Can Carbon Capture Live Up to the Hype?

Source: By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

A few recent studies have found that carbon capture can be a valuable tool for curbing emissions from certain activities, like cement manufacturing. But its use is likely to be limited: It would be nearly impossible for countries to keep burning fossil fuels at current rates and capture or offset every last bit of carbon dioxide that goes into the air. The technology is expensive, and in many cases there are better alternatives.

EPA enters high-stakes mediation with union

Source: By Kevin Bogardus, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

EPA and its largest union entered mediation Monday to hammer out a contract that could cement protections for agency staff long after President Joe Biden leaves office. The stakes could not be higher for the EPA union. Its next contract will carry past the next presidential election and could serve as a bulwark for thousands of staff if a Republican administration takes charge and tries to tear down the agency.

Oil-friendly ad blitz targets Calif. climate policies

Source: By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Oil industry allies in California are filling television and computer screens statewide with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that blames state climate policies for pushing up gasoline and electricity costs.
Some key details around the ads are unclear, including who exactly is funding the spots and what — if any — policies or votes they are trying to influence. But some observers see the fossil fuel industry exerting its financial muscle, as the nation’s most populous state seeks to transition away from oil and gas and toward cleaner energy options.

Pipeline company prevails over two county ordinances in Iowa

Source: By Jared Strong, Iowa Capital Dispatch • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

A federal judge on Monday permanently barred two Iowa counties from enforcing their ordinances that restrict the placement of carbon dioxide pipelines. Summit Carbon Solutions, which hopes to build a five-state pipeline system to transport the greenhouse gas to North Dakota for underground sequestration, sued the counties and argued that they lack the authority to impose the restrictions. The company said the federal government is charged with regulating the pipelines’ safety and that the Iowa Utilities Board has authority over their placement. Chief Judge Stephanie Rose, of the federal Southern District of Iowa, agreed.

Carbon pipeline debate spawns another new organization

Source: By Joshua Haiar, South Dakota Searchlight • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

A second group has formed in response to disputes over a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline in South Dakota, this time in support of policies that could result in the pipeline’s construction.  A news release from the newly formed South Dakota Ag Alliance said it will “mediate and advocate for reasonable solutions to difficult ag and rural development issues” such as carbon pipeline proposals. That includes advocating for policies to provide a better deal and greater peace of mind for affected landowners. Co-founders Rob Skjonsberg and Jason Glodt are prominent figures in South Dakota politics.

Aviation Wants Sustainable Fuels. The Problem Is There Isn’t Enough

Source: By Heather Farmbrough, Forbes • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Richard Branson scored a publicity coup by flying a Boeing 787 from London Heathrow to New York’s JFK on 100% SAF. Virgin Atlantic’s Flight100 was the first transatlantic flight and longest commercial flight to date using SAF, a renewable biofuel that can potentially deliver the same performance as petroleum-based jet fuel with only a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions. “Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it’s the only viable solution for decarbonising long haul aviation,” says Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.

How John Podesta Is Thinking About the IRA’s Big Final Tax Credits

Source: By ROBINSON MEYER and EMILY PONTECORVO, Heatmap • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Podesta was more sanguine about the other two tax credits. “We’ve got a game plan on [the sustainable aviation fuel tax credit], and I think it’s going to be fine,” he said, although he added that it would require updating a key Department of Energy model that governs the policy. “We’ll be able to both stimulate production but also create environmental integrity in that program,” he said. That policy is expected in the middle of December. The last remaining tax credit, which will subsidize new factories in America to build clean-energy equipment, will be out next week, a Treasury Department spokesperson told Heatmap.

Republicans, White House clash over bill to bar EPA’s EV-focused rules

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

House Republicans are gearing up to vote on legislation that would bar EPA from adopting its pending multi-pollutant standards for model year 2027 and later passenger vehicles, though a veto threat from the White House is underscoring the ongoing political clash over federal policies that encourage vehicle electrification.

5 things to watch as lawmakers finalize fiscal 2024 bills

Source: By Andres Picon, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

The tailpipe rule would gradually set car emissions limits so low that it would effectively require about two-thirds of cars sold in the U.S. in 2032 to be electric. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) last week led a letter to EPA with more than 200 House and Senate Republicans stating their opposition to the rule, calling it a “misguided attempt to force the production of a vehicle mix that fails to meet the transportation needs or fit within the budgets of American families.” Further, the Interior-Environment bill would block EPA rules on greenhouse gases from power plants and mandate new oil and gas lease sales.

Global Carbon Emissions From Fossil Fuels to Hit Record Peak in 2023

Source: By Eric Roston, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

The Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists, estimates that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels will rise 1.1% this year over 2022, to 36.8 billion metric tons. That’s a new peak and 1.4% higher than the level in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.