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Climate Policy Watch

COURTS MOVE CLOSER TO RULING IN TWO KEY CLIMATE CHANGE LAWSUITS

Federal courts will hear oral arguments later this month in two key lawsuits on regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which could have major implications for the federal government's responsibility to oversee global climate change, in the absence of new legislative mandates.

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CABINET CONCERNS MAY BE DELAYING CAL/EPA GHG REDUCTION TARGETS

Schwarzenegger Administration fears about potential energy price impacts may be holding up a Cal/EPA proposal to establish state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, according to sources. Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd this week told lawmakers that the proposal has been sent to the governor, but declined to provide details of the targets or any emission reduction efforts that may be recommended.

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Environmentalists View Voluntary Climate Change Vote As Moral Victory

Despite an aggressive campaign for mandatory greenhouse gas controls, environmentalists say a congressional vote on voluntary measures to address climate change would still be a victory. Environmentalists are targeting a list of more than 10 senators as potential swing votes on climate legislation, with proposals by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) being considered as leading contenders.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS SEEK CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITMENT FROM EPA NOMINEE

Environmentalists are seeking to counter efforts by Senate environment committee chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), who wants to ensure that EPA Administrator-nominee Stephen Johnson does not have a predetermined belief in the existence of global warming.

Ten environmental groups signed an April 5 letter to members of the committee ahead of Johnson's April 6 confirmation hearing, urging lawmakers to win commitments from Johnson that he will evaluate global warming and other public health issues based only on the best available science.

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AUTO, OIL COMPANIES REACH FIRST-TIME SHAREHOLDER PACTS ON CLIMATE ISSUE

Several major corporations have reached agreements with shareholders to assess the impact of climate change on their operations, marking the first time that automobile and petroleum companies have entered into agreements on global warming liability.

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CANADA'S VOLUNTARY GHG DEAL COULD BE FACTOR IN CALIFORNIA AUTO SUIT

A voluntary agreement reached late last month between three leading U.S. automakers and the Canadian government to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could become a factor in the industry's pending litigation over a California climate change law, according to activist groups, who say the Canadian deal is proof that auto companies can achieve the fuel economy levels required by California law.

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ACTIVISTS SAY STATE CLIMATE BILL COULD CURB ANIMAL FEEDLOT POLLUTION

Environmentalists say a new voluntary climate change bill in North Carolina could allow the state's massive pork production industry to sell emissions credits under any future national cap-and-trade program. The activists are touting the bill as a way to encourage hog feedlots to develop innovative technologies that reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.

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STUDY ON BENEFITS TO INDUSTRY SPARKS DEBATE ON NORTHEAST CLIMATE PLAN

Northeast states are debating how to design an upcoming cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases, in light of a new analysis cautioning that electric utilities in the region could profit under the initiative by passing compliance costs on to consumers.

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Jeffords Backs Environmentalists In Greenhouse Pledge From Johnson

Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) is backing a push by environmentalists that EPA administrator-nominee Stephen Johnson pledge to approach the politically-charged issue of global warming based on sound scientific evidence. The push is an attempt to counter perceived efforts by Senate environment committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), who opposes federal climate change regulations, to seek a commitment from Johnson that he would resist pressures from those seeking first-time greenhouse gas controls.

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DOE RELEASES NEW DRAFT GREENHOUSE GAS REPORTING GUIDELINES

The Department of Energy (DOE) has released for public comment revised interim guidelines for companies seeking to register voluntary efforts to curb greenhouse gases under what is known as the 1605 (b) program.

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