What the current fossil fuel energy crisis means for climate and clean energy policy
Pick up any newspaper and it is clear that much of the world is experiencing a series of interrelated energy price shocks. In Europe and the UK, natural gas prices are up by more than 500% over the last year, hitting all-time highs earlier this month. In the US, even with abundant supplies of natural …CONTINUE READING
Illinois passes pathbreaking energy law.
Last week, Illinois’s governor signed into law a major piece of climate legislation. The law deserves more attention than it has received. Sadly, however, Illinois seems to be something of a neglected stepchild in the media. That’s a pity, because there are some important lessons in Illinois’s experience, both for the Midwest and the country …CONTINUE READING
The bill gives the Feds broad authority to authorize transmission projects.
We will need a much more robust transmission in coming years. Sources of renewable energy, such as Iowa wind farms, are often located far from the urban centers that need the power. Transmission also helps to deal with weather issues that may impact renewables: even if it’s too cloudy for solar in one state, the …CONTINUE READING
New climate legislation sets a high bar for other states.
On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four clean energy bills. These bills move Oregon to the forefront of climate action. These laws ban new fossil fuel plants and set aggressive targets for the state’s two major utilities, requiring emission cuts of 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. …CONTINUE READING
China and the EU took important steps forward this week.
This week has seen some big climate moves on opposite sides of the world. The EU has proposed a major new climate plan. Meanwhile, China is ready to go live with its emissions trading system. The U.S. is at risk of being left behind. The EU’s proposal is impressive. The goal is to cut net …CONTINUE READING
Every year, Congress provides lavish funding for clean energy and climate adaptation. No one notices.
Biden’s green-infrastructure bill is headline news. Republicans are up in arms. Yet every year there’s already a green-infrastructure bill. Hardly anyone notices. Republicans vote for it without a fuss. Why? It’s part of the annual funding bill for the military. The Defense Department remains the biggest single consumer of energy in the country, and it …CONTINUE READING
Guest Contributor Jetta Cook: Greater Than the Sum: Sub-national Renewable Energy Policy during the Trump Administration
Even Red-States Supported and Increased Renewable Energy during the Trump Administration
Below the federal level, it’s difficult to discern the impact that the Trump Administration had on energy policy. To take a closer look, I conducted a fifty-state survey to discern how state, local, and public utility actions affecting energy policy came together as a whole over the past four years. Across the nation, I found, …CONTINUE READING
A FERC ruling tilts the playing field against renewable energy. It should be repealed.
In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decided that state clean energy policies were distorting energy markets operated by PJM, the country’s largest grid region. That, at least, was the view of the Commissioners who were appointed by Republican presidents. PJM, which runs the electricity grid more or less from Chicago to Maryland, has …CONTINUE READING
Under Trump, it’s been a mixed picture, with progress except in two states. What were Midwestern states doing during the four years Trump was busy promoting fossil fuels? States with Democratic governors are making progress. Of the three states under unified Republican control, two are trying to prop up coal. Ohio has decreased support for …CONTINUE READING
There was Biden’s Executive Order, of course. And two other things. Or maybe three.
Yesterday, I read three encouraging stories about the U.S. and climate change. One was about action by the federal government, one about action by the states, and one about action by the private sector. The biggest news was from the federal government, in the form of Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at …CONTINUE READING