Tag: Climate-Change Page 1 of 2

How Grid Resiliency can Help Tackle Climate Change

Americans are experiencing the impacts of climate change on an increasingly acute level every day. The February storms across the nation that resulted in rolling blackouts across Texas and several other nearby states underscored the crisis and raised questions about whether the American electricity grid can withstand the negative effects of climate change, such as extreme temperatures, more frequent and intense storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, and more.

Since 2011, the United States has sustained $135 billion in damages from extreme weather and climate disasters, with more than seventy extreme climate events affecting the Midwest.[i] One recent study showed that investor-owned utilities face a $500 billion resilience investment gap.[ii]

Read More

How the Northeast’s Push for Hydroelectric Power Demonstrates the Challenges and Future Considerations for Renewable Energy

The United States’ continued build out of renewable energy, is giving rise to tensions between competing environmental interests.[1] One such conflict is between constructing more renewable energy infrastructure and the ecological damage that comes with it.[2]

Renewable energy is needed more now than ever as the U.S. continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels.[3] Most domestic greenhouse gas emissions are still caused by burning coal, natural gas, and hydrocarbons.[4] Despite a seven percent drop in global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting transportation emissions, these numbers figure to rise again as pandemic restrictions are lifted and travel resumes.[5] Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy will mitigate water and air pollution, excessive water and land use, ecological loss, public health concerns, and climate change.[6]

Read More

Final Carbon Capture Regs Seeks to Boost Development, but Challenges Remain

Seeking to clarify the incentives available to developers of projects that capture carbon emissions during emission, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations for Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code in early January.[1]

Section 45Q incentivizes tax equity investors to invest in carbon capture and sequestration (“CCS”) by making financing easier through liberalization of several concepts and provisions.[2] Notwithstanding Section 45Q, though, various costs, inconsistent public support, and transportation and storage challenges remain barriers to implementing CCS.[3]

Read More

Analyzing Three Major Priorities under New FERC Chair Glick

Soon after taking office, President Biden nominated Richard Glick, a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as the Commission’s new chair.[i] Though the Commission is expected to maintain a Republican majority until Commissioner Neil Chatterjee’s term ends June 30, Glick has begun shifting the priorities of FERC, which regulates the interstate transmission and sale of electricity, natural gas, and oil, to align with President Biden’s ambitious energy and environmental goals.[ii] The following examines Glick’s three main priorities under the new administration, each of which could substantially change the energy regulatory landscape.

Read More

Oil and Gas Royalty Rates on Public Lands Under Review by Biden Administration

President Biden’s climate plans include a review of federal and state royalty rates paid by private companies for access to fossil fuel reserves underneath public lands.[i] On January 27, Biden issued Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” urging aggressive domestic policy directives.[ii]

The Order directed the Secretary of the Interior to pause the issuance of new oil and gas leases for drilling rights on federal lands until the Secretary completes a “comprehensive review” of oil and gas permitting requirements.[iii] The Secretary subsequently issued Order No. 3395 (“the Order”), which directed the pause on approving new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and ordered the comprehensive review of federal royalty rates.[iv]

Read More

SEC Commissioner Calls for More Robust Climate Reporting

While the devastating effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic take center stage, another worldwide crisis “looms even larger than the pandemic and could have even more grave human and economic costs than those we have witnessed these last eight months.”[1]

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Allison Herren Lee addressed the threat of climate change on financial markets during her keynote remarks at the Practising Law Institute’s 52nd Annual Institute on Securities Regulation earlier this month.[2] Commissioner Lee—a Trump appointee—implored attendees to take climate change seriously, even while the crisis may appear to be an abstract threat to some.[3]

Read More

How the Biden Administration Can Use Executive Action to Advance its Energy and Environmental Policies

President-elect Joseph R. Biden faces a challenging road to inauguration day. But that road may be nothing compared to the to-do list waiting for him on January 21. The global pandemic and a struggling national economy are first-order priorities, but in addition to these emergent issues, energy and environmental policies were important topics for many voters during the election.[i]

Biden campaigned on a platform championing clean energy and environmental justice.[ii] Depending on the outcome of two senate runoff elections in Georgia, however, the president-elect may have to realize much of his administration’s climate and clean energy policies through executive action.[iii]

Read More

Tongass National Forest

Trump Administration Moves to Open More Public Land to Industry in Tongass National Forest Proposal

The state of Alaska’s 2018 request to exempt Tongass National Forest from environmental protections has cleared a major step in its evaluation process.[1]  The U. S. Forest Service released a study indicating that loosening protections would not have significant impacts on Tongass, though environmental advocates are skeptical of its conclusions.[2] The Service’s Final Environmental Impact Statement considered several alternatives, but ultimately recommended a full exemption to the Roadless Rule for Tongass.[3]

Seeking Exemption to the Roadless Rule, a Clinton-Era Protection of National Forests  

National Forest System lands are protected by the 2001 Roadless Rule, which “establishes prohibitions on road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on 58.5 million acres” of public land.[4] After weighing national policy concerns against giving discretion to local decisionmakers, the final rule was adopted in 2001 with the intention of providing lasting protection.[5] It concluded that local exemptions to nationwide protections could have significant negative impacts on lands subject to roadless protections.[6] The rule therefore opted for complete protection of 58.5 million acres of “roadless” areas, comprising just two percent of the United States’ continental landmass.[7] Successive Alaskan administrations, however, have pushed for Roadless Rule exemptions, and the current proposal would open 9 million of Tongass’ 16 million acres to commercial activity.[8]

Read More

U.S. Scheduled to Exit Paris Climate Agreement on November 4

Amid raging wildfires, heavy rains, and tornadoes— all of which  have been linked to climate change—the United States is set to exit the Paris Agreement on November 4, one day after the presidential election.[1] President Trump, who has said that the global agreement to confront catastrophic climate change was a “total disaster” for the United States, formally issued the required one-year notice of withdrawal last November.[2] Former Vice President Joe Biden has stated that he would  re-enter the U.S. into the Paris agreement if he wins the 2020 election.[3]

The 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to limit the “global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” and ideally less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.[4] Nations set their own goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through nationally determined contributions (NDCs).[5]

Read More

[NEWS 11/24/2019] #FRIDAYSForFUTURE, Chicago Nov. 29, 2019

In Chicago, a group of local activists is joining the global FridaysForFuture movement by striking on Friday, November 29, 2019. The Deepstrike will take place at Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602. The Strike will last from 11:00am til 2:00pm. The organizers provided the following instructions:

  • Wear black this #BlackFriday as we mourn the burning of the Amazon
  • Bring old clothes for clothing swap
  • Bring signs and posters if you have them
  • Share pictures from the Strike
  • Please tag #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike on social media posts.

The official event page for the Strike can be found here.

According to #FRIDAYSForFUTURE’s website:

#FridaysForFuture is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15 years old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral.

On the 8th of September, Greta decided to continue striking every Friday until the Swedish policies provided a safe pathway well under 2-degree C, i.e. in line with the Paris agreement.

The hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike spread and many students and adults began to protest outside of their parliaments and local city halls all over the world. This has also inspired the Belgium Thursday school strikes.

The popularity of the youth driven movement has rapidly increased in the 14 months since Greta Thunberg first sat in front of parliament.  To date, 60 thousand climate strike events, in 6.4 thousand cities across 222 countries, have attracted more than 11 million strikers.

*Featured Image: Chicago Tribune, Sep. 20, 2019, Getty Images

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén