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Climate Policy Watch

REPUBLICANS TAKE AIM AT WIDELY REFERENCED CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY

Senate Republicans are calling into question the validity of a scientific study that forms the basis of many climate change policies, including the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Republican Policy Committee (RPC) is now highlighting arguments raised by economists who say the so-called hockey stick study, authored by Michael Mann and first published in 1998, includes faulty assumptions, unreliable methodology and cannot be trusted, these critics charge.

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State Officials Decline To Vote On Plan For Limiting Multiple Air Pollutants

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 5 -- State environment secretaries at their annual meeting have rejected voting on a draft resolution that would have urged EPA to include air emission control requirements for all power plants in its upcoming interstate air pollution rule. After a two-hour debate on the resolution, which would have provided strong backing for EPA's thrust on emissions trading, the Environmental Council of the States decided on Oct. 5 to put off a vote for now.

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Northeast Confronts Obstacles In Developing National Climate Model

Northeast regulators seeking to develop a landmark regional climate change program are confronting several issues that could make it difficult for the program to achieve its goal of becoming a national model for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, according to observers and participants in the effort.

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California's CO2 Rule Faces Major Administrative Hurdle To Win EPA Waiver

Implementation of California's landmark greenhouse gas regulations for passenger and light-duty vehicles faces several substantial administrative hurdles over the next several years, in addition to a likely lawsuit by the auto industry.

Not only must the state's Air Resources Board (ARB) convince the federal EPA that a Clean Air Act waiver is warranted to allow the rules to take effect, it faces potential noncompliance by the industry based on arguments that there is inadequate lead-time to meet the new technology requirements, according to government and industry sources.

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POWELL URGED TO OKAY INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF ARCTIC WARMING REPORT

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing Secretary of State Colin Powell to allow the stand-alone release of a key international report recommending policies to mitigate the effects of climate change on the Arctic.

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NORTHEAST GRAPPLING WITH KEY ISSUES FOR NATIONAL CLIMATE MODEL

Northeast regulators seeking to develop a landmark regional climate change program are confronting several issues that could make it difficult for the program to achieve its goal of becoming a national model for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, according to observers and participants in the effort.

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Senators Urge Powell To Allow Independent Release Of Arctic Greenhouse Gas Report

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing Secretary of State Colin Powell to allow the stand-alone release of a key international report recommending policies to mitigate the effects of climate change on the Arctic.

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SENATE PANEL'S BILL PROVIDES NOAA EXEMPTIONS FROM DATA QUALITY ACT

Senators have included a little-noticed provision in the spending bill for the Commerce Department that bars the National Oceanic & 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 JERSEY GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES CONTROVERSIAL GREENHOUSE GAS PLAN

Outgoing New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey (D) announced a Sept. 16 proposal to redefine carbon dioxide (CO2) as an air contaminant, taking a dig at EPA, which last year concluded just the opposite.

"While the Bush administration refuses to confront the serious consequences of rising greenhouse gas levels, New Jersey is taking the first steps toward real, regional initiatives that will reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions," McGreevey said in a statement.

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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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