Tag Archives: states’ climate action plans

Climate Crisis Catches Power Companies Unprepared

By Brad Plumer and Ivan Penn, New York Times

The phone call to the Eugene Water & Electric Board was startling. A group of homeowners, fearing a storm could knock down nearby power lines and ignite wildfires, was asking the Oregon utility to turn off their electricity. “I about fell out of my chair,” said Rodney Price, the utility’s assistant general manager, of the people who were voluntarily asking to live in the dark in September, during one of the worst fire seasons Oregon had ever seen. It was a sign of growing angst, he said. “We’re seeing more and more widespread impacts of climate change. It’s clear it’s impacting how we do our business.” Across the United States, power companies are scrambling to keep up with a barrage of extreme weather from a rapidly warming climate. Continue reading here.

Photo: Smoke from the Dixie Fire near a Pacific Gas & Electric power station in California this month. Credit: John G. Mabanglo/EPA

Previously Posted

CLIMATE RISK 

INDIANA

As Indiana coal plants close, advocates say gas power should not replace them, by Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

As it retires a coal-fired power plant, CenterPoint Energy is pushing to build a smaller gas plant than one that was rejected two years ago by Indiana regulators. Consumer and environmental groups still say it’s unnecessary. “After the proposed gas combustion turbines are built, they propose to run them 2% to 10% of the time,” said Sameer Doshi, senior attorney in Earthjustice’s coal program, which is representing Citizens Action Coalition in state and federal proceedings around CenterPoint’s proposal. “Whereas customers would be billed for the entire construction cost of the plant as well as the capital cost of the new pipeline. We intend to show a combination of market purchases, demand response, and increased renewables deployment with storage would be able to fill in the gaps” left by the retiring coal plants. 

COLORADO

Social cost of methane changes the equation for Colorado utility policy, by Allen Best, Energy News Network

Colorado is believed to be the first state in the nation to apply the social cost of methane to a broad range of regulatory decisions. A batch of new laws are expected to dramatically improve the case for building energy conservation. The social cost of methane emissions was set most recently at $1,756 per short ton by the U.S. Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, compared to $68 for carbon dioxide. Both metrics estimate the economic damages of releasing emissions into the atmosphere.

Methane Leaks

COLORADO SOLAR GROUP PURCHASE CAMPAIGN

Local ‘Solarize’ campaign boosts Garfield County solar energy investment, Post Independent
The recent Solarize Garfield County campaign generated $2.8 million in rooftop solar and battery investment, added nearly a megawatt of renewable energy to the grid and helped county residents bank $270,000 in rebates, according to recent figures released by Carbondale-based Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER).

FEATURED AGRIVOLTAICS RESEARCH

Beneath Solar Panels, the Seeds of Opportunity Sprout, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 

To better understand the benefits of—and barriers to—low-impact solar development, the Innovative Site Preparation and Impact Reductions on the Environment (InSPIRE) project brings together researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory, universities, local governments, environmental and clean energy groups, and industry partners. The project is funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office.

“It doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. For all our agriculturally productive land, let’s help PV developers and farmers plan out these solar projects so that farmers can get under the arrays and continue to work the land for the next 20 or 30 years.” —Gerry Palano, energy program coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture

USDA: Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants in Nebraska

PV RECYCLING

Emerging solar panel recycling market ripe with opportunity, but barriers remain, Waste Dive
The U.S. is likely to see significant volumes of end-of-life panels, creating opportunities for safe, sustainable recycling or reuse. Some states are looking at product stewardship to avoid disposal.

SEIA National PV Recycling Program

TESLA NEWS

Tesla Installed 85 Megawatts Of Rooftop Solar Power In 2nd Quarter, But That Doesn’t Actually Show Demand, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

In some places in the US, the permitting process can take just a few days less than forever. In many other places in the US, it can take weeks or months (as in, several months). There are not many places where it happens in the course of a week. Europe and Australia don’t seem to have a permitting problem anything like this. Permits are quick and easy. The US, for some reason, is slow to adapt. One promising initiative is the new SolarAPP+ initiative. It is helping to streamline the solar permitting process in places around the country. As simple as it sounds, this is one of the most exciting developments in the US solar industry in years.

Additional Recommended ReadingTesla will open its charging network to all EV brands

State energy plans show how process can match final product in impact

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

This winter, lawmakers in two Plains states are backing bills calling for a similar process. In Nebraska, state Sen. John Cavanaugh has proposed spending $250,000 on a climate action plan that would be produced by the University of Nebraska. In Kansas, state Rep. Mark Schreiber is preparing a bill to form a task force to provide “strategic guidance and objectives” for energy in the state.

The vast majority of states already have a climate or energy plan. According to the National Association of State Energy Officials, all but eight — including Kansas, Illinois and Wisconsin — have drafted a state energy plan. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says 33 states have released or are developing a climate action plan. Read more here.

LB 483: Provide for a climate change study and action plan

Previously Posted 

  • Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies, Lincoln Journal Star, November 4, 2015
    Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions. David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha. . . .
    [The]
    Nebraska Legislature has instructed the state Energy Office to create a comprehensive energy plan and budgeted more than $630,000 to see it done.
    LB469 Provide procedures and reporting requirements relating to a state plan on carbon dioxide emissions, require a strategic state energy plan, and provide requirements for meteorological evaluation towers.
  • 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

ALSO IN THE NEWS

  • Masdar Achieves First Close on 1.6 GW Clean Energy Portfolio in United States from EDF Renewables, EDF Renewables News Release. The Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company said the U.S. offers “considerable scope for further growth.” Power from the diversified portfolio projects will be sold under long-term contracts to a variety of offtakers, including utilities, hedge providers and community choice aggregators (CCAs). The 300MW Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County, Nebraska is included in the portfolio.
  • Wadena now powered by 100% carbon-free electricity, Wadena Pioneer Journal
    Harnessing the winds on the open plains of Nebraska or the sun in Iowa tends to provide more bang for the buck than the dark winters up in the woods of northern Minnesota. This article includes a brief video about renewable energy certificates (RECs).

ENERGY STORAGE

EV NEWS

Omaha citizens participate in Omaha Climate Strike

Written by Samantha Weideman, Digital Editor, The Gateway

Following the lead of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, students, educators, advocates and local politicians alike gathered in the morning on Friday, Sept. 20 near Omaha’s City Hall to demand policy change in support of the Global Climate Strike.

The Omaha Climate Strike was organized by Students for SustainabilityOmaha Students Union and the Nebraska Chapter of the Sierra Club. The strikers’ demands were for lawmakers to: “pass a state Climate Action Plan, say no to the Keystone XL Pipeline, transition to regenerative agriculture and harness our renewable energy potential,” according to the Omaha Students Union twitter account. Read more here.

Photo by Avery Cook/The Gateway

Previously Posted

Bipartisan committee recommends Nebraska develop action plan on climate change, Omaha World-Herald, December 29, 2016. A seven-member bipartisan committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Legislature authorize the plan, said State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, one of the co-chairs of the committee. Climate action plans are in place in 34 other states, Haar said.

PDF Download: Final Report Of The LR 455 Special Committee To Create The Framework For a State Climate Action Plan

New National Polling

Youth are calling for immediate climate action, and majority of Americans agree
Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences, major new polling has found. “Americans are finally beginning waking up to the existential threat that the climate emergency poses to our society,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Climate Mobilization Project. “This is huge progress for our movement — and it’s young people that have been primarily responsible for that.” 

Upcoming Event

Third Annual Nebraska Youth Climate Summit at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, October 4, 2019:

‘They’re stealing our future’: ‘Hamilton’ actor, AJR singer join Omaha climate change rally

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The demand for action by elected leaders on climate change was sounded repeatedly Friday at a rally outside City Hall in Omaha. The event, which drew more than 300 people, was part of a larger “climate strike” occurring around the globe over the next several days.

A group of about 500 also gathered outside the Nebraska Union on the UNL campus, organizers said. The group included a mix of college students, children, older residents and representatives of local Native American tribes. Similar rallies were to be held in Crete and Kearney and at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. The youths want Nebraska to pass a state climate action plan, among other steps. Read more here.

Photo by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

Additional Recommended Reading

Climate change rally at state Capitol urges lawmakers to take action, by Mia Azizah, Lincoln Journal Star. The rally, “Nebraska Climate Strike,” was organized by Sustain UNL, a student organization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that seeks to encourage local lawmakers to implement more regulations to make the planet more sustainable. “There is a global strike movement happening all over the world, and through seeing those, we knew right away we needed to organize in Nebraska,” said Brittni McGuire, Sustain UNL president. “We know that climate change is a global problem, but it has local solutions. We’re not going to have a future unless local communities all over the world take action.”

Previously Posted

The Road To A 100% Clean Economy

The 100% clean economy won’t be made in D.C.—it will be led by our businesses, our entrepreneurs, and tens of thousands of local civic and community leaders committed to creating a better future. 

Contributor Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund President, Forbes

The 100% Clean Economy Act announced this week in Congress is the roadmap America needs to drive urgent action that matches the scale of the problem. It provides a starting point and a finish line for business and government working together to solve the climate crisis.

The bill, which will soon be introduced in the House by Rep. Donald McEachin of Virginia, will commit the U.S. to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means that by midcentury we’ll release no more climate pollution into the atmosphere than we can remove—across all sectors of the economy. This ambitious goal is consistent with what science tells us we need to do in order to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part I, Forbes
    For business, and especially for big companies with capital and the vision to use it wisely, there is no more pressing issue or greater opportunity than climate change. 
  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part II, Forbes
    There’s been heated debate about the application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles to investing. While the U.S. hasn’t yet caught up with Europe in adopting these measures, the tide is turning, with the percentage of American institutional investors spurning ESG outright having decreased this past year from over half (51 percent) to just over a third (34 percent), according to an annual investing survey. This means—following the ‘E’ in ESG—that more business leaders are ready to run with the notion that investing in decarbonization is not only good for the planet, it’s imperative to remain relevant in the market. 

CLIMATE CHANGE / CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

Center For Climate And Energy Solutions (C2ES): U.S. State Climate Action Plans
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. A key objective is a national market-based program to reduce emissions cost-effectively. We believe a sound climate strategy is essential to ensure a strong, sustainable economy.

The Center For Climate Strategies
The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Washington, DC with a small business subsidiary, Collaborative Systems and Strategies, LLC (CSS). It provides government officials and stakeholders worldwide with the expertise and assistance needed to develop and implement solutions that meet immediate and long-term climate, economic, energy, environmental, and equity goals. CCS serves as a catalyst for actions at the national, state, provincial, and local levels in all economic sectors to meet the unique needs of each country and region.

Researchers present Columbus, OH leaders with climate adaptation plan

By Katie Pyzyk, Smart Cities Dive

A task force led by researchers at Ohio State University has submitted the Columbus Climate Adaptation Plan (CCAP) to city leaders. The primary goal of the document is not to mitigate climate change, but rather to prepare the city and its residents for the projected effects of climate change and inform them of adaptations that should be made. The document contains 43 action items in eight main areas including extreme heat, water use and air quality and energy.
Read more here.
Columbus Climate Adaptation Plan (PDF), Completed December 2018

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Additional Midwest Climate Action
Evanston adopts climate action and resiliency plan, Medill Reports 

IN NEBRASKA
Resources
Nebraska State Climate Office
Previously-posted information on steps taken toward a state climate action plan:

C2ES RESOURCES

MORE CLIMATE ACTION & RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES

NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION POSITION STATEMENT:
THE TEACHING OF CLIMATE SCIENCE

The science of climate change is firmly rooted in decades of peer-reviewed scientific literature and is as sound and advanced as other established geosciences that have provided deep understandings in fields such as plate tectonics and planetary astronomy. As such, A Framework for K–12 Science Education recommends that foundational climate change science concepts be included as part of a high-quality K–12 science education. Given the solid scientific foundation on which climate change science rests, any controversies regarding climate change and human-caused contributions to climate change that are based on social, economic, or political arguments—rather than scientific
arguments—should not be part of a science curriculum.
Read the entire position statement here.
Download as a PDF here.

Bipartisan committee recommends Nebraska develop action plan on climate change

By Joe Duggan, Omaha World-Herald

A seven-member bipartisan committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Legislature authorize the plan, said State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, one of the co-chairs of the committee. The plan should address a wide range of topics related to improving efficiency in transportation and irrigation as well as increased development of renewable energy. It also recommends further study of carbon and methane capture, next-generation nuclear technology and smart grid systems, as well as exploring changes to how the Nebraska Environmental Trust awards monetary grants.
Read more. 

Photo: Senator Ken Haar

Download: Final Report Of The LR 455 Special Committee To Create The Framework For a State Climate Action Plan

Cities and States Lead on Climate Change

By Jeff Biggers, Opinion, The New York Times

cities-and-states-lead-on-climate-change

By 2020, thanks to MidAmerican Energy’s planned $3.6 billion addition to its enormous wind turbine operations, 85 percent of its Iowa customers will be electrified by clean energy. Meanwhile, Moxie Solar, named the fastest-growing local business by The Corridor Business Journal of Iowa, is installing solar panels on my house, and is part of a solar industry that now employs 200,000 nationwide . . . With or without significant federal support, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require major private investment, as it has here in Iowa, and ambitious private-public initiatives from mayors and governors. We need to activate a new era of “regenerative” cities and states . . . Over 10,000 climate initiatives are underway in cities worldwide, according to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which represents 80 major cities. Read more. Photo of a wind turbine in Adair, Iowa by Charlie Neibergal / Associated Press

reckoning-at-eagle-creek

 

Jeff Biggers is the author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, and the founder of the Climate Narrative Project at the University of Iowa.

The Climate Narrative Project is a special initiative in the Office of Sustainability at the University of Iowa, designed to reach across academic disciplines and chronicle regenerative approaches to energy, food, agriculture, water and waste management, community planning and transportation.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Nebraska needs own climate plan, by the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board
    Thirty-four states have adopted climate action plans, according to a special legislative committee chaired by Sens. Ken Haar of Malcolm and Tyson Larson of O’Neill. A preliminary report shared at a legislative preview with incoming senators said the committee “heard one universally supported recommendation, which was the need to create a climate action plan for the State of Nebraska.” The preliminary report concluded, “The University of Nebraska Lincoln has the background, staff resources and expertise to create such a plan. The plan should be based on empirical evidence and Nebraska-based data, developed through outreach to the public and coordination with public and private sector interests.” The proposal is sensible and prudent. We hope that senators follow through. Read the entire editorial here.