Carbon Reduction Bill for Connecticut’s Electric Grid Awaits Governor’s Signature

A plan to phase the Connecticut’s electric grid to zero-carbon status by 2024 is the focus of a bill that now awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature.

The governor announced Senate Bill 10 focuses on a reduction on carbon emissions, which was established through an executive order in 2019, that allows state policymakers and companies in the electric sector to fully transition the grid away from natural gas and oil.

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O’Neal Proposes Tax Credit to Offset RGGI Compliance Costs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state Rep. Timothy O’Neal (R-Washington) has indicated he’s drafting legislation to bestow tax credits on power plants to cover costs of complying with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

Pennsylvania is among eleven northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to have joined RGGI, a compact to levy de facto taxes on electricity-generation facilities for emitting greenhouse gases — chiefly carbon dioxide and methane — which are associated with global warming. Because Keystone State legislators have balked at the program, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced in 2019 that he would enter the state into it using his own regulatory authority. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Commonwealth Court blocked the state’s entry into RGGI, insisting that Wolf breached the limits on his executive power, but the ruling is not ironclad as the Democrat-run state Supreme Court could reverse it.

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Volvo Says Connecticut Following California Emissions Standards Would ‘Pose Problems’

In a podcast discussion with Motor Transport Association of Connecticut President Joe Sculley on Friday, Volvo Group North America spokesperson Dawn Fenton objected to the Constitution State following California’s carbon-emission regulations for trucks.

California is the only state possessing a waiver allowing it to establish its own emission controls which are stronger than those required by the federal Clean Air Act. Environmental progressives have backed the waiver, which former President Donald Trump rescinded and which President Joe Biden reactivated last month.

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Commonwealth Court Blocks Pennsylvania’s Entry into Carbon Taxation Initiative

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court this week blocked the state’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an 11-state compact requiring de facto taxation of power plants’ carbon emissions.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tried to effect Pennsylvania’s participation in the initiative by issuing an executive order in 2019, thus neglecting to seek approval of the Republican-led General Assembly. The court’s new opinion comes one day after the state Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of legislation letting the General Assembly end the state’s membership in the compact. Legislative leaders have argued that the governor’s unilateral action violated the state Constitution and were heartened upon hearing of the judges’ decision.

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State Senator Yaw Proposes Legal Framework for Carbon Capture in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Williamsport) indicated Wednesday he will soon introduce legislation to create a regulatory framework for “carbon capture” in the commonwealth.

Carbon capture is the process of catching carbon-dioxide discharge from fossil-fuel-fired power plants and manufacturing facilities for either reuse or storage so that the emissions don’t make it into the atmosphere and exacerbate global warming.

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Opposing Greenhouse Gas Initiative Offer Alternative Policy

Lawmakers who have attempted to stop Pennsylvania’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are proposing alternative measures to mitigate carbon emissions in the Keystone State.

Representative Jim Struzzi has amended the anti-RGGI legislation he introduced last year to authorize spending $250 million from Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Response Restricted Account on carbon-dioxide-reduction technologies and related items. Funded projects would include methane abatement, hydrogen-based infrastructure and stormwater mitigation as well as assistance to communities weathering electric-generation plant closures.

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Largest U.S. Oil Producer Vows Net Zero Emissions by 2050

ExxonMobil, the largest American producer of crude oil, outlined its plan Tuesday to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, improving upon previous goals.

The major oil producer identified more than 150 “potential steps” that will help it achieve net zero emissions on its operations within 30 years, the company announced. ExxonMobil will increase investments in carbon capture and storage technology, hydrogen and biofuels, and bio-based plastic waste streams.

“ExxonMobil is committed to playing a leading role in the energy transition, and Advancing Climate Solutions articulates our deliberate approach to helping society reach a lower-emissions future,” ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.

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U.S. Energy Department Spent over $1 Billion on Failed Carbon-Cutting Projects

Over the last decade, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) spent $1.1 billion on various projects that attempted to reduce carbon emissions through the practice of carbon capture and storage (CCS), only for the vast majority of these projects to either fail or be cancelled.

According to the Daily Caller, the waste of taxpayer money was revealed in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that was released in December. The report revealed that the DOE had invested $684 million in eight different CCS projects that focused on coal, only for seven of them to be cancelled, while only a single facility remained in operation. The remaining $438 million was spent on three industrial CCS facilities; of these three, two were successful while one was cancelled.

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Commentary: Carbon Offsets – Not Taxes or Emissions Caps – Are the Best Path to Carbon Neutrality

Carbon taxes, emissions caps, subsidies – these all seek to reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases, yet regularly meet criticism and opposition. Is there a more efficient solution to achieving climate balance? Not only is the answer yes, but the potential benefits could far outperform what other strategies hope to achieve.

Most solutions seek to reduce emissions –abruptly or over time– or attain carbon neutrality by utilizing renewable power sources, but increasingly we hear that carbon neutrality is not enough. We must find new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, which will require meaningful investments in research and development. One solution is voluntary carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets are certificates for purchase intended to counteract operational emissions or capture legacy emissions from the past. This is done by paying for a given quantity of CO2 to be neutralized through investment in offsetting projects or technology. Whether the certificates are directed towards conservation efforts, renewable energy, or carbon capture or removal, purchasing carbon offsets provides one party investor satisfaction and the other party an infusion of funding intended to finance a carbon-reduction strategy. When purchasing high quality offsets, these serve as a down payment and incubator toward the best climate solutions available in the laboratory or in the field.

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Analysis: Many Environmentalists Oppose Nuclear Energy Despite Its Reliability, Carbon-Free Footprint

Expanding U.S. nuclear power — an energy source that many environmentalists and lawmakers oppose — could be the most reliable way to achieve a carbon-free electricity grid, according to experts.

Nuclear energy is considered a renewable energy source because it produces zero emissions through fission, the process of splitting uranium atoms, according to the Department of Energy. Currently, nuclear accounts for about 9% of total U.S. energy consumption, slightly less than all other renewable energy sources combined and coal, government data showed.

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Commentary: America Should Put More Resources into Nuclear Power

Nuclear and solar power energy

Recent news in the energy world has not been encouraging. Prices are rising rapidly due to a supply crunch coupled with blistering, post-pandemic demand. Renewables like wind and solar are faltering in an unprepared electrical grid. Coal burning is set to spike to make up for energy supply shortfalls at a time when the world needs to aggressively decarbonize.

Some of this hardship might have been avoided if, over the past couple of decades, policy makers had the guts to support the safest, most reliable form of energy, which also happens to be carbon-free: nuclear. Instead, Germany is taking its nuclear fleet offline and replacing it with fossil fuels, as the country’s already exorbitant electricity prices soar. California is shutting down its last nuclear plant, further imperiling its notoriously fragile grid. All the while, Americans remain divided on nuclear power.

Again, the data is clear: despite nuclear’s damaged reputation, clouded by a few high-profile accidents, nuclear power kills fewer people per electricity produced than any other energy source. It is also the most reliable. Nuclear’s capacity factor, a measure of how often a power plant is producing energy at full capacity over a certain period of time, is the highest by far – almost double that of coal and more than triple that of solar. And nuclear is clean, producing no carbon emissions. Though its radioactive waste often attracts negative press, coal plants actually create more. Moreover, all of the waste that America’s nuclear power plants have collectively produced in a half-century could fit on one football field. This is because nuclear is incredibly efficient. In the U.S., just 55 nuclear power plants produce 20% of the country’s electricity! It takes nearly 2,000 natural gas plants to produce 40 percent.

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Florida Democrats File All-Green Energy by 2040 Bill

Two progressive Florida Democrats filed legislation to require all of Florida’s energy to be generated by renewable energy by 2040. State Sen. Lori Berman (D-FL-32) and State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-FL-47) filed SB 366 and HB 81, respectively.

Each bill contains language including “prohibiting the drilling or exploration for, or production of, oil, gas, or other petroleum products” and that the state has to put together a plan to “generate 100 percent renewable energy.”

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Virginia Awards $10.5 Million for Clean Energy School Buses

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, Virginia awarded $10.5 million worth of grants to 19 local school districts to replace diesel-fueled school buses with clean energy alternatives.

The state funds will replace 83 diesel buses throughout the commonwealth with either propane or electric buses. The money is provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality through the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Money for the fund was provided to Virginia and other states after a settlement with Volkswagen after they were accused of violating the Clean Air Act by selling 500,000 vehicles that the federal government said caused more pollution than was permissible.

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Kerry’s Private Jet Emitted 30 Times More Carbon in 2021 Than Average Vehicle Does in a Year

The family jet of climate czar John Kerry has emitted 30 times more carbon so far in 2021 than the average vehicle in a year, Fox News reported.

The private jet emitted 138 metric tons of carbon between Jan. 10 and Aug. 6. It took off 20 times, according to flight data Fox News obtained, updating a previous count of 16 flights.

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Minneapolis Wants to Ban New Drive-Thru Windows to Reduce Carbon Emissions

  Minneapolis wants to ban all new drive-thru windows citywide in order to cut down on carbon emissions produced by idling cars. The City Planning Commission has been considering a drive-thru ban since 2017, but the idea didn’t really start to come to fruition until the 2018 conversations surrounding the…

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US Leads the World in Cutting CO2 Emissions, But That’s Not Good Enough for the UN

by Tim Pearce   The United Nations is urging countries to pursue more aggressive emissions-cutting policies to keep post-Industrial Revolution global warming under 2 degrees Celsius. The U.N. released a report Tuesday that says the world must revamp efforts several times what they are currently to avoid climate change’s worst…

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