The Rock Ethics Institute

Initiatives

National Level

After years of dismissive posturing towards climate policies, national climate strategies in the U.S. are now undergoing extensive development and review. Some steps are being taken by the various branches of the U.S. government, but not until after cases were heard before the Supreme Court and were won in favor of climate related regulation.

House and Senate Bills

On Dec. 7th 2007, the House of Representatives passed the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. The act did not make it past the senate. For the full set of bills introduced, see the reference on THOMAS (the Library of Congress)

As introduced in the Senate in November 2007, the Climate Change Adaptation Act is a bill to "amend the National Climate Program Act to enhance the ability of the United States to develop and implement climate change adaptation programs and policies, and for other purposes."

Introduced in the House in April 2007, the Global Climate Change Security Oversight Act (HR 1961 IH) is intended to address security risks posed by climate change.

For ongoing updates, visit the Library of Congress Online (THOMAS) and search bills and resolutions for "climate change"

For tracking ongoing bills and the money attached to them, visit MapLight.org

EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops methods for testing and enforcing regulations set forth as laws voted in by the U.S. Congress. The EPA Administrator is directly appointed by the President. In the recent case, Mass. v EPA, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under section 202(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act. The EPA will soon begin to develop a system of policies and methods for regulating greenhouse gas emissions across various sectors of the economy. The EPA will also play a leading role in setting national goals (caps) for overall emissions to meet international obligations in the post-Kyoto framework. 

Useful EPA links:

EPA Climate Change Portal
U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports
Personal Emissions Calculator
Energy Star
Clean Energy
State and Local Governments
Climate Change and Waste
State of Climate Change Science

State of Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

The Supreme Court case, Massachusetts, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., decided on two questions concerning the regulation of greenhouse gases based on the guideline set forth in the Clean Air Act, section 202(a). There were two major questions under consideration, namely: "(1) Whether the Environmental Protection Agency administrator may deline to issue emission standards for motor vehicles based on policy considerations not enumerated in section 202(a)(1) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7521(a)(1)? (2) Whether the Environmental Protection Agency administrator has the authority to regulate cardon dioxide and other air pollutants associated with climate change under section 202(a)(1)?" The supreme court found the petitioners had standing. Much still need to be determined as to what to do about the practicalities of regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act
Mass v EPA Wikipedia
Proceedings and Orders

DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy develops the U.S.'s energy directives, technical standards, funds research, oversees nuclear security and energy security, and environmental responsibilities of the energy industry. The DOE's Office of Fossil Energy is focusing on fossil energy system efficiency and carbon capture and storage; the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science, and Technology sponsors research into new nuclear technologies and the safety, security, and  maintenance of nuclear facilities; the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative is developing methods for delivering hydrogen technology; and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research directs a series of climate related studies through the Climate Change Research Division.

DOE - Climate Change Initiatives
DOE - Bioenergy
DOE - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
DOE - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - Biomass