Environment

Slideshow: The Obamas' Taste in Art
October 27, 2009

James Gardner, formerly the architecture critic of the New York Sun, now writes on culture for several publications.  It must be nice to be the president.

Energy Innovation: The Senate Starting Point
October 27, 2009

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is holding hearings this week on the new chairman’s “mark” of the draft Senate climate and energy legislation released Friday night by committee chairman Barbara Boxer and Sen. John Kerry.

And The World's Third-Largest Carbon Polluter Is...
October 27, 2009

It's well-known that the United States and China are the two biggest greenhouse-gas polluters in the world. But relatively few people can name number three on that list. It's Indonesia, thanks to heavy deforestation: It is that frenzied rate of deforestation that has propelled Indonesia, home to 237 million people, into its top-three spot in the global league table of climate change villains.

Quick Hits: Baby Steps, Refineries, And Hidden Costs
October 27, 2009

Over the past few days, the Internet burped up three noteworthy energy-related studies that I kept meaning to blog, but never found the time. Thankfully, that's why some visionary on the Internet invented link dumps: 1) One talking point that never seems to get enough airtime is just how much can be done right now to reduce our carbon emissions, without the need to wait for fancy new technology.

Putin's Game
October 27, 2009

After years of stalemate, negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear development program seemed to progress last week when an Iranian delegation in Vienna agreed to the export and modification of its low-enriched uranium. The resulting optimism did not last. Officials in Tehran demurred, insisting that they needed more time to study the proposal and could not meet Friday's deadline to ratify the agreement. While Iran's stonewalling came as a disappointment to the United States, it did not come as a surprise.

If I Were Barack Obama, The People I’d Be Most Tee’d Off About Would Be J Street. And Maybe He is.
October 26, 2009

Now, everybody who reads me knows that I am not a big supporter of administration policy on the Middle East. But, then, I am not a big supporter of its foreign policy almost anywhere. No, let me correct that. Not "almost anywhere." But "anywhere." That said, I don't believe that President Obama is trying to weaken the United States or its allies.

White House Official Touts the Excise Tax, Still Fuzzy on Public Option
October 26, 2009

Is it curtains for the strong public option? Over the past week, the White House has taken a lot of heat for not going to bat for it, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reportedly just decided that the Senate bill will include a watered-down proposal that would allow states to opt out of a national public plan.

Slideshow: Dick Cheney's Top Ten Most Combative Statements
October 26, 2009

Dick Cheney is not one to hold his fire. After leaving the White House, he's eschewed the low profile taken by past vice presidents in order to blast the Obama administration's national-security decisions frequently and openly. Click through this TNR slideshow to see the top ten most combative statements made by Cheney since January 20, 2009.

Is The Senate Climate Bill Really More Ambitious?
October 26, 2009

Over at Grist, Dave Roberts has a great post asking whether the Senate climate bill is really, as today's Post describes it, "more ambitious" than the Waxman-Markey legislation that passed the House back in June. It all depends. The Kerry-Boxer bill in the Senate does have slightly stricter near-term emission targets and scrutinizes carbon offsets more carefully (at least, the initial draft does—we'll see what happens after the full Senate gets its paws on the bill).

Senate Dems to Obama: Um, a Little Help Here?
October 26, 2009

After a weekend of furious activity, Democratic leaders in the Senate think they are close to getting the votes they need in order to pass an "opt-out" version of the public option. But they feel like President Obama could be doing more to help them, with one senior staffer telling TNR on Sunday that the leadership would like, but has yet to receive, a clear "signal" of support for their effort. The White House, for its part, says President Obama supports a strong public option, as he always has--and that, as one senior administration official puts it, the president will support the Senate le

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