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United States - Nov 14

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A closer look at Obama’s energy plan

Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor
Economy may slow it, but ‘green’ jobs may grow it.
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If President-elect Barack Obama enacts the energy plan he laid out during his campaign, American taxpayers will each get a $500 rebate check – funded by a windfall profits taxes on big oil companies.

But that’s just for starters. Besides taxing oil giants more, Senator Obama’s detailed 30-point energy agenda calls for big changes to address carbon emissions, fuel efficiency for vehicles, and domestic and renewable power and efficiency.

While many candidates’ platform promises are cast aside when political opposition looms, the Obama energy plan seems integral to his promise to get the economy restarted, some experts say.

“Obama’s energy plan is much more than a campaign laundry list,” says Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank chaired by John Podesta, who heads the Obama administration’s transition effort. “It really is a centerpiece of Obama’s economic development strategy for the nation, for energy security, and rebuilding our cities and infrastructure,” Mr. Hendricks says.

Among more than two dozen bullet points, Obama’s energy plan includes:
(12 November 2008)



U.S. military worries about climate change

Kelly Hearn, Washington Times
As a new administration committed to addressing climate change takes office, intelligence and defense officials are laying plans to address the national security implications of a warmer planet.

In recent months, U.S. military planners have discussed the impact on personnel, equipment and installations of extreme weather events, rising ocean temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns and stresses on natural resources.

Among the concerns: 63 U.S. coastal military facilities and several nuclear reactors are in danger of flooding from storm surges, said Tom Fingar, the deputy director of national intelligence for analysis.

President-elect Barack Obama next month will receive a key intelligence report, Global Trends 2025. Sources who reviewed the document for the government but asked not to be named said the report gives top priority to climate change.
(13 November 2008)



A Freeze on New U.S. Coal Plants?

Bryan Walsh, Time
Environmentalists have long known that when it comes to climate change, coal will be a dealbreaker. The carbon-intensive fossil fuel provides nearly half of the United States' electricity, and is responsible for some 30% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. That's just due to the coal plants already operating — as the U.S. looks to expand its energy supply to meet rising demand in the future, over 100 coal plants are in various stages of development around the country. If those plants are built without the means to capture and sequester underground the carbon they emit — and it's far from clear that such technology will be commercially viable in the near-term — our ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert climate change will be meaningless.

That's why a decision issued on Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board is so important...
(13 November 2008)

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