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Climate Policy Watch

DOE, Utility Pact On Climate Change Omits Endorsement Of Regulatory Credits

The Department of Energy and the electricity utility sector have signed an agreement on voluntary greenhouse gas cuts that omits language from an earlier proposal which would have committed the department to awarding emission-reduction credits for any future regulations as part of a climate change registry being revamped by the agency.

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PAVLEY BILL SEEKS MORE INDUSTRIES, UNIFORMITY, MONEY FOR GHG REGISTRY

A bill introduced this week by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) seeks to entice more companies to participate in the state's voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emission registry, as well as provide more uniform reporting and certification protocols between California and other states. The bill directs registry administrators to develop reporting protocols for several specific industries -- including cement production, waste hauling and petroleum/natural gas production -- and "strongly encourages" Cal/EPA and the energy commission to partially fund these efforts.

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CRITICS: AUTOMAKER SUIT OVER GHG REG NOT RIPE, AIMED TO PREVENT SPREAD

Environmental organization lawyers and state officials say the auto industry's lawsuit filed this week against the air board to overturn its greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation is aimed at slowing momentum behind the adoption of similar rules elsewhere and to "make people nervous" in California and other states. But auto industry representatives say there is no strategy behind the timing of the lawsuit other than to defeat the regulation, which they believe is illegal on several counts and will inevitably hurt consumers.

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Free-Market Advocates Brace For CO2 Controls In Commission Report

Anti-regulation conservatives are raising concerns about an anticipated recommendation for carbon dioxide (CO2) emission controls by a bipartisan panel of experts formed to examine the nation's long-term energy needs.

An e-mail by the free-market think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute offers a glimpse of the likely recommendations to be issued Dec. 8 by the National Commission on Energy Policy, including a call for a cap-and-trade emissions program and an economy wide increase in energy efficiency by 2.4 percent per year over 10 years, beginning in 2010.

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CANADA GHG RULE SEEN AIDING STATE FIGHT AGAINST CARMAKER SUIT

Pressure from environmentalists on the Canadian government to adopt regulations similar to recently passed California rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from automobiles is motivated partly by a belief that Canada's adoption could help the state defend the regulation from an almost certain carmaker court challenge, environmentalists say.

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CALIFORNIA DRAFTS GREENHOUSE TARGETS, WEST COAST TO FOLLOW

California's environmental regulators and energy commission officials are drafting landmark greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for the state expected to be announced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) early next year, according to sources. West Coast regional GHG reduction targets are subsequently expected to be announced jointly by California, Oregon and Washington officials, according to a source involved in the effort.

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CALIFORNIA PENSION FUND MAY PRESS AUTO INDUSTRY TO SKIP CLIMATE SUIT

Key members of the board overseeing California's employee pension fund are urging fellow board members to convince the auto industry to avoid an expected lawsuit over the state's groundbreaking new climate change standards, using the leverage from the board's $838 million investment in the industry.

The move could lead to a broader campaign among other investment groups to back shareholder resolutions asking the auto industry to address greenhouse gas emissions from cars on the road.

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STEVENS' ROLE AS PANEL CHAIR SUGGESTS NEW FOCUS FOR CLIMATE DEBATE

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' (R) likely ascension to chairman of the commerce committee could change the focus of the Senate's debate on climate change -- with Stevens focusing more on mitigating climate impacts in Alaska and elsewhere and less on outgoing chairman Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) bill regulating greenhouse gas emissions, Senate sources say.

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CAL/EPA DRAFTS GHG REDUCTION TARGETS; WEST COAST GOALS TO FOLLOW

Cal/EPA and energy commission officials are drafting landmark greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for California expected to be announced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger early next year, possibly in his January State of the State speech, according to sources. West Coast regional GHG reduction targets are subsequently expected to be announced jointly by California, Oregon and Washington officials, according to a source involved in the effort.

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Senate Democrat Claims GOP Support For Clean Air Talks With EPA

Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) says he has enlisted two key Republican colleagues in his effort to meet with EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt to discuss the administration's use of "good science" and emerging technologies to reduce utility air emissions, in advance of an upcoming congressional debate on multi-pollutant legislation.

Carper says Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH), the chairman of the Senate environment panel's clean air subcommittee, and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are awaiting a response from Leavitt on their request for a meeting.

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