2023: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Here’s what happened in the world of energy and environment.
A lot has happened this year, with political turmoil in the House of Representatives, indictments of Donald Trump and associates, and a close scrape with default on the national debt. In the world of energy and environment, the picture has also been mixed, but with more good than bad.
- California enacted two major laws requiring corporations to disclose their carbon emissions and financial risks relating to climate change. Similar regulations are under consideration at the SEC.
- The Inflation Reduction Act launched with billions of dollars for renewable energy, electric vehicles, and hydrogen power.
- EPA issued ambitious regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, while green-lighting California’s authority to move even more quickly with emission cuts.
- The Supreme Court allowed lawsuits against major oil companies to return to state court, where they are more likely to get a fair hearing. The lawsuits claim that the oil companies deceived consumers, investors, and the public about the risks of climate change.
- The Supreme Court also eliminated a judicial restriction against state regulations that prevent harmful conduct outside their borders. This removes a possible threat to state climate and renewable energy laws.
- The Biden Administration continued its campaign to undo the over-100 environmental rollbacks of the Trump years.
- In one of its most anti-environmental rulings in history, the Supreme Court gutted federal protection for wetlands.
- 2023 was the hottest year since meteorological records began, with extreme weather events rocking the globe.
- Republican states continued their campaign to punish banks and investment funds that consider a company’s risks relating to climate change.
- After three weeks of turmoil, Republicans chose a climate denier as Speaker of the House in October.
- The House GOP took the nation to the brink of default, seeking draconian budget cuts and rollbacks of environmental laws, but gained only minor tweaks relating to environmental impact statements.
- Climate-denier and indicted-felon Donald Trump retained a strong lead for the Republican presidential nomination.