Energy and Environmental Law Update - Week of June 24, 2013
ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE
Ten days after the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill 66-27, the House defeated the $940 billion H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, on June 20. Next steps on the measure are uncertain, though there may still be time for passage later this summer. While major energy pushes failed last week, the Senate was able to advance 14 small bills relating to energy and public land, includingS. 26, the Bonneville Unite Clean Hydropower Facilitation Act; S. 244, a bill to modify Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project offices; and S. 276, a bill to extend the construction commencement deadline for the American Falls Reservoir hydroelectric project.
With just a week left before the July 4th recess, the House will consider H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, and H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act. The Senate is expected to confirm Anthony Foxx to serve as Transportation Secretary and Penny Pritzker to serve as Commerce Secretary. House and Senate Appropriations Committees are scheduled to finalize considerations this week for the FY14 energy and water appropriations bills.
On Wednesday, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced the committee’s priorities for the summer. Chairman Boxer said she will work to advance the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. She added that she will continue to place a hold on the nomination of Dr. Allison Macfarlane to remain as Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman until Macfarlane hands over additional documents related to the San Onofre power plant. Chairman Macfarlane has reportedly been considering teaching posts at universities should her nomination proceedings fall through. She also plans for the committee to consider Toxic Substances Control Act reform and climate change impacts. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have indicated they are planning to introduce climate change legislation soon; Senator Feinstein’s bill would charge power plants $10 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The committee will also consider the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) at two hearings in July and September.
Following the recent death of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) announced June 20 that he will join the Senate Appropriations Committee, giving up his seat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will replace him. While it is still unclear who will take Senator Lautenberg’s vacated seat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, many people expect Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) to replace him following the June 25 special election.
On Tuesday, President Obama will lay out the administration’s strategy for addressing climate change at Georgetown University. The White House began rolling out its messaging campaign on Friday over social media, including releasing a teaser video. Administration officials have consistently signaled since the president’s second inaugural address that in the absence of new congressional legislation, they will leverage existing authorities to further their climate and energy agenda. The White House has signaled that the three primary policy planks will include: the Environmental Protection Agency promulgating GHG emission standards for new and existing fossil fuel plants under the Clean Air Act, the Department of Energy accelerating energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial appliances, and the Department of Interior incentivizing technically feasible renewable resource development on federal lands through improved permitting, including fast-tracking and streamlining processes. Other potential announcements include: recipients of the joint Defense Production Act advanced biofuel initiative to establish a drop-in biofuels industry in the United States, new federal energy goals to adopt more renewable assets at government facilities and to increase energy conservation measure adoption, and new adaptation strategies by federal agencies to help coordinate and prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change on public health, communities, oceans, wildlife, and water resources. The president’s remarks will likely bring climate change and clean energy policies back into the spotlight this summer, but it is still too soon to tell what, if any, constructive legislative response Congress will undertake.
Moniz before House Science
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz testified before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on June 18, outlining the agency’s science and technology priorities. The secretary commented that he is considering offering loan guarantees to fossil fuel projects, specifically carbon capture and sequestration projects at coal-fired power plants, under the Section 1703 program. He declined to say whether the agency would consider climate change when reviewing liquefied natural gas export terminal applications.
Army Corps to Not Consider Carbon in Coal Terminal Review
Speaking at a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing June 18, Acting Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Jennifer Moyer announced that the agency will not consider climate change as a result of burning exported coal when reviewing coal export terminals, saying that such issues are outside of the agency’s jurisdiction.
Committee Approves Helium Legislation
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 783, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, on June 18. Introduced by Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the bill would assist in the transition of helium reserve ownership.
CRS Coal Ash Report Released
House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats released June 18 a Congressional Research Service memorandum to the committee titledResponse to Committee Questions on Coal Ash Recycling and Oversight Act of 2013. Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) commented that the report shows the legislation lacks necessary environmental and public health protections.
Coal Ash Legislation Passes House Committee
The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 2218, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2013, 31-16 on June 19. Democrats who voted for the bill commented that they hope the Senate addresses concerns about emergency requirements. Amendments offered by Delegate Donna Christensen (D-VI), Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) to protect vulnerable populations, to add federal enforcement authority, and to protect groundwater, failed.
Republican Social Cost of Carbon Letter Sent
Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) expressed concerns about a recent Obama administration decision to alter the social cost of carbon in a June 18 letter to Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Agency Administrator Nominee Gina McCarthy, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell. They said the higher the estimate of the social cost of carbon, the more benefits can be linked to environmental regulations. The Senators urged the agencies to provide more information on the changes by July 2.
Tax Code and Greenhouse Gases Report Released
The National Research Council released its congressionally mandated report Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions June 20, finding that the tax code is too complex to fully determine its impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Tax credits and levies extend beyond intended industries. However, the participants—including academic, environmental, governmental, and industry stakeholders—found that policies directly targeting GHG emissions, such as a carbon tax or emissions allowances, could be successful.
Boehner, Upton Address Manufacturing and Energy
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) promoted energy policy while addressing the National Association of Manufacturers’ annual meeting June 20. Speaker Boehner identified manufacturing in the coal, natural gas, and oil sectors as a new economic frontier. Chairman Upton said he plans to introduce a bill to promote natural gas in the transportation sector in the next few months; he also expressed concern that S. 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, might not make it to the House because the Senate amendment process might prove problematic.
Senators Push Short-Lived Pollutant Discussions
Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) led a June 21 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the secretary to discuss short-lived climate pollutants while at the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. The letter, cosigned by 13 other senators, said India plays a key role in addressing climate change, as it is one of the largest developing economies.
- On June 18, Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) and 19 cosponsors introduced H.R. 2417, the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage (SHIELD) Act. The bill would protect the electric grid from natural and manmade electromagnetic pulse threats and vulnerabilities.
- The same day, Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2421, a bill that would expand the biorefinery assistance eligibility to renewable chemicals.
- On June 19, Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced S. 1191, the Better Buildings Act. The bill would encourage commercial building tenants to reduce energy consumption. Should S. 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, be considered on the Senate floor, Senators Bennet and Ayotte intend to introduce the bill as an amendment to that piece of legislation.
- The same day, Representative Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2445, a bill to repeal the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards.
- On June 20, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mark Pryor (D-AR), along with 6 additional Republican cosponsors, introduced S. 1195, the Renewable Fuel Standard Repeal Act. The bill is identical to Senator Barrasso’s amendment to the Farm Bill.
- The same day, Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S. 1199, a bill to improve energy performance in federal buildings.
- The same day, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 1200, the Residential Energy Savings Act of 2013. The legislation, which requires the Department of Energy to provide loans to states, is designed to promote energy efficiency and energy savings in residential buildings.
- The same day, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced S. 1205, the Local Energy Supply and Resiliency Act. The bill would encourage public and private entities to develop waste heat recovery systems and to use local renewable energy resources.
- The same day, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) introduced S. 1206, a bill to encourage benchmarking and disclosure of energy information for commercial buildings.
- The same day, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S. 1209, a bill to create a State Energy Race to the Top Initiative to promote doubling electric and thermal energy productivity by 2030.
- The same, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced S. 1213, a bill to reauthorize the weatherization and state energy programs.
- The same day, Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Ralph Hall (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2471, a bill to transfer the regulatory authority over natural gas exports from the Secretary of Energy to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- On June 25, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development will consider draft legislation for FY14 energy and water appropriations.
- The same day, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing to consider energy efficiency legislation including S. 1084, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2013, and S. 717, the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act.
- On June 26, the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY14 energy and water appropriations bill.
- The same day, the House Budget Committee will hold a hearing to examine the impact of the energy industry on jobs and the economy.
- The same day, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will host a hearing to consider the Renewable Fuel Standard.
- The same day, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a hearing to review power marketing administrators.
- On June 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee will markup the FY14 energy appropriations bill.
The same day, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight will hold a hearing to review contract management by the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management.
Obama Addresses Climate Change in Germany
President Obama advocated reducing carbon emissions while delivering a foreign policy speech June 19 in Berlin. While the majority of his speech focused on nuclear weapons reductions, the President commented that climate change is a global threat and that action must be taken by all nations now to mitigate associated risks.
Zichal on Upcoming WH Climate Change Actions
Speaking at a New Republic forum on climate change policy July 19, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal provided additional information on the soon-to-be-unveiled White House climate change strategy. The plan will focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy on federal land, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations, specifically the regulation of GHG emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Moniz Praises Solar
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz praised solar power on June 17 at the Energy Information Administration conference. He said that while the technology has more room to develop, the rate of progress in the next decade will be surprising.
Buildings Performance Database Launched
The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy launched its Buildings Performance Database June 17. The database compiles information on residential and commercial building energy performance such as electricity consumption and size, and users can perform statistical analyses on these structures. Approximately 60,000 buildings are currently in the database, with additional buildings regularly added.
Microwave Oven Energy Standards Notice of Final Rule Published
The Department of Energy published a notice of final rule for Energy Conservation Standards for On and Off Mode for Microwave Ovens June 17. The rule will go into effect August 16, and compliance is required by June 17, 2016.
WA, CA Wind Projects Honored
The Department of Energy honored wind power efforts by the Snohomish County Utility District from Washington State and by Southern California Public Power Utility at the American Public Power Association conference June 18. Snohomish County was honored for its Wind Integration Forum on wind energy and hydroelectric generation; Southern California was honored for its power purchase agreements that totaled more than 710 MW wind power.
Moniz Visits Hanford
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz visited the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington June 19. Secretary Moniz plans to have a proposal for the nuclear contamination site by the end of the summer. He later met with Governor Jay Inslee (D) as well as site contractors and whistleblowers.
Energy Systems Integration Facility Created
The Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced June 20 the creation of the Energy Systems Integration Facility in Colorado, which will focus on utility-scale clean energy integration. The facility will partner with manufacturer, research, and utility stakeholders to better integrate renewable energy into the electric grid.
Poneman Pushes CCS
Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman said June 21 the department is still committed to developing carbon capture and sequestration technology. Speaking at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event, Poneman said the U.S. needs to ramp up efforts to deploy the technology.
Knobloch to Serve as Chief of Staff
Kevin Knobloch, former President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, began his position as Department of Energy Chief of Staff on June 24. Knobloch previously served as Executive Director and as Legislative Director for arms control and national security at the Union of Concern Scientists in addition to serving as Legislative Director for former Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO).
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Kerry Pushes Global Effort
Secretary of State John Kerry wrote We Work on Climate Change Every Day for Grist on June 19, advocating a global approach to reducing CO2 emissions as a way to mitigate the impact of climate change. He urged the United States to be the leader in these efforts.
Kerry Tour Features Climate Change
Secretary of State John Kerry began a 12 day tour across Asia and the Middle East on June 21 with stops in Amman, Bandar Seri Begawan, Doha, Jeddah, Jerusalem, Kuwait City, and New Delhi. Secretary Kerry visited New Delhi June 23 to 25 as part of the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue; on the docket for discussion is climate change. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joined Secretary Kerry in India.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
NY to Not Immediately Sue EPA
New York state officials and several environmental groups announced June 17 that they will take a wait-and-see approach toward the Environmental Protection Agency for missing deadlines for its final new power plant carbon dioxide performance standards, since the administration is expected to release a climate strategy this week. The groups announce their intent to sue in April.
States Advocate against EPA Settlement
Attorneys general from 21 states sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe June 18, urging the agency to not enter into any settlements over the missed deadlines for its final new power plant CO2 performance standards. Several states and environmental groups are considering filing suits against the agency for missing the deadline.
Ozone Air Rules Deadline Challenge
Earthjustice filed a suit against the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California June 19 on behalf of the American Lung Association, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club. The groups asked the court to set a deadline to review ozone national ambient air quality standards by September 30, 2014.
WY to Lead Groundwater Contamination Study
The Environmental Protection Agency announced June 20 that Wyoming will lead the investigation of possible groundwater contamination due to fracking near the town of Pavillion. The agency, which said it would provide support to the state, released a draft study December 2011 of the contamination, which had been under fire from Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
Solid Waste Report Released
The Environmental Protection Agency released its report Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2011 Facts and Figures on June 20, saying that while generated solid waste decreased from 2010 to 2011, the amount recovered through recycling increased. 250.5 million tons of solid waste was created in 2010 compared to 250.4 million tons in 2011; 34 percent was recycled in 2010 while 34.7 percent was recycled in 2011.
SCOTUS Denies to Hear E15 Case
The Supreme Court announced on June 24 that it would not consider appeals by the American Petroleum Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association on the E15 ethanol fuel blends. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in April 2012 that the groups did not have standing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over the fuel blend requirements.
SCOTUS to Consider CSAPR Rejection
The Supreme Court announced June 24 that it would review a 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA. The court ruled that the agency had stretched its authority in an effort to limit air pollution. The rule would reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants across 28 states that drift into downwind states.
FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Two Order No. 1000 Compliance Filings Partially Accepted
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission partially accepted two Order No. 1000 compliance filings on June 20. The first, in the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council region, passed the transmission planning requirement but did not properly allocate costs while the second, in the ColumbiaGrid region, was asked to create a binding cost allocation process; additional compliance filings are due by mid-October. In response to the ColumbiaGrid order, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) threatened to create legislation to account for regional differences faced by the utility.
Proposed Rule Retiring Requirements Released
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed a rule June 20 to remove 34 reliability requirements and to withdraw 41 old directives. The requirements have been identified as either redundant or already addressed.
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
Agency Climate Change Adaptation Report Released
The Government Accountability Office released its report Climate Change: Various Adaptation Efforts Are Under Way at Key Natural Resource Management Agencies June 20, finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Park Service have created guidance and tools to address climate change adaptation. It also found that the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management has taken steps towards addressing adaptation but does not have a strategic direction.
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
Reactor Relicensing Environmental Considerations Updated
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission published on June 20 amendments, revised guidance, and a revised generic environmental statement related to reactor relicensing environmental protection regulations. The changes compile several environmental impact issues considered; the changes also add issues to consider such as geology and the effects of dredging.
G8 Communique Released
Following their annual summit held in Northern Ireland, leaders from the G8 released a communique June 19 that touched upon climate change. The leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the U.S. pledged to work more on mitigation and financing issues surrounding climate change. It had not been a major agenda item during the talks themselves.
EU Ministers Endorse Commission Strategy
Environment ministers in the European Union released a communique June 18, endorsing a European Commission April strategy to promote national climate adaptation plans. 12 EU countries do not have plans; the proposal by the Commission involves proposing legislation requiring plans by 2017. The ministers urged nations to consider cross-border issues when developing plans.
EU, China Restart Solar Tariff Talks
European and Chinese officials announced June 18 that the EU and China would restart negotiations to reach an agreement over issues related to Chinese solar panel imports, which were the target of a large anti-dumping tariff set by the European Commission earlier this month. EC Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht also traveled to China on June 21 to meet with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, though the solar tariff issue was not officially on their agenda.
First Chinese Carbon Trading Pilot Launches
The City of Shenzhen started selling carbon dioxide credits on June 18 as part of China’s first pilot program for a national carbon emissions trading initiative. 21,112 MT of carbon credits were sold for an average price of $4.63 per ton. Six more regional pilot programs, including ones for Shanghai and Beijing, are expected to launch before the end of 2014.
World Bank Report on Poor and Climate Change Released
The World Bank released its report Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience June 19, analyzing the potential impacts of climate change on South Asia, South East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The study, which followed up a 2012 report, found that the poor in expanding coastal cities are being pushed into areas that are at high risk for severe weather events; these areas are low-lying and have few public services and poor drainage. The World Bank is developing a Climate Management Action Plan and using findings from this report.
Mexico Emissions Reduction Strategy Announced
Mexican Environment Secretariat Air Quality Manager Ana Maria Contreras announced June 19 that the country has a four-pronged initiative to reduce emissions by 2019. The initiative will focus on transportation, industry self-regulation, public health, and emissions recovery.
EU Backloading Plan Advanced
The European Parliament Environment Committee met June 19 and approved two proposals, one involving the Emissions Trading System and the other reducing fluorinated gas emissions. The first proposal would allow the European Commission to delay the auction of up to 900 million allowances scheduled for sale between 2013 and 2015. The plan is designed to fix the current surplus of allowances. The full European Parliament will vote on the proposal in its July 2-3 session with EU member states considering it after. The second proposal would limit the sale of hydrofluorocarbons to 16 percent of their current level by 2030; since the committee heavily amended the proposal, which was originally introduced by the European Commission, negotiations to reconcile the differences will begin in the fall.
EU Second Generation Biofuel Targets Proposal Advanced
The European Parliament Committee for Industry, Research, and Energy approved June 20 a proposal to phase-in second generation biofuel quotas as part of the EU renewable energy transportation fuel targets. The plan, proposed by the European Commission, would shrink the target from 10 percent of the fuel mix by 2020 to 5 percent. The full Parliament is expected to vote on the issue in September or October.
CA Low Carbon Fuel Standard Analyzed
ICF International released its report California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Compliance Outlook 2020, which was prepared for California Electric Transportation Commission, on June 13. The report found that the low carbon fuel standard, a 2009 regulation requiring transportation fuels to be 10 percent less carbon-intensive by 2020, has spurred investment in alternative fuels.
IL Fracking Law Signed
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) signed into law June 17 a bill to regulate fracking practices, including stringent chemical disclosure provisions. The bill gives the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency the authority to enforce regulations.
TX Enacts PACE Bill
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) signed SB 385, the Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy Bill, into law June 17. The state is the 27th to adopt this approach to financing energy efficiency upgrades.
Resilient Communities for America Agreement Signed
The Resilient Communities for America Agreement was signed by 45 major city mayors on June 17. The pledge, organized by several organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Wildlife Fund, involves efforts to move towards using more renewable energy, to prepare for extreme weather events, and to reduce carbon footprints.
Climate Change, Resource Scarcity Report Released
The U.N. Environment Program, SustainAbility, and the Green Light Group released their report GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector on June 21, finding that businesses worldwide need to address operating costs, production markets, and reputations as the impact of climate change resource scarcity increases. The report recommended businesses include environmental trends in business planning and disclose and reduce environmental impacts.
API Study: Tier 3 Not Worth Costs
The American Petroleum Institute released a study June 18 finding that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Tier 3 regulations could cost the refining industry up to $10 billion in compliance costs while doing little to reduce fine particulate matter in air pollution. Higher refining costs could increase the cost of gasoline by six to nine cents a gallon, the study estimates.
Report Advocates National Labs Modernization
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Heritage Foundation released their joint report Turning the Page: Reimagining the National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy June 19, advocating for modernization efforts at the Department of Energy National Laboratories. Recommendations in the report include increasing budget flexibility, providing more incentives for the labs to participate in public-private partnerships, and combining the Offices of Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, and Nuclear into a new Office of Science and Technology managed by a single undersecretary.
Study Links City Energy Savings, Investment to Climate Change Action
The Carbon Disclosure Project released its report Wealthier, Healthier Cities June 20, finding that cities working on climate change adaptation are seeing energy costs savings and new business investment. 98 percent of the 110 cities surveyed from across the globe said climate change has created physical risks. Efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly energy efficiency, have resulted in $13 million in energy cost savings; 91 percent of the cities reported that economic opportunities have been created thanks to climate change adaptation efforts.
Ocean Report Released
The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission’s Joint Ocean Commission Initiative released its report Charting the Course: Securing the Future of America’s Oceans June 20. The report recommended the President and Congress enhance coastal community and ocean ecosystem resilience, improve Arctic research, and promote ocean renewable energy. It advocated for tax incentives to develop ocean renewable energy
Jean Cornell also contributed to this article.