As anticipated, the Biden administration said it will issue protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska with an eye toward promoting new recreational activities in the region and eliminating the carbon emissions connected to felling the old-growth trees, a reversal of former President Donald Trump’s most prominent public lands decision to promote road development in the forest. The restrictions will include a ban on large-scale old-growth logging and a potential block on road development on 9 million of the forest’s 16.7 million acres. (The Washington Post)
After record-breaking rainfall, a devastating flood in western Germany and the surrounding areas has resulted in a death toll of over 100 people, and at least 1,300 missing as the rescue mission continues. (Bloomberg) Climate scientists, who have long linked human-generated emissions to extreme weather but have said it is too soon to say anything definitive about the flood, said they are shocked by the scale of the devastation, saying they did not expect disaster records to be broken so substantially this soon, or over such a wide area. (The Guardian)
Higher temperatures have led to 20,000 more workplace injuries than are recorded in California’s official data, through causing accidents like falling, being hit by vehicles or mishandling machines, according to a new working paper led by R. Jisung Park, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles. The study, which was cited in congressional testimony, shows that these injuries are concentrated among poor workers, exemplifying how climate change is further exacerbating economic inequality, in this case via lost wages and higher medical bills. (The New York Times)
In German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House, she and President Joe Biden butted heads once again on the wisdom of allowing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to operate, but Biden said that “good friends can disagree.” The two leaders did emerge from the meeting with a partnership focused on climate action, energy technologies and energy transitions in emerging economies. (Politico)
Many Democrats were in high spirits yesterday after agreeing to a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that will lay the groundwork for an array of climate priorities, but their celebrations will be short-lived as they begin jockeying over policy specifics and the complex rules that govern the reconciliation process.
Hand crews backed by water-dropping helicopters struggled on Thursday to suppress a huge wildfire that displaced roughly 2,000 residents in southern Oregon, the largest among dozens of blazes raging across the drought-stricken western United States.
The world is facing unprecedented levels of drought. In the U.S., nearly half the mainland is currently afflicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The situation is especially dire in the Northwest, which is facing some of its driest conditions in over a century following a heat wave that killed hundreds of people. No continent, except Antarctica, has been spared, according to the SPEI Global Drought Monitor.
Nichola Groom, Reuters The Biden administration on Thursday will roll out a tool that enables instant local permitting of rooftop solar installations, addressing a major source of industry delays and possibly lowering costs for homeowners, the Energy Department said.
The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said on Thursday an Administrative Law Judge will determine whether units and traders at French energy company Total, now TotalEnergies SE, manipulated the natural gas market in 2009-2012.
The left-leaning government of Greenland has decided to suspend all oil exploration off the world’s largest island, calling it “a natural step” because the Arctic government “takes the climate crisis seriously.”
Oil and gas industry-aligned lawyers say the Interior Department could be held in contempt of court if it doesn’t soon comply with a Louisiana federal judge’s order to restart federal oil and gas leasing.
Environmentalists are increasingly worried the Biden administration will yield in coming days to automaker pressure and adopt modest limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars, instead of the strict standards they say are necessary to combat climate change.
Congress should include support for medium and heavy-duty vehicle electrification in the infrastructure package now being developed, a group of corporate fleet owners with more than 1 million vehicles between them said in a July 14 letter to lawmakers.
Senate Democrats are proposing to penalize utilities that don’t meet clean-energy targets, while rewarding those that do, as part of a mandate for carbon-free power they are preparing to move through their $3.5 trillion tax-and-spending package.
The main operator of the Texas power grid will ask the state for loans and permission to issue bonds to cover the billions of dollars of debt stemming from historic blackouts that crippled the state in a February freeze.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has unveiled a roadmap outlining crucial improvements designed to enhance grid reliability, taking into account recent legislation, regulatory mandates, and a recent push by the state’s governor for market incentives that will help the grid bulk up on “adequate and reliable” resources, like natural gas, coal, and nuclear power.
The United States could eventually become a net exporter of the rare earth materials crucial to making an array of products, including many electronics, wind turbines, energy storage devices and electric vehicle batteries, a top official at the U.S. Energy Department said.
I spent the weekend reading a book I wasn’t entirely comfortable being seen with in public. Andreas Malm’s “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” is only slightly inaptly named. You won’t find, anywhere inside, instructions on sabotaging energy infrastructure. A truer title would be “Why to Blow Up a Pipeline.” On this, Malm’s case is straightforward: Because nothing else has worked.
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) convened a high-level workshop with 25 researchers and thought leaders from various facets of the global transportation sector to assess options for decarbonization by 2050. This report synthesizes the findings from that workshop, and presents the consensus that pursuing various pathways simultaneously, including the advancement of both electrification and zero-carbon fuels like hydrogen and ammonia, is imperative to maximizing the probability of success, and that clean fuel standards can play a critical role in driving the carbon intensity of transportation energy down to zero.