America passed the EV ‘tipping point’ — but many buyers still want gas

Source: By Shannon Osaka and Emily Guskin, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, September 18th, 2023

There is a theoretical, magic tipping point for adoption of electric vehicles. Once somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of new car sales are all-electric, some researchers say, huge numbers of drivers will follow. They predict that electric car sales will then soar — to 25 percent, 50 percent and eventually to close to 80 percent of new sales. Early adopters who love shiny new technologies will be replaced by mainstream consumers just looking for a good deal. Last year, the United States finally passed that elusive mark — 5 percent of all new cars sold in the fourth quarter were fully electric. And earlier this year, all-electric vehicles made up about 7 percent of new car sales.

House approves bill against Calif. Clean Air Act waivers

Source: By Mike Lee, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

The House approved Republican-backed legislation Thursday taking aim at efforts in California and other states to increase electric vehicle sales. The “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act,” H.R. 1435, from Rep. John Joyce (R-Pa.) would block EPA from giving California a waiver to “limit the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines.” It passed 222-190.

Judges seem to favor Biden rule that curbs emissions and boosts EVs

Source: By Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

An effort by the Biden administration to curb tailpipe emissions — the largest source of planet-warming pollution in the country — seems likely to withstand review by a federal appeals court. But another Biden initiative to boost fuel economy standards came in for a rockier reception during arguments Thursday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The two lawsuits — along with a third challenge set to be argued Friday — come as the Biden administration stakes much of its climate ambitions on bolstering electric vehicles. That’s sparked opposition from Republican-led states and the oil and gas industry, which accuse federal regulators of overstepping their authority.

Can Texas stave off its next grid emergency?

Source: By Jason Plautz, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

The Texas grid operator declared an emergency last week, but it didn’t end up cutting off residents’ lights and air conditioning as the state roasted. Next time, everyone might not be so lucky. A combination of a growing population, a booming economy and a heat wave pushed demand on the state’s main electric grid to previously unseen levels this summer, including 10 all-time records for demand. That record demand was accompanied by repeated requests for customers to conserve their own energy.

How Bill Richardson helped rescue the planet

Source: By Dan Reicher and Andrew deLaski, The Hill • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Bill Richardson, who died earlier this month, has been rightly lauded for his high-risk, high-profile efforts to rescue Americans who had been wrongly detained or held hostage in countries around the globe. Less well known are the brave and pathbreaking steps he took as energy secretary to help rescue the planet from climate change by making dramatic improvements in energy efficiency.

US contacts oil producers, refiners as gasoline prices rise

Source: By Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

The U.S. Energy Department has talked to oil producers and refiners to ensure stable fuel supplies at a time of rising gasoline prices, Jared Bernstein, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Wednesday. Rising gasoline prices were largely behind the largest increase in U.S. consumer prices in 14 months in August.

Biden’s offshore wind target slipping out of reach as projects struggle

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

President Joe Biden’s goal to deploy 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind along U.S. coastlines this decade to fight climate change may be unattainable due to soaring costs and supply chain delays, according to forecasters and industry insiders. The 2030 target, unveiled shortly after Biden took office, is central to Biden’s broader plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. It is also crucial to targets of Northeast states hoping wind will help them move away from fossil fuel-fired electricity.

This tax tweak is supercharging Biden’s climate agenda

Source: By Tik Root, Grist • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Tucked deep within President Biden’s landmark climate bill sits a seemingly small tweak to IRS rules that, for the first time, lets companies sell their clean energy tax credits.  The change accounts for just a fraction of the 100,000 or so words in the Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, which Congress passed in 2022. But experts say that by making clean energy tax credits more accessible, the move will help drive most of the government’s investment in the sector over the next decade and supercharge the industry. 

Biden to skip U.N. climate summit

Source: By Sara Schonhardt, Robin Bravender, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Biden is slated to speak Tuesday in New York in his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly. “He will lay out for the world the steps that he and his administration have taken to advance a vision of American leadership that is built on the premise of working with others to solve the world’s most pressing problems,” Sullivan said Friday at the White House. The president will meet with Guterres during his U.N. visit, Sullivan said. “They will cover both immediate hot spots and the longer-term trends,” he said.

States Beg Biden to Bolster Offshore Wind While Projects Flounder

Source: By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Six US governors have implored President Joe Biden to boost support for the fledgling offshore wind industry amid growing concerns that surging costs imperil multi-billion dollar projects planned for coastal Atlantic waters — and the nation’s climate goals. The governors, including those from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, made their plea in a letter to Biden obtained by Bloomberg News. It follows recent lobbying by Orsted A/S to claim bonus tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, with the Danish company warning that without additional support to offset rising costs and supply chain hurdles, it could “walk away” from some of its US offshore wind projects.