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Environmental Groups Divided Over Support of Waxman-Markey Bill

Environmental groups are debating whether to support the bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, in its present form. Principal criticisms are that it strips away some of the Clean Air Act authority to reduce coal pollution in new coal-fired power plants, it grants too muich money to carbon capture and sequestration projects, and its goals for near-term carbon dioxide emission reduction are too weak. Moveon.org has asked its members to vote on whether to support the bill in its current form.

A good summary of arguments pro and con can be found at the Yale Environment 360 website.

Meanwhile, even the Texas Legislature appears to have jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon. It passed two bills to encourage use of alternative fuels in fleet vehicles.┬áSenate Bill 1759 creates a Clean Fleet Program that provides grants to fleet owners to replace their diesel vehicles with alternative-fuel vehicles. House Bill 432 amends the State’s Fleet Alternative Fuel Program to require that 50% of the state’s 27,000 fleet vehicles use clean alternative fuels 80% of the time, a requirement that will be phased in as state fleet vehicles come up for replacement. Law enforcement and emergency vehicles are exempt, and exemptions can be granted if the agency shows that it is not cost-effective to meet the requirements.

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