News

Greens tee off on Democrat’s climate plan

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

Jared Polis announced his campaign for Colorado governor in front of a solar coffee roaster in 2017. Three years later, he is under growing pressure from environmentalists to deliver on his promise to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040. Polis, a Democrat, provided an answer to those critics yesterday by unveiling a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. His proposal includes deep carbon cuts in the power sector, slashing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, and encouraging companies to let employees work at home.

Mass. governor blocks sweeping renewable, climate plan

Source: By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

In a statement, the governor said electricity ratepayers would pay too high a price for cutting emissions. The net-zero building codes could slow development of affordable housing, he warned, citing comments from building trade groups. Baker also noted that the 50% emissions reduction target for 2030 would spike costs by $6 billion compared with the 45% reduction recommended by the governor’s office. The bill also failed to address “essential issues like climate adaptation and resiliency” and contained “empty promises” for environmental justice, Baker wrote. He also blamed lawmakers for passing the bill in the final hours of the legislative session.

Climate fight could doom efforts to make Big Oil pay

Source: By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

At issue in the Supreme Court fight is whether federal appeals court judges can review the entire scope of U.S. district court orders that toss climate cases back to the state benches where they were originally filed. Usually, once a case is thrown back to state court, the decision can’t be appealed unless the dispute deals with a limited set of issues such as civil rights claims or federal officer involvement. The question in front of the Supreme Court is narrow, but oil and gas companies have also asked the justices to save time and rule that lawsuits like Baltimore’s seeking compensation for climate change should automatically land in federal court

‘This won’t be free.’ R.I. maps path to 100% renewables

Source: By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

Rhode Island’s goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2030 is achievable but potentially costly, according to a new report from state officials. The state’s use of renewable power will need to increase 150% over the next decade to meet the all-renewables target established by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) last year, said the report from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and Boston-based consulting firm the Brattle Group. Rhode Island’s timeline is more ambitious than those of many other states with 100% renewable goals, which typically have targets of 2040 or later.

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind

Source: By Alex Kuffner, The Providence Journal • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

In Raimondo’s six years as Rhode Island governor, the Ocean State has not only become home to the first offshore wind farm in the country — an array of five turbines off Block Island completed in 2016 — but the state also signed up for a second project that would be more than 10 times bigger when built, and then, this past fall, requested proposals for yet another. 

Gov. Charlie Baker vetoes sweeping climate change bill

Source: By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed a sweeping climate change bill Thursday, just days after top Democratic lawmakers on Beacon Hill vowed to immediately refile and pass it again if the Republican refused to sign the legislation. The bill had been approved earlier this month in the waning days of the prior legislative session. Baker’s press secretary said the administration supports many parts of this bill but was unable to try to improve on the legislation through the use of amendments because of how late it passed in the session.

Energy Chairman Joe Manchin warns Democrats against climate mandates: ‘You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner environment’

Source: By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in a split Senate, is signaling that he’ll be a check on liberal climate change policies such as a mandate for carbon-free electricity. “You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner environment. You can innovate your way. That is the difference in some people’s aspirational goals,” Manchin told the Washington Examiner in an interview. Manchin, who represents the coal state of West Virginia, is perhaps the most powerful man in Washington, where the Democrats control the Senate but only by the thread of a tiebreak vote from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Biden’s climate long shot in the Senate

Source: By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

The $2 trillion climate plan promised by President-elect Joe Biden is about to collide with the meat grinder of the Senate. As a candidate, Biden ran on the most aggressive general-election climate platform in U.S. history — a vision that would move the country toward carbon-free electricity in 14 years and create a bonanza of clean energy jobs for labor unions and minority communities. But getting Republican support for the approach seems unlikely, and the Senate’s tight margin means Biden can’t lose any Democratic votes, including those of moderates such as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Montana Sen. Jon Tester.

The Leaders in the Race to Build a Better EV Battery

Source: By Scott Patterson and Ben Foldy, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

The two biggest drawbacks of electric cars—limited range and slow charging—will likely persist until battery makers can solve the dendrite problem. That solution will be worth billions, and a range of startups often backed by auto makers are touting their early successes. Investors are swarming around one of the few publicly traded competitors, QuantumScape Corp. QS -4.81% , which for a time last year was worth more than Ford Motor Co. F -2.46% In the human body, dendrites are extensions of nerves that transmit signals among cells. In lithium-ion batteries, they are tiny, needlelike deposits of lithium resembling microscopic tree branches. They can grow within the batteries, leading to short circuits or even fires.

The other influential Joe in Washington

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021

 As incoming chair of the Senate Energy Committee, Joe Manchin — an appropriator and the most moderate Democrat in the chamber — will have outsize influence over the scope of legislation as Democrats seek to deliver on Biden’s call for massive new investments in clean energy and aggressive action on climate change.