A Critical Mass Sees Climate Change as a ‘Critical’ Threat
Morning Consult regularly asks U.S. voters about a series of potential threats facing the country and about whether they would categorize them as critical, merely important, or not important at all. We previously asked about climate change’s role as a domestic threat in 2017, in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Roughly four years later, following President Joe Biden’s climate summit last week, we asked again. The share of voters who now characterize climate change as critical has hit 50 percent for the first time, increasing a full 10 percentage points over roughly four years, even as the share of those who say the United States should be party to the Paris Agreement has remained steady over the same period. For more, read on here.
The White House plans to back a clean energy standard to decarbonize the power sector, specifically setting a target of getting 80 percent of the country’s power from emissions-free sources by 2030, per a senior administration official. The CES, which would require emissions reductions via multiple potential pathways in order to hit President Joe Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions from the grid by 2035, could potentially be ushered into law via budget reconciliation. (Reuters)
The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reviewing the Trump-era decision to block California’s authority to set tailpipe emissions standards, and intends to rescind it after seeking public comment on the move. The decision could have huge implications for nationwide transportation emissions, given that 13 other states and the District of Columbia follow the stricter California standards. (Los Angeles Times)
Tesla Inc.’s net profit for the first quarter of 2021 hit a record of $438 million, up from $16 million from the same period one year ago. Tesla also reported sales of 184,877 vehicles and a total Q1 revenue of $10.4 billion, an increase of nearly 74 percent from a year earlier, despite pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. (The Wall Street Journal)
BP PLC has also announced rosier quarterly earnings than anticipated, and said it is committed to buying back shares this year as a consequence. The oil giant’s net debt fell to $33.3 billion in the first quarter of 2021 from $38.9 billion at the end of 2020, beating the company’s goal of $35 billion. (Financial Times)
John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, is facing calls for his resignation from Republican lawmakers and pundits for reportedly discussing Israeli military operations with Iran’s foreign minister when he served as then-President Obama’s secretary of State.
Rejected ballot measures. Legislation that couldn’t muster up enough votes. For more than a decade, Washington state has been trying — and failing — to put a price on carbon. That changed this weekend, when the state legislature finally managed to pass a cap-and-trade bill before the legislative session ended, at nearly the last possible moment, signaling that carbon pricing might not be as dead as you’ve read on Twitter.
Inadequate safety standards at Marathon Petroleum’s St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota have caused avoidable hydrocarbon and chemical releases that pose a threat to the community, a local worker advocacy group said in a report on Sunday, as a lockout of unionized plant workers extends into its third month.
Felicia Schwartz and Rory Jones, The Wall Street Journal
One of Israel’s largest energy companies said it plans to sell its share of an offshore natural-gas field to United Arab Emirates-owned Mubadala Petroleum in what would be the biggest commercial deal between the countries since they agreed to normalize relations last year
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked President Joe Biden’s administration to weigh in on whether Volkswagen AG can be sued by local governments in Florida and Utah for damages stemming from the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating scandal.
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A wide coalition of environmental groups on Monday will urge President Biden and Capitol Hill leaders to require major increases in zero-carbon power generation in the infrastructure package lawmakers are crafting.
A Republican on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who raised eyebrows for delving into carbon pricing is considering staying on after his term expires, amid doubts that a Democratic successor can be confirmed by the end of June
When the research vessel Sally Ride set sail for Santa Catalina Island to map an underwater graveyard of DDT waste barrels, its crew had high hopes of documenting for the first time just how many corroded containers littered the seafloor off the coast of Los Angeles.
What’s the best way to protect nature and restore what has been lost? A series of new scientific papers offer conflicting views on whether efforts should focus on individual species or ecosystems and point to the role human inhabitants can play in conserving landscape
China, the world’s biggest coal user, said Tuesday the fossil fuel will play a less dominant role in its energy mix and that, despite plans to build new coal-fired power plants, the country won’t use it on a wide scale.
Georgia Power has launched a crucial series of tests at its first new nuclear reactor at Plant Vogtle, a project that has promised more carbon-free energy but has taken far longer and cost far more than the utility predicted.
On Friday Larry Kudlow, who was Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, told Fox News viewers that Joe Biden’s climate plans would force Americans to stop eating meat. On July 4, he declared, you’d have to “throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled brussels sprouts.”
By every standard, President Joe Biden’s climate change summit was a remarkable success. With great diplomatic dexterity, Biden and climate envoy John Kerry assembled world leaders representing 82% of world carbon emissions, 73% of the world population and 86% of world economic output to commit to bold climate action.
Mitigating the effects of a changing climate has taken center stage in the financial community. Whether under the label of impact investing, environmental social governance (ESG) investing or a handful of other phrases, the urgency of addressing carbon emissions is becoming clear.
U.S. Government Accountability Office More than 10% of the U.S. population gets drinking water from privately-owned water utilities and most states regulate the rates these utilities can charge. The utilities are owned by for-profit or nonprofit water companies, or other companies as part of another business. Utility ownership is one of many factors that can affect water rates and compliance with water safety standards.
In 2016, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a Human Right to Water Resolution1 making the Human Right to Water (HR2W), as defined in Assembly Bill 685, a primary consideration and priority across all of the state and regional boards’ programs. The HR2W recognizes that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes.”
Siddhartha Sachdeva, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
The coronavirus pandemic is transforming energy consumption. During the recent COVID-19 lockdowns, commercial energy usage slumped 30 percent, whereas residential demand shot up during the day. These changes bring challenges to both utilities and regulators. As utilities manage the changing energy landscape, regulators need new tools to understand our energy markets, the economic transformations taking place, and the industry’s long-term prospects.