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Weekly Analysis

Newly minted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is offering some new details on how the Biden administration plans to implement its net-zero emissions climate strategy, including through an upcoming electric grid modernization proposal that will encourage “micro” systems and distributed power generation while creating clean energy jobs for coal-mining communities.

The acting chair of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) says her agency hopes to develop an international “baseline consensus” for a standardized global climate disclosure system, though the SEC and regulators in other countries may tailor their standards to local conditions.

State officials who are crafting a regional cap-and-trade program for transport-related greenhouse gas emissions are proposing a draft model regulation that defines entities subject to compliance or reporting requirements, lays out price thresholds for triggering cost or emissions safeguards and includes environmental justice provisions.

Newly installed leaders of the House Agriculture Committee say addressing climate change is a priority, though the committee’s ranking Republican is voicing opposition to a Democratic plan that is expected to guide legislative efforts and which suggests a mandatory system for regulating emissions.

A coalition of grid technology companies is urging federal energy regulators to require transmission planners to consider adoption of advanced technologies that would double renewables on the grid even before large-scale transmission gets built and for policymakers to fund adoption of such technologies in infrastructure stimulus spending.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is beginning a study to assess the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels, an effort that could influence future low-carbon fuels programs at the national level, in additional to ongoing or planned state policies on the issue.

The Biden administration is pledging to work with Canadian officials to develop “ambitious” vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards, an effort that could boost the political constituency for federal rules that are far stronger than the Trump administration’s standards at EPA and the Transportation Department (DOT).

A key House Democrat is cheering this week’s decision by the acting chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to get tougher on climate risk disclosures as Congress considers numerous legislative proposals that would mandate the reporting by public companies should the commission fall short on its pledge.