Prelude to Paris: the climate talks are set to begin

This is the last post in our year-long climate series, “Prelude to Paris,” providing updates and analysis on climate actions and policies in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference starting in Paris next week. Other posts in the series are available here. Next week, leaders from nearly 200 countries will convene in [...]

EPA Hosts Clean Power Plan Public Hearings in Atlanta

The Clean Power Plan sets emission reduction goals that each state must meet by 2030, based on that state’s historic generation and unique energy portfolio. States are given a wide range of compliance options and ample time to craft state specific compliance plans that are flexible, economically viable and protect grid reliability.

EPA will host two days of public hearings in Atlanta, as well as a few other cities across the country, to take public input on a few key parts of the Clean Power Plan – the Proposed Federal Rule and Model Training Rules and the Clean Energy Incentive Program. The official public comment period for these pieces ends on January 21, 2016, but EPA is hosting public hearings early for those who want to provide input before the deadline.

North Charleston Mayor Declares: “Support Solar” and Extend the Solar ITC

Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston, South Carolina declared by proclamation that yesterday was “A Day To Support Solar” and called for Congress to extend the solar investment tax credit. The proclamation was read at last night’s North Charleston City Council meeting and was presented to local solar business owner, Dave McNeil of Hannah Solar [...]

Environmental Justice Community Airs Concerns in Memphis

Last weekend, the 2015 Memphis Environmental Justice Conference – Envisioning a Cleaner, Healthier Environment – brought people together, both local and national, to hear speakers talk on issues ranging from transportation issues, labor and the environment and gender and environmental security. A common theme of the conference presentations was recognition that access to clean air, clean water and even clean energy should not be restricted based on attributes like one’s race, gender, religion or economic status.

Guest Post: Polluters are Making the Same Old “Sky is Falling” Claims about the Clean Power Plan

The ink wasn’t even dry on the Clean Power Plan before some power companies filed lawsuits to challenge these historic public health protections.

One of their key complaints? How much the Clean Power Plan is allegedly going to cost.

In their court filing, these companies claimed that they’ll potentially need to spend “billions of dollars” to comply.

This tactic is nothing new, and it’s something we often hear when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a new regulation that will provide cleaner, healthier air for our communities and families.

But it’s almost always wrong.

In defiance of the “sky is falling” predictions, American industry innovates and figures out ways to comply with new, healthier standards at a fraction of the costs initially projected.

Scary Stuff Blocking Solar in the Sunshine State

I am constantly amazed at how low Florida’s monopoly utilities are willing to go to protect their right to pollute and keep their captive customers.  Frankly, it’s scary and that seems very appropriate given Halloween is upon us. It’s scary that Florida – the Sunshine State – gets only about 1/10 of 1 percent of [...]

Extra Extra! Clean Power Plan Finally Published!

Almost 2 and a half months after the Clean Power Plan was released, it has finally become official. Today, the Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register, an important procedural step that not only makes the rule official but also marks the start of a period when the rule becomes subject to Congressional review under the Congressional Review Act. Additionally, the publication of the rule marks the beginning of what will likely be a slew of legal challenges from industry and historically coal-dependent states.

Florida’s Highest Court Approves Solar Choice

This week marks an important milestone for solar policy in the Southeast, specifically Florida. Florida’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the language proposed by the Floridians for Solar Choice ballot initiative is unambiguous and single-subject, meaning that this initiative now has a green light to be on Florida’s general election ballot in November of [...]

Justicia Económica y el Plan de Energía Limpia: Más Empleos, Más Justicia

El Plan de Energía Limpia ha sido estructurado para crear miles de nuevos empleos en los sectores de energía limpia y eficiencia energética, ofreciendo incentivos para crear buenos empleos en las comunidades vulnerables. El Plan recomienda estándares robustos para asegurar que los nuevos puestos de trabajo creados conduzcan a carreras de calidad. El Plan de Energía Limpia e iniciativas de política pública relacionadas también contienen protecciones vitales para los trabajadores en el sector del carbón y para sus comunidades. La EPA y el Departamento de Energía (DOE, por sus siglas en inglés) han tomado medidas para ayudar a asegurar que los sindicatos, los trabajadores afectados y sus comunidades sean tratados como partes interesadas, cuyas opiniones sean escuchadas y reflejadas en los procesos estatales para crear planes de implementación (en adelante “planes estatales”). Lo que es más, el Plan de Energía Limpia aborda las preocupaciones de los sindicatos en cuanto a la confiabilidad de nuestro sistema eléctrico, el período para su cumplimiento, y crédito por reducción de emisiones originadas por procesos industriales, como la cogeneración eléctrica y térmica.

Nuevas carreras en los sectores de energía renovable y eficiencia energética

En general, el Plan de Energía Limpia anticipa un mayor crecimiento de la capacidad de generación proveniente de energía limpia que la propuesta de regulación – 28 por ciento en el reglamento final, en comparación con 22 por ciento bajo la propuesta. Además, aunque la eficiencia energética ya no es un “pilar” para el establecimiento de metas estatales de reducción de carbono, el Plan de Energía Limpia aún proporciona fuertes incentivos para que los estados y las regiones implementen programas de eficiencia energética como mecanismo de cumplimiento.

Labor and the Clean Power Plan: More Jobs, More Justice

The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands more new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, with incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities. It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers. The Clean Power Plan and related initiatives also contain vital protections for coal workers and communities. The EPA and DOE have both acted to help ensure that unions, affected workers, and their communities will be treated as stakeholders whose views are heard and reflected in the state processes to create implementation plans. What’s more, the plan addresses concerns from affected unions about ensuring our power system is reliable, the timeline for compliance, and emissions reduction credits for manufacturing processes such as combined heat and power.