Environmentalists Heartened by Focus on Climate Change in Obama State of the Union Address

President tells Congress to act soon on climate change or he will take executive action. Obama’s State of the Union address included the longest soliloquy on global warming in presidential history.  “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence,” he said. “Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.” Obama urged Congress “to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change,” apparently endorsing a cap-and-trade system already rejected by lawmakers. Still, Obama offered no details on what steps he’s prepared to take if Congress fails to act. The Atlantic, Politico

Obama gun control plans ignore some less-contentious possibilities. A bitter fight lies ahead over Obama’s proposals for an assault weapons ban, restrictions on large ammunition magazines and expanded criminal background checks for potential gun buyers. But receiving little attention are ideas that could encounter less resistance. One would be fully funding the already-authorized initiative to ensure that crucial records of people deemed mentally ill make their way into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Another would be resuming U.S. funding to Project ChildSafe. which has distributed 35 million cable-style gun locks and educational materials to help parents keep firearms out of the hands of children or thieves. Bloomberg

Scientists with utility ties coaxed regulators to delay releasing findings on hexavalent chromium. The Environmental Protection Agency was poised to announce findings in 2011, a step expected to trigger stricter drinking-water standards to prevent cancer from the compound, which gained infamy in the film “Erin Brockovich.”  But in 2012 the EPA pushed back the due date for at least four more years to await new studies funded by the industry group the American Chemistry Council. The EPA delay was prompted by a scientific panel chosen to give a review of existing chromium research. The EPA apparently didn’t know that several of the panelists worked for Pacific Gas & Electric to defend it in the Brockovich litigation. The Center for Public Integrity

Maker of malt beverage Four Loko agrees to settle U.S. charges of deceptive marketing. Phusion Projects LLC agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to post an “Alcohol Facts” panel on its cans to indicate alcohol content. The company will make the disclosures on cans containing more than two servings of alcohol, as well as give consumers the ability to reseal some beverages, reducing the temptation to consume an entire can in one sitting. The FTC said Phusion’s ads implied that a large Four Loko can had the alcohol of one or two beers. In fact, the FTC said, a 23.5-ounce can with 12 percent alcohol was equivalent to four or five beers. In 2010, Phusion agreed to remove caffeine from Four Loko under pressure from regulators. Reuters

Flawed rigs may put Shell’s plans to drill in Alaskan Arctic this year on ice. The Dutch-based oil giant said it will tow its two Arctic rigs to Asian ports for major repairs, jeopardizing its plans to begin drilling in the icy northern seas beginning in July. The potential delay does not necessarily doom Shell’s seven-year, $4.5 billion quest to open a new oil frontier in the far north, but it may strengthen the position of environmentalists who have repeatedly sued to stop or postpone exploration that they claim carries the risks of a spill nearly impossible to clean up. It may also give the Obama administration more time to reconsider whether to allow Shell to continue operations in two Arctic seas after repeated accidents and mechanical problems. The New York Times, Houston Chronicle

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

Print Print  

One comment to “Environmentalists Heartened by Focus on Climate Change in Obama State of the Union Address”

  1. Al Bore

    He’s promising to make the weather nicer with taxes!!!!!
    Former climate blame believers are ahead of the curve and better planet lovers and we don’t fear monger helpless children with needless CO2 panic. (But even the kids are laughing now.)
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
    *Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
    *Canada’s voters had already killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially you fear mongers and the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    “MAYBE” isn’t good enough to condemn my kids to a climate crisis as not one IPCC warning is without “maybes. How can the worst crisis imaginable not be worthy of a warning that says; it “WILL” happen?
    How close to the point of no return from unstoppable warming will science take us before they officially declare a planet emergency?

Leave a comment