Greenhouse gas emissions
Almost all the top ten utilities are big emitters today but looking to cut back.
There’s a lot of discussion of how the private sector is supporting renewable energy, but it’s almost all about power consumers like Apple and Walmart. But what about the companies who are selling the power? As a first step to getting a better sense of where the utility industry is going, we accumulated some basic …CONTINUE READING
Part 1: Science and weird facts
Methane is getting a lot of attention in climate debates. There was even a “Methane Day” last Tuesday at the climate conference in Glasgow. Several new regulations controlling methane emissions have been adopted recently, including two new rules for the US oil and gas sector announced last week. There’s a new informal international agreement to …CONTINUE READING
Exploring legal options for congressional and executive actions to terminate existing fossil fuel leases on federal lands.
The Biden Administration has set aggressive goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the United States. And a necessary component for any long-term plan to address greenhouse gas emissions from the United States is reducing and ultimately eliminating the emissions from fossil fuels produced on federal lands. Why is this such a critical …CONTINUE READING
Despite Trump’s efforts, he couldn’t actually reset the clock to the pre-Obama era.
Obama moved us forward. Trump moved us backwards. Are we back where we began? No. Biden starts from a significantly stronger position than Obama did in 2008. In 2008, like today, the outgoing Republican President had adamantly opposed climate action, favored the oil and gas industry, and turned a cold shoulder toward environmental regulation. Trump …CONTINUE READING
Despite Trump’s efforts to save it, the most environmentally destructive fuel is fading quickly.
In the 2016 election, Trump pledged to save coal. Since then, his Administration has pulled out all the stops in this effort, including repeal of dozens of environmental regulations. All for naught. In 2021, U.S. coal use will be 30% below what it is when Trump took office. Coal’s immediate situation is even worse, due …CONTINUE READING
Will Kavanaugh Use the Major Questions Doctrine or the Non-Delegation Doctrine to Scrap Them?
The Democratic candidates all have bold plans to attack climate change but face an obvious problem: Congress. Unless the Democrats take the Senate and the Presidency while retaining the House, and unless the Democrats abolish the filibuster, it’s hard to imagine Congress passing comprehensive climate legislation (and even then getting legislation through will be a …CONTINUE READING
The role of transparency in municipal climate plans
Last week, San Antonio’s City Council approved its first-ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. This Plan’s main benefit is its ability to track and measure GHG emissions, while also signaling to City agencies, other municipalities, and the state that it is committed to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. This is a big win for a …CONTINUE READING
California isn’t New York. But it should watch the city’s plan closely as it develops.
New York’s state legislature last month enacted legislation to institute the nation’s first congestion pricing plan in New York City. A new commission within the existing Metropolitan Transportation Authority will develop the plan’s structure and details over the next two years, so very few specifics are known at this time. But as cities in California …CONTINUE READING
The public comment period for proposed revisions to EPA’s proposed emissions standards for fossil-fuel fired power plants under the Clean Air Act ended last week. Emmett Institute staff have submitted two comment letters on the rule (see Sean’s post on one of the letters here; that letter itself is here). The standards—called new source performance standards—apply to …CONTINUE READING
Suppose we get a pro-climate-action unified government. What then?
Someday, the stars will surely come into alignment and Congress will be able to pass climate legislation. A national cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax would be definite possibilities. But let’s suppose they aren’t politically feasible, maybe because of opposition from progressive on equity grounds, or maybe because for some reason the public rejects them. …CONTINUE READING