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Biden arrives in style
The presidential transition was a turning-point in climate policy. It saw the country move from a president who called climate changes a hoax, to one who listed combating global warming as one his top priorities.
Biden made many climate-related moves in his first week of office. He recommitted America to the Paris climate agreement, from which his predecessor withdrew. He also revoked a key permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which eventually led to the project’s cancellation. Also, he halted leasing Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
He also put in place a contentious pause to new oil and natural gas leasing. Meanwhile, the Interior Department is reviewing its federal oil and gas drilling program.
GRAPPLE WITH EXTREMES IN US REGIONS
Extreme weather was a dominant topic in the news this year, as a major winter storm disrupted Texas’ self-contained power grid, resulting in dozens of deaths. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid for most of Texas, was widely criticized for failing to prepare it for winter weather. CEO Bill Magness was soon removed by its board.
The Pacific Northwest found itself in the same position months later. Much of the region, like Texas, is not used to extreme weather and many homes don’t have air conditioning. In August, Olympia (Wash.) set a dryness record for 56 days. This was during a period in which 15 large fires were being lit across the state.
Portland was hit with three consecutive days of record temperatures. The heat so extreme that it melted cables briefly suspended streetcar and light rail services. Seattle reached 107 degrees in late June.
Additionally, Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana in the summer before turning northeast. It caused an estimated $65 billion of damage.
The US sets ambitious 2030 emissions goals
Just in time to celebrate Earth Day President BidenJoe BidenFDA authorizes a second at-home COVID-19 test Pentagon contracts for domestic production material critical for rapid COVID-19 Tests Armed man on ‘hitlist’, including Biden and Fauci is arrested in Iowa as he tries to reach the White HouseThe interim climate goal of the United States for 2030 was announced: reducing carbon emissions by 50-52% compared with 2005 levels. Many environmentalists praised the goal as ambitious, while others said that they wished for a more ambitious goal.
The White House climate summit, at which many world leaders were present, was the occasion for the announcement. Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
Biden made the announcement as he sought to reaffirm U.S. leadership in climate change and press the administration to adopt policies that make it a reality.
Green groups condemn the inaction on pipelines
Although President Biden closed the KeystoneXL pipeline in Keystone XL on his first day of office, he has not taken any action on two other pipelines: the Dakota Access Pipeline in Dakota and the replacement of Line 3 in Enbridges’ pipeline in Minnesota.
Both pipelines were the subject of protests by environmentalists and Indigenous rights groups. They were argued to disrupt local environments and pose greater risks.
The Justice Department has defended Line 3’s permitting process, which was conducted during the Trump administration.
Construction was completed in this year.
Although the administration and a federal court declined to close the Dakota Access pipeline, an appeals court ruled that the government must complete an Environmental Impact Statement for this project.
President Biden ran on the boldest climate platform and was elected. After being sworn into office, Biden began taking meaningful, real climate action within minutes. This was according to Michael Brune, Sierra Club Director, who released a statement in April, after the administration refused to halt the pipeline.
But, President Biden’s actions today don’t live up to the climate or Tribal commitments that he made. They also aren’t in line with the bold actions he has taken since he took office.
NEW EMISSIONS, TRAVEL STANDARDS
The Biden administration made steps to improve vehicle emissions that were not reduced during the Trump administration. It also proposed mileage standards which will help push the market towards electric vehicles.
The Biden administration stated that it would set longer-term standards for light and medium-duty vehicles and set the goal of making half the new U.S. car sales electric by 2030.
Automakers also revealed their own goals for electric vehicles, such as GM’s pledge to have an all-electric light duty fleet by 2035. Superbowl Ad?).
Trump-era reverse: The administration also took steps to restore California’s authorityto set its vehicle tailpipe emissions standards. Transportation Department completes its part of this action last weekEPAs are still in progress.
A tale of two bills
Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIf Democrats want Build Back Better to be saved, they must pay for it in full. The Child Tax Credit is a disguised middle-class tax hike. It’s not worth trying to shame Manchin when he has none.(D-W.Va.), stated that he would not vote for the Build Back Better infrastructure package, which Biden has made central in his agenda.
The package contains ambitious climate provisions, including a tax credit on union-made electric vehicles, and a Civilian Climate Corps. Republicans taking over the House of Representatives would likely make it impossible to achieve those goals for many years.
Manchin specifically objected to certain measures climate and energy provisions and said he would not support the union EV credit. He was also instrumental in the removal of Clean Electricity Performance Program (which would have subsidized electric utility transitioning to renewable energy).
Some environmental advocacy groups expressed hope that the signature legislation and its climate provisions could be saved.
I believe that negotiations can continue. Melinda Pierce (legislative director of the Sierra Club), stated earlier this month, “I also believe that we must get to yes.”
In the meantime, the smaller bipartisan bill for infrastructure that Biden signed into legislation in November includes a number climate provisions.
- $50 billion for resilience and weatherization funds
- Increased funding for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster response
- $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging station infrastructure
- $1 billion to clear the backlog of federal Superfund sites.
The implementation of the smaller bill on infrastructure will be crucial for its climate impacts. A December study found that carbon emissions could rise if the surface transportation funds are used for highway expansion rather than road maintenance.
HUMANS CAUSE ‘UNEQUIVOCALLY’ CHANGES
In August, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report stating that it was unambiguous that human influence had caused the planet to heat up.
This is a significant improvement over the panel’s 2013 report that stated It is extremely probable that human influence has been a dominant cause of observed warming from the mid-20th Century. This gives us a greater certainty about the human effects of climate change.
The report also warned that the planet will likely have warmed 1.5 degrees celsius by the end this century, which is a key Paris Agreement benchmark to avoid the worst effects of climate change. However, it said that it is possible to reduce that warming by 2025 if the world can begin to emit less greenhouse gases than it emits.
It also warned that climate change, which will increase as the Earth heats, will result in more heat waves, intense precipitation and droughts, as well as sea-level rise. However, many are already seeing climate change.
Exxon tape prompts congressional interviewing
Greenpeace U.K. released an unreleased recording this summer in which Keith McCoy, Exxon lobbyist, claimed that the oil giant had lied to him. [fought]Some of the science regarding climate change is being criticized. McCoy, who thought he was talking with a corporate headhunter suggested that carbon pricing support was a PR move and that such a policy is unlikely to be implemented.
McCoys comments were not disputed by Exxon. However, the House Oversight Committee summoned four top executives from oil companies to testify before the House Oversight Committee in October. While the witnesses defended their handling on climate change and denied knowingly promoting questioning or denial, Republicans used much of the time to criticize the hearing.
Days later, the Chair of the Committee was elected Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyOvernight Energie & Environment New York Democrats pursue ‘peaker plants’ Three House Democrats ask for a watchdog to probe alleged ‘peaker plant pollution. Judge overturns Purdue Pharma bankruptcy settlement over protections given to the Sackler family.(D-N.Y.). Subpoenaed witnesses, demanding records and internal communications.
Biden and Dems declare America is back’ at COP26
Bidens’ first UN.. climate summit, he was joined by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiA tale from two tax policies: What motivates Senate Asian American leaders to push for a national museum of their own Biden and lawmakers mourn Harry Reid?(D.Calif.) repeatedly repeated what they called America’s return as climate leaders. They also highlighted the climate benefits of this package, just a month after Manchins announcement on the infrastructure bill.
Our legislation is extensive, and ensures that [the]Pelosisaid: The future economy will be cleaner and greener
She later told the press that she didn’t accept that America hasn’t assumed moral authority in all this. American is back, our President was here, there were many achievements that were achieved in collaboration, not condescension, with other countries. Many of them were ahead of us because of the dark period of four year preceding President Bidens’s election.
Summit participants agreed to reduce global carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and to increase funding for the developing countries in order to build climate resilience.
This agreement included fossil fuels for the very first time. However, the language was eventually diluted to call instead for a reduction in unabated coal.
However, environmentalists claim that the agreements are not sufficient to prevent major warming. Swedish activist Greta ThunbergGreta ThunbergOvernight Energy & Environment analysts predict rising gas prices Greta Thunberg believes it’s strange that Biden is considered a leader in climate change. Climate can’t wait: Biden must make use of his power to end fossil fuel leasing MOREThe Washington Post was informed by a protestor who was present at the conference that it was a PR event.
Unless they are able to achieve greater ambition and fulfillment of those ambitions, COP26 is meaningless,” she stated.
To LEASE or Not to Lease, THAT IS THE QUESTION
The Biden administration released a report on Black Friday that detailed its long-awaited recommendations to reform oil and gas drilling in federal lands and waters.
Both Republicans and environmentalists were not satisfied with the report. It recommended increasing fees for companies to drill on public lands but did not include President Biden’s call for banning new oil-and-gas permits on public lands.
The timing of the release was also compared to Trump’s 2018 Black Friday climate change report.
After the federal program was reviewed by the administration, the lease was approved. It was originally scheduled for early summer. It halted all new federal lease sales for oil-and-gas drilling during this period, but was temporarily stopped by a judge after it was challenged by Republican-led states.
The administration then proceeded with a sale that offered up to 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico as leaseable. This drew ire from environmental groups who were against it.
WHAT WE ARE READING
Last but not least, something completely offbeat and offbeatCapybaras love to take a bath.
This concludes today. Check out The Hills Energy & Environment PageFor the most recent news and coverage. We’ll see you Monday!