As U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan weathers legal turmoil, at least one state is proceeding full steam ahead. California’s Air Resources Board released a white paper yesterday exploring ways to mesh the state’s existing climate change regulations with those envisioned under the federal rule for existing power plants.
U.S. EPA is exploring new territory when it comes to the Supreme Court’s decision to freeze the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama’a administration’s climate agenda, several former agency officials said this week. “Stays are quite unusual,” said Robert Sussman, who held positions in EPA during both the Obama and Clinton administrations. “I don’t think there are clear guideposts.”
“If Scalia’s seat remains vacant when the Clean Power Plan reaches the high court, a 4-4 vote would result in an automatic affirmance of the D.C. Circuit’s decision on the rule,” says Jack Lienke, an attorney with the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law, by email. “We can’t know what the D.C. Circuit will decide, but supporters of the Clean Power Plan are optimistic — both because the D.C. Circuit panel, unlike the Supreme Court, denied motions to stay the rule and because the three-judge panel includes two Democratic appointees.”
The U.K. wind energy industry received a boost this week with the announcement of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, to be built off the northeast coast. Dong Energy said its multi-billion pound Hornsea project, which is expected to power as many as 1 million homes in the region when complete, will occupy more than 400 square kilometers, situated about 120km off the Yorkshire coast.
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.