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Climate Policy Watch

Senate Panel's Bill Provides Exemptions From Data Quality Act

Senators have included a little-noticed provision in the spending bill for the Commerce Department barring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from implementing controversial data quality guidelines, which affect EPA and other federal agencies. If enacted, the provision could bar future challenges to NOAA studies on a range of issues, including climate change.

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NEW YORK, ENVIRONMENTALISTS PRESS INSURERS TO TARGET CLIMATE RISKS

Environmentalists and some New York state officials are pressuring major insurance companies to develop policies to reduce financial risks posed by climate change.

Following three major hurricanes that hit Florida and the Gulf Coast, environmentalists are urging states to insist that insurers develop adequate reserves that deal with natural disasters that may stem from climate change. But conservatives are emphasizing statements from some state climatologists disputing claims that the hurricanes are linked to global warming.

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FEDERAL, STATE OFFICIALS EYE REGULATORY IMPACTS OF CO2 STORAGE

Federal and state officials are beginning to consider the regulatory implications of storing carbon dioxide (CO2) underground to address global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources.

Although research on sequestering CO2 is at an early stage, government-sponsored projects are moving toward injecting small quantities of CO2 underground to study its effects and scientists' ability to track the materials, federal officials say.

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ACTIVISTS SAY SENATORS' REMARKS SHOW MOMENTUM FOR CLIMATE BILL

Environmentalists say recent remarks by two Republican senators who had voted against legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions may show increasing support for such measures, after the lawmakers cited the need to address global warming while on a fact-finding trip to Norway on climate change.

"I voted against it, but I am more open to voting differently now," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the lawmakers on the trip, according to a translation of an Aug. 23 Norwegian press report. A call to Graham's office was not returned.

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ACTIVISTS SAY SENATORS' REMARKS SHOW MOMENTUM FOR CLIMATE BILL

Environmentalists say recent remarks by two Republican senators who had voted against legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions may show increasing support for such measures, after the lawmakers cited the need to address global warming while on a fact-finding trip to Norway on climate change.

"I voted against it, but I am more open to voting differently now," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the lawmakers on the trip, according to a translation of an Aug. 23 Norwegian press report. A call to Graham's office was not returned.

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FEDERAL, STATE OFFICIALS EYE REGULATORY IMPACTS OF CO2 STORAGE

Federal and state officials are beginning to address the regulatory implications of storing, or sequestering, carbon dioxide (CO2) underground to address global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources.

Although research on storing CO2 is at an early stage, government-sponsored projects are moving toward injecting small quantities of CO2 underground to study its effects and scientists' ability to track the materials, federal officials say.

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Federal, State Officials Eye Regulatory Implications Of Disposing CO2

Federal and state officials are beginning to address the regulatory implications of capturing and disposing, or sequestering, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by placing them underground to prevent global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources.

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KERRY COAL PLAN TARGETS KEY STATES, MIDDLE GROUND ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) campaign proposal to boost clean coal is seeking to convey a more activist position on climate change than President Bush, while simultaneously assuring coal states that Kerry would favor low-emission coal technologies and only modest regulatory measures to curb global warming, environmentalists and industry observers say.

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RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT GROUP RELEASES GUIDE TO CLIMATE RISKS

The responsible investor group CERES is out with a first-of-its-kind guide for investors who want to reduce their climate risks, and institutional investors such as state treasurers are praising the report.

A CERES source says the group decided to produce the guide following an investors' summit last fall on climate risks. Also following the summit, groups asked the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to require mandatory climate change risk disclosure, a move the SEC is considering, according to sources familiar with the request.

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FIVE NEW ARB MEMBERS' FIRST TEST INCLUDES VEHICLE GHG REGULATION

Five new air board members appointed last week by the governor are scheduled to attend their first board meeting Sept. 23, and decide on a landmark proposal to require automakers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions beginning with the 2009 model year. Some sources said they believe the new crop of members may be slightly more sympathetic to industry concerns in general, but the retention of Alan Lloyd as chairman means the board's overall policy agenda is unlikely to change.

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