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Climate Policy Watch

CAL/EPA, BEIJING AGENCY SIGN MOU TO SHARE REG DATA, PROMOTE TECHNOLOGY

As part of the governor's trade mission to China, Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd met with top Chinese environmental officials, signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Beijing's environmental agency to share key regulatory data and promote California technologies in the region. Strengthening ties with Chinese environmental officials is considered important for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that China exports a significant amount of pollution to California and is a leading greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, sources said.

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DIESEL CAR MAKERS AIM FOR ULEV STANDARD, PITCH WARES TO OFFICIALS

Leading manufacturers of passenger vehicle clean-diesel engine technology are in the midst of a campaign to pitch their wares to Cal/EPA and other state officials, based on their intention to meet the air board's ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard in 2007. While alternative fuel-vehicle industry sources say they do not have any immediate concerns about this push, they point out that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from diesels and any effort to tweak future air board standards to accommodate diesels may emerge as controversial issues.

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HOUSE SCIENCE PANEL BLOCKS DEMOCRATS' NOVEL CLIMATE CHANGE INQUIRY

The House Science Committee has blocked a novel effort by Democrats seeking an inquiry into what the White House knew about the impact of climate change on coastal areas -- an issue that has gained renewed attention since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.

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EXPERTS QUESTION DOD MODEL FOR NEW CLIMATE RESEARCH AGENCY

Participants at a recent Washington roundtable are warning of potentially significant obstacles to creating an Energy Department research and development program aimed at boosting technological advances to address climate change and other energy-related issues akin to the much-heralded Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA) -- DOD's long-term research branch.

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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.

Sen. 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 United States to enter into international climate change negotiations, in a bipartisan bid to jump-start U.S. participation in the talks.

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RENEWED MASSACHUSETTS SUPPORT MAY BOLSTER NORTHEAST CLIMATE PLAN

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is signaling he will likely back a groundbreaking regional climate change plan, dispelling rumors that he might pull out of the effort amid lingering concerns over its economic impact.

Observers close to the issue recently questioned whether Romney, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2008, would back away from the proposal, after he raised concerns in private meetings about its impact on electricity prices. Last week, Romney stated publicly that he supports the proposal, although he may call for some changes.

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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 that 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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EPA-Canada Study May Offer Cross-Border Boost For 'Clear Skies'

A joint study by EPA and Canada on the feasibility of a cross-border emissions trading program could bring new attention to the Bush administration's stalled Clear Skies proposal, which has languished in Congress for the past several years. The study says that a Clear Skies-type program that employs a cap-and-trade approach to reducing acid rain and ground-level ozone would achieve significantly greater air quality benefits throughout both countries at a lower cost than alternative approaches.

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House Science Panel Blocks Democrats' Novel Climate Change Inquiry

The House Science Committee has blocked a novel effort by Democrats seeking an inquiry into White House knowledge about the impact of climate change on coastal areas -- an issue that has gained renewed attention since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.

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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 toward boosting energy efficiency and environmentally friendly renewable energy development.

Some sources say the ramped up effort has the potential to 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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