Energy

Renewable Energy in the Carolinas

While we were focusing on DC, there has been a lot of action at the state level.

Trump has dominated the national conversation for the past four years. While our eyes were on his efforts to rollback climate action, a lot has been happening at the state level.  This post is the one of an episodic series of posts on state renewable energy policy.  Today, the focus will be on North and …

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Dawn of a New Era

Trump’s relentless war on the environment has finally come to an end.

A new chapter began when Joe Biden took the oath of office. That moment also marked the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, which featured efforts to roll back over a hundred environmental regulations. Biden campaigned on an ambitious plan to curb climate change, which he must now try to implement with a razor-thin control of …

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DC Circuit Gets Help from Grid Experts in Vacating ACE Power Plant Rule

The importance of understanding how things work

I’ve seen lots of good analysis already (including this post from Dan) of the DC Circuit’s decision today to invalidate the Trump Administration’s ACE Rule, which governs climate emissions from coal-fired power plants and does essentially nothing to reduce those emissions.  It turns out that doing essentially nothing is not enough. There’s a lot to …

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A Big Win for Climate Regulation

The DC Circuit overturns Trump’s effort to hamstring regulation of carbon from power plants.

The D.C. Circuit issued an opinion today knocking out Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule.  The Trump rule was a rollback of Obama’s keystone climate initiative, the Clean Power Plan.  The majority opinion plus dissent take up 185 pages, and I won’t try to describe it all here.  Briefly, here’s what the appeals court ruled and …

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Today Versus 2008

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 …

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Climate Politics and the Urban-Rural Split

How do we sell climate policies to huge swathes of Trump country?

The 2020 elections revealed America as bitterly divided as ever. The split between rural and urban voters is intensifying, with rural voters delivering massive support to Trump and down ticket Republicans.  Success in decarbonizing the economy will ultimately require the support of those voters.  Short of a miraculous turnaround in attitudes about climate change, how …

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The Year Ahead

Nine key developments to watch for on the environmental front.

2020 was a tumultuous year. Hopefully, 2021 will be balmier.  Widespread use of vaccines will hopefully tame the COVID-19 pandemic, and maybe the political world will settle down a bit too.  Here are nine key things to watch for in terms of environmental policy. The Georgia runoff elections. Currently, the Republicans look likely to control …

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Hitching a Ride on the Omnibus

In a holiday gift from Congress, environmental gains arrive in an overstuffed spending bill.

The massive omnibus bill that just passed Congress contains a bevy of environment friendly provisions.  Despite some last-minute tweeted complaints from Trump about the bill, those provisions are likely to make their way into law. Given that the Senate and the White House are in Republican hands,  it’s a wonder when such provisions sneak through …

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Passing Green Laws in a Polarized Senate

New legislation will require threading a needle in the Senate.

How polarized is the Senate?  A lot.  Consider their voting records: Every Republican except one has an environmental voting score below 25%.  Every Democrat but one has a score above 75%.  That’s a walloping fifty point gap. Given this polarization, getting energy or environmental legislation through Congress will require tremendous finesse.  That’s without even considering …

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Biden’s Green Team

Here are the six who will lead the way on environment and energy issues.

Biden’s choices to head particular agencies have trickled out over the past few weeks.  It’s only when you put them together that you get a sense of the overall time.  It’s a very diverse group, all of whom seem to have strong environmental commitments. Pete Buttigieg, Department of Transportation.  Buttigieg is a well-known figure from …

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