Climate Capsule Week of November 17

Monday, November 17, 2008

(National Wildlife Federation)

Week of November 17, 2008

Economic Message of the Week
Corporate, Environmental Leaders Make Economic Case For Climate Action


A coalition of leading corporations and environmental organizations this week called on Congress and the incoming Obama Administration to pass meaningful climate protection legislation next year despite the difficult economic conditions, pointing to the economic benefits and job creation that will result from taking such action.


Representatives for the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of 26 corporations and 6 non-profit environmental and conservation organizations, recently held a press conference in Washington to make the economic case for cap-and-trade legislation. 


The group said that cap-and-trade legislation is urgently needed to prevent the serious impacts of climate change. While the magnitude of needed reductions are not free of costs, legislation is necessary to spur innovation in green technologies that will create jobs, increase economic activity and provide the foundation for a vibrant, low-carbon economy.


USCAP has taken a leadership role in support of climate protection legislation, calling for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 that are 60 percent to 80 percent below today’s levels. 


“The time for America to act is now,” said Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of National Wildlife Federation. “With our economy in crisis and our planet in peril, the fate of our economy and environment hinge on how aggressively we move to repower America with clean energy solutions. We must cap carbon and create the kinds of incentives our industries need to re-tool and stay competitive in the global race for energy security.”


New Southeast Water Report Highlights Region’s Short Supply


This Thursday, National Wildlife Federation will hold a telephone press conference moderated by scientists to announce the release of its new report about water use and drought in the southeastern United States.


Since 1960, the region’s population doubled and water use for municipalities, irrigation, and thermoelectric power more than tripled. The Southeast is one of the fastest growing parts of the country—58 of the fastest 100 growing counties in the nation are in the nine states of the Southeast.


More Variable and Uncertain Water Supply: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Southeastern U.S. will be released following Thursday’s 10 a.m. Eastern press call. The new report details how:

·        Water supply in the Southeastern United States will be more variable and uncertain in the coming decades;

·        Rapidly expanding population, irrigation, and thermoelectric power use has increased water demand;

·        Recent droughts illustrate the Southeast’s vulnerability;

·        The astonishing biodiversity of the Southeast is also at risk; and

·        The Southeast should plan for increasing variability in water supply.


Strategies for meeting the increasing demand for water in the region have not typically accounted for the regular occurrence of drought, as illustrated by recent droughts. During 2007 alone, crop losses are estimated at more than $1.3 billion and wildfire ravaged 600,000 acres in Georgia and Florida.


To connect the dots, expert and on-the-ground perspectives will be provided on the latest scientific research on global warming and water supply, competition for resources, demographic factors, and how to better prepare for managing the Southeast’s water availability challenges.


Please dial into our telepress conference at 1-800-791-2345 pin 67527# at 10 a.m. Eastern this Thursday, November 20.


Contact: Aileo Weinmann, National Wildlife Federation, 202-797-6801,


America should be leading the world in developing technologies that will make our country energy independent and end the climate crisis.”


Martin Heinrich, New Mexico's 1st congressional district Representative-elect, supports the use of green technologies to help solve the economic and climate crises.


Highlight of the Week

EPA Ruling Gives Agency Discretion To Regulate New Coal Plant CO2 Emissions

A recent ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board found that the EPA has not presented a valid reason for refusing to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new coal-fired power plants.


In May 2008, the Sierra Club went before the Environmental Appeals Board to challenge a permit issued by EPA for Deseret Power Electric Cooperative’s proposed new coal-fired power plant because it lacked a requirement to control CO2 emissions. Deseret Power’s Bonanza plant would have emitted 3.37 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.


The ruling does not require the EPA to limit CO2 emissions; however it requires EPA to reconsider including CO2 emission limits in this permit and present a solid, public case for its decision. This has significant implications for all new coal plant permitting decisions by EPA. This decision follows a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing carbon dioxide, the principle source of global warming as a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act.


Building on this positive precedent, NWF urges climate supporters to ask the EPA to take broader action against global warming. We cannot solve this problem plant by plant, it is time for a national approach to limiting global warming pollution. National Wildlife Federation believes there is no single greater threat to people and wildlife than global warming, so click here to send official comments to urge the EPA to take action immediately.


Thomas Friedman Honored At Annual Conservation Awards Banquet


The nation’s leading conservation education and advocacy group has honored author-columnist Thomas Friedman with its National Conservation Achievement Award for exemplary leadership. Friedman’s award from National Wildlife Federation in the communications category was announced at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Washington, DC.

The three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, world renowned author and journalist, Friedman has become one of the most powerful voices in the United States on global warming. Friedman’s new book Hot, Flat, And Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How it Can Renew America, explains that the United States can and must lead the environmental revolution in the 21st century. Friedman says, “Green is the new red, white, and blue.”

“Thomas Friedman has taken complex environmental issues and explained them in a powerful and meaningful way to the American public,” said National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger. “At the same time he has offered solutions for a greener future for our country.”

By us working together, Friedman writes, the clean energy and conservation movement can help our nation become healthier, wealthier, and more secure.

Among others, awardees at the banquet included Senator Timothy Wirth as Conservationist of the Year, Lindblad Expeditions for Corporate Achievement, Dr. Heidi Cullen in Science, and Elon Musk for Special Achievement.

Happening This Week
Wednesday, November 19: US Climate Action Network Briefing for Upcoming UN Climate Change Negotiations

10-12 p.m., Russell Senate Office Building 188. Contact Paul Joffe, Sr. Director, International Affairs for NWF at 202-797-6603.


Thursday, November 20:  The Costs of Regulating Carbon Dioxide: What the EPA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Really Means, 12-1:30 p.m., The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC


Press Teleconference on More Variable and Uncertain Water Supply: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Southeastern U.S., a new NWF report on drought and water availability. 10-11 a.m. (ET) at 1-800-791-2345 pin 67527#.