Don’t Discount States for U.S. Climate Progress

Source: By Gernot Wagner, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

All climate policy eyes are on Washington, D.C., these days and for good reason. The fact that President-elect Joe Biden puts climate change among his top four priorities promises significant progress at the federal level, with or without the Senate. But don’t forget states as a crucial driver of climate progress. During the four years of the Trump administration, states have served as a backstop, while federal climate action has been backsliding. Yet states’ roles go well beyond that. They often serve as a laboratory for new ideas as well as a conduit by which federal agencies make progress.

Europe seeks $940B boost for offshore wind farms

Source: By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

The European Union wants a massive increase in offshore wind to help clean up the electricity industry and aid the recovery after the pandemic. To meet its mid-century goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent, the region needs to boost offshore wind capacity to 300 gigawatts by 2050 from just 12 gigawatts now, according to an E.U. draft document seen by Bloomberg News. That will require as much as €789 billion ($940 billion) in investment, mostly from utilities and energy majors.

Biden talked with 14 leaders. He raised climate with 12

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

It sounds like the setup to a joke: What do the pope, the taoiseach and Justin Trudeau all have in common? The leaders of the Vatican, Ireland and Canada each talked to President-elect Joe Biden about climate change in their first phone call. So did the British, Australian and Indian prime ministers. The presidents of France, Chile, South Africa and South Korea did, too.

Boris Johnson: Britain to halt gas car sales by 2030

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Britain will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2030, a decade earlier than its previous commitment, the prime minister said Tuesday. Boris Johnson made the pledge as part of plans for a “green industrial revolution” that he claims could create up to 250,000 jobs in energy, transport and technology. The government said sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans will end in 2030, though hybrid vehicles can be sold until 2035.

UK refiners push back over 2030 ban on new fossil fuel cars

Source: By Robert Perkins, S&P Global • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

The UK’s refining sector has voiced its opposition to the UK plans to bring forward a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars to 2030, calling for more policy support for low carbon liquid fuels such as biofuels to help decarbonize the transport sector. Designed to help speed up the rollout of electric vehicles on the UK’s roads, the UK government said Nov. 18 it will accelerate its planned deadline for sales of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from a previous target of 2035.

New Mexico seeks funding for 28 more electric vehicles

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

New Mexico would add 28 electric vehicles to its fleet for state agencies under a budget request to legislators from the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). Adding the electric vehicles would cost about $1 million under a request from the General Services Department. Agency Secretary Ken Ortiz on Tuesday urged a panel of legislators to include the spending in draft legislation. He says the transportation sector is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after electricity production.

Ohio governor deflects questions on PUC chair after search

Source: By Julie Carr Smyth and Mark Gillispie, Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) yesterday deflected questions about an FBI search of the Columbus home of his appointee as the state’s top utility regulator. DeWine announced in February 2019 the appointment of Sam Randazzo, a longtime utility attorney and lobbyist, as chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. In response to a question at a news briefing to discuss the state’s effort to control the coronavirus epidemic, the governor said there were no indications that Randazzo was under investigation or the target of an investigation.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions set to drop to lowest level in three decades

Source: By Steven Mufson, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Greenhouse gases generated by the U.S. economy will slide 9.2 percent this year, tumbling to the lowest level in at least three decades, a new BloombergNEF study says. Battered by the coronavirus pandemic, the stalled economy is projected to have generated 5.9 billion metric tons of emissions, about the same level as 1983, according to the private research organization.

EV startups bid for Biden support

Source: By Timothy Cama and Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporters • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

A wave of electric vehicle startups is boosting lobbying efforts for clean car policies just as President-elect Joe Biden gears up aggressive plans to decarbonize the nation’s transportation sector. Several manufacturers that are bringing electric cars and trucks to the market are hiring lobbyists in Washington, D.C., growing a bloc of advocates that until recently represented a small niche on K Street.

Lawmakers to FERC: Redefine grid resilience to boost coal

Source: By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Twenty-two Senate and House Republican lawmakers yesterday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to finish defining grid “resilience” following years of agency inaction.
The effort is in part an attempt to boost the coal industry, which is being steadily priced out by cheap natural gas and renewable energy, strangled by regulations to reduce carbon emissions that cause climate change, and squeezed by weak international demand.