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Today’s focus is on a new division of Office of Science & Technology Policy, which has a climate focus. We also look at another Exxon lobbyist recording the issue and the energy issue that Beto ORourke believes will help him win the governorship.
Programming noteWe won’t be publishing any newsletters on Thursday or Friday. Enjoy Thanksgiving and we will see you back here next Week!
Lets jump in.
Climate policies to be coordinated by executive office
The White House has created a new division of Office of Science and Technology Policy that will coordinate federal climate change policy.
Sally Benson will head the newly created division. She is a Stanford University professor in energy engineering.According to The Washington PostThe news was first reported by, The Hill confirmed that the division was created.
What is its purpose?The White House announced Wednesday that the OSTP Energy Division would be focusing on planning the transition towards renewable energy and ensuring that the U.S. reaches its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Costa Samaras has been appointed principal adviser for energy policy and principal assistant director of energy at OSTP.
Benson will be working closely with other officials, such as the White House climate adviser, in her role as deputy director of energy and chief strategist to the energy transition. Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Mastercard – Dems hit the gas pedal on Biden agenda The Hill’s morning Report – Presented by Charter Communications Tornado deaths high; Chris Wallace shocker. Overnight Energy & Environment White House announces a new climate officeJane Lubchenco, OSTP Deputy Director Climate and Environment.
We have a 120-year old energy system that was built over a long period of time. We’re talking about very quickly changing it to a new system, Benson explained to the Post. This is a huge opportunity to lead for American workers and American industry.
Science and technology have achieved things previously thought impossible. OSTP Director Eric Lander stated that solar energy has become the cheapest and the price of batteries and wind power has been dramatically reduced. We now need to do it with smart grid technologies, clean hydrocarbon, fusion power, etc. to make carbon-neutral energy cheap. This makes it the most affordable energy and allows for the continuous cycle of invention and deployment that lowers costs.
Learn more about the new division.
Lobbyist suggests climate risk is not ‘catastrophic or inevitable’
Exxon’s lobbyist expressed doubt that climate changes pose a risk to humanity in remarks made earlier this year. Documented from the watchdog group Documented.
Erik Oswald, lobbyist for the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission stated that he views it as a scientist and all that is necessary is to ask, “Is there, is the risk?” Yes, there’s risk. Is this a risk that is inevitable or catastrophic? It’s not in my mind. But there is risk.
So if we’re going, you know, to work on it, as a society? Then my only request is that we do it as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Oswald continues in recording.
What else did he have to say?He said that he would find the cheapest way to get the most CO2 into the ground. This was in reference to carbon capture technology. That’s what I’m open to a conversation about.
The recording contains the following:First reported by The Washington PostOswald stated that Oswald does not see such technology as the crusaders who will fix the climate, but rather the company looks at markets and compares the business opportunity of a “green premium” to consumers willingness to purchase sugar-free foods.
Exxon leaders stated that they recognize the reality of climate change, and the contribution of fossil fuels to it, and that they are taking the threat seriously. Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon, testified before the House Oversight Committee in October that the company does not ask its employees to lobby for anything other than the publicly supported position.
You can read more about the recording by clicking here.
O’Rourke seizes Texas’ power grid
In his bid to oust Gov. Beto ORourke (D), former Rep. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottAdvocates file a civil rights complaint with DOJ regarding Texas border arrest program On The Trail : Trump-inspired challengers target GOP Governors Abrams & O’Rourke give Democrats the chance and women the choice MORE (R).
ORourke’s campaign views the grid as a solid wedge issue within the traditionally red state. It will highlight what it considers to be Abbott’s failures to protect his constituents against deadly temperatures and skyrocketing power bills.
Campaign manager Nick Rathod explained that freezing temperatures were a sign that their government had failed them. It was felt by them, and it resonates well with Texans.
ORourkes has already addressed the issue:ORourke began his bid earlier in the month by talking about the February snowstorm and deep freeze.Estimated to cause as many as 700 deathsDuring power outages.
In a video, the 2020 presidential candidate stated that he was running for governor and would like to explain why. The electricity grid crashed in February and millions of fellow Texans were without power. It meant that the lights wouldn’t turn on, the heat wouldn’t run and their pipes froze. Then, those elected to serve and protect them were abandoned.
O’Rourke also addressed the storm at campaign events by telling a crowd of Corpus Christi: Some of your comments included that you were without heat or lights for more than a week.
Learn more about the ORourke campaign strategy here.
Wednesday saw the Interior Department approve the second offshore wind project located in federal waters just off the coast Rhode Island.
Interior approves the South Fork wind project as its second commercial-scale offshore project. According to the department it will be located approximately 19 miles from Block Island. It will generate about 130 megawatts. The first such project was built off the Massachusetts coast last week.
We don’t have time to waste on cultivating and investing into a clean energy economy that can last generations, Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandNevada governor apologises for state’s role with indigenous schools The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden will announce increased measures for micron The Hill’s Morning Report, Presented by Facebook – Biden speaks up about the bright side underneath the omicron’s cloudIn a statement
One year ago, there weren’t any large-scale offshore projects approved in the US federal waters. There are now two of them, and many more are on the horizon. This is just one example of the many actions we are taking to fulfill the President’s goal to expand economic opportunity for more Americans.
This announcement comes as the Biden administration sets a goal for 30 gigawatts offshore wind power. It also has a larger goal to cut U.S. carbon emission by half by the end the decade. In October, the administration published an offshore wind power roadmap. It would see the green energy source installed on nearly all of the U.S. coastline over the next few years.
Learn more about the announcement.
WHAT WE ARE READING
Offbeat and offbeat: Driven to distraction
This is it for today. Thanks for reading. Check out The Hills Energy & Environment pageFor the most recent news and coverage. We look forward to seeing you Monday.