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Category Archives: Energy

Exploring gaps in city climate planning and the need for regional action

Brookings: “The growing threats from climate change leave the global population no choice: We must decarbonize human activity as soon as possible. That includes changing how we build, travel, generate power, and more to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Achieving such transformative change will require a mix of policy reforms, new technologies, and significant capital investments. Under ideal circumstances, cities, national governments, global organizations, and private business owners would seamlessly work together to orchestrate actions that deliver results at the scale and speed the planet needs.The past year has demonstrated that the U.S. federal government can do its part. While political discord has led to paralysis on climate action for well over a decade, within the previous 12 months, Congress has passed three landmark bills—the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—that together invest hundreds of billions of dollars across a range of advanced research programs, utility-focused incentives, modern manufacturing facilities, consumer-facing rebate programs, and more.The question now is whether cities are well-positioned to do their part—and the current landscape is discouraging. While many cities have drafted “climate action plans” that pledge specific GHG emissions reductions, they are struggling to hit their targets. One gap in city climate planning and action is internal, with cities often failing to specify detailed strategies that will advance their goals. The other gap is regional: Individual cities do not have the fiscal, technical, or programmatic capacity to single-handedly drive decarbonization across their metropolitan regions, and often, they do not coordinate with other jurisdictions. This report attempts to better understand why cities are failing to meet their targets and what can be learned from the planning practices that are working well. By evaluating the most comprehensive decarbonization plans across 50 of the country’s largest cities, the report judges how well the strategies and actions in these plans prepare cities for meaningful, accountable decarbonization…”

EPA Launches New Online Tools to Provide Communities with Information on Environmental Enforcement and Compliance

“The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two new online tools available to the public that provide additional information on environmental enforcement and compliance in their communities. Through improved transparency, advanced technologies and community participation, these tools empower the public to help EPA assure compliance nationwide and protect public health and the environment.Members of the… Continue Reading

US Cities Are Recycling Trees and Poop to Make Compost

Wired: “American trees are in trouble. Based on recent estimates, up to one in every six native species in the continental US is in danger of going extinct, due to mounting threats such as invasive species, diseases, climate change, logging, and wildfires. Metropolitan areas, meanwhile, are losing an astounding 36 million trees every year, according… Continue Reading

Climate Change: Enhancing Federal Resilience

GAO – Climate Change: Enhancing Federal Resilience GAO-22-106061 Published: Sep 19, 2022. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2022. “Between fiscal years 2015 and 2021, selected appropriations for disaster assistance totaled $315 billion. Disaster costs are projected to increase as certain extreme weather events like drought or extreme rainfall become more frequent and intense because of climate… Continue Reading

All 50 states get green light to build EV charging stations covering 75,000 miles of highways

National Alternative Fuels Corridors: “The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designates a national network of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along national highway system corridors. To designate these Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC), FHWA solicits nominations from state and local officials and works with other… Continue Reading

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: CRS Products

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: CRS Products, September 20, 2022: “…CRS selected its products below by searching CRS.gov using the terms climate and greenhouse gas and through discussion with CRS subject matter experts. Products were selected from the search results and included here if they met the search criteria, contained substantial discussion of GHG mitigation, and have… Continue Reading

Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Federal Role and Issues for Congress

CRS Report – Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Federal Role and Issues for Congress, September 22, 2022: “For several decades, the federal government has funded efforts to explore the feasibility of mitigating the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) while burning fossil fuels as a source of energy. Carbon capture and storage (CCS)—the process… Continue Reading

Global Registry of Fossil Fuels

Global Registry of Fossil Fuel Emissions and Reserves: “The Global Registry is the first open-source database of oil, gas and coal production and reserves globally, expressed in CO2-equivalent. By increasing transparency and accountability around fossil fuel production, the Registry aims to improve understanding of extraction impacts on the remaining carbon budget and ultimately to inform… Continue Reading

Updating the External Wealth of Nations database to 2021

Brookings: “Editor’s Note: This post updates with year-end 2021 data the External Wealth of Nations database [Excel download], which assembles data on external claims and liabilities of economies around the world. The database is described in more detail in a series of papers (Lane and Milesi-Ferretti 2001, 2007, 2018), and in a companion post. The… Continue Reading

The Bioeconomy: A Primer

CRS Report – The Bioeconomy: A Primer, September 19, 2022 – “The term bioeconomy refers to the share of the economy based on products, services, and processes derived from biological resources (e.g., plants and microorganisms). The bioeconomy is crosscutting, encompassing multiple sectors, in whole or in part (e.g., agriculture, textiles, chemicals, and energy). Many predict… Continue Reading

A Legitimacy Crisis of the Supreme Court’s Own Making

Brennan Center for Justice – Last term, the justices showed little concern for the public’s trust in them: “Chief Justice John Roberts said at an event last week that he doesn’t understand current questions about the Supreme Court’s legitimacy. “The [Court’s] decisions have always been publicly criticized,” the chief justice said, but it is a… Continue Reading

United in Science 2022

United in Science 2022 – A multi-organization high-level compilation of the most recent science related to climate change, impacts and responses. “This report has been compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) under the direction of the United Nations Secretary-General to bring together the latest climate science-related updates from key global partner organizations – WMO,… Continue Reading