Bad Environment News

Two stories today are bad news for people who are fans of the Planet called Earth. Both revolve around the fact that, despite having a weakening economy and a weak president, the United States government is still powerful enough to kick the Earth in the proverbial shins every now and then.

In Bali, where countries are trying to engineer the successor to the Kyoto Protocols, which expire in 2012 The U.S. and Japan are refusing to set targets for carbon reductions, despite Al Gore’s efforts to publicly shame his home country into action.

Closer to home, Senate Republicans managed to keep the gravy train flowing to Big Oil (how’s that for a mixed metaphor?) by threatening to filibuster the Energy bill. Harry Reid is going to drop the provision — which would have repealed the 2005 tax cuts to energy companies and focused the revenue on renewables — and try again.

(remind me again why the Dems didn’t allow the filibuster to die back when the GOP was threatening to kill it? Damn you, Gang of 14!!)

With the tax piece gone, there’s not a whole lot left to the energy bill that we discussed last week. I’ll be surprised if they get the one remaining provision through, which would have “controversially” increased fuel efficiency to 35mpg. This drastic, draconian measure would force every car in America to be less effiicient than a 1997 Toyota Corolla. The horror!!