News

What Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Mean for Global Warming

Source: By Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 17th, 2020

President Trump has made dismantling federal climate policies a centerpiece of his administration. A new analysis from the Rhodium Group finds those rollbacks add up to a lot more planet-warming emissions. The Trump administration has acted to repeal or weaken at least 100 environmental regulations over the past four years, including a number of Obama-era climate policies that Mr. Trump has said stifle businesses. The rollbacks include:

It’s Not Just the West. These Places Are Also on Fire.

Source: By Veronica Penney, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Wildfires are devastating the American West, but the United States isn’t the only place on Earth that’s burning. This year, other countries have also experienced their worst wildfires in decades, if not all of recorded history. In each case, the contributing factors are different, but an underlying theme runs through the story: Hotter, drier seasons, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, have made the world more prone to erupt in flames.

Midwest Grid Operators Seek to Unlock Clean Energy Transmission on the ‘Seam’

Source: By Jeff St. John, Green Tech Media • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

The U.S. Midwest has massive wind power potential, and it’s a growing target for solar power projects as well. What it lacks is the transmission capacity to carry that clean energy to market — a costly problem compounded by convoluted transmission planning rules that have held back gigawatts of wind projects over the past few years.  That’s how Beth Soholt, executive director of the Clean Grid Alliance, describes the challenge for Midwest renewable energy developers, utilities and grid operators trying to expand the region’s clean energy resources. “Our fundamental problem is a lack of transmission capacity,” she said. “We need more wire.”

‘Nothing to Do With Climate Change’: Conservative Media and Trump Align on Fires

Source: By Michael M. Grynbaum and Tiffany Hsu, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Rush Limbaugh told millions of his radio listeners to set aside any suggestion that climate change was the culprit for the frightening spate of wildfiresravaging California and the Pacific Northwest. “Man-made global warming is not a scientific certainty; it cannot be proven, nor has it ever been,” Mr. Limbaugh declared on his Friday show, disregarding the mountains of empirical evidence to the contrary. He then pivoted to a popular right-wing talking point: that policies meant to curtail climate change are, in fact, an assault on freedom.

Coming to a house floor near you

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

House Democrats unveiled a nearly 900-page clean energy package on Tuesday, teeing up floor consideration for the measure next week. The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, H.R. 4447 (116), “fulfills House Democrats’ promise to invest in the creation of high-paying jobs by making America a global leader in clean energy,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer(D-Md.) said in a statement. In her own statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the measure’s focus on research and development to “unleash a clean energy revolution.”

Mounting climate cases expand Big Oil’s legal battlefield

Source: By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Climate lawsuits against the oil industry are popping up in courts across the country, and experts see this month’s succession of new filings from state and local officials as a sign of more to come. Environmental advocates often compare the growing body of climate misinformation suits to litigation against the tobacco industry, which eventually forced four major cigarette companies to amend their advertising campaigns and shell out more than $206 billion over 25 years to 46 states, five territories and the District of Columbia under the terms of a 1998 master settlement agreement.

‘It’s a setback.’ Trump’s climate denials worry Republicans

Source: By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

The Republican Party has spent several years crafting a climate message that moves the GOP away from its denier past. President Trump blew that apart this week. As fires rage along the West Coast and Hurricane Sally threatens to pound the South, Trump openly embraced conspiracy theories that reject basic tenets of climate science.

EV Hummer’s hook for buyers: ‘Crab mode’

Source: By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

General Motors Co. will reveal next month its electric Hummer, a new, battery-powered version of the once-popular truck capable of driving diagonally in a bid to lure off-roaders into the EV market. The company released a teaser video for the Hummer yesterday that promoted the vehicle’s “crab mode” diagonal feature, “enabled by the GMC Hummer EV’s four-wheel steering capability,” the company said.

Greens sue to stop Trump methane rule

Source: By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

A coalition of 10 conservation groups is taking the unusual step of asking a federal court to immediately throw out EPA’s rollback of 2016 regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides not to grant a summary vacatur of the rule, the Environmental Defense Fund and other challengers are asking for the rule to be put on hold, pending the court’s decision in the case.

DOE-backed hydrogen pilot to tap Texas wind

Source: By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

A Texas-based pilot project with backing from the Department of Energy is looking at how to drive down the cost of producing hydrogen fuel by making use of excess wind and solar power. The first-of-a-kind pilot, backed by $10.8 million in startup funding, aims to speed up development of a hydrogen fuel that’s both low-carbon and low-cost. Project leaders hope to deploy a “dual-pathway” to the fuel by combining electrolysis, in which wind or solar power is used to split hydrogen from water molecules, with a production process that involves capturing landfill methane emissions.