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Climate Policy Watch

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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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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