Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Mozambique: Government Remains Committed to Biofuels

11 May 2010

Maputo — Mozambican Energy Minster Salvador Namburete declared in Maputo on Tuesday that the government remains committed to mobilising investment in biofuels.
Namburete was speaking at the opening of an international conference on bio-energy markets.
He noted the damaging economic effects of dependence on fossil fuels, and said that oil-importing countries would have had much higher rates of growth over the past decade, had it not been for the sharp increases in fuel prices.
To minimise the impact of rising fuel prices, the government had to diversify the sources of energy. "This situation demands a combined solution of using alternative, renewable sources of energy, and the resort to low cost technologies which will ensure that more people have access to energy, and will reduce dependence on oil", said Namburete.
He stressed that Mozambique has been promoting the use of renewable energy, including biofuels. Apart from providing alternative energy for industrial investments, biofuels also provided an opportunity to generate income and employment.
"Our determination to advance with these initiatives seeking to diversify the energy matrix also results from our commitment to joint efforts to ensure energy security and stability, and to react to the phenomenon of global warning", added the Minister.
Currently 26 biofuel projects are under way in Mozambique. Most are still at the stage of seed multiplication, and the first harvest is not scheduled until 2012.
Namburete stressed that Mozambique can produce biofuels competitively because of its favourable agro-ecological conditions, the availability of soil and water, its favourable geographical location, and the existence of port and storage facilities.
The conference, which brings together representatives of African countries and potential investors, is due to end on Thursday.

A Smashing Idea: Eco-Friendly Aggression

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times
They love the sound of breaking glass: At “Glassphemy!,” a recycling installation along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, participants hurl bottles at one another. (No one gets hurt.)

For David Belt, a developer who created a stir last summer by installing do-it-yourself swimming pools made from Dumpsters in a semi-secret location in Brooklyn, the answer was once again in trash.
His latest project, called “Glassphemy!,” is billed as a psychological recycling experiment. The idea is to make recycling a more direct, visceral experience and to purge some New York aggression simultaneously. The installation, set like the previous project in a private space along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, is a 20-foot-by-30-foot clear box, with high walls made of steel and bulletproof glass. People stand on a high platform at one end of the box and a low platform on the other. Those on the higher platform take empty glass bottles and just chuck ’em into the box — aiming, perhaps, at their compatriots across the way, who are safely outside the onslaught zone. The bottles smash fantastically, artfully designed lights flash, and no one is harmed.
“Recycling’s so boring,” Mr. Belt said. “We tried to make it a little bit more exciting.”
He added, “People just want to smash things.”
At a preview party last week, Scott Cohen, a filmmaker, agreed. Mr. Cohen hurled bottles and had them thrown at him. “You don’t realize how much aggression you have until you get up there with a bottle in your hand,” he said. “It was deeply, deeply satisfying.”
For whom was he aiming? “Anybody that I could find,” he said. “There were a lot of faces up there that reminded me of people from my past, and I just kind of went for it. I think it could serve as a kind of therapy.”
With bottles donated by neighborhood bars, “Glassphemy!” will officially open on May 20 to invited guests. The shards of glass collected will be recycled onsite. To finish out the project, ReadyMade magazine will run a contest asking readers for their best recycling ideas, and Mr. Belt’s company, Macro Sea, will make the discarded glass into the winning design. A few potential reuses have already been explored: designers from Hecho, a Brooklyn company, developed a DIY glass polisher out of a cement mixer that is powered by a couple of bikes chained together; the smooth, colored shards created after hours of pedaling are pretty enough to become part of lamps that light the space. Another machine will pulverize the glass into sand for use in the beer garden that Mr. Belt plans for the site, the sort of add-on that helped make the Dumpster pools a must-know-about spot last summer.
The immediate and visible reuse also helps counter the widespread suspicion that recyclables are just thrown out anyway. Though for logistical reasons, “Glassphemy!” will not generally be open to the public — the lot where it sits is hidden from the street — people who send good recycling ideas to the Macro Sea Web site,, may earn an invitation with the address, Mr. Belt said.
Macro Sea, the company Mr. Belt formed with Jocko Weyland, an author and social connecter, and Alix Feinkind, a creative director, has a history of turning loopy ideas into cutting-edge coolness. Their Dumpster pools caught on in unexpected ways: Hollywood party planners came calling, as did TV show hosts, Mr. Belt said. Macro Sea is now working on a mobile version of the pool, which is expected to be used as part of New York City’s Summer Streets program this year. What started out as a lark in industrial Brooklyn has gone legit.
Mr. Belt, a successful developer and construction consultant and manager — his main company, DBI, has a spacious loft office in SoHo, and works on commissions all over the world — said he viewed his Macro Sea projects as a creative mission, to help turn underused objects and areas into covetable destinations. It makes things on the cheap so people can copy and improve on them. (The Dumpster pool, a concept borrowed from a musician in Georgia, cost barely $1,000.)
Mr. Belt got the idea for “Glassphemy!” when he participated in a panel about urban renewal in Philadelphia. Some other panelists were fretting over a vacant lot that was a repository for broken glass.
“So all these architects and urban planners were, like, scratching their heads, saying, ‘What can we put there that will make people stop breaking glass?’ ” Mr. Belt said.

Then Bethany Edwards, an art director in the audience, weighed in: “She said, ‘Well, I like breaking glass; let’s just make it a place where you break glass,’ ” Mr. Belt recalled. “I thought, ‘That’s a great idea.’ ”

He sketched a design and worked with a Brooklyn firm, Vamos Architects, to refine and construct it over several months. The firm connected him with Jason Krugman, a 27-year-old interactive lighting designer — “a genius kid,” Mr. Belt said — who installed lights activated by the vibration and sound of the bottles breaking. With time and services donated by friends, the installation cost about $5,000, Mr. Belt said, with most of the money going toward the bulletproof glass and paying for Mr. Krugman’s work. (Mr. Krugman proudly called his contribution “my biggest commission.”)
Danny Tinneny, the 64-year-old owner of the industrial space, gave it to Macro Sea rent-free. “To tell you the truth, when they first came here, I thought they were nuts,” he said of Mr. Belt and his partners. But the success of the Dumpster pools and Mr. Belt’s belief in his own ideas persuaded Mr. Tinneny to welcome “Glassphemy!”
“When he gets something in his head, it’s going to happen, no matter how far-fetched it sounds,” Mr. Tinneny said. “He’s the type of guy you want to hang around with.”
At the preview party a few dozen of Mr. Belt’s friends and colleagues donned safety glasses and drank beer kept on ice not in a cooler but in the shovel of a backhoe. Heavy metal blared from a boombox, and Mr. Tinneny operated the scissor lift to get people to the top of the installation, which has a twinkling view of the city beyond. The inaugural bottle was thrown at Mr. Belt by his wife, Antonia. She really seemed to enjoy it.
Taken together, aesthetically and as an experience, “Glassphemy!” is as addictive as a video game, with the added social coup of being at least potentially eco-friendly. But it is hard to tell if it will inspire the same kind of viral reaction as the Dumpster pools.
“Ideally, people will think it’s interesting, and they’ll want to do something with the broken glass,” Mr. Belt said. “If not, it’ll be fun, and we’ll just break some glass.”

Canadian timber chief bullish on softwood lumber trade

With export tax poised to disappear next month, high prices and heavy logging of cheap B.C. timber has the U.S. worried about a flood of softwood across the border

Barrie McKenna
Published on Tuesday, May. 11, 2010 6:00AM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, May. 11, 2010 1:32PM EDT
West Fraser Timber Co. (WFT-T43.081.483.56%)chief executive Hank Ketcham thinks Canada is on the brink of a new era of trade peace with the United States.
No duties, no border taxes and no litigation. Within a few years Canada would be free to sell as much softwood lumber as it wants to the United States.
“It's too soon to say, but I subscribe to that notion,” Mr. Ketcham, who runs North America’s largest lumber producer, said recently.
Mr. Ketcham must be dreaming. The U.S. lumber industry and its trade arm, the Washington-based Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, is unlikely to concede defeat any time soon. The group is a perpetual litigation machine, committed to protecting as much of the U.S. market as it can, for as long as possible.
If anything, the coalition has become more emboldened since Canada and the United States signed a six-year deal in 2006 to limit Canadian softwood exports. It has been quietly collecting a list of alleged violations by Canada, including what it says are illegal subsidies to mills in several provinces and policies in British Columbia that give away healthy tracts of timber for pennies to companies such as West Fraser under the guise of the pine beetle infestation.
Mr. Ketcham’s sunny demeanour comes as the export tax is poised to disappear in next month – at least temporarily. Under the 2006 softwood deal, the tax ratchets down as North American prices go up.
And thanks to a wave of mill closings on both sides of the border and an apparent end to the U.S. housing depression, prices have been climbing since late last year.
In May, the tax dropped to 10 per cent from 15 per cent. With prices still climbing this month, the tax will vanish altogether in June, and stay off for as long as prices remain high. Last week, the average price for 1,000 board-feet of standard lumber hit $361 (U.S.) for the period used to calculate the tax, or above the zero-tax threshold $356 per 1,000 board-feet.
Mr. Ketcham may see the removal of the tax as a sign of hope.
For the U.S. industry, it is a call to arms.
Coalition officials, who are huddling in Atlanta this week, worry that a combination of high prices, the removal of the tax and heavy logging of cheap B.C. timber will trigger a flood of Canadian softwood across the border.
And they aren’t about to stand idly by and let that happen.
The U.S. industry argues that Canadian provinces are routinely violating the softwood agreement’s anti-circumvention clause.
No. 1 on the coalition’s target list is British Columbia, Canada’s largest lumber-producing province. The U.S. industry alleges that about 40 per cent of the trees now being harvested in B.C.’s interior are being labelled “reject” timber because of a tree-destroying pine beetle infestation. So the province sell the timber for roughly 25 cents per cubic metre, compared to the normal rate of $5, providing a direct benefit to companies such as West Fraser.
“The beetle outbreak cannot obscure the government’s continuing policy to take timber pricing in the province even further away from market timber pricing, in direct violation of the terms of the U.S.-Canada accord,” coalition chairman Steve Swanson pointed out last month.
The coalition has similarly complained about proposed government loans to Miramichi Lumber Products in New Brunswick and AbitibiBowater in Quebec.
In 2008, the U.S. government fought and won a multi-million-dollar judgment from the London Court of International Arbitration related to how Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan applied their export quota.
The pattern is well established. The United States will fight anything that gives the Canadian industry a cost or volume edge in their market.
So while Canadian lumber producers are about to enjoy a break from the export tax, it would be naive to see it as a harbinger of free trade.

Education key in global green movement

By Qian Yanfeng (China Daily Shanghai Bureau)Updated: 2010-05-11 17:36
SHANGHAI - Edward Guiliano, president and CEO of New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), said education - whether through its traditional role of teaching, or its role of creating knowledge through research, or simply through its role of modeling solutions - is as important as government or business in today's global discourse on sustainability and thinking green.
Speaking at a conference titled "Think Green: Energy, Education, Environmental Initiatives" - a global forum sponsored by NYIT and Nanjing University of Posts and Communications - in Nanjing in early April, Guiliano said while governments provide the necessary policy framework, bringing together business and academic communities with government "is a tested model for innovation, change, and getting things done."
Using NYIT's practice as an example, he said schools could help to stimulate and popularize new ideas by hosting energy innovation conferences, and also serving as the starting point for ideas from the classroom and the laboratory to be applied to the factory and the marketplace.
"As early as 1978, we hosted a conference on hydrogen fuel cells, which led to further development of hybrid vehicle prototypes just now coming into use. The academy, through its traditional role of teaching, scholarship and service, is particularly well positioned and compelled both by mission and compassionate imperative to play a central role in advancing solutions and policies on these vital subjects," he said.
In the battlefront against global warming, Guiliano also believes China is the right place to be.
He noted that many famous American energy and technology companies are building offices and laboratories in China, and are transferring top employees and their families here. Further, an increasing number of Chinese engineering students who studied in the U.S. are now returning to promising, rewarding, and important careers here in China.
Many of the best ideas in green technology - solar wind farms, electric cars, clean coal processing - are also being tested, applied, and brought to the market here in China, he added.
Although China also faces mounting challenges - as the world's largest car market with 2,000 cars added to its streets a day, it has surpassed the United States as the largest producer of greenhouse gases - China has made strenuous efforts to tackle those challenges.
The Chinese government, he said, has been strongly committed to developing green technology since the launch of the 863 Program as far back as 1986. The 863 Program has made it possible to take innovative ideas in wind, solar, electric, and coal energy alternatives first developed in the U.S. and Europe and apply them in China.
"We are here because Chinese and American thinkers and movers must lead along the road to a sustainable future in this century," he said.

Climate change could make half the world uninhabitable

Climate change could make half of the world uninhabitable for humans as a rise in temperature makes it too hot to survive, scientists have warned.

By Louise Gray, Environment CorrespondentPublished: 7:30AM BST 12 May 2010

Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia and Purdue University in the US said global warming will not stop after 2100, the point where most previous projections have ended.
In fact temperatures may rise by up to 12C (21.6F) within just three centuries making many countries into deserts.

The study, published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said humans will not be able to adapt or survive in such conditions.
Professor Tony McMichael, one of the authors, said if the world continues to pump out greenhouse gases at the current rate it will cause catastrophic warming.
"Under realistic scenarios out to 2300, we may be faced with temperature increases of 12 degrees or even more," he said. "If this happens, our current worries about sea level rise, occasional heatwaves and bushfires, biodiversity loss and agricultural difficulties will pale into insignificance beside a major threat - as much as half the currently inhabited globe may simply become too hot for people to live there."
Professor Steven Sherwood, a fellow author, said there was no chance of the Earth reaching such temperatures this century.
But he said there was a good chance temperatures could rise by at least 7C (12.6F) by 2300, that would also make much of the world inhabitable.
"There's something like a 50/50 chance of that over the long term," he said.
Prof Sherwood said climate change research had been "short-sighted" not to probe the long-term consequences of the impact of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
"It needs to be looked at," he said. "There's not much we can do about climate change over the next two decades but there's still a lot we can do about the longer term changes."
::The world should shift to a low carbon economy not to stop climate change but to preserve 'human dignity', according to a report from a self-styled "eclectic" group of academics.
The UN process has failed, they argue, and a global approach concentrating on CO2 cuts will never work.
They urge instead the use of carbon tax revenue to develop technologies that can supply clean energy to everyone and provide 'human dignity'.
Their so-called Hartwell Paper is criticised by others who say the UN process has curbed carbon emissions.
The paper is named after Hartwell House, the Buckinghamshire mansion, hotel and spa where the group of 14 academics from Europe, North America and Japan gathered in February to develop their ideas.

North Korea claims nuclear fusion breakthrough

Experts cast doubt on claims that scientists have succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction
Associated Press in Seoul, Wednesday 12 May 2010 08.07 BST
North Korea has claimed its scientists succeeded in creating a nuclear fusion reaction, but experts doubt the isolated communist country has made the breakthrough in clean-energy technology.
Fusion nuclear reactions produce little radioactive waste – unlike fission, which powers conventional nuclear power reactors – and some hope it could one day provide an abundant supply of clean energy. US and other scientists have been experimenting with fusion for decades but it has yet to be developed into a viable energy alternative.
North Korea's main newspaper reported that its own scientists achieved the feat on the Day of the Sun – a North Korean holiday in April marking the birthday of the country's late dynastic founder, Kim Il-sung.
Often North Korea's propaganda apparatus uses the occasions of holidays honouring Kim or his son, the current leader Kim Jong-il, to make claims of great achievements. These are rarely substantiated.
North Korean scientists "solved a great many scientific and technological problems entirely by their own efforts … thus succeeding in nuclear fusion reaction at last", the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a report carried by the north's official Korean Central News Agency.
Experts doubt the claim. "Nuclear fusion reaction is not something that can be done so simple. It's very difficult," said Hyeon Park, a physics professor at Postech, a science and technology university in South Korea.
Park, who conducts fusion research in South Korea, said the north may have succeeded in making a plasma device and produced plasma, a hot cloud of supercharged particles – only a preliminary step towards fusion.
He said outside experts needed to know the scale of the experiment and method of generating plasma to assess the details of the north's claim.
South Korea is in a seven-nation nuclear fusion consortium to build the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, southern France, by 2015. Other members include China, the EU, Japan, Russia, India and the US.
The aim of ITER is to demonstrate by 2030 that atoms can be fused inside a reactor to efficiently produce electricity. Current forms of nuclear power do the opposite, harnessing the energy released from splitting atoms apart.
A South Korean official handling nuclear fusion at the ministry of education, science and technology said the north appeared to have conducted only a basic experiment.
The official said the fusion has nothing to do with making nuclear bombs and he could not make any further comment. He asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
All of North Korea's nuclear projects are of intense concern because of worries it is building atomic weapons. Pyongyang conducted two nuclear bomb tests in 2006 and 2009, drawing international condemnation and UN sanctions.
Energy-starved North Korea has said it will build a light water nuclear power plant, ostensibly for civilian electricity. A nuclear power plant gives North Korea a premise to enrich uranium, which at low levels can be used in reactors but at higher concentration in nuclear bombs.

Why it's worth passing an inadequate climate bill

David Roberts explains why the US climate bill backed by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman is worth passing

David Roberts for Grist, part of the Guardian Environment Network, Tuesday 11 May 2010 09.38 BST
This weekend I was asked to contribute to The New York Times' Room for Debate. I was kind of under the impression that the question was, "Is the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill worth passing?" Apparently, though, it was, "Does the climate bill stand a chance?" Obviously those questions have different answers! Mine was geared to the former, everybody else's the latter, but oh well. Other answers were provided by:
Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones correspondent
Myron Ebell, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Frank O'Donnell, Clean Air Watch
Chip Jacobs, co-author of "Smogtown"
Here's mine, with some additional comments at bottom:
The climate and energy bill being developed by John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and (depending on the hour) Lindsey Graham isn't very popular on the green left. Climate campaigners lament that the senators have capitulated to fossil fuel companies, proposing to subsidize the very industries that are polluting the atmosphere and, as we speak, more or less destroying the Gulf of Mexico. They say the bill won't come close to solving the problem.
And they're right. That makes those of us who still believe the bill is worth passing somewhat unpopular -- sellouts, corrupt insiders and so on. Why would someone who recognizes the scope and severity of the problem support a bill that won't solve it?
There's a complicated answer to that question, but there's also a simple one, and it's this: I am optimistic about decarbonization. Despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, reducing emissions will be relatively fast and inexpensive. There are huge opportunities for low-cost (or negative-cost) emission reductions just waiting to be exploited.
Right now, policy is being made out of fear: fear by the private sector that decarbonization will be a crushing burden; fear by consumers that their energy prices will skyrocket; fear by politicians that the project will prove electorally unpopular. Campaigners can organize marches, think tanks can put out reports, scientists can issue dire warnings, but ultimately, that fear simply can't be overcome in advance. The only way to overcome it is through experience.
Because the bill contains two crucial elements -- a declining cap on emissions and a floor on the price of carbon -- here's what will happen: the price for carbon will sit on the floor and, despite that, the U.S. will sail past its (tepid, cautious) short-term target. In 2020, buoyed by success, backed by newly powerful clean energy constituencies, the political system will revisit the issue and pass more ambitious targets. The same thing will happen in 2030. And in 2040. And 2050. Success will breed success. Oil and coal won't be able to compete and eventually politicians will get sick of subsidizing them.
If you don't share that optimism -- if you think decarbonization is going to be a grinding, difficult, expensive process -- then you have every right to be horrified by the bill's inadequacy. But then, you don't have much to be optimistic about, since the likelihood of a substantially stronger bill is vanishingly small any time in the foreseeable future.
But if you do share that optimism, you'll agree that putting a system in place and getting started is more important, in the grand scheme of things, than getting this iteration of the legislation just right. There's been more than enough talking; let's let action make the argument for us.
Now, I only had 300 words. Obviously things are more complicated than this. For one thing, we'd be way better off, and move way faster, if the declining cap and carbon price floor were accompanied by a strong renewable energy standard, a strong energy efficiency standard, and a massive program of public investment in clean energy RD&D. Those elements of the KGL bill are probably going to be severely lacking, and I'm sure I will do plenty of wailing and garmet-rending when I see it.
What it comes down to, though, is that lots of greens have been hoping, striving, and pushing for a long time for a Big Bill -- the one, true bill that has scientifically legitimate targets and tight, loophole-free policy mechanisms. The one that can solve the problem. But for many reasons, some valid, some not, Congress rarely passes Big Bills. They almost never solve problems in a single, grand stroke. Congress works incrementally. Ultimately we're going to have to accept some increment, some partial solution, just to get underway. There isn't another choice.

White House aims to use Deepwater disaster to win votes for US climate bill

US Senators prepare to roll out legislation after oil spill 'tragedy heightens interest in energy and wanting a different plan'

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, Tuesday 11 May 2010 10.57 BST
Senators are set to take a last run at producing a climate and energy law tomorrow, betting on the spectre of environmental disaster raised by the BP oil spill to build support for a comprehensive overhaul of America's energy strategy.
But despite a strong push from the Obama administration, there are concerns the debate about the energy future could be lost in the wrangling about offshore oil drilling permits.
The official roll-out by Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman caps eight months of negotiations with political figures and industry executives aimed at getting broad support in Congress for shifting the economy away from coal and oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate legislation passed by the US Senate could unblock a major obstacle which prevented agreement on a binding global deal at last year's Copenhagen summit.
"We are more encouraged today that we can secure the necessary votes to pass this legislation this year in part because the last weeks have given everyone with a stake in this issue a heightened understanding that as a nation, we can no longer wait to solve this problem which threatens our economy, our security and our environment," Kerry and Lieberman said in a joint statement.
The White House is also trying to use the disaster to make a case for a bill. "This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people's interest in energy in this country and in wanting a different energy plan," Carol Browner, the White House climate adviser told Bloomberg television at the weekend.
Time is fast running out for climate and energy legislation, with Democrats expected to suffer heavy losses in the mid-term elections.
But the thinking in Congress is that the economic disaster in the Gulf
is more likely to hurt, than help, such efforts in large part because offshore drilling was a key part of the proposals.
The two Senators deliberately gave a boost to offshore drilling under a strategy that saw the Obama administration and the White House working to build support among Republicans and industries that stood to be affected by the new regulations.
Early drafts promised to build more nuclear power plants and expand offshore oil drilling. The pro-business message was further underlined in plans for a roll-out originally scheduled for last month, which envisaged a public show of support from big oil companies, including BP.
The proposal is expected to require a 17% cut in emissions levels from 2005 levels by 2020. Earlier versions suggested a sector-by-sector approach to emissions cuts. Electricity producers would face a cap in 2012, with heavily polluting industries such as steel and cement manufacturers winning a delay until 2012.
In addition to financial incentives for nuclear power and offshore oil and gas drilling, the proposals would have created funds for carbon capture and storage.
The proposals would also have curbed the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to acting on emissions, and would have stopped states, such as California, from imposing more stringent environmental regulations.
Such concessions to the nuclear and oil industry, while angering environmentalists, do not appear to have created a solid bank of Republican support.
Kerry and Lieberman lost their lone Republican ally, Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina Senator, who initially withdrew his support over a dispute about immigration, now argues the spill in the Gulf has wrecked any chance of success.
"There are not nearly 60 votes today and I do not see them materialising until we deal with the uncertainty of the immigration debate and the consequences of the oil spill," he said in a statement.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, also cast doubt this week on the likelihood of getting a comprehensive climate and energy bill through the Sentate. He told Spanish language Univision network a limited energy-only bill — that would not cap emissions — stood a better chance.
Meanwhile, the battle lines are being drawn on offshore drilling. Some Democratic Senators are now threatening to vote against any climate bill that allows expanded drilling. "I will have a very hard time ever voting for offshore drilling again," Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat told reporters.
Others, including Graham, remain adamant in their support for drilling.
Environmental organisations are also expanding their campaigns against drilling, both in the Gulf of Mexico, and new projects scheduled for Alaska.
That could force yet another revision to the proposal by the time it sees the light of day on Wednesday. "The one part we are still talking about is the offshore drilling," Lieberman told reproters. "The other parts are really in pretty solid shape."

Connie Hedegaard seeks 30% carbon cuts target for Europe

European climate commissioner says stronger target would help push up the price of carbon and kick-start green investment

David Adam, environment correspondent, Tuesday 11 May 2010 17.46 BST

The European commission is to formally propose stricter carbon cuts across Europe over the next decade in an effort to kick-start investment in clean technologies such as renewable energy.
The costs and benefits of increasing to 30% the EU target of a 20% cut in carbon emissions by 2020 on 1990 levels, will be discussed in a paper to be published later this month.
Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate change, told a meeting in London today that a move to strengthen the target could be the only way to boost Europe's carbon price to levels high enough to drive green investment.
"With business as usual and the 20% target we will not see a substantially higher price of carbon. That is a challenge because we need innovation," she said. "Around €30 [per tonne of carbon] people would start to do things differently." The carbon price currently sits at €15 per tonne, and is unlikely to rise without the 30% target, Hedegaard said. The EU has previously said it would only move to 30% if other countries followed suit as part of a new climate deal.
Hedegaard said the recent recession made both the 20% and 30% targets cheaper to achieve than original calculations in 2008 suggested. A European analysis leaked to the Financial Times last month claimed that the cost of cutting emissions 20% by 2020 had fallen from €70bn to €48bn. Toughening the target to 30% by 2020 would cost €81bn, a cost that would be partially offset by savings such as from improved air quality, of between €6.5bn-€10bn.
The commission's analysis comes ahead of a meeting of EU environment ministers next month. Hedegaard said it would not recommend whether or not to adopt the stricter target. "This is an invitation to have a more fact-based discussion, not an invitation to make a fast decision."
The EU is split about strengthening the target, with countries such as the UK in favour, but others such as Italy set against. Hedegaard acknowledged that economic strife in Europe could make a change more difficult. "Of course, it's not an easy time to discuss money that comes out of the public purse right now."
Hedegaard said the US Senate's delay in passing an energy bill "has been a real disappointment". EU negotiators resisted "bashing the Americans too much" last year, believing it might be counterproductive, she said. "Now the US needs to bring in the law."