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Climate Policy Watch

SIERRA CLUB PLANS BROADER GRASSROOTS PUSH ON CLEAN ENERGY, CLIMATE

The Sierra Club -- one of the nation's leading environmental groups -- is poised to make global warming and energy issues its main priorities, which the group has traditionally ranked at a lower level of importance than issues such as protecting public lands and fighting urban sprawl, sources with the group say.

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STATE PROJECTS AID DOD PUSH TO DEVELOP TRANSPORT FUEL FROM COAL

State efforts to develop facilities that convert coal to liquid fuel could bolster a Defense Department initiative to commercialize processes that turn domestic resources into less expensive, clean liquid fuels that can be used in military vehicles and aircraft.

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SENIOR DOE OFFICIAL SAYS CARBON SEQUESTRATION GAINS GLOBAL SUPPORT

A senior Department of Energy (DOE) official involved in an international climate change initiative says there has been a "sea change" in the global view of a technology that captures and stores carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and as a result nations that two years ago did not endorse the technology are now aggressively pursuing projects to demonstrate and advance its use.

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CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS REJECT SPECIFIC CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM IN GHG PLAN

California environmental officials leading Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction advisory panel are not expected to include recommendations for a specific carbon cap-and-trade program in a forthcoming draft report, which is seen as a minor victory for industry organizations opposed to a regulated emissions cap.

While officials do plan to recommend immediate pursuit of rules to reduce GHG emissions, several Democratic lawmakers early next year may propose their own carbon emission caps and mandatory GHG reporting for certain industries, sources say.

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STATES TARGET LACK OF CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY IN LIGHT TRUCK CAFE RULE

Several state and local officials, who are involved in litigation to force the government to limit emissions blamed for climate change, are alleging that federal regulators failed to conduct an analysis of the climate change implications of the Bush administration's pending rule setting fuel efficiency standards for light trucks.

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Bingaman Seeks To Move Climate Change Bill Prior To 2006 Elections

NEW YORK -- Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who won Senate endorsement earlier this year of a resolution calling for mandatory climate change controls, is suggesting he will try to move a new version of his climate change legislation early next year as a way to force attention to the issue during the 2006 election season.

However, Bingaman is also cautioning that state-level efforts to regulate greenhouse gases may complicate efforts to reach a national agreement.

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California Seen Backing Away From Specific Cap-And-Trade Option In GHG Plan

California officials leading Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction advisory panel are not expected to include in a forthcoming draft report recommendations for a specific carbon cap-and-trade program, which is seen as a minor victory for industry organizations opposed to an enforceable emissions cap. While officials do plan to recommend immediate pursuit of multimedia rules to reduce GHG emissions, several state lawmakers early next year may propose their own carbon emission caps and mandatory GHG reporting for certain industries, according to sources.

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EPA EYES TOOLS FOR MEASURING CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT TO WATER SUPPLIES

EPA's global climate research program has developed two modeling tools that coastal communities could use to evaluate the vulnerability of their groundwater supplies to climate change, in preparation for protecting current water supplies or avoiding future water infrastructure vulnerabilities in coastal regions.

The long-range planning tools come amid increasing concern over the possible effects of climate change on wetlands and water supplies due to factors such as rising sea levels.

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ADMINISTRATION RESISTS BIPARTISAN PUSH TO JOIN POST-KYOTO CLIMATE TALKS

The Bush administration is resisting a new bipartisan Senate push to join international climate talks set to begin in Montreal later this month over future international emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joseph Biden (D-DE), the chairman and ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced Nov. 15 a new resolution calling on the U.S. to enter into international climate change negotiations, in a bipartisan bid to jump-start U.S. participation in the talks.

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SIERRA CLUB PLANS BROADER GRASSROOTS PUSH ON CLEAN ENERGY, CLIMATE

The Sierra Club -- one of the nation's leading environmental groups -- is poised to make global warming and energy issues its main priorities. Sources with the group say the new priorities could lead to more intense citizen activism outside the Beltway directed at boosting energy efficiency and environmentally friendly renewable energy development.

Some sources say the ramped-up effort could benefit renewable energy industries by focusing a cadre of grassroots activists on energy efficiency and clean energy development at the state and local levels.

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