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The Maryland General Assembly has rejected the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, which would have required a statewide 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.

Although the bill had the support of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and received strong backing from environmental activist groups, it was weakened in the Senate and then defeated in the House.
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The claim that the debate about the severity and cause of global warming is “settled science” has taken a beating with the release of the names of 31,072 American scientists who reject the assertion that global warming has reached a crisis stage and is caused by human activity.

“No such consensus or settled science exists,” Arthur Robinson, founder and president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), told a press conference May 19 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. “As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject” the hypothesis of human-caused global warming.
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The Sierra Club and congressmen from New York and Illinois are leading a campaign to pressure the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to restrict the authority of Utah officials to determine how land in the state will be utilized.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and a Sierra Club affiliate organized 95 congresspersons–mostly eastern state Democrats–in writing a letter to the federal BLM urging it to overrule the Utah Bureau of Land Management and ban energy recovery in more than three million acres of rich energy deposits in the state.

The letter was circulated by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), an affiliate of the Sierra Club. Notably, not one of the congressmen signing the petition was from Utah.
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The U.S. Department of the Interior, on the advice of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has decided to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

The listing represents the first time a species has been given protected status based not on current animal population trends but instead on speculative climate models.
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Who doesn’t like polar bears? They’re cute and cuddly and lend themselves to heart-melting images.

So when the federal government commissioned studies last year to support the listing of polar bears as a threatened or endangered species, the project was greeted with near-universal acclaim. Those studies concluded the current growth trend in the polar bear population will reverse and the bears’ population will decrease substantially in the future.
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Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) has signed into law a pair of measures intended to make High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) paired with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) more affordable and available in the state’s insurance market.

Critics have called the new laws “little more than a hefty tax break for insurers,” according to the Associated Press. But health finance experts have lauded Georgia’s new policy as the country’s first attempt at a market-based, consumer-directed solution to the nation’s health coverage crisis.

Among other market-based adjustments, the new laws exempt HSAs from state and local premium taxes, which is expected to save consumers and insurers nearly $150 million.

“This legislation encourages more consumer choice by making quality, affordable health care coverage more available,” said Perdue at the bill’s May 10 signing. “More insured citizens means lower costs for all taxpayers, and preventative care means a healthier population. It will also allow small business owners to provide low-cost health insurance to employees and their families.”
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Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) has signed into law a bill requiring insurance companies to develop low-cost health insurance plans and submit them to a state oversight body.

The program, called “Centennial Care Choices,” also creates a legislative panel charged with determining how to make the low-cost plans available to as many people as possible.

The bill is intended to help Coloradans who earn too much to receive Medicaid but aren’t covered by private insurance. Experts are criticizing the move as another inefficient attempt by government to interfere further in the already over-regulated health care market.
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