Tag: GHGs

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]

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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]

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Bipartisan Bill Clears Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hurdle on Hydrofluorocarbon Reduction

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been negotiating a proposal within a senate energy bill that would result in an 85% cut to hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.[1] Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are commonly used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, building insulation, fire extinguishing systems, and aerosols.[2] The American Energy Innovation Act (AEIA) is a bipartisan energy innovation bill targeting investment in clean energy technologies.[3] The bill’s proposed HFC amendment is a legislative response a 2017 federal court ruling striking down 2015 EPA regulations on HFCs.[4]

Despite general bipartisan support, the bill encountered hurdles related to HFC reduction and failed to move forward in March.[5]  The addition of HFC provisions to the AEIA resulted in contentious negotiations that stalled the bill, but a bipartisan agreement was reached on September 10.[6]  The HFCs amendment to the AEIA authorizes a 15-year, 85% phasedown of HFCs[7] and addresses a myriad of concerns voiced during negotiation, such as exemptions for HFC “essential uses” and the creation of 150,000 jobs through alternative manufacturing.[8]

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