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Climate Policy Watch

EXPERTS DRAFT 'MODEL' CONTRACT TO EASE RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSACTIONS

In an effort to significantly boost renewable energy nationwide, a group of lawyers and energy policy experts is developing a model contract that would help power utilities comply with clean-energy requirements by easing purchases of "credits" from wind, solar and other types of renewable energy producers.

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Evangelical Push For Climate Change Plan Puts GOP In Awkward Spot

Evangelical Christians will soon issue their first policy statement on global warming that will likely call for mandatory greenhouse gas controls, a policy observers say could force the Bush administration and some conservative Republicans to choose between supporting a key part of their religious base and industry's long-standing opposition to climate change legislation.

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DESPITE CONFIRMATION, DEMOCRATS PLAN SCRUTINY OF EPA RESEARCH CHIEF

Despite confirmation by the full Senate, environment committee Democrats plan to closely monitor newly installed EPA research chief George Gray because of his past support for a centralized White House role in overseeing scientific peer reviews, which Democrats say would undermine EPA's independence.

Gray, a Harvard toxicologist, won Senate confirmation Oct. 7 to head EPA's Office of Research & Development (ORD) along with several administration nominees confirmed by unanimous consent.

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DISASTER RELIEF DELAYS VOINOVICH SENATE HEARING ON NEW EPA PM RULES

Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) plans to delay a hearing he had planned to hold within weeks challenging EPA's pending proposal for new particulate matter (PM) standards because of the Senate's workload on disaster relief following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Voinovich was considering a Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing to raise concerns about EPA possibly issuing stricter PM standards, and to establish some EPW oversight over the agency's deliberations on the issue, according to a Republican source (Clean Air Report, Sept. 8, p3).

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WARMING RULING COULD HAVE BROAD IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENTAL TORT SUITS

A federal judge's decision last month 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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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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