Tuesday, October 09, 2007

AEP is brought to justice...and related matters

One of America’s biggest environmental outlaws has finally been brought to justice.

Unfortunately, breathers have waited far too long for justice. Lawsuits were brought against Ohio-based American Electric Power by the Clinton administration, various state attorneys general and environmental groups way back in 1999.

AEP was guilty as sin, and agreed to settle the case only because it knew it was going down. AEP’s claim of no wrongdoing is reminiscent of the infamous nolo contendere plea of Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was caught taking bribes.

A footnote: Despite this settlement, AEP remains the biggest global warming polluter in the U.S. It has now turned its lobbying attention towards making sure it cushions any cleanup requirement by demanding free carbon credits – a bad idea that may be endorsed by Senators including Joe Lieberman, John Warner and literally dozens of other lawmakers that have received recent AEP campaign contributions. (See at http://www.cleanairwatch.org/ .)


Other news: More positive news about global warming – or at least the potential for cleanup – at a hearing tomorrow by Rep. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Select global warming committee. Among featured witnesses – PSEG CEO Ralph Izzo, who has endorsed the idea of carbon auctions (as opposed to the AEP giveaway strategy), and Neil Carson, CEO of the UK-based Johnson Matthey, who will be representing the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change and is expected to discuss business opportunities in a low-carbon future. The hearing begins tomorrow at 9:30 am in room 2172 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Finally, today is the close of the official public comment period on the US EPA’s proposal to update national air quality standards for smog. Tens of thousands of citizens have joined health and environmental groups to urge EPA to set standards based on real science, not political science.

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