No matter what happens to the Clean Power Plan after the Supreme Court last week paused its implementation, the United States will sign later this year the climate change mitigation agreement reached in Paris in December, the country’s top climate envoy said yesterday.
Gov. Jerry Brown does not mention global warming in the outline of the energy accord with governors of 16 other states. California Gov. Jerry Brown may have found a way to get some of his Republican counterparts to sign on to the clean energy revolution — drop all mention of climate change. Brown and a bipartisan group of 16 other governors announced an agreement Tuesday to increase renewable power, integrate electricity grids across state lines and boost the number of cars running on alternatives fuels.
How are state air agencies proceeding with planning following last week’s Supreme Court stay of the Clean Power Plan? During today’s OnPoint, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, explains how her state plans to not only stay the course with its compliance planning, but also stay on the timeline prescribed by U.S. EPA in its rule. Nichols also discusses California’s plans to work with other states on compliance.
Michigan joined the list of Republican-led states in the coal-dependent Midwest that are putting the brakes on work to develop Clean Power Plan compliance strategies following last week’s surprising stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesterday’s decision by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) comes a day after Gov. Scott Walker (R) issued an executive order prohibiting Wisconsin agencies from working on the carbon rule. The Kansas Legislature is also moving quickly on a bill that would likewise suspend efforts on the Clean Power Plan. And similar legislation has been filed in neighboring Missouri.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will attend an annual security conference in Munich this weekend where he’ll also participate in a discussion on climate change. Whitehouse and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to the Munich Security Conference. The senators have traveled together to previous security conferences in the German city.
Visiting this southwestern Alaska city on a cold but sunny day, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz yesterday released a study showing the Last Frontier could become a solar energy powerhouse. Its industry could rank “at least comparable if not favorable to that of Germany, which leads the world in solar PV installations,” he said.
Frank Kohlasch, one of the lead architects of Minnesota’s compliance strategy for the Obama administration’s signature climate regulation, had just arrived at St. Cloud State University last Tuesday when news broke that the Supreme Court had slammed the brakes on the federal effort. St. Cloud State was hosting the first of four statewide public “listening sessions” on U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, where Kohlasch and his Minnesota Pollution Control Agency colleagues expected questions from citizens about what exactly the agency would require of Minnesota’s power plants. But the first query stumped him.
Governors of 17 states today announced a new bipartisan agreement to promote clean energy but steered clear of touching on climate change. Led by California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), the pact is aimed at boosting energy efficiency and renewable energy, modernizing the electricity grid and promoting electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
“Last week, the Clean Power Plan was basically dead,” said Brian Potts, a lawyer with the Foley & Lardner law firm who represents companies on environmental regulatory issues. “But with Scalia’s death, everything has changed.” Environmental lawyers involved in the litigation who support the regulation told Reuters Monday that even before Scalia’s death they had been hopeful the Supreme Court would ultimately uphold it upon close consideration. But they said the change in the high court bolsters the rule’s chances.
Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Wednesday that he would keep working on compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan, as well as his own state-level rule to limit emissions from all large industrial sources. “Here in Washington state we are unfortunately already seeing the harmful impacts of climate change, and we will continue to take steps that reduce carbon and to lead the nation in clean energy,” he said in a statement. “The EPA’s Clean Power Plan remains a crucial tool to ensure that every state must do its part, and to empower them to do so.”