Daily News

Daily News

January 12, 2022

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) top carbon management official is arguing that a just-launched scientific study should prioritize recommendations for commercial and other uses of captured carbon that would spur long-term investments in infrastructure and markets for low-carbon goods.

The main oil and gas industry trade group is pressing EPA to adopt more flexible monitoring requirements in its proposed methane standards for new and existing sources in the sector, offering an early preview of what the industry will say in formal comments on the plan due later this month.

The Biden administration is redoubling efforts to deploy clean energy using the new infrastructure law and other authorities, announcing steps such as a major forthcoming offshore wind lease, permitting coordination for onshore renewables across five agencies, and a new power transmission deployment program.

January 11, 2022

Conservative Supreme Court justices’ focus on the “major questions” doctrine during recent arguments over the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate could spell trouble for EPA’s greenhouse gas authority under the Clean Air Act, which is facing similar challenges in a separate high court suit, warns Richard Revesz, who directs New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

General Motors is officially recognizing California’s authority to enforce its own more-stringent vehicle greenhouse gas rules under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and in response state officials are granting the auto manufacturing giant “priority” eligibility to sell vehicles for state agencies’ fleets.

Major automakers’ initial show of support for EPA’s final near-term vehicle greenhouse gas rule has some observers predicting other sectors might take the lead in any court challenges to the regulation, potentially blunting the impact of such litigation.

GOP attorneys general (AGs) from 19 states are charging that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lacks authority to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas projects it regulates, previewing a likely major legal battle if the panel moves forward with more aggressive climate requirements for the infrastructure.

January 10, 2022

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) newly unveiled fiscal year 2022-23 budget proposal seeks tens of billions of dollars over several years for clean vehicles, renewable energy and other climate mitigation technologies just months after lawmakers approved billions of dollars for a host of similar investments for FY21-22.

As the U.S. economy started to recover last year from the covid pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions surged toward pre-pandemic levels, with some researchers suggesting the tally underscores the need for additional federal climate policy to meet the Biden administration’s 2030 climate targets.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Sierra Club are urging a federal district judge to reject a request by Ameren to close a Missouri coal-fired power plant instead of installing court-mandated pollution controls as the remedy for violating the Clean Air Act’s new source review (NSR) requirements in a landmark enforcement action.

The heightened uncertainty facing Democrats’ climate-heavy budget legislation is putting the attainment of the Biden administration’s greenhouse gas targets for 2030 in limbo, especially as new preliminary estimates show that United States GHG emissions rebounded as expected in 2021.

January 7, 2022

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) advocates are urging Congress to enact enhanced tax credits for the technology contained in Democrats’ pending budget legislation, arguing that would help overcome the Energy Department’s (DOE) prior failures to develop CCS at coal plants, as outlined in a recent scathing watchdog report.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is proposing controversial procurement targets for biomethane, or renewable natural gas, for gas utilities, heightening debate between environmentalists and industry over supply availability, costs to ratepayers and potential pollution impacts.

The regulatory agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two primary federally backed mortgage giants, is for the first time requiring that the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) “prioritize the effects of climate change” in their decisions, though questions remain about how officials plan to implement the new requirement.

January 6, 2022

As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) races to stand up a $4.7 billion program to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells with funding from the new bipartisan infrastructure law, one environmentalist is urging officials to prioritize well capping in order to speed the process and ensure the quickest climate benefits.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is completing its environmental review of a proposal that would allow it to overhaul its fleet of delivery vehicles with mostly conventional powertrains, a move that is underscoring the stalled progress of Democrats’ budget legislation that would offer major funding for electric vehicles (EV) at the agency.

Two California state senators are somewhat softening their landmark bill to require large U.S. corporations to annually report their entire supply-chain greenhouse gas emissions and set GHG-reduction targets, primarily by extending by one year -- to 2025 -- when disclosure must begin.

January 5, 2022

A major utility sector group is offering detailed support for a package of proposed clean energy tax credits in Democrats’ pending Build Back Better legislation, offering the latest backing of the sweeping bill’s climate-related provisions despite continued Senate delays in advancing the legislation.

As the Supreme Court prepares for oral argument in suits testing the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination rules, parties on all sides have filed their final briefs, teeing up major constitutional and statutory questions that echo separate challenges to EPA’s authority to regulate power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The agency that oversees municipal securities is gathering information for a possible climate risk policy for the sector, including potential standards for deeming a bond as “green,” a move that signals a further expansion of climate-related requirements for the finance industry.

Pages

Not a subscriber? Sign up for 30 days free access to exclusive environmental policy reporting.