Minutes after Gov. Jack Dalrymple got through presiding over a vote to change the state’s rules on natural gas flaring, he got an earful from a constituent. Technically, the audience isn’t allowed to speak during meetings of the Industrial Commission, which oversees oil and gas regulation. The Republican governor chairs the three-member commission, which had just approved a compromise giving the industry relief from an interim goal to capture natural gas in the oil field, in exchange for further cuts over the long term. Case closed
Convening State and Industry Leaders; Supporting Strategies for the Long-Term Development of a Clean and Abundant Energy Resource Along All U.S. Coasts. Two years ago, President Obama released his vision to cut carbon pollution and transition our country to a clean-energy economy. One of the key pillars of the plan was the commitment to double our renewable energy use by 2020. We are on track to achieving that goal. However, there is a need to do more. That is why this summer, in a joint statement with Brazil, the United States committed to increasing non-hydro renewable energy generation to 20% by 2030.
The White House today announced new offshore wind energy leases and increased federal and international collaboration in an effort to meet President Obama’s commitment to obtain 20 percent of non-hydropower renewable energy generation by 2030. The announcements kicked off the first-ever offshore wind summit hosted by the White House, which included representatives from federal and state offices and stakeholders.
Speaking at the United Nations, Brown told a panel that the Golden State next week will formally announce the move. The Air Resources Board (ARB) will pursue regulations that by 2030 will cut methane and hydrofluorocarbons emissions 40 percent each, and black carbon pollution in half. He said it’s a faster way to shrink emissions than targeting carbon pollution, which the state also is looking to shrink with multiple programs.
When Microsoft business unit managers calculate their profits or losses each quarter, they consider more than just sales and expenses. They also factor in the price of carbon. Even more radically, the business units are charged an internal tax by Microsoft based on their energy usage. The money goes into a common fund that invests in environmental sustainability projects. The company’s program is at the forefront of a fast-growing effort called carbon pricing. This year, 437 companies are calculating an internal price on carbon, up sharply from 150 last year, according to a new report by CDP, a nonprofit group that monitors carbon disclosures for companies.
“There will be no more CREZ zones approved by the commission, unless the Legislature directs it,” Anderson said, describing his thinking during an open meeting yesterday. “I think we should even open up a rulemaking to enshrine that.” Anderson offered some qualifications to his remarks, but the tone appeared clear. His general approach was supported by Donna Nelson, who chairs the PUC, and Commissioner Brandy Marty Marquez. The CREZ program often is cited as a key reason Texas is ranked No. 1 for installed U.S. wind capacity, as shown by the American Wind Energy Association.
Six years ago when cap-and-trade legislation was working its way through Congress, its foes warned the emissions scheme would put U.S. industry at a disadvantage because China wouldn’t follow suit. But China has turned the tables, announcing a cap-and-trade plan today for its greenhouse gas emissions while there’s nearly no chance for the United States to do the same.
And the world’s second-largest economy also said it would provide $3.1 billion in climate finance to poor countries, topping the U.S. pledge of $3 billion over four years.
Speaking to a packed hall that included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) sitting next to Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the pope called for a “fundamental and effective” international climate agreement in Paris in December. He also linked the effort to protect the environment directly with alleviating poverty. Referencing his landmark encyclical on the environment, Francis also denounced consumerism and what he called “a culture of waste” that goes hand-in-hand with fueling poverty and destruction of the environment.
Since that time, the Clean Air Act has repeatedly been challenged as costly and unnecessary. As a fight brews over President Obama’s new use of the law to address global warming, it’s worth re-examining the vast difference the law has already made in the quality of the air we breathe, and in the length of our lives.
In a generation or two, offshore wind farms could be as common along the California coast as offshore oil rigs are today. And Morro Bay could be the community where the offshore wind industry gets its start in the Golden State. Trident Winds LLC has approached the city of Morro Bay with a proposal to install about 100 floating turbines 15 miles offshore. It’s a 1,000-megawatt project that would produce enough energy to power 150,000 households. The turbines would rise 360 to 400 feet above sea level, would cover about 63 square miles and would be spaced about half-a-mile apart.