Tag Archives: Congress

House Takes Important Step Forward on Clean Energy Progress by Passing Inflation Reduction Act

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives approved the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes historic, long-term provisions to decarbonize the electric grid with significant clean energy deployment and domestic manufacturing.

Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on the House passage:

“The most transformational clean energy package in history is now one step closer to becoming law. Today’s House passage shows that America is prepared to lead the world in the fight against climate change by investing in our communities and workers.

“The Inflation Reduction Act will drive historic investments in clean energy deployment and manufacturing which will help create millions of new, well-paying careers. In the face of a global energy crisis and rising inflation, the measures in this bill will strengthen America’s energy security by boosting production here at home, all while lowering prices for families through investment in historic levels of low-cost, reliable clean energy.

“This is a momentous day for every American. Despite the party-line vote, the policies contained in this legislation are incredibly popular and will be an economic boon for communities across the country. In anticipation of President Biden’s signature, the 255,000 Americans working in the solar and storage industry are ready to get to work.”

American Clean Power Association News Release

ACP CEO Heather Zichal Statement on House Passage of
Historic Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON DC, August 12, 2022 – Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The IRA provides unprecedented multi-year policy certainty for clean energy and will now be sent to President Joe Biden to be enacted into law: 

“History was made in Washington today. After decades of failed attempts, passage of this bill marks the largest investment in domestic clean energy ever. Period. It also marks the point in time when the US decided to: get serious about climate change; invest in innovation and manufacturing; create hundreds of thousands of new jobs; and ensure that America takes the back seat to no one in the race to deploy clean energy. The IRA puts our industry on a path to produce enough clean power to fuel every home in America – 142 million – by 2030, up from 58 million today. There will be three times more clean energy on the electric grid. The average American will pocket over $1,000 per year in energy savings. It will more than double the clean energy workforce, creating 550,000 jobs and employing nearly 1 million Americans by 2030. Along with these benefits, we will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels.

This is truly an historic moment. We are grateful for the leadership from Congress and the White House as well as the advocates whose tireless efforts and persistence helped us get to this crucial moment for our economy, our country, and the planet.” 

How the climate deal could help farmers aid the environment

By Michael Phillis, Associated Press, PBS News Hour

The funding would expand programs favored by both environmental groups and the agricultural sector, said Ben Thomas, who focuses on agriculture at the Environmental Defense Fund. “They are voluntary, they are incentive-based, they get results in terms of implementing conservation practices on working lands,” said Thomas. “It’s great to see.”

Thomas said historically, the agricultural sector has not aggressively tackled its contribution to climate change, but that hesitation has shifted in recent years and more money will accelerate progress. There’s a lot of potential, he said. Read more here.

USDA NEWS RELEASE

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 – “President Biden and Congress have taken an important, historic step towards easing the burden of inflation on the American public and meeting the moment on climate. If passed, the Inflation Reduction Act will have a meaningful impact on the rural and agriculture communities we serve at The Department of Agriculture.

“Agriculture has long been at the forefront of our fight against climate change. From climate-smart agriculture, to supporting healthy forests and conservation, to tax credits, to biofuels, infrastructure and beyond, this agreement provides USDA with significant additional resources to continue to lead the charge.

USDA CLIMATE ACTION PLAN 

USDA Action Plan For Climate Adaptation And Resilience, August 2021


This Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience outlines how USDA will provide relevant information, tools, and resources to its stakeholders and target programs and activities to increase resilience to climate impacts. USDA will prioritize equity, promote environmental justice through a focus on healthy communities, and target adaptation actions with co-benefits for climate mitigation, conservation, and sustainability.
– USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Climate spending in new reconciliation deal a ‘turning point’ for the U.S., supporters say, by Jacob Fischler, Nebraska Examiner
Environmental advocates largely praised the climate provisions in Senate Democrats’ massive taxes, health care and energy bill released Wednesday night, saying even with provisions to help the fossil fuel industry, the measure represents a historic step toward addressing the climate crisis. The 725-page bill — made public mere hours after U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced a surprise deal — includes $369 billion over 10 years in tax credits and spending for renewable energy.

Reconciliation bill includes ag conservation programs, The Fence Post
Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., announced that there will be a nearly $40 billion investment in agriculture, forestry, and rural communities to fight inflation and lower costs for the American people through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

Senate Deal Boosts Climate-Smart Ag, Progressive Farmer
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) would see nearly $1.8 billion in funding. Rural renewable energy loans would also be expanded as well. Rural electric cooperatives would see $9.7 billion to help build out renewable energy development as well. “This bill creates direct incentives for co-ops to bolster investments in carbon capture, grid modernization, renewables, battery storage and other energy technologies,” said Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Tax incentives would expand wind, solar and other renewable energy through 10 years of tax credits.

Links to Resources

FEATURED NEBRASKA FARM USING RENEWABLE ENERGY

Pork Producer Uses Solar Power Technology To Improve Environment And Operation, Brownfield Ag News

A Northeast Nebraska pork producer is using renewable energy to promote sustainable agriculture and offset energy consumption on his farm. He says he received a 26 percent tax credit on the project and it has a 7 to 8 year payoff period.

Manchin opens door to climate spending after July inflation numbers

By Hans Nichols, Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) claimed that he didn’t close the door to a climate and energy package with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, but that he’s ready to support a plan to lower prescription drugs costs this month.

Driving the news: Manchin used one of his favorite venues — a popular West Virginia radio show hosted by Hoppy Kercheval — to say that he simply wants more time before deciding on legislation that raises corporate taxes and invests up to $300 billion in clean energy. Continue reading here.

PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRES

Why Congress needs to make taxing the rich part of the plan to address inflation, contributed opinion by Morris Pearl, Fortune, July 8, 2022

To make his plan a reality, Biden now needs Congress to do its part. Thankfully, the notoriously recalcitrant Senator Joe Manchin has publicly expressed his willingness to work with Democrats to pass some form of “skinny” Build Back Better plan that includes tax increases on the rich. Americans of all political stripes want the federal government to fix inflation, and they deserve a solution that doesn’t cause more harm to poor and middle-class Americans. The way to do that isn’t endless rate hikes by the Fed or strongly worded Tweets directed at gas station owners–it’s taxing the wealthy and corporations.

Morris Pearl is a former managing director of BlackRock. He is the chair of the Patriotic Millionaires.

INSTITUTE ON TAXATION AND ECONOMIC POLICY (ITEP)

Tax and Climate Provisions Are What Americans Want and Need, ITEP News Release

In response to conflicting reports on negotiations with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on tax increases and climate provisions, Amy Hanauer, ITEP Executive Director, released the following statement: 

Sen. Joe Manchin may be uncertain about higher taxes on the rich and corporations, but the American people are not. Large majorities of Americans support the tax reforms that President Biden has fought for, and with good reason. These proposals would ensure that profitable corporations contribute to the society that makes their profits possible. They would ensure that the most fortunate among us pay their fair share to the nation that made their fortunes possible. Sen. Manchin must choose between the interests of a powerful few and the needs of the American people and the planet.

ITEP Analyses of President Biden’s Proposed Corporate Tax Reform

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan tax policy organization that conducts rigorous analyses of tax and economic proposals and provides data-driven recommendations on how to shape equitable and sustainable tax systems. ITEP’s expertise and data uniquely enhance federal, state, and local policy debates by revealing how taxes affect both

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

The Made In America Tax Plan
This report describes President Biden’s Made in America tax plan, the goal of which is to make American companies and workers more competitive by eliminating incentives to offshore investment, substantially reducing profit shifting, countering tax competition on corporate rates, and providing tax preferences for clean energy production. Importantly, this tax plan would generate new funding to pay for a sustained increase in investments in infrastructure, research, and support for manufacturing, fully paying for the investments in the American Jobs Plan over a 15-year period and continuing to generate revenue on a permanent basis.

To start, the plan reorients corporate tax revenue toward historical and international norms. Of late, the effective tax rate on U.S. profits of U.S. multinationals—the share of profits that they actually pay in federal income taxes—was just 7.8 percent. And although U.S companies are the most profitable in the world, the United States collects less in corporate tax revenues as a share of GDP than almost any advanced economy in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Additional Recommended Reading: FACT SHEET: The American Jobs PlanThe White House Scroll down to “The Made In America Tax Plan.”

GLOBAL MINIMUM CORPORATE TAX

G20 Signs Off On 15% Global Minimum Corporate Tax—Here’s How It Will Work, Forbes
The new tax system—expected to take effect in 2023—has been agreed to by 132 countries after meetings in July 2021 held by the G20 and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. It sets an effective global minimum tax of 15% on multinationals with more than $890 million in revenue.

DELOITTE ECONOMICS INSTITUTE REPORT

The turning point: A new economic climate in the United States, January 2022

In this report, the Deloitte Economics Institute presents a portrait of a future the US could create if it uses this valuable window of opportunity to rapidly decarbonize its economy. Importantly, this report also demonstrates that the costs of this transformation—an oft-cited barrier— could actually be relatively modest, as compared to the consequences of insufficient action. And the US has everything it needs to rapidly begin this transformation today.

Exelon, PG&E, PSEG and others call on Congress to pass ‘ambitious’ clean energy spending package

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

  • Major utilities, solar companies, storage developers and others have called on U.S. lawmakers to pass a reconciliation package that includes tax credits for wind, solar, and batteries, expanded efficiency incentives and support for clean transportation. 
  • Exelon Corp., Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group and other companies are working to decarbonize but “corporate action alone is insufficient to meet the scope and scale of the climate crisis,” they said in a July 11 letter to Congressional leadership. Separately, more than 400 solar and storage companies organized by the Solar Energy Industries Association, known as SEIA, also advocated for a reconciliation package. Continue reading here.

SEIA News Releases

Also published by Utility Dive: High energy prices, Ukraine war and rising demand response potential spur energy efficiency efforts, by Herman K. Trabish

BUILDING A BETTER ELECTRIC GRID

What an $8B Western grid project means for U.S. clean energy, E&E News, EnergyWire

A planned 2,000-mile network of electric lines known as the Energy Gateway is more than a project to transport massive amounts of wind and solar energy among Western states that face potential supply shortfalls. It’s also a key piece of the Department of Energy’s clean electricity strategy. The cluster of high-voltage lines, located mostly in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah, is among two dozen “shovel-ready,” long-distance transmission projects that DOE is counting on to accelerate an enormous expansion of wind and solar power this decade.

MORE NEWS FROM VARIOUS STATES

A New Project in Rural Oregon Is Letting Farmers Test Drive Electric Tractors in the Name of Science, Inside Climate News

With tractors being used in vineyards, berry fields and hobby farms, the EV industry hopes to prove out the promise of electrifying the $38 billion US agricultural vehicle industry.

IOWA WIND ENERGY PROJECT

Fremont County supervisors okay wind energy project, KMAland News

(Sidney) — Plans for a major wind turbine project in KMAland received the Fremont County Board of Supervisors’ approval Wednesday morning. By unanimous vote, the supervisors accepted Invenergy’s application for the proposed Shenandoah Hills wind energy conversion system planned for portions of Page and Fremont counties. Board members took action following a marathon public hearing, in which residents spoke out on the project’s pros and cons

See Also: Shenandoah Hills Wind Energy Center, Invenergy

MORE GOOD NEWS ON SOLAR TARIFFS

US lifts tariffs on solar products from Canada, Mexico, PV Magazine


Canada, the United States, and Mexico signed an agreement to lift Trump-era tariffs, after an independent panel said that the duties violated the provisions of existing trade agreements.

What Comes Next: Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon, Highlighting Need for Swift Congressional Action on Reconciliation Bill to Meet Climate Goals

By Gene Grace, General Counsel, American Clean Power Association

If this nation is serious about addressing climate change before it is too late, the climate and clean energy tax provisions pending in the reconciliation package being negotiated on Capitol Hill will significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions. If passed, the package would cut emissions in half by 2030 while achieving real energy independence, supporting good jobs, and lowering energy costs for consumers. We are running out of options and time. Congress cannot afford to let this once-in-a-generation opportunity slip by. Read more here.

Public Health Benefits of Not Slowing Down America’s Clean Energy Transition

Using U.S. Energy Information Agency data for carbon emissions from coal-generated electricity in the U.S., I have calculated that 200,000 lives will be lost for each year the U.S. continues to use coal instead of a non-carbon dioxide emitting alternative to generate electricity. As an intensive care doctor, I may spend weeks focused on saving a single life. The opportunity to save 200,000 lives each year is so incredibly precious; it would be like preventing all deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and influenza in the U.S. for an entire year. The Supreme Court could have made a tremendously positive impact on human health, but in this case, the majority did the opposite. 

Matthew J. Meyer is a critical care anesthesiologist and sustainable health care researcher and advocate. He is a steering-committee member of Virginia Clinicians for CIimate Action, co-chair of the UVA Health Sustainability Committee, CEO of PeriOp Green (a health tech company focused on eliminating unnecessary waste in the operating room) and assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Virginia. He holds an M.D. from the University of Vermont.

WASHINGTON — With a large majority of Americans concerned about climate change and an increasing number expressing alarm and distress, it is past time to address this burgeoning public health crisis at the individual, community and societal levels, according to a report from the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica.

Download the report: Mental Health And Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Inequities, Responses, 2021 Edition

Featured Climate Stories Hub

The Thomson Reuters Foundation maintains the website portal: “Communicating climate change”Contributed articles include:

Additional Recommended Reading

The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Countries (and What They’re Doing Right), Newsweek
The top spots in most of these rankings, which are produced by academic centers, think tanks and other institutions, tend to be taken by European countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Luxembourg, Finland and Austria.

Supreme Court rejects EPA ability to set fleet-wide GHG emissions standards for power plants

By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive

The Environmental Protection Agency cannot set fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions limits for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act’s Section 111(d), the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, dismissing arguments raised by a group of electric utilities, the Biden administration and others.

“Today’s ruling limits the tools available to the [EPA] to sensibly reduce power plant emissions using cost-effective strategies that reflect the realities of an electric power system that is increasingly dynamic and diverse,” Jeff Dennis, Advanced Energy Economy general counsel and managing director, said in a statement. “In light of this Supreme Court decision, it will fall to Congress, state policymakers, and the markets to drive the transition to a clean energy economy.” Read more here.

Posted July 1: EPA retains tools to cut power sector GHG emissions despite Supreme Court curbing its authority: attorneys, by Ethan Howland, Utility Dive

THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

  • Statement by President Joe Biden on Supreme Court Ruling on West Virginia v. EPA
    My Administration will continue using lawful executive authority, including the EPA’s legally-upheld authorities, to keep our air clean, protect public health, and tackle the climate crisis. We will work with states and cities to pass and uphold laws that protect their citizens. And we will keep pushing for additional Congressional action, so that Americans can fully seize the economic opportunities, cost-saving benefits, and security of a clean energy future. Together, we will tackle environmental injustice, create good-paying jobs, and lower costs for families building the clean energy economy.
  • Previously Posted: FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Roadmap to Build an Economy Resilient to Climate Change Impacts: Agency Actions Will Protect Retirement Plans, Homeowners, Consumers, Businesses and Supply Chains, Workers, and the Federal Government from Financial Risks of Climate Change

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

U.S. Climate Alliance Responds to Harmful U.S. Supreme Court Decision in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors working together to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Collectively, they represent 59 percent of the U.S. economy, 54 percent of the U.S. population, 42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

See Also: U.S. Climate Alliance Governors: “We Need a Bold Climate and Clean Energy Package from Congress”

Statements From Climate Mayors Co-Chairs in Response to Supreme Court Ruling on West Virginia v. EPA

About Climate Mayors: Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 474 U.S. city mayors who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014 by 3 mayors, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Climate Mayors is committed to accelerating equitable climate action to help each member city achieve their climate goals, while working together city-to-city, with states, and the Biden administration to increase national climate ambition. For more information, visit:
www.climatemayors.org

Supreme Court Slashes EPA’s Ability to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Solar Energy Industries Association 

“The power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rests with Congress, and it is more urgent than ever that Congress take swift action to codify climate protecting policies that will also advance America’s clean energy deployment at a more rapid pace.” Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA President and CEO

ACP CEO Heather Zichal statement on disappointing Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia vs. EPA, American Clean Power Association

By weakening one of the Administration’s chief tools to reduce the damage from greenhouse gases, the Court’s decision highlights the need for swift congressional action on passing the climate provisions in the reconciliation package—which will move the nation forward on the path to cutting emissions in half by 2030 while achieving real energy independence, building good jobs, and lowering energy costs for consumers.”  

MORE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE 

FACT SHEET:  Health Sector Leaders Join Biden Administration’s Pledge to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50% by 2030

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that 61 of the largest U.S. hospital and health sector companies responded to the Administration’s Health Sector Climate Pledge, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. The new commitments represent over 650 hospitals and thousands of other providers across the country, and include plans to strengthen resilience to climate change, protect public health, and lower costs.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Takes Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing

White House Briefing Room

Historic Actions Include Authorizing Defense Production Act to Lower Energy Costs,
Strengthen Power Grid, and Create Good-Paying Jobs

Today’s clean energy technologies are a critical part of the arsenal we must harness to lower energy costs for families, reduce risks to our power grid, and tackle the urgent crisis of a changing climate. From day one, President Biden has mobilized investment in these critical technologies. Thanks to his clean energy and climate agenda, last year marked the largest deployment of solar, wind, and batteries in United States history, and our nation is now a magnet for investment in clean energy manufacturing.

Since President Biden took office, the private sector has committed over $100 billion in new private capital to make electric vehicles and batteries in the United States. We have made historic investments in clean hydrogen, nuclear, and other cutting-edge technologies. And companies are investing billions more to grow a new domestic offshore wind industry. Continue reading here.

Related: ACP Applauds President Biden’s Bold Action to Reinvigorate the Domestic Solar Industry, American Clean Power Association

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS

APPA Analysis Examines Regulated, Deregulated State Power Price Trends
Increases in retail electric prices from 1997 to 2021 were about half a cent more in states with deregulated electric markets than in regulated states, though regulated states had a slightly higher percentage increase in prices, according to an American Public Power Association (APPA) analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. APPA’s analysis also found that rates increased significantly in all states from 2020 to 2021, largely attributable to a rise in natural gas prices. 

The full report is available here.

Fact Sheet: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

The White House Briefing Room, November 6, 2021

Today, Congress passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. For far too long, Washington policymakers have celebrated “infrastructure week” without ever agreeing to build infrastructure. The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. After the President put forward his plan to do exactly that and then negotiated a deal with Members of Congress from both parties, this historic legislation is moving to his desk for signature.

This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years. Continue reading here.

RELATED READING

Fact Sheet: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Boosts Clean Energy Jobs, Strengthens Resilience, and Advances Environmental Justice, The White House

GREEN SCHOOLS / CAMPUSES

How schools are combatting climate change, from green schoolyards to solar power, by Meredith Deliso, ABC News

Overall, the education sector has an untapped opportunity to help mitigate climate change, from renewable energy practices to teachings, according to the Aspen Institute’s K12 Climate Action initiative, which points to school districts like Arlington’s as a success story in demonstrating climate solutions.

“We envision a future where America’s over 100,000 schools are models for climate action, climate solutions, and sustainability, and the 50 million children and youth in these schools are prepared to succeed in the clean economy and lead a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable society,” the organization wrote in a recent policy report.

In Omaha: Photo of Duchesne Academy’s 10-kilowatt solar array, installed by Interconnection Systems Inc (ISI), which is based in Central City, Nebraska. The energy generated by the system powers multiple classrooms, including the school’s science, technology, engineering, arts and math lab. where students can integrate data from the solar system into coursework.

The solar array is part of the school’s overall sustainability initiative. Duchesne Academy has the inspiring goal to be a net-positive-energy school by 2030. The school’s other sustainability program goals include zero waste by 2030, having a sustainable food system, and sustainability curriculum integration.

Iowa State and Alliant Energy collaborate on solar farm, Iowa State University 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FACT SHEET: President Biden Renews U.S. Leadership on World Stage at U.N. Climate Conference (COP26)

The White House 

Heading into COP26, President Biden announced  the Build Back Better Framework – the largest effort to combat climate change in American history alongside his Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal that the President is confident can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law. The Build Back Better Framework will cut greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce clean energy costs for working families, give our kids cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, and advance environmental justice while investing in a 21st century clean energy economy. President Biden’s bold agenda, along with his robust executive and regulatory actions to date, represents the U.S. intention to capture the economic opportunity that addressing climate change presents. Read more here.

ACP & SEIA WEIGH IN 

MORE ON THE BUILD BACK BETTER FRAMEWORK

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on President Biden’s Framework for the Build Back Better ActUSDA News Release


“The Build Back Better framework is the largest effort in American history to combat the climate crisis, while spurring economic opportunity with innovation and good jobs here at home, better positioning us to compete globally. Agriculture can lead the way in the fight on climate with climate smart agriculture and forestry practices that sequester carbon, reduce emissions and create new and better market opportunities for producers.”

 

THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT AND JOBS ACT (IIJA)

The Infrastructure Bill Is Desperately Needed, Engineers SayScientific American

“You can’t build a healthy economy on a crumbling infrastructure,” says Maria Lehman, president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Every four years this professional organization publishes a report card on U.S. utilities, issuing letter grades in 17 categories such as roads, internet access and drinking water—and the grades rarely rise above a D. “We’ve had many, many, many decades of taking our infrastructure for granted,” Lehman points out. “And it’s all coming due at the same time.” 

Scientific American spoke with Lehman about what’s broken, whether the IIJA’s $1 trillion investment can fix it, and what happens if the federal government fails to invest in infrastructure.

H.R.3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)

IN NEBRASKA

Nebraska Infrastructure Overview, American Society of Civil Engineers

While the nation’s infrastructure earned a C- in the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, Nebraska faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, driving on roads in need of repair in Nebraska costs each driver $461 per year, and 8.8% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in Nebraska are an estimated $1.6 billion. 149 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $292 million. 

This deteriorating infrastructure impedes Nebraska’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st-century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, Nebraska, and families can no longer afford.

Image Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

INDIVIDUAL CLIMATE ACTION

COP26: This is what individuals can do to slow down climate change, according to experts, ABC News

As the leaders of the world gather in Glasgow to discuss the fate of the climate crisis, the power to save the planet from destruction caused by humans does not only lie in the hands of those in power. While the majority of reductions in greenhouse gases will need to be accomplished by transformation in policy and industry, individual actions can also help prevent further warming, according to the experts.

PAUL HAWKEN INTERVIEW & HIS NEW BOOK

Paul Hawken: Sustainability isn’t enough. Here’s what is, GreenBiz

Sustainability is a limited framework. The solutions to the climate crisis hinge upon embracing regeneration as a universal organizing principle. That’s according to entrepreneur and author Paul Hawken, who just published a “what-to-do,” action-packed handbook for those seeking to channel collective action on complex, systemic problems in ways that nurture life and livelihoods.

His new book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, is joined by a website that details “what needs to be done and how to do it on all levels of agency, from a classroom to a CEO.” The site offers snapshots of systemic issues — including clean cookstoves, electrifying everything and wasting nothing — with action items, key players, governance, bad actors and media to digest for each.

Photo: Paul Hawken and Joel Makower speaking at GreenBiz’s VERGE 21 virtual event.

Kayaking to Cut Coal Fired Power Plants: 2,341 Miles Down the Missouri River

By Clarence Dennis, Flatland KC

Part passion, part protest, Graham Jordison is paddling his kayak all 2,341 miles of the Missouri River, completely on his own. On Monday morning, Jordison pulled his orange boat onto the rocks at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas, just a few hundred yards from the state of Missouri’s final stretch of the “Big Muddy.”

Jordison’s journey, which set off July 18 from Three Forks, Montana, is about a week away from the finish line in St. Louis, where the Missouri River pours into the Mississippi River. The long-distance paddler is moving at an average of 35 miles per day, give or take. Continue reading here.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Gas Campaign

Photo: Graham Jordison on the Missouri River near Sioux City. Credit: Emma Colman

BEYOND TAR SANDS

EDP Renewables, TC Energy Sign Power Agreement for Alberta Wind Farm, North American Wind Power

 “This agreement, which is Alberta’s largest power purchase agreement for wind, is an important step as TC Energy continues to build its renewable energy portfolio,” states Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s senior vice president and president of power and storage.

Previously Posted: Developer Abandons Keystone XL Pipeline Project, Ending Decade-Long Battle, by Jeff Brady and Neela Banerjee, NPR

FULLY ELECTRIFIED CAMPUS INITIATIVES

Columbia Pledges That All Future Campus Construction Will Be Fossil Free, Columbia News
As Climate Week NYC begins, the university explores creating a fully electrified campus. The Columbia Climate School is university partner of the weeklong climate showcase.

RESIDENTIAL RENEWABLES FOR ALL 

Advocates push for clean energy tax credits to help low-income households in budget bill, contributed by Jason Plautz, Utility Dive

A new coalition of more than 350 environmental groups, renewable energy companies and minority advocates is pushing for House Democrats to maintain tax language increasing clean energy access for low-income communities in the budget reconciliation package. 

 EVGO MILESTONE

EVgo Celebrates 300,000 Customer Account Milestone, Valdosta Daily Times
EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, today announced its nationwide customer accounts have crossed the 300,000 mark. The milestone arrives as EVgo continues to expand its fast-charging network footprint with convenient and reliable fast charging stations where drivers shop, work, and play.

FEATURED OPINION

Congress must commit to electric vehicles, Utility Dive
Contributed article by Ben Prochazka, Executive Director, Electrification Coalition; Dr. Shelley Francis, Co-Founder and Director, EVHybridNoire; Jeff Allen, Executive Director, Forth; and Joel Levin, Executive Director, Plug In America.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING