U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy expressed disappointment yesterday about the Supreme Court’s decision to freeze the Clean Power Plan but vowed before a gathering of state regulators that her agency would forge ahead with actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “It is not going to slow us down,” McCarthy said at a Washington, D.C., workshop on the plan. “Are we going to respect the decision of the Supreme Court? You bet. Of course we are. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that we’re working on.”
There are driving forces that will allow the United States to meet its commitment outside of the Clean Power Plan rule. Other policies, like the renewable energy tax credits that were extended late last year as part of a budget agreement with Capitol Hill, could help the United States achieve Obama’s promise of cutting greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2025, he said. And “ongoing, intense” discussions with U.S. negotiating partners confirmed they understood that.
“One of reasons I want to talk about this is because in the last couple of days I’ve heard people say, ‘The Supreme Court struck down the Clean Power Plant rule,’” Obama said in California. “That’s not true, so don’t despair, people. This a legal decision that says, ‘Hold on until we review the legality.’ We are very firm in terms of the legal footing here. …We need to be investing in the future, not the past. Instead of subsidizing … the oil industry, we should be investing in solar and wind and battery technology — all the things that promise us we can generate enormous power without destroying the planet for our kids and grandkids.”
President Obama yesterday expressed confidence in the legal underpinning of his signature climate rule. In his first public remarks since the Supreme Court froze the rule Tuesday, the president acknowledged the action by the high court was “unusual” but said that the rule would ultimately survive. “In the last couple of days, I’ve heard people say, ‘The Supreme Court struck down the Clean Power rule.’ That’s not true, so don’t despair people,” he said, according to a White House press pool report from a Democratic fundraiser. “This is a legal decision that says, ‘Hold on until we review the legality.'”
WITH presidential primaries in full steam, with the country wrapped up in concern about the economy, immigration and terrorism, one might wonder why we should care about the news of a minuscule jiggle produced by an event in a far corner of the universe.
Renewable energy will grow more quickly than forecast and provide around 15 percent of world power generation by 2035, oil company BP said on Wednesday. Renewables, including biofuels and wind power, are projected to increase at a rate of 6.6 percent per year, boosting their share of the total primary energy mix to 9 percent by 2035, up from 3 percent now, BP said in its annual Energy Outlook 2035.
“Today’s decision does not mean the Clean Power Plan has been overturned, to the contrary we are confident that once the courts carefully consider the merits of these cases, the Clean Power Plan will stand. A stay, however is disappointing because it may signal eventual delays in reducing both the carbon pollution that is causing climate change and getting proven, clean, and affordable wind energy to more Americans”
The U.S. power sector’s shift toward burning less coal and using more natural gas and renewable energy will not be derailed by the Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration’s limits on carbon emissions, state regulators and utilities said on Wednesday. The U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 on Tuesday to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon emissions crackdown on coal plants until a legal challenge is resolved.
Funding for the final piece of President Obama’s climate legacy was thrown into a tailspin late yesterday when the Supreme Court put the brakes on federal power plant regulations. The move by the court’s five conservatives to block U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan introduces new uncertainties to an already-unlikely $4.1 trillion request that reaches beyond Obama’s remaining 11 months in office to a hypothetical future where Congress supports and funds climate change action.
The Supreme Court’s decision to freeze the Obama administration’s signature carbon rule will likely shape the political debate on climate change on Capitol Hill and in the upcoming presidential elections, lawmakers yesterday predicted. On the one hand, House Republicans may not be as gung-ho about going after the Obama administration’s climate agenda. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), a vocal critic of U.S. EPA, yesterday said that he felt comfortable putting the carbon program on the backburner.