Trump Admin Begins Rollback of Clean Power Plan

Following through on a campaign promise, the Trump administration signed a rule this week to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national limit on carbon pollution from existing power plants. An historic public health regulation, which wasn’t scheduled to begin implementation until 2022, the Clean Power Plan was projected to save Americans $12 billion to $34 billion in health cost savings.

By setting modest carbon reduction goals and providing maximum compliance flexibility, including carbon reductions achieved through increased use of natural gas and nuclear, the Clean Power Plan established a balance of environmental and economic development goals. In fact, the rule would have provided relief in the form of utility bill savings, with an estimated $7/month savings realized by 2030 thanks to reduction in power demand thanks to increased energy efficiency.

Seeking Southern Climate Champs – Are You In?

The attacks to clean energy are in full force. President Trump is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, halting EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and placing dirty pipelines back on the table. Here in the Southeast, wind energy development is under attack, and offshore drilling and seismic blasting are, once again, a threat to our coasts.

Interview: A Groundbreaking Plan to “Drawdown” Greenhouse Gas

What will it take to get to a point where the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere starts getting smaller? That’s the question behind a new book from Paul Hawken and Project Drawdown. The answers it provides may be surprising. Beyond renewable energy and green transportation, top climate solutions included expanding both sustainable agriculture [...]

New Executive Order Threatens US Progress on Climate Action

Given his appointment of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – a man with a long history of challenging health-based environmental regulations in court – President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order, released today, is not unexpected.

Cloaked in a patriotic narrative, President Trump’s executive order does more to threaten our nation’s energy independence than support it. Renewable energy has a critical role to play in strengthening our country’s energy independence, yet this executive order is aimed at weakening our ability to incorporate more clean energy resources into our national energy portfolio.

It also doubles down on the false claim that the coal industry can be saved by dialing back public health regulations. In truth, coal is being beaten in the free market by cheaper natural gas and cheap renewable energy.

Today’s executive order – coupled with the President’s recently proposed large budget cuts to the EPA and Department of Energy (DOE) clean energy, smart grid and storage technology research programs – makes it clear that this Administration is not serious about protecting our health, our climate or our national security.

What do the 2016 election results mean for energy efficiency?

This guest post was authored by Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and was originally published on ACEEE’s blog here.  Now that the hard-fought 2016 election is over, I think it is useful to consider its impact on energy efficiency policy. No doubt, a lot of uncertainty [...]

TGIF! Paris Climate Agreement Officially International Law

Today, the historic Paris Agreement, our first global agreement to limit carbon emissions and keep the global average temperature increase below 20C, officially became international law. Happy Friday, Earth!

192 countries signed the historic agreement, including the United States, agreeing to reduce carbon pollution at the 2015 gathering of countries engaged in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris. To date, 97 countries have formally joined the Paris accord, or ratified the agreement, with more countries expected to officially jump on board in the coming weeks and months.

Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Energy Issues: NC Attorney General Roy Cooper

This post is the final in a series of blogs examining where 2016 candidates for President or Governor of North Carolina stand on key energy issues.  Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools. SACE’s [...]

Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Energy Issues: NC Governor Pat McCrory

2016 Candidate Series: Leadership from a state’s governor is critical to setting the tone for energy policies, like REPS, and this blog series aims to inform voters on the policy stances regarding energy and climate issues that face North Carolina. First we evaluate current North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who is running for re-election this November. Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 29 years and served as Charlotte’s longest-running mayor before retiring in 2008 to run for Governor of North Carolina. Prior to his 2012 gubernatorial election, Governor McCrory also served as a champion for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-backed anti-clean energy organization.

Solar for Low-income Communities and More! EPA’s Clean Energy Incentive Program

Southeastern states may soon have an added incentive for developing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources that directly benefit low-income communities and utility customers. These potential new incentives come in the form of draft federal regulatory language, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to finalize as part of the entire rulemaking process for the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

This program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), is an early-action, voluntary piece of the larger CPP aimed at ensuring communities who suffered the negative effects of fossil-fuel energy generation and economically disadvantaged communities see real benefits from increased clean energy development. Although utilities, state agencies, industry, and the general public have all weighed in on pieces of the CEIP in previous CPP related comment period, the current EPA document open for comment will become the official design details for the CEIP. Comments can be sent directly to EPA (info on how to do that here) and are due by 11:59pm, Monday, August 29th.

Where Are They Now: Meegan Kelly

Learn more about former SACE employee, Meegan Kelly, and what she is up to now!