Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged Sunday to make the country’s smoggy skies blue again and “work faster” to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and electricity. His words to delegates at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress highlight how public discontent has made reducing smog, the most visible of China’s environment problems, a priority for the leadership. The 10-day event got underway under a sunny blue sky, thanks to heavy gusts from the north that cleared away the unhealthy gray from the day before.
As the Trump administration sets to work gutting environmental regulations, the best weapon for battling climate change in the U.S. may be jobs. Many Republicans, including the president, have been unmoved by environmental or scientific arguments that federal policies should support clean energy as a way to combat global warming. They may be swayed by the 360,000 jobs provided by wind and solar in the U.S. last year, business executives and environmentalists said Friday at a climate-change conference in Chicago.
The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies. The E.P.A. will also begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that was allowing the state to enforce the tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers. During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants.
“Auto manufacturers are attempting to backpedal on vital climate and consumer protections,” said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. “A new administration is no reason to go in reverse.” Automakers are also hopeful that the new E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, will begin legal action to revoke California’s ability to enforce its tailpipe standards.
So, it only makes sense that to achieve the economic and environmental goals espoused by the president in his speech, the policies and federal investment that support the clean energy sector must be maintained or strengthened. It’s also important for the White House to remember that principal beneficiaries of these programs are rural Americans, a constituency that played a key role in Trump’s election last November after promises he made to improve their way of life.
Northland Power has decided not to submit a bid in this month’s auction for the 1.5GW Kitty Hawk offshore wind zone off North Carolina. The Canadian investor confirmed in an analysts call that it had made the decision because it believes there are better locations for projects off the north east US coast. Northland told analysts it remains keen on bidding for future US offshore wind zones.
Westar Energy’s new Western Plains Wind Farm near Spearville began full operation on Wednesday, enabling the state’s largest electric utility to boast it can now provide more than half the annual electricity needs of its customers without carbon emissions. Infinity Wind developed the 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farm in Ford County, built by Mortenson Construction, using Siemens Wind turbines manufactured in Hutchinson. Westar will own and operate the facility.
Along with Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., Raimondo is head of the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a renewable energy advocacy group, which recently sent a letter to the Trump administration to emphasize the “boons of renewable energy.” In December, a big renewables boost came to Rhode Island when Deepwater Wind finished up the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore project in the U.S. Raimondo noted that she was proud to be governor of the only state with “steel in the water and blades spinning over the ocean.”
U.S. President Donald Trump will target a handful of Obama-era green regulations, including a federal coal mining ban and an initiative forcing states to cut carbon emissions, in an executive order as soon as next week, a White House official told Reuters on Wednesday. Trump and his fellow Republicans who control Congress are seeking to unravel former Democratic President Barack Obama’s initiatives to combat global climate change, which they say are costly for U.S. business and have hampered drilling and mining without providing any clear benefits.
he White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge. Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, according to energy and government officials with knowledge of the debate. But, they say, he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications.