Galvanized steel coil rolls in a plant. Shutterstock

Rethinking Trade, Steel and Climate

President Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs have reopened a confusing debate about trade, made harder to follow by the incoherence of the president's approach. But it's a debate we need to have, and clarify, because along with its incoherence, Trump's proposal correctly challenges the establishment wisdom that the current international trade framework is, broadly, the best the U.S. could hope for.

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Governors Weigh in on Water, Climate and the Environment: What We Know So Far

By Brett Walton

State of the State speeches are where governors sketch their legislative priorities and report on the overall health of their dominions. The state of the state is almost always "strong" and water issues are occasionally mentioned.

Below are summaries of the governors' references to water, climate and the environment.

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Polllution in Shanghai, China on Dec. 5, 2013. leniners / Flickr

China on Track to Establish Carbon Market as U.S. Withdraws From Climate Stage

China unveiled the details on Tuesday of what is soon to be the world's largest carbon market, two years after China's president Xi announced the initiative.

Although the market launch date wasn't revealed, observers saw today's announcement as a noteworthy step. "This is like the pyramids of Giza for climate policy," Nathaniel Keohane, the vice president of international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund, told ClimateWire.

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Senators Pitch Carbon Tax Legislation

By David Doniger

As the nation and the world swelter through another year of extraordinary heat, storms, drought and disrupted weather, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Brian Schatz introduced carbon fee legislation Wednesday to help curb the heat-trapping pollution that drives this dangerous climate disruption.

Representatives Earl Blumenauer and David Cicilline are introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

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8 Ways to Sequester Carbon to Avoid Climate Catastrophe

By Mary Hoff

Klaus Lackner has a picture of the future in his mind, and it looks something like this: 100 million semi-trailer-size boxes, each filled with a beige fabric configured into what looks like shag carpet to maximize surface area. Each box draws in air as though it were breathing. As it does, the fabric absorbs carbon dioxide, which it later releases in concentrated form to be made into concrete or plastic or piped far underground, effectively cancelling its ability to contribute to climate change.

Though the technology is not yet operational, it's "at the verge of moving out of the laboratory, so we can show how it works on a small scale," said Lackner, director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University. Once he has all the kinks worked out, he figured that, combined, the network of boxes could capture perhaps 100 million metric tons (110 million tons) of CO2 per day at a cost of $30 per ton—making a discernible dent in the climate-disrupting overabundance of CO2 that has built up in the air since humans began burning fossil fuels in earnest 150 years ago.

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Flickr / Johnny Silvercloud

Groups Slam Exxon for Deceptive Support of Carbon Tax Plan

Environmental organizations are calling foul on a carbon tax and dividend plan announced today that was supported by ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and other influential businesses, individuals and organizations.

The Climate Leadership Council, developed by former cabinet members James Baker and George Shultz, have crafted a plan designed to fight climate change by taxing carbon emissions and then redirecting that levy to taxpayers.

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A Climate Fix That Stephen Hawking and Exxon Both Support

A new group of industry heavyweights, including oil majors Total, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have voiced their support for a Republican-led carbon tax and dividend plan. Individual founding members include, Michael Bloomberg, Stephen Hawking and Steven Chu.

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Ivanka Trump Saves Paris Agreement From Executive Order

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pushed President Trump to exclude language that criticized the Paris agreement from an upcoming executive order, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening.

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Carbon Tax: A Good Idea, Even if It’s From Republicans

A group of former Republican officials (including James A. Baker, Henry Paulson, George P. Shultz, Marty Feldstein and Greg Mankiw) are proposing a carbon tax starting the tax at $40 per ton, that would gradually increase.

The proceeds of the tax would be distributed to every American.

The average family of four would receive $2,000 annually in dividends. As the tax rises, so would their dividends. Since everyone would receive the same amount of revenue from the tax regardless of their income level, the dividend would make a bigger difference for poorer families than for wealthier ones.

It's a win-win: Less carbon in the atmosphere and more equal distribution of income.

That it's being proposed by Republicans doesn't make the idea any less worthy.

I'm aware that some on the left would rather use revenues from such a tax to invest in clean energy and other social causes rather than return the revenues directly to the public. That detail can be worked out.

The idea is getting a hearing in the White House. And in these dreadful times, that's good news indeed.



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