Sunday, June 30, 2013

We'll be waiting for you on Tuesday

Obama will lay out his climate initiative Tuesday afternoon at my Hoya alma mater (the secret passage rumors there are true, btw, I found one myself in the main auditorium that he might use). Lots of speculation on what will be in it. You've got mine from February and May:  no shutdown of Keystone, but something else substantial, with fingers crossed it's the NRDC proposal to regulate existing coal power plants. The speculation suggests a bunch of other climate-related actions will also get thrown in, both on adaptation (which makes sense practically and politically) and carbon sequestration (which makes sense politically, I'm less sure practically except that it needs to be fully researched).

It would be interesting if the numbercrunchers with the chops to do it, go and figure out which is better for the climate - shut down Keystone, or do everything else he'll propose instead. Yes, better still would be doing both, but I'd like to know if the enviro emphasis on Keystone over coal-plant regulation is right. I'm sure it all depends on how generously one's assumptions favor the result one wants to reach (e.g., do you assume current tar sands production shuts down instantly, or that it continues in some form).

In other news, the new senator from Hawaii has adopted the Eli Rabett approach on climate communication with deniers, ridiculing the know-nothings. Will be interesting to see if he does it prominently.