Facing immense pressure from congressional Democrats, the White House backed off its promise to drug companies to exclude negotiations for lower drug costs from health care reform. Democrats were upset that the White House's deal appeared to restrict them from negotiating lower costs, but the White House assured them it did not.
A new Defense Department policy requires all U.S. military health centers around the world to carry the emergency contraception pill known as Plan B One-Step.
By ALINA SELYUKH
Speaking at the Energy and Environment panel of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute conference, Julie Falkner, senior policy adviser for The Nature Conservancy, warned the government against merely "throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what's going to stick" as it grapples with the issues of energy independence and climate change.
"You can't just focus on a piece of this," Falkner said. "It's a systematic issue that has to be looked at in a coherent manner. Now what you see is bits and pieces starting to pan out."
Some of the possible solutions to America's energy woes, as outlined earlier by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, were discussed by the panelists: adopting energy-efficient technologies, switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy and calling upon citizens as well as national leaders to make responsible energy decisions.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted that half of U.S. energy production is still rooted in coal. Ebell argued that until more technological breakthroughs take place, "we’re a long ways away" from a complete conversion to renewable energy.
Erich Pica, domestic program director of Friends of the Earth, spotlighted the stimulus package's large investments in energy and transportation efficiency, but pointed out that a global initiative may be required. On the other side of the spectrum, states should start participating in the energy conversation as well, Falkner said.