Daily News

Daily News

December 9, 2021

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent request for information (RFI) on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects is a signal that Biden officials are aiming to use the just-enacted bipartisan infrastructure law to quickly deploy projects to slash carbon emissions, industry lawyers say.

Environmentalists are threatening to sue EPA to force the agency to update its methods for estimating greenhouse gases and health-harming emissions from thousands of landfills, saying the agency has failed to revise the methods even after concluding in 2008 that the current process underestimates emissions by at least 25 percent.

California air board officials are seeking feedback on a set of potential regulatory changes to the state’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), including tightening pre-2030 carbon intensity (CI) reduction targets, setting first-time post-2030 requirements, expanding opportunities for hydrogen fuel, and promoting electricity storage.

December 8, 2021

President Joe Biden in a new executive order (EO) is targeting a major shift in federal government spending toward clean energy and various other low-carbon products, aiming to leverage the government’s massive vehicle and building footprint to spur broader efforts to combat climate change.

White House economic adviser Brian Deese is downplaying the chance that lawmakers will shield the renewable sector from a proposed tax provision in Democrats’ budget “reconciliation” bill that the industry has warned could blunt the effectiveness of a separate set of proposed clean energy tax credits in the legislation.

Environmentalists are criticizing California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff for weakening an earlier proposal to establish new light-duty zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandates for model years 2026-35, charging the new plan would require only about 20 percent sales of actual ZEVs in MY26 and fails to align with the state’s climate goals.

December 7, 2021

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) is expressing doubt that House Democrats’ proposed fee on the oil and gas sector’s methane emissions, part of the lower chamber’s climate-heavy budget “reconciliation” package, will be included in the Senate’s package that lawmakers hope to advance by the end of this month.

Renewable electricity companies and large manufacturers are rejecting arguments by regional grid operators and utilities for only modest federal rule changes to allow broader grid access for cleaner energy sources, renewing their call for regulators to overhaul the cost-allocation process for siting new transmission projects.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is advancing two crucial measures regarding its overall energy efficiency standards program and high-profile requirements for lightbulbs, the latest in a Biden administration push to roll back Trump-era rules blocking stringent standards.

December 6, 2021

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program, a multi-billion-dollar program that the Biden administration has touted as a new way to prevent climate-related disasters, is drawing criticism from states and environmentalists who say it is too complicated and does not provide enough funds to states.

Senate Democrats are continuing to pledge passage of their climate-heavy budget “reconciliation” bill by Christmas, even as observers increasingly suggest the timeline could slip into next year amid procedural hurdles and continued negotiations on measures affecting the oil and gas and vehicle sectors.

More than a dozen Republican-led states are urging an appellate court to overturn a district court decision to dismiss their challenge to the Biden administration’s use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) metric, arguing the lower court overlooked the fact that a Biden executive order (EO) on the issue “purports to give a binding command to state agencies.”

December 3, 2021

The Department of Energy (DOE) is touting the nearly $10 billion that the recently enacted infrastructure law is devoting to develop “clean” hydrogen technology, arguing the funds would help broader efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the existing natural gas system.

California officials say they are not considering extending the life of the state’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, beyond 2025 despite recent speculation that they might in the face of a study showing that preserving the plant could bolster efforts to cut greenhouse gases, make the grid more reliable and facilitate development of new hydrogen production and water desalination facilities at the site.

Several groups in the heating and air-conditioning sector are suing EPA over its decision to ban single-use cylinders for distributing climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as part of its broader rule sharply phasing down the chemicals, arguing the agency exceeded its authority in prohibiting use of the containers.

December 2, 2021

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is urging the General Services Administration (GSA) to make its low-carbon energy and vehicle promises legally binding, by committing to procuring 100 percent “clean” electricity at the federal real estate portfolio at non-emitting vehicles for the federal fleet.

EPA appears poised to release by around mid-month a final rule tightening near-term vehicle greenhouse gas standards -- in time to have it formally published before the new year -- as groups make 11th-hour pitches on the rule’s design to White House and agency officials.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is facing a wall of industry opposition and legal threats over proposed rules to require new small off-road engines (SORE) used in lawn and other outdoor equipment to have zero emissions beginning in 2024, increasing pressure on board members to ease the plan during a meeting next week.

December 1, 2021

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a lead backer of a carbon border “fee” targeting high-carbon goods imported from countries with lax climate standards, is continuing to press for inclusion of the policy in Democrats’ pending budget “reconciliation” bill, arguing it would both boost federal revenues and help reduce global emissions.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is reiterating his intent to “respect the authority” of a forthcoming Biden administration nominee to serve as the central bank’s vice chair for supervision, as environmental groups and progressive lawmakers argue that official could be central in bolstering climate-related actions by the central bank.

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