Climate Task Force

Daily Forecast: Today’s Online Buzz on Environmental Issues

Online sources continue to speculate on what provisions will be included in the draft Senate climate legislation. The bill is expected to be unveiled this Monday, April 26 by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

The Case for a Carbon Tax

Gina-Marie Cheeseman – Triple Pundit

[…]A carbon tax is preferred by Robert Shapiro, Under Secretary of Commerce in Clinton administration and chairman of the U.S. Climate Task Force and Sonecon, an economic advisory group. A fixed price on carbon, according to Shapiro, would increase the carbon price when demand increases, unlike a cap-and-trade scheme. A “known and stable” carbon price would give companies “the powerful incentives they will need to develop more climate-friendly fuels and technologies, and give everyone else real incentives to adopt those fuels and technologies.”

Can Carbon Offsets Save the Planet? Don’t Bet on It

John Yemma – The Huffington Post

It is no surprise that carbon offsets were concocted during the era of irrational exuberance. They are a low-cost, free-market way of assuaging guilt about global warming. Need to pump hydrocarbons into the air? No problem. You can buy a piece of a green project somewhere else in the world to offset the damage. Happy Earth Day. Businesses, governments, and individuals buy carbon offsets every day. It’s a $700 million global business. At San Francisco International Airport, travelers can walk up to an ATM-like kiosk and purchase an offset for the emissions from their flights.

As Senate Debates Climate Bill, House Members Wonder if They’ll Be Asked to Take It or Leave It

Darren Samuelsohn – New York Times/ Climate Wire

In Las Vegas, the house always wins. In Washington, the House isn’t as lucky. A carefully crafted compromise on climate change that narrowly passed in the House last June has been stuck for almost a year in the Senate. Now, with three senators set to unveil their own bill Monday and a floor vote possible this spring or early summer, House lawmakers are wondering whether there will be a significant effort to negotiate major differences between the two proposals or if they will be asked to simply approve the Senate version.

A Big Bet on Solar Technology

Todd Woody – New York Times’ Green Inc.

In one of the biggest green technology deals of the year, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capital company is leading a $129.4 million investment in a long-promising solar technology that is starting to gain traction in the United States. The venture company, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and other investors are making a big bet on Amonix, a company in southern California that has spent 20 years developing concentrating photovoltaic power systems that resemble gigantic solar panels.

Sen. Kerry hints at changes in U.S. climate bill

Richard Cowan – Reuters

U.S. Senator John Kerry, leading the drive for compromise climate change legislation, said on Tuesday his proposal would not contain any sort of motor fuels tax and could scrap an oil sector “fee” that has been discussed. In recent weeks, government and industry sources have said the bill that Kerry and Senators Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham plan to unveil next Monday would contain a “linked fee” in the transportation sector. Such a fee, they said, would be linked to a mechanism for pricing carbon dioxide pollution permits in the electric power sector as part of a global warming bill.

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