News

Even Low Levels of Soot Can Be Deadly to Older People, Research Finds

Source: By Lisa Friedman, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

The new study is the first in the United States to document deadly effects of the particulate matter known as PM 2.5 (because its width is 2.5 microns or less) on people who live in rural areas and towns with little industry. “We found a risk of dying early from exposure to air pollution, even at very low levels of air pollution across the United States,” said Daniel S. Greenbaum, president of the Health Effects Institute. Other studies have linked fine soot pollution to higher rates of death from Covid-19, with Black and other communities of color particularly at risk because they are more likely to be located near highways, power plants and other industrial facilities.

Older Americans Prefer to Get Electric Vehicles From Legacy Automakers

Source: By Ira Boudway, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

In the survey of 2,200 U.S. adults, 38 percent of those born between 1946 and 1964 said they would prefer to buy an EV from a company that traditionally has produced gas-powered cars, while only 12 percent said they would prefer a manufacturer that offers only electric options. The survey showed a generational divide in the EV market, with both Baby Boomers and members of Generation X leaning toward legacy automakers, while Millennials and Gen Z preferred pure-play electric manufacturers:

Building back BBB

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Despite support among scientists and activists, Democrats aren’t doing too hot selling the climate provisions to everyday Americans. Less than 40 percent of respondents to a POLITICO/Harvard poll felt the climate portions of BBB would make progress — a figure far below respondents’ support for other social spending portions of the package including universal pre-K and paid parental leave. That’s in contrast to the situation in Washington where the climate portions appear to have the highest potential for agreement across the party.

Judges appear skeptical of Big Oil’s climate claims

Source: By Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

A panel of judges appeared skeptical yesterday of giving federal courts exclusive rights to hear climate change cases against fossil fuel firms. During oral arguments, three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals repeatedly quizzed an attorney for BP PLC and other oil and gas companies on why Baltimore’s case asking industry to pay up for climate impacts belongs before federal — rather than state — judges.

New Mexico governor just signed on as a substitute teacher amid steep staff shortages

Source: By Sydney Page, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

For students across the country, staffing shortages caused by the omicron coronavirus variant have been upending the school year. To help fill the void, some people are finding new ways to pitch in — including the governor of New Mexico. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who has no previous experience in education, plans to work double duty: She recently registered to become a licensed volunteer substitute teacher and will begin in an elementary classroom on Wednesday morning.

Keeping solar competitive

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

 The House introduced the text of its competitiveness bill Tuesday night, dubbed the America COMPETES Act. The package includes a host of incentives for domestic research and development as well as $52 billion in semiconductor funding. But it also includes provisions stiffening trade rules that will cause conflicts with the Senate passed version

New EPA Rules to Target Power Plant Pollution

Source: By Timothy Puko, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Mr. Regan said the EPA is looking to roll out new proposals in a more coordinated approach to regulate the power sector, using the agency’s broad array of powers to oversee air and water pollution as well as wastewater disposal. “We don’t have to overly rely on any one rule,” Mr. Regan said. “It’s looking at the full suite of authorities to maximize our ability to protect communities and public health.”

Reporter idles in EV for 12 freezing hours to test what happens

Source: By Arianna Skibell, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Lauer lost 25 percent of his range over 12 hours while keeping the car warm. It stands to reason, he said, that 24 hours would have meant losing just 50 percent of his battery charge. That means a hypothetical Mustang Mach-E driver who got stuck on the I-95 backup this month, likely would have fared just fine. Lauer notes he is not a scientist and there are numerous factors he couldn’t control for. For example, he had seat warmers, and so used less direct heat, which may have conserved battery power. He also began his driveway journey with a full charge. But he says, all told, he would feel pretty secure driving a new EV model in frigid weather during a traffic jam.

‘Inflection point.’ Biden faces 2 tests that could remake solar

Source: By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

President Biden’s clean energy and jobs agenda is facing a critical test as the White House weighs several decisions on U.S. solar policy, with pressure mounting on multiple fronts. While the entire solar industry wants to see more panels and cells built in the U.S., there are differing views on how to get there. The current debate hinges largely on two questions: What should happen to Trump’s solar tariffs, and should Biden’s “Buy American” policy be changed?

Meet 6 Texans who could upend the oil industry

Source: By Mike Lee, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

One of Texas’ top energy regulators is facing a wide field of challengers for reelection after an unprecedented year that saw the state’s natural gas and power generation systems fail in the middle of a winter storm. Wayne Christian, a Republican, is one of three elected members of the Texas Railroad Commission, which is one of the most powerful energy regulators in the country. The commission, which hasn’t dealt with railroads for decades, oversees pipelines and oil and gas production in the biggest energy-producing state.