Category Archives: global warming

Cut taxes for “green” cars?

What does everyone think of the idea of dropping car taxes for all vehicles in town that get more than 40 miles to the gallon? It’s at least an interesting idea, right?

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Filed under Environment, global warming, Property taxes

Larson to take global warming junket

REP. LARSON JOINS SPEAKER PELOSI ON CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

TO ADDRESS SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING

WASHINGTON- Today, Congressman John B. Larson announced that he is participating in a bipartisan Congressional Delegation trip to Greenland, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium to meet with leading scientists and political leaders working on solutions to combat global warming lead by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.   Earlier this year Larson was appointed by Pelosi to serve on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. 

“Global warming and energy dependence are probably two of the most important issues facing the future of our planet,” said Larson.  “This is a unique opportunity to see the global impacts of global warming and meet with global leaders that are addressing global warming in effective and innovative ways. This issue has been ignored for far too long and now it is time for serious solutions and action and I am proud to be a part.”

Congress is drafting wide-ranging legislation on energy independence by July 4 and global warming later this year. Pelosi also created the Select Committee Energy Independence and Global Warming to promote greater understanding of the problem. 

The Congressional Delegation is made up of other members of the Select Committee, including Chairman Ed Markey of Massachusetts; Congresswoman Hilda Solis of California ; Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota; Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon; and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.  Congressman David Hobson of Ohio, Ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee is also traveling.

The bipartisan delegation will be traveling to Greenland and is scheduled to meet with Dr. Konrad Steffen, who is the lead scientist at Swiss Camp located on the Jakobshavn Glacier.  In Europe, the delegation is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, foreign and environmental ministers, members of parliament and leading environmentalists and scientists.

Because of the significance of this trip, the air travel will be carbon offset through the Pacific Forest Trust – a forest conservation and stewardship project that will permanently reduce approximately 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period.  The Speaker will personally pay for this effort.

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Filed under Congress, Environment, global warming, John Larson, Nancy Pelosi, News

Key Supreme Court ruling started in West Hartford

It turns out that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that pretty much forces the Bush administration to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions had its roots along a West Hartford river bank. 

Today’s Boston Globe has a good op-ed column that tells us that James Milkey, assistant attorney general for environmental issues in Massachusetts, who argued the greenhouse gas case before the Supreme Court that led to this week’s historic ruling, started his activism in eighth grade in West Hartford.

Milkey remembers picking up garbage along a river bank during the very first Earth Day back in 1970.

Milkey told The Associated Press that “someone had to stand up” and push the federal government to start regulating CO2 emissions. “Everyone said at the time, ‘Hey, Massachusetts is really going to get the Bush Administration to act?’ Well, we did.”

Bravo to Milkey for his work — and for holding on to that youthful idealism.

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Filed under CO2, Earth Day, Environment, global warming, Greenhouse, James Milkey, law, Massachusetts, News, U.S. Supreme Court, West Hartford

Congressman Larson gains key House position

Our congressman, John Larson, just got tapped as one of 10 Democrats who will serve on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He’ll no doubt do a lot of cheerleading for fuel cells, since they’re made hereabouts, but the position is much bigger than a bully pulpit for local interests.

“The work of the committee is going to be critical as global warming and energy dependence are probably two of the most important issues facing the future of our planet.  Global warming and our dependence on oil risk our economic security, our national security, and threaten our environment and public health,” Larson said, or at least his press release said he said it.

He continued, “In my district and throughout Connecticut, we have successfully expanded the use of fuel cell technology and I plan to bring this to the dialogue. This issue has been ignored for far too long and now it is time for serious solutions and action and I am proud to be a part.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fuel cells may be important, or they may not. Only time will tell, as they say.

But what is important is that the new commitee “will hold hearings and investigations locally, nationally, and internationally to gather the information needed to protect our national security and the environment.  It is charged with recommending to the Congress policies, strategies and other innovations to reduce the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of energy and prevent global warming.”

They key is that men and women like Larson take that job seriously. These are perhaps the most serious issues our country faces – how to lessen the impact of global warming and make us less dependent on half-assed Arab states that hold us hostage with oil. No empire should have its lifeblood in the hands of kingdoms so fragile and far away. We need to break free.

Larson has a chance here to make a real difference to the course of our history, to shed his party boy image and to advocate  the kind of bold steps that can save us from a potentally dreary future of war and warmth. We do not have to blindly go forward on this same dark path. We can take a different direction.

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Filed under Congress, Energy, Environment, Foreign policy, global warming, Iraq war, John Larson, News, Politics