Five years after Dieselgate, has VW changed?

Source: By David Ferris, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Yesterday, almost exactly five years after admitting to a brazen diesel emissions deception, Volkswagen AG unveiled a new electric car. Scott Keogh, the CEO of American operations, called it “the most important launch for Volkswagen since the Beetle.” It’s not an understatement.

Democrats: A healthy climate is a constitutional right

Source: By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Democratic senators introduced a resolution yesterday calling for a national climate recovery plan to insulate vulnerable children from the impacts of global warming. The announcement comes five years after 21 youth plaintiffs ignited the landmark legal battle Juliana v. United States to compel the federal government to recognize what they claimed were inherent constitutional rights to a safe climate.

Republicans Claim Addressing Climate Change Is Too Expensive. Americans Aren’t Buying It

Source: By Justin Worland, Time • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

“It’s too expensive.” Republicans have uttered this refrain time and again to reject nearly every proposal aimed at addressing climate change. It’s what drove the U.S. rejection of global climate deals in the 1990s and essentially the only context in which the Trump campaign brings up climate change today. But few Americans are buying it, a new poll shows.

California to phase out sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Faiz Siddiqui and Brady Dennis, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

California, the world’s fifth-largest economy and the state that created U.S. car culture, will stop selling gasoline-powered automobiles within 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday. Facing a record-breaking wildfire season as well as years of heat waves and droughts exacerbated by climate change, the Golden State is seeking to accelerate the shift away from combustion engines on its roads, which account for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other source.

Grid operator ‘dismayed’ by utility bribery scandal

Source: By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Also present at the meeting was the Consumer Advocates of the PJM States Inc., or CAPS. The nonprofit organization’s members represent 65 million consumers in the 13 PJM states and the District of Columbia. Bill Fields, a CAPS member and president of the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel, said PJM does not routinely examine the cost-effectiveness of proposals, as its mission statement requires. He warned that there is a lack of understanding around how PJM’s markets will function with state mandates for higher percentages of renewable generating resources.

Biden couldn’t end fracking even if he tried

Source: By Mike Soraghan, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

If Biden, the Democratic Party’s nominee, did want to ban use of the oil and gas process — and he says loudly now that he doesn’t — he would need to get Congress to agree (Greenwire, Sept. 1). The House and Senate could pass a law to ban fracking, but lawmakers have never shown much interest in doing so. Biden’s official position has been consistent throughout his campaign: He wants to ban new oil and gas production on federal public land and in federal waters. He’s trying to promote a rapid shift away from fossil fuels without a head-on assault against the oil industry and the people it employs.

Hydrogen Breaks Through as the Hottest Thing in Green Energy

Source: By Vanessa Dezem, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Wind and solar power are the main focus in the fight against climate change, but there are sources of greenhouse gases they can’t clean up. Manufacturing steel, cement and chemicals has traditionally required fossil fuels, either to burn to create the extreme temperatures needed, or as raw materials and catalysts for chemical reactions. That’s why hydrogen is becoming the new climate bet. It burns far more cleanly than fossil fuels, can stand in for carbon in some reactions and so-called green hydrogen — gas produced using electricity from renewable sources — is essentially emissions free.

E.P.A. Rejects Its Own Findings That a Pesticide Harms Children’s Brains

Source: By Lisa Friedman, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

The Trump administration has rejected scientific evidence linking the pesticide chlorpyrifos to serious health problems, directly contradicting federal scientists’ conclusions five years ago that it can stunt brain development in children. The Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of the pesticide, which is widely used on soybeans, almonds, grapes and other crops, is a fresh victory for chemical makers and the agricultural industry, as well as the latest in a long list of Trump administration regulatory rollbacks.

Gov. Whitmer vows state will be carbon neutral by 2050

Source: By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Whitmer’s executive order offered sparse details on how Michigan would achieve the 2050 goal and an interim 2025 target — leaving that to a future implementation plan. And Michigan’s divided political landscape raises questions about her administration’s ability to carry out its goals. Whitmer, who was floated as a possible running mate to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, cast state action as a hedge against federal inaction.

California Plans to Ban Sales of New Gas-Powered Cars in 15 Years

Source: By Brad Plumer and Jill Cowan, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2020

California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars statewide by 2035, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, in a sweeping move aimed at accelerating the state’s efforts to combat global warming amid a deadly and record-breaking wildfire season. In an executive order, Governor Newsom directed California’s regulators to develop a plan that would require automakers to sell steadily more zero-emissions passenger vehicles in the state, such as battery-powered or hydrogen-powered cars and pickup trucks, until they make up 100 percent of new auto sales in just 15 years.