Tag Archives: resilience

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.

IPCC Outlines Opportunities For Action In Rural Communities To Address Climate Change

By Nick Summers, Center for Rural Affairs

A recent report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms the importance of climate action in rural communities, calling on those communities to adapt to and mitigate climate impacts to preserve their own prosperity and protect food and energy security globally. The report takes a comprehensive look at the specific vulnerabilities of systems and communities and identifies pathways for adaptation and mitigation. Continue reading here.

Related Blog Posts

More CFRA Resources

Fact Sheet: A Year Advancing Environmental Justice

The White House Briefing Room

Nearly one year ago on January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, laying the foundation for the most ambitious environmental justice agenda ever undertaken by an Administration and putting environmental justice and climate action at the center of the federal government’s work.

The executive order formalized the President and the Vice President’s commitment to ensuring that all federal agencies develop programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse health, environmental, economic, climate, and other cumulative impacts on communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Continue reading here.

Build Back Better Framework

The White House Briefing Room, October 28, 2021

The Build Back Better Act will create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, spur long-term growth, reduce price pressures and set the United States on course to meet its clean energy ambitions.

Investments in Clean Energy and Combatting Climate Change

  • Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion): Ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.
  • Resilience Investments ($105 billion): Investments and incentives to address extreme weather (wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes, including in forestry, wetlands, and agriculture), legacy pollution in communities, and a Civilian Climate Corps.
  • Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion): Targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies, like solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries, like steel, cement, and aluminum.
  • Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion): Provide incentives for government to be purchaser of next gen technologies, including long-duration storage, small modular reactors, and clean construction materials.

Click here to read about all proposed investments in the Build Back Better Framework.

Also From The White House

Additional Recommended Reading

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Releases Agency Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans from Across Federal Government

October 7, 2021 – Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released plans developed by more than 20 federal agencies that outline the steps each agency will take to ensure their facilities and operations adapt to and are increasingly resilient to climate change impacts. The plans reflect President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis as agencies integrate climate-readiness across their missions and programs and strengthen the resilience of federal assets from the accelerating impacts of climate change. The climate adaptation and resilience plans were previously submitted to and reviewed by the National Climate Task Force, White House Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.

Agencies face a multitude of risks caused by climate change, including rising costs to maintain and repair damaged infrastructure from more frequent and extreme weather events, challenges to program effectiveness and readiness, and health and safety risks to federal employees who work outside. By taking action now to better manage and mitigate climate risks, we will minimize disruptions to federal operations, assets and programs while creating safer working conditions for employees. Continue reading here.

All 20 Federal Agency Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans are available here:
www.sustainability.gov/adaptation

SELECT AGENCIES’ NEWS RELEASES 

DOE Sets 2025 Community Solar Target to Power 5 Million Homes

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced a new National Community Solar Partnership target: to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. Reaching these milestones will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and ensure that all Americans can reap the benefits of renewable energy while building community wealth and resiliency.

“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.” Read more here.

NREL WEBINAR

Save the Date! October 26, 2021, 1 to 2 pm Central Time: 3 GW and Growing: Trends in the Community Solar Market

Join the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to hear the latest on community solar deployment trends across the United States. The webinar will cover topics such as the financial value that residential community solar subscribers receive, the potential for community solar to be used to reduce consumers’ energy burden, and the policy and deployment status of programs targeting low- and moderate-income subscribers.

LOCAL SOLAR FOR ALL COALITION REPORT

New Report Shows Rapidly Increasing Distributed Solar and Storage is Critical to Achieving President Biden’s Climate and Equity Goals at the Lowest Cost, Local Solar for All News Release, Business Wire

The key findings include:

  • At least 103 GW of distributed solar and 137 GW of distributed storage must be deployed by 2030 to achieve President Biden’s goals at the lowest cost.
  • Scaling up distributed solar and storage reduces stress on utility-scale resources and enables access to 579 GW of utility-scale solar and 442 GW of wind.
  • Scaling up distributed solar and storage saves all ratepayers over $109 billion by 2030 compared to deploying utility-scale renewables only.
  • Increasing local solar and storage would lead to the creation of more than 1.2 million new American jobs by 2030.

Not included in the report, but key to achieving President Biden’s Justice40 goals, is the ability for 50% of local rooftop and community solar capacity to be directed to low- to moderate-income (LMI) households, which could lower the energy burden for between 8-15 million LMI households.

Click the following link to learn more about the coalition:
www.localsolarforall.org.

President Biden to Host Leader-Level Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate

The White House Briefing Room

The virtual meeting builds on the Leaders Summit on Climate the President hosted in April and comes six weeks before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, which will set the course for global climate efforts over the coming decade. Read more here.

Previously Posted
Biden’s American Jobs Plan Is Also a Climate Plan, Natural Resources Defense Council
The $2 trillion it would invest in the country’s infrastructure and workforce will help the United States recover from the past while preparing for the future.

Additional Recommended Reading
Investing in infrastructure, technology will provide payback for years to comeby June Girard, guest columnist, The Gainesville Sun. This is no time to quibble about how much it will cost us now. The real question is, what will it cost this country if we do not aggressively fund these challenges? Will we become a backward, irrelevant country whose natural resources will be squandered on antiquated processes? 

Featured Quotation On U.S. Infrastructure
Source: We can find agreement on funding much-needed infrastructure work, Midlands Voices, Omaha World-Herald

We have been talking about this for over a decade, and our decaying infrastructure cannot wait much longer. We need to reach across the aisle, find consensus and solve a big challenge facing our country — now. I’m working in the Problem Solvers Caucus to do just that. – Congressman Don Bacon, representing Nebraska’s 2nd District

Additional Recommended Reading
Midlands Voices: Bold infrastructure program will bring major benefits to the country, Omaha World-Herald. The writer, Johanna Threm, is Vice President and General Manager of Nucor Steel Nebraska.

WATCH: Biden, Harris give remarks at White House following passage of bipartisan infrastructure plan

Associated Press / PBS News Hour 

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan for states coast to coast on Tuesday, as a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans came together to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“Today, we proved that democracy can still work,” Biden declared at the White House, taking note of the 69-30 vote that included even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Continue reading or watch the video here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

Here’s what we know about the bipartisan infrastructure deal

By Ryan Nobles, CNN

A bipartisan group of 10 senators announced Thursday they have reached a deal on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, the most significant development yet in negotiations over a key priority of the Biden administration, but it still faces serious obstacles from skeptics in both parties. 

“Our group — comprised of 10 Senators, 5 from each party — has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies. This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases,” the senators said in a joint statement. Read more here.

Featured Individual Quotation On Infrastructure
“We have been talking about this for over a decade, and our decaying infrastructure cannot wait much longer. We need to reach across the aisle, find consensus and solve a big challenge facing our country — now.”  U.S. Congressman Don Bacon, Representing Nebraska’s 2nd District

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

U.S. disasters show gaps in $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan

By David R. Baker & Keith Laing, Bloomberg
Reprinted by Kennebec Journal

Three times this year, major pieces of U.S. infrastructure have failed: first the Texas power grid, then the East Coast’s main gasoline pipeline, then a freeway bridge over the Mississippi River. The crises disrupted businesses and lives, cost billions and left more than 150 Texans dead.

The recent failures illustrate just how many ways the patchwork systems can break. Experts say they also illustrate a long-running flaw in the way the U.S. thinks about and pays for infrastructure: The country focuses more on building new things rather than maintaining what it has. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

TENASKA

GRID: FERC complaint highlights ‘structural problem’ for renewables, by Miranda Willson, E&E News

The case highlights flaws in outdated interconnection systems across the U.S. that have hampered the growth of renewable energy, according to analysts. Companies seeking to build large energy projects typically must obtain approval from a regional transmission organization or grid operator to connect to the bulk power grid, a process that can take years and carry a steep price tag. 

DARTMOUTH STUDY

Dartmouth Study Finds Renewable Energy Upgrades Make Grid More Resilient, New Hampshire NPR

A Dartmouth study has modeled for the first time that renewable energy upgrades will make the nation’s power grid more resilient. Researchers modeled a grid with an influx of three innovations: distributed generation like rooftop solar, a kind of localized power system shortcut known as a meshed grid, and energy storage. The study is the first to find that these emissions-cutting technologies will also make the power system more able to keep operating through disruptions.

GREENBELT ALLIANCE

Opinion: How infrastructure plan can accelerate resilience, contributed by Amanda Brown-Stevens, The Mercury News

Passing President Biden’s infrastructure bill would be the most significant step we’ve taken as a nation to start to address climate change head on. Greenbelt Alliance believes this infrastructure bill is a great start. Yet, so far there is no path to guide how we can equitably shift away from rebuilding in the most climate-vulnerable areas and instead build for a more resilient future. That’s why we’re recommending this infrastructure bill and related actions adopt these three principles as a simple yet transformational way forward:

Amanda Brown-Stevens heads up the San Francisco-based Greenbelt Alliance, the 60-year-old non-profit dedicated to preserving open spaces and helping the Bay Area prioritize climate action.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED

GridWise Alliance Establishes Advisory Council To Aid Drive For Investments In Power System, GridWise Alliance News Release

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — GridWise Alliance Board Chair Gil C. Quiniones today announced the formation of a 29-member Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council (GIAC) to support the Alliance’s call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems.

“A strong and secure electric grid is essential to creating jobs and driving economic growth, meeting clean energy goals and fighting climate change,” said Mr. Quiniones, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, the largest state-owned electric utility in the United States. 

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan, The White House Briefing Room

FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks