Friday, July 17, 2009

News Briefs -- 7.17.2009

Obama airs plan to prepare for new jobs - 7/15/2009
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Conceding unemployment will get worse before it shrinks, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a $12 billion plan to help community colleges prepare millions of people for a new generation of jobs. Challenging critics, he said he welcomed the task of turning around the economy.

Obama proposed an “American Graduation Initiative” to bolster the two-year community college field that serves millions of students as a launching point for careers or a step toward expanded higher education. The idea is to train people for jobs, such as those expected in the clean energy industry, when the economy turns around and begins to create jobs again. Read the full report here.


Senate must improve House version of climate bill - 7/16/2009
Another Voice / Global warming / By Lauren Schuster
A major bone of contention is the question of how the bill should limit fossil fuel pollution without hurting the average consumer. The energy industry argues that requiring companies to pay for the right to pollute will drive up their costs, which will be passed down to consumers.

Fortunately, there is a more equitable way to insulate consumers against increased energy costs. Originally, President Obama called for a cap-and-trade system that auctioned off 100 percent of pollution allowances. The revenue generated from the auction process would then be returned directly and equally to every American, about $1,000 per person each year, to help offset the increased cost of energy. Read the full report here.


Thomas L. Friedman: Pass this awful legislation - 7/2/2009
The cap-and-trade bill is a mess; here's why Congress must approve it
"There is much in the House cap-and-trade energy bill that just passed that I absolutely hate."

"Now let's get it passed in the Senate and make it law."

"Why? Because, for all its flaws, this bill is the first comprehensive attempt by America to mitigate climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions. Rejecting this bill would be read in the world as America voting against the reality and urgency of climate change and would undermine clean energy initiatives everywhere." Read the full report here.


DC Hill update: Senate committee action set for September
- 7/13/2009

Much work remains to be done to gain support for a strong climate bill. Strong grassroots pressure will be key for supporting strong policy proposed by climate champions, as well as for preventing serious weakening.

Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has recently shifted the release of a discussion draft and mark up to September. The new schedule for Senate energy and climate bill mark up is at 1Sky.org.


Pickens’ energy campaign sputters as fuel prices drop - 7/12/2009
NEW YORK (AP) — The past year has been tough on T. Boone Pickens and his $60 million mission to wean America off of foreign oil. Over the past 12 months, Pickens pressed the public to rethink its use of energy. His “Pickens Plan” called for a number of changes such as investing in wind and solar energy, rebuilding the country’s electrical grid and replacing gasoline with natural gas in cars and trucks.

But Pickens plan has run into some sizable hurdles, most notably a crash in energy prices. Pickens said that federal support for natural gas vehicles would give his energy plan a true victory. So would energy legislation that installs a cap-and- trade system. Read the full report here.

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