On Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will unveil a new plan to lower his state’s greenhouse gas emissions. And while the Democrat hasn’t tipped his hand on whether he’ll push for a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, Inslee and his administration have dropped several hints about how they’ll likely frame the carbon pricing plan as a way to help solve the state’s budget deficit. In an era where states have legalized everything from gambling to recreational marijuana as a way to raise budget revenue, Washington’s upcoming carbon fight may provide a road map for how state legislatures choose to comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Specifically, whether lawmakers otherwise hostile to the idea of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy costs may embrace cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes as a way to fix budget holes or restructure their tax codes.
Our agreement, which established the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, represents a regionwide commitment to air quality, clean fuels, carbon pricing, and clean-energy jobs. But it also respects that we have different approaches to reaching our shared goals. California’s carbon pricing program uses an economywide cap-and-trade system, while British Columbia has a revenue-neutral carbon tax program. Oregon is building on existing programs to set a price on carbon emissions. Washington is developing a carbon market program, including consultations with stakeholders.
While there are plenty of narrowly-tailored incentives that critics call corporate pork, there are also broader preferences for both businesses and working families. The preferences most derided as corporate pork are often just a small percentage of the overall cost of the tax package. Here’s a partial list of some of the 50-plus tax breaks Congress is passing for this year, at a cost of some $42 billion.
The Senate voted 56-40 late Saturday evening to pass a $1.1 trillion spending package that funds most of the government through next September. The vote culminates a week of acrimonious sniping and sends the spending bill to President Obama’s desk for a signature.
Wall Street traders may jump into and out of any stock to pursue quick profits, but long-term investing predicated on environmental, social and corporate governance concerns is becoming increasingly common, according to a new report from the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, or U.S. SIF. Known collectively by the abbreviations ESG or SRI investing — meaning sustainable, responsible and impacting investing — this strategy has ramped up significantly between 2012 and 2014, with $6.57 trillion of U.S.-domiciled assets at the start of the year now managed using the special criteria.
Secretary of State John Kerry today addressed a crowded room of dignitaries, environmental activists and bleary-eyed negotiators gathered in this city to hash out a new international climate change deal and called for urgent action to avoid the most destructive impacts of rising temperatures. Kerry touted to the international community a landmark climate deal with China as well as the Obama administration’s power plant rules and the United States’ newest target for cutting carbon 26 to 28 percent by 2025. America, he argued, is now leading the global response to climate change, wants to see an ambitious international agreement signed in Paris next year, and is counting on governments to rise above a decadeslong battle over who should take responsibility.
Catholic bishops from around the world are calling for an end to fossil fuel use and increased efforts to secure a global climate treaty. Catholics, they say, should engage with the process leading to a proposed new deal to be signed in Paris next year. The statement is the first time that senior church figures from every continent have issued such a call.
The Department of Energy has drawn new maps of the country’s wind power capacity to keep up with advances in turbine technology. Updated maps released today show how taller wind turbines with higher nacelles and longer blades can harness significant amounts of wind power in areas where shorter turbines would be still.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says the Senate on Friday will consider the $1.1 trillion government-funding bill approved by the House. The Senate voted Thursday night on a two-day stop-gap funding measure to keep the government operating beyond midnight. The leader also wants to pass a defense authorization bill, a package of tax extenders, a terrorism insurance bill and confirm a group of nominees before wrapping up the 113th Congress.
Belgium will decide early next year whether to build a ring-shaped island off its coast to store wind energy, in one of the world’s first attempts to make the renewable source available on demand, the government said. Wind energy is often abundant in the large wind parks off the Belgian coast, but storing it for when there is little wind is an issue, along with not wasting it when there is a surplus. Using an idea borrowed from hydroelectric dams, the island would be emptied of water when there is a lot of wind, using energy from windmills. When there is an energy shortfall, a lock would be opened to let the sea water back in and at the same time power turbines and generate electricity.