidates in the 2008 elections, sources say.

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OFFICIALS FEAR BUSH FUELS PLAN MAY CLASH WITH STATE GHG PROGRAM

President George W. Bush's State of the Union focus on developing "alternative fuels" as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil and to help address climate change is prompting concerns from Cal/EPA officials, Democrats and activists that the plan may increase carbon dioxide emissions and clash with California efforts to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG).

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AUTOMAKER CO2 SUIT DELAY HIGHLIGHTS STAKES OF SUPREME COURT DECISION

A California judge's recent decision to delay an auto industry lawsuit over the state's greenhouse gas rules for cars pending the outcome of a separate U.S. Supreme Court case over U.S. EPA's authority to regulate vehicle-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) significantly raises the stakes of the upcoming high court decision, environmentalists and industry sources said.

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PROPOSED PRODUCT BAN UNDER AB 32 DRAWS FIERCE INDUSTRY ATTACK

An air board early-action proposal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by restricting the sale of automotive air conditioner refrigerant is a potentially illegal product ban that would give the automotive repair industry a lopsided market advantage, manufacturers charged this week. But air board officials defended the proposal, asserting the measure is not a ban, but rather a limit that represents an important first step to control emissions that have a high global warming potential (GWP).

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