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June 7, 2010 – Imagine – the entire mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast under a tornado watch. I wonder if that’s ever happened before. Considering the damage done throughout the Midwest over the weekend, it was a logical step. America’s “outback” is enduring more and more violent weather with each passing year.

E-magazine Grist has been running an outstanding series of articles by David Roberts about the American Power Act (APA). Lambasted by many for its replacement of the Clean Air Act’s stationary-source regulations with a cap-and-trade system of pollution control, there are, according to Roberts, still many reasons for supporting the APA. What might those be?

- the cap part of cap-and-trade, as defined by the APA, will provide long-term predictability, something investors value highly

- because the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is authorized to regulate atmospheric pollutants, it will have authority to enforce this cap

- the new legislation includes energy-efficiency provisions, a renewable electricity standard [I’m not sure what that means], and electric vehicle incentives

- it distributes pollution allowances to the affected industries in order to ease the transition

- it dedicates financial resources for the slowing of deforestation

- it reconnects America to the international climate change process

- it resoundingly supports nuclear energy (make of that what you will)

- EPA will be given authority to set performance standards for old, coal-fired power plants

Because our country’s old plants are a very significant source of greenhouse gases, the EPA can shut them down, retrofit them, and/or switch the source of energy. The work of decades is finally being made into law. This is a bill worth supporting! (Too bad Lindsey Graham didn’t stick around long enough to actively seek passage of the APA. The Kerry/Lieberman/Graham juggernaut would have been a force to be reckoned with.)


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When you see words like "record setting" and "historic," think climate change. Otherwise, there is no change; events fall within an average range, established over decades or centuries. The events and patterns just described fall outside that range; they are therefore symptomatic of climate change. Every passing year gets warmer - and worse, by which I mean the damage done by storms measured in dollars, and the number of injuries or deaths caused by storms.

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