Testing New York Apartments: How Dirty Is That Gas Stove, Really?

Source: By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

A team of scientists from Stanford recently embarked on a testing tour of New York City apartments to better understand the extent of the pollution and how it flows from room to room in people’s real homes. It’s part of a 10-city study that is already showing how contaminants can quickly drift into living rooms and bedrooms, sometimes far beyond the stoves that created them.

Cities Stand to Win Big With the Inflation Reduction Act. How Do They Turn This Opportunity Into Results?

Source: By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last fall was like turning on full-blast spigots of money for city governments to help pay for climate and energy programs that they’ve long wanted and needed. But many cities and other local governments lack the expertise to identify the programs available, or to navigate the sometimes arduous process of applying for a share of an estimated $391 billion. And, the programs are a moving target as the federal government is still in the process of writing and updating rules.

Europe on verge of permitting leap for wind, solar farms

Source: By Neil Ford, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

At the end of March, European Union officials provisionally agreed to reform permitting procedures in a suite of revisions to the 2018 EU Renewable Energy Directive that aim to accelerate wind and solar growth and hit a new higher renewable energy target of 42.5% of gross energy consumption by 2030. The permitting of wind and solar projects currently takes several years due to complex administrative processes and a lack of resources at approval authorities. Around 80 GW of new wind capacity is tied up in permitting procedures, including 59 GW onshore, according to industry group WindEurope.

House to vote on Chevron deference, gas stove rules

Source: By MIA MCCARTHY, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

The House plans to vote on legislation next week against gas stove restrictions and to limit the executive branch’s rulemaking powers. The “Separation of Powers Restoration Act,” H.R. 288, would end Chevron deference, a legal standard from the Supreme Court case Chevron USA Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council. The precedent allows agencies to interpret vague laws as they see fit, but the bill from Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) would amend federal law to make sure courts review agency actions.

Minnesota Emerges as the Midwest’s Leader in the Clean Energy Transition

Source: By Aydali Campa, Inside Climate News • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

A new report by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University logged proposed and adopted policy changes for the decarbonization of the electricity sector. Decarbonization is generally the reduction of carbon dioxide in any sector. According to the report, Minnesota was the most active state in the Midwest and third behind Massachusetts and California nationally. Illinois was second in the region and fifth nationally, with fewer measures proposed and enacted. While the report listed at least 16 electricity decarbonization bills introduced in Illinois, none advanced to the other chamber. The report listed 20 actions in Minnesota, most of which did not advance, but the ones that did include a new statewide clean energy standard and updated long-term utility plans. 

FERC aims to fix the grid’s renewable energy backlog. Can it?

Source: By MIRANDA WILLSON, E&E News • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

In the fall of 2007, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission raised concerns about how to manage the unprecedented number of renewable energy projects seeking to connect to the U.S. grid.
The agency is still grappling with the issue more than 15 years later — except now, the problem is worse, and the stakes are higher. FERC is preparing to issue a final rule changing how new energy projects connect to the grid, a top priority for acting Chair Willie Phillips. The commission outlined a proposed rule on the topic last year, with a goal of more efficiently linking up planned solar, wind and battery storage projects, as well as reducing energy costs and making the power grid more reliable.

Offshore wind in the Midwest? Some Great Lakes leaders think so.

Source: By Alex Brown, Stateline • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Years from now, when Chicagoans stroll the Lake Michigan waterfront, they may see the blades of wind turbines glinting on the horizon. Clevelanders could glimpse wind farms over Lake Erie. And cities like Milwaukee and Buffalo could be vying to attract a burgeoning offshore wind industry on the Great Lakes. That’s the vision some regional leaders have for America’s Third Coast. They see the Midwest’s freshwater seas as 94,000 square miles of untapped potential, boasting consistently strong winds in a region that’s already home to an established manufacturing sector.

House passes debt limit bill with permitting reform, transmission study

Source: By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

A bipartisan debt limit bill that includes permitting reform passed the House Wednesday on a 314-177 vote and was sent to the Senate. The Senate faces a Monday deadline to pass the bill to avoid possible default.

Pipeline deal in debt limit deal angers climate advocates. Is it legal?

Source: By Rachel Weiner, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2023

The language in the debt ceiling deal — which the House approved Wednesday night — directs the federal government to approve any outstanding permits for the pipeline and blocks courts from reviewing them or any other agency action in approval of the project. Any challenge to the deal itself can be heard only by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia. “Can they do this? Almost certainly, yes,” said Jay Austin of the nonprofit Environmental Law Institute. Lawmakers have made similar moves in the past, Austin said, that have been controversial but generally have been held to be constitutional.

Lawmakers unsure about path forward on permitting

Source: By Kelsey Brugger, Nidhi Prakash, Emma Dumain, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Democrats came up short on permitting in the debt ceiling deal, and key lawmakers are casting doubt on whether there’s still a viable path this year to bolstering the nation’s electric grid. The compromise between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) includes faster reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act but leaves out any mandates on transmission. It’s a clear victory for the GOP.