The European Union will fail to meet an ambitious goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless it takes more aggressive measures to limit the use of fossil fuels and adopts new environmental policies, according to a report scheduled for release on Tuesday. Although European countries are on track to meet, and even surpass, the goal of reducing 1990-level greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, existing policies are not robust enough to ensure that the 2050 targets are met, the report said. Those targets, scientists have said, are critical to forestalling the most catastrophic effects of climate change, which are linked to carbon emissions caused by human activity.
The Senate’s top Republican waded into state regulatory policy today, urging state officials in an newspaper op-ed to not let themselves be “bullied” into complying with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wrote in the Lexington Herald-Leader op-ed that state lawmakers and officials have little to fear from EPA if they don’t comply with its draft rule for power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. Compliance, he said, could make states legally vulnerable.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, is urging governors to defy President Obama by refusing to implement the administration’s global warming regulations. In an op-ed article published Wednesday in The Lexington Herald-Leader with the headline, “States should reject Obama mandate for clean-power regulations,” Mr. McConnell wrote: “The Obama administration’s so-called ‘clean power’ regulation seeks to shut down more of America’s power generation under the guise of protecting the climate.” He added, “Don’t be complicit in the administration’s attack on the middle class.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ran his reelection on a promise to dismantle as many pieces of those and other EPA regulations as he possibly could, looking to attach riders to energy packages or spending bills. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack put it bluntly last month, saying, “I wake up every morning, I say my prayers and I’m thankful I’m not the EPA administrator.”
It is now all but certain that a 30-megawatt pilot project in Rhode Island state waters will be America’s first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind, the Providence, R.I.-based developer behind the Block Island project, announced this week that it had closed on more than $290 million in financing from American and French backers.
Sen. James Inhofe laughed off comedian Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” segment last night that lampooned the Environment and Public Works Committee chairman for implying that snow in February means man-made climate change isn’t happening.
Solar use in Japan has exploded over the last two years as part of an ambitious national effort to promote renewable energy. But the technology’s future role is now in doubt. Utilities say their infrastructure cannot handle the swelling army of solar entrepreneurs intent on selling their power. And their willingness to invest more money depends heavily on whether the government remains committed to clean energy.
Today, in his first budget address as Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf proposed $325 million in investments in the state’s energy sector, including significant investments in wind, solar, and energy efficiency. This proposal is part of an overall economic development plan aimed at investing in education and creating high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth.
Efforts to roll back state-level renewable energy standards hit another roadblock yesterday, as Colorado Democrats rejected a measure aimed at reducing the state’s current generation requirements. But opponents to the mandated use of resources including wind and solar power will still press similar bills in a handful of other states this year.
Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions. “When climate change is viewed through a moral lens it has broader appeal,” said Eric Sapp, executive director of the American Values Network, a grassroots organization that mobilizes faith-based communities on politics and policy issues.