Nearly 2 in 3 Voters in Biden’s Corner on Emissions Cuts
Two polls released this week found that voters are broadly in support of President Joe Biden’s recent overtures on climate action, including the pledge to at least halve emissions by the end of the decade.
The first Morning Consult poll found that nearly two-thirds of voters say they support the 2030 emissions cut target, including 85 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans. And the second, conducted by both Morning Consult and Politico, found that a plurality of voters (42 percent) say the target displays a “just right” level of ambition, while 30 percent say it is too ambitious and 11 percent said it is not ambitious enough. For more on these, and several other related questions, read on here.
The Senate is set to vote later today on whether to use the Congressional Review Act to roll back a rule that the Trump administration put in place last summer, which relaxed stricter Obama-era regulations limiting methane releases. If the CRA — which allows Congress to overturn rules passed in the final days of a previous administration via a simple majority vote in both chambers — garners 50 votes in the Senate today, the 2016 methane rule would almost certainly be reinstated, requiring industry to monitor, plug and capture methane leaks from oil and gas wells. (The New York Times)
New programs from the Department of Energy will provide upwards of $8 billion to finance high-voltage transmission lines, martialing its loan program to pay for the investments and encouraging applications for loan guarantees of up to $5 billion, the White House said. And the Biden administration said it is also releasing new guidance on how states should remove obstacles along highways and railroads to facilitate the construction of power lines. (The Wall Street Journal)
In a Supreme Court hearing Tuesday over whether small oil refineries should be entitled to extend waivers allowing them to skip blending gasoline and diesel with biofuels, the justices expressed skepticism of the fuel-makers’ interpretation of the Renewable Fuel Standard that the “economic hardship” waivers in question can be used “at any time.” If the lower court’s decision is affirmed, the waivers — to the tune of up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually — would be reserved only for the handful of refineries that have received regular extensions of their initial exemptions. (Bloomberg)
If methane emissions are halved by 2030, the creeping increase in the Earth’s temperature could be slowed by up to 30 percent, per new research published by Environmental Research Letters. This push would be possible using existing technology, said study author Ilissa Ocko, and “could have tangible benefits during our lifetime.” (The Washington Post)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to send experts and staff to a recently reopened U.S. Caribbean refinery as soon as this week to conduct an investigation, the agency said in a Tuesday statement after some residents said an odor coming from the refinery caused them to feel ill.
John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, is denying allegations that he discussed Israeli military operations with Iran’s foreign minister when he served as secretary of State under then-President Obama, calling the claims “unequivocally false.”
Simon Jessop and Ross Kerber, Reuters The world’s banks, asset managers and insurers should provide more information to investors about the greenhouse gas emissions from the activities they finance, a group that tracks emissions data said on Wednesday.
The Biden administration is expected to lay out more details for a domestic road map for how to achieve its climate goals and put more pressure on foreign countries to increase their own commitments in the coming months.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) criticized major U.S. banks for setting goals to zero-out their carbon emissions within decades, arguing that they should take “a more realistic approach” to fighting climate change.
Tesla deployed 445 MWh of battery storage in the first quarter of 2021 as demand for the company’s Powerwall battery unit outstripped its production rate, company executives said on Monday’s Q1 earnings call. The deployment total represented a 71% increase compared to Q1 of the previous year, although storage was down over the previous two quarters.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. is searching for its next chief executive officer after the sudden departure of Doug Lawler less than three months on from the company’s exit from bankruptcy and as speculation continues to swirl about consolidation in the U.S. shale industry.
A federal judge faced with a motion on whether the Dakota Access oil pipeline north of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation should be shut down during an environmental review is giving the Biden administration another chance to weigh in on the issue.
As public transit agencies electrify their bus fleets and other vehicles, they must ensure a just transition to protect workers who may be put out of work by the new technologies, transportation labor groups warned Monday.
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As America’s clean energy partner, Williams is taking bold action to reduce carbon emissions. We’re on track to reduce our emissions 56% by 2030, and net zero by 2050. We are making clean energy happen today by embracing new technologies to reduce methane emissions and we’re already capitalizing on our existing infrastructure to accelerate the next generation of fuel like hydrogen and renewable natural gas. Learn how we’re fueling America’s clean energy future.
At this point, it seems like almost a given that California will see another historic fire season. A meager rainy season is in the rearview mirror. Snowpack is depleted. Vegetation and soils are parched.
Laura Skaer (Board-member, Women’s Mining Coalition), Morning Consult
While the American Jobs Plan dominates the headlines, many in Washington, D.C. are failing to acknowledge how much our future competitiveness in clean energy and infrastructure depends on having a robust supply of metals and critical minerals.
The Senate votes Wednesday on what sounds like an arcane regulatory question. In fact, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) argued Tuesday, “This is the most important climate vote that the Senate has had, maybe ever.”
Sustainable aviation fuels, or SAFs, are the only commercialized solution to decarbonize the aviation sector in the near-term, according to BloombergNEF. However, high production costs make SAF between 2.5 and 8 times more expensive than conventional jet fuel.
Michael Goggin et al., Americans for a Clean Energy Grid and Grid Strategies LLC
The report identifies shovel ready, high-voltage transmission projects across the country that, if constructed, would provide economic benefits around the country and create millions of new jobs. The report also outlines how these projects could begin construction soon if more workable transmission policies are enacted.