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Climate Policy Watch

CALIFORNIA OIL TAX DEFEAT PUTS CLEAN ENERGY FOCUS BACK ON LAWMAKERS

The defeat of Proposition 87 -- a proposed tax on oil extraction to pay for clean power and fuels development -- shifts the onus back on lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to advance policies to support alternative energy, environmentalists say.

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CAP-AND-TRADE OPPOSITION IN CALIFORNIA FORESHADOWS FEDERAL CO2 FIGHT

Some environmentalists' opposition to a California plan to allow emissions credit trading to achieve the state's new landmark carbon dioxide (CO2) rules, rather than imposing a hard emission cap, hints at possible broader opposition to cap-and-trade programs in any future federal program, sources say.

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NORTH CAROLINA ENERGY INITIATIVES COULD SPUR ACTION IN SOUTHERN STATES

Upcoming state government initiatives in North Carolina on how to address climate change and energy issues could encourage action in other Southern states, which environmentalists have criticized for lagging behind other regions of the country in tackling the issue, observers say.

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UTILITIES TEST CARBON CAPTURE ALTERNATIVES TO IGCC, FUTUREGEN

An upcoming pilot project sponsored by nearly two dozen major utilities will test a method to capture greenhouse gases from existing coal generation, as companies race to develop cost-effective alternatives to plans for state-of-the art power plants such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and the Department of Energy's FutureGen initiative.

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MODEL CONTRACT COULD AID PUSH FOR RENEWABLES IN CLIMATE PROGRAMS

A new model agreement on the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) could help advocates lobby for an enhanced role for renewable energy in any future nationwide climate program, in the wake of questions over whether clean energy purchases lead to verifiable reductions in greenhouse gases, sources who worked on the plan say.

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CALIFORNIA CLIMATE LAW COULD FORCE CUTS IN AGRICULTURE EMISSIONS

Experts say large confined animal facilities (CAFs) are likely to come under increasing pressure to reduce emissions under California's new climate change law, even though energy production and cement manufacturing are expected to shoulder most of the burden.

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DINGELL VOWS 'RESPONSIBLE' CO2 PLAN AS PART OF BROAD AGENDA

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who is slated to become the next chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, is promising to develop "responsible" climate change legislation as one of his top environmental priorities in the 110th Congress.

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SENATE SHIFT ELEVATES ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE'S ROLE IN CLIMATE DEBATE

The Democratic takeover of the Senate will elevate the role of the chamber's environment committee in the emerging debate over climate change legislation, likely accelerating debate on legislative proposals to limit greenhouse gases, according to several observers.

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Model Contract Could Aid Push For Renewables In Climate Programs

A new model agreement on the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) could help advocates lobby for an enhanced role for renewable energy in any future nationwide climate program, in the wake of questions over whether clean energy purchases lead to verifiable reductions in greenhouse gases, sources who worked on the plan say.

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Democrats' Climate Test May Hamper DOD Push For Alternative Fuels

The Defense Department's (DOD) push to find alternative fuel sources could face a tough hurdle if the new Democratic leadership in Congress closely scrutinizes the climate impacts of controversial technologies that DOD is considering, such as coal-based Fischer-Tropsch refining, observers say.

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