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Fortnightly Magazine - August 1997

Climate Change at the Stack: Posturing Toward Kyoto

Joseph F. Schuler, Jr.

U.S., rest of the world ponder CO2 emissions, with utilities caught in the middle.

Four months from now, in Kyoto, Japan, international policy negotiators will decide how quickly to curtail carbon dioxide emissions and allay the world's fears of melting ice caps and rising temperatures.

The amendments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or FCCC, are likely to be founded more on world and domestic politics than on science. Industry climatologists, after all, insist the atmosphere is not warming as fast as others predict, and could be, in fact, cooling.

Murkowski's Senate Panel Hears Consumers Groups

Lori M. Rodgers

Pocketbook issues, like all others, tend to split along political lines.

Meeting on June 12, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) and members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee focused for the first time on what customers really think about choosing their own energy vendor.

Nevertheless, despite the shift toward pocketbook issues, and away from so-called "inside-the-Beltway" concerns, the testimony came largely from organized consumer groups, and it appeared split down political lines: urban vs. rural, private vs. public, business vs. residential.

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