Jonathan Pershing, who will become the top U.S. diplomat on climate issues next month, has spent the last three years at the Department of Energy working to make the U.S. commitment in Paris easier to achieve. Since stepping down in 2013 as deputy to outgoing U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Pershing has been responsible for helping DOE align its advanced energy research and policy with the Obama administration’s climate priorities. That’s meant supporting everything from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan to the U.S. position at last year’s landmark climate summit in the French capital.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled yesterday that the fiscal 2017 spending bills won’t come to the floor until the House sorts out its intraparty squabbling over the budget resolution. While the House Appropriations Committee is set to launch its first markup of the year tomorrow, with the military construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill in subcommittee, Ryan said the bills won’t proceed to the floor until the budget is resolved.
With the price of solar power down significantly in recent years, how widespread is the use of solar in low-income communities and households? During today’s OnPoint, Stanley Greschner, vice president of government relations and market development at GRID Alternatives, discusses his organization’s new policy guide that seeks to open solar power and solar job access to low-income households throughout the United States.
An estimated three out of four jobs globally are dependent on water, meaning that shortages and lack of access are likely to limit economic growth in the coming decades, the United Nations said on Tuesday. About 1.5 billion people – half the world’s workers – are employed in industries heavily dependent on water, most of them in farming, fisheries and forestry, the U.N. World Water Development Report 2016 said.
Donald Trump is loaded. He has 673 delegates, billions of dollars and a gun permit. But he doesn’t seem to have a coherent policy on energy and climate. Trump to this point has offered campaign pitches rather than policy positions on issues related to greenhouse gases, fossil fuel development and renewable electricity. It appears that the Republican front-runner hasn’t hired a top energy adviser, according to multiple GOP analysts who work on the issue.
The Senate’s top Republican yesterday told governors to continue their “wait-and-see” stance regarding compliance with the Obama administration’s carbon rule for power plants. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has long urged states to take such an approach, otherwise referred to as “just say no,” and not submit implementation plans for the program. He argued in a letter to governors last year that U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan would not hold up in court
California is one step closer to getting its first offshore wind farm. The Interior Department announced yesterday that it has completed an “initial review” of a request from Trident Winds LLC to put 100 floating turbines more than 30 miles off the coast near the middle of the state. It found that the company was legally, technically and financially qualified to hold an offshore wind energy lease in federal waters, according to a press release.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is evaluating a proposal for the first offshore wind project in California. The agency said Trident Winds LLC is qualified to develop its proposed 800-megawatt wind farm, and will now determine if other companies are interested in the lease area, according to a statement Monday. If so, BOEM will initiate a competitive bidding process for the site about 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay. If not, it will move forward with a noncompetitive leasing process.
Moniz has repeatedly noted that business leaders and outside groups have called for at least a doubling in clean R&D funding over current levels. For example, the Bipartisan Policy Center released a white paper last week noting that R&D spending directed toward DOE has fallen from about 18 percent in 1979 to 6-9 percent of total federal R&D funding now.
A trio of New York University law experts argue in a forthcoming law paper that U.S. EPA has several legal precedents for the Clean Power Plan. Those precedents include programs under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act — under which EPA issued the carbon program for power plants — and other provisions in the law, according to the paper. The law professors say they plan to soon file an amicus brief that makes the same point in the ongoing litigation over the Clean Power Plan in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.