News

‘Pace has picked up’: Dems eye deal by week’s end

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, Emma Dumain, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Top Democrats are looking to strike a broad agreement on a reconciliation bill in the coming days, but they’re no closer to consensus on climate policy. After weeks of opposition from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Democrats are increasingly acknowledging they may have to drop the proposed clean electricity performance program, or CEPP — currently the centerpiece of President Biden’s climate agenda — from their multi-trillion dollar package. But one of their proposed replacements, a price on carbon, isn’t fairing much better.

Dems seek to salvage climate goals with taxes, regs

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, Jean Chemnick, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

A grim truth hit Democrats yesterday: They have limited options for meeting President Biden’s climate goals. The centerpiece of the president’s climate agenda — a $150 billion plan to pay utilities to add clean electricity — is all but dead thanks to staunch opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin. The conservative West Virginia Democrat also quickly dispensed with talk of turning to a carbon tax as a replacement, telling reporters yesterday it was “not on the board at all.” And so by the time a group of progressive lawmakers emerged from a meeting at the White House yesterday afternoon — an outline of a scaled-down reconciliation package in hand — it looked increasingly likely that Democratic policymakers would settle for the only two climate policies the country has ever known: tax credits and regulations.

‘Bloody expensive.’ Major U.S. offshore wind plan hits obstacles

Source: By Heather Richards, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Dominion’s proposed commercial wind farm not only would be the nation’s largest project, but also dwarfs the competition. In comparison, Vineyard Wind off Massachusetts, the first offshore wind farm approved in the United States, plans to raise 62 turbines. The second approved farm, off Long Island, N.Y., South Fork Wind, will have just 12. The Virginia project is also one of the farthest from shore, 28 miles at its closest point. The distance has dampened fights from beach lovers who don’t want to view turbines on the horizon.

Glick fleshes out plans for new FERC grid rules

Source: By Miranda Willson, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

New rules affecting the electric power system issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should apply everywhere, including in parts of the country that lack organized power markets, FERC Chair Richard Glick said yesterday. Speaking virtually during a meeting held by the Western Interstate Energy Board and the Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation, Glick said that FERC’s focus on organized power markets when initiating certain reforms and regulations should be reconsidered.

Democrats, Scaling Back Budget Bill, Press for Compromise by Week’s End

Source: By Emily Cochrane, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Senate Democrats said on Tuesday that they hoped to reach a compromise on President Biden’s sprawling domestic policy plan by the end of the week, toiling to show progress after weeks of public bickering and private negotiations with centrist holdouts. The renewed urgency came as Mr. Biden privately conceded that key elements of his social safety net and climate proposal were likely to be dropped or substantially pared back to fit in a measure that would be much smaller than the initial $3.5 trillion plan that Democrats had sketched out over the summer.

On a Pacific Island, Russia Tests Its Battle Plan on Climate Change

Source: By Anton Troianovski and Photographs by Sergey Ponomarev, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Last week, President Vladimir V. Putin said Russia would stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2060. It was a remarkable reversal since Mr. Putin has long dismissed climate science and many in his country see international efforts to combat global warming as part of a Western plot to weaken Russia. His announcement comes two weeks before world leaders are set to converge in Glasgow for a pivotal U.N. climate summit

Can a Carbon-Emitting Iron Ore Tycoon Save the Planet?

Source: By Damien Cave, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Standing at the foot of a diesel truck as large as a dinosaur, Andrew Forrest juggled the microphone and then delivered the message that he knew the miners might see as a threat to their jobs and identities. It was time to go green. As the sun set over the hills of the first mine that set him on a path to enormous wealth, he explained that Fortescue, the Australian company he founded, would no longer just extract and ship 180 million tons of iron ore, the raw material for steel. It would zero out its own carbon emissions and become a renewable energy powerhouse.

NextEra, Renewables Giants Among 15 Kicked Off Clean Energy Index

Source: By Todd Gillespie, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Three heavyweights in renewable technology have been removed from a key S&P Dow Jones clean energy index, as the ratings agency tightened membership requirements. NextEra Energy Inc, Drax Group and Enel SpA were among 15 companiesremoved from the Global Clean Energy Index on Monday. The index predominantly includes utility companies with low exposure to weapons, thermal coal, oil, shale and gas exploration. The clean-out followed a consultation “to enhance index diversification, improve transparency, further reduce the index’s carbon footprint, and align the index methodology with market trends and sustainable investing norms,” according to a spokesperson. They declined to comment on specific companies. 

Democrats search for plan B as climate program falters

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, Jeremy Dillon, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Democrats are preparing for the possibility that the Clean Electricity Performance Program goes down amid hardening opposition from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin.
But the potential demise of the CEPP could bring its own set of political challenges, as negotiations on the reconciliation package kick into high gear ahead of United Nations climate talks at the end of the month.

Weaker climate bill could undermine Biden regulatory push

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

President Biden was scrambling to keep his climate agenda alive in Congress when the administration started to hear warnings. This time, they were about the White House. One of Biden’s biggest climate regulations risked falling short, administration allies said. In a late-September letter about car pollution standards, twenty-one state attorneys general argued EPA possessed the legal and technological justification to go beyond its preferred requirements.