News

Meeting climate goals could save 50K+ lives yearly

Source: By Sean Reilly, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Ending the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transportation and several other key sectors would save more than 50,000 lives annually, researchers conclude in a new paper. The paper, published online today in the journal GeoHealth, is the latest to forecast enormous public health gains as a side benefit to avoiding the worst effects of climate change. The corollary is that the pace of the shift to what the study calls a “clean energy economy” will be a continuing matter of life and death for vulnerable populations.

Short-term air pollution exposure heightens Covid-19 risk

Source: By Sean Reill, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Despite “relatively low levels of air pollution exposure,” the Swedish researchers tied higher daily levels of airborne particles and black carbon to increased risk of infection in the range of 6 to 7 percent. While no such association was found for exposure for another class of pollutants known as nitrogen oxides, the results support “the broad public health benefits of reducing ambient air pollution levels,” write the authors, who work at the Stockholm-based Karolinska Institutet and other organizations in Sweden and Italy.

Group launches campaign to secure EV tax credits

Source: By TIMOTHY CAMA, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

The electric vehicle industry is launching a new advertising effort to push Congress to expand the tax credits for its vehicles and infrastructure. The Zero Emissions Transportation Association is rolling out the ads today to digital platforms, with plans to initially spend $35,000 on the campaign and potentially more. The campaign comes as bipartisan talks on an energy and climate package remain up in the air.

Kim Reynolds signs bill mandating most Iowa gas stations sell fuel with higher ethanol blends

Source: By Stephen Gruber-Miller and Ian Richardson, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a law requiring most Iowa gas stations to offer gasoline with higher blends of ethanol as she seeks to boost the state’s biofuels industry and tout a cheaper fuel option with gas prices at record highs. The law mandates gas stations and other fuel retailers to sell gas with 15% ethanol, known as E15, beginning in 2026.

This week in Congress: Gouging bill, climate talks, Ukraine

Source: By Nico Portuondo, George Cahlink, E&E News • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

House Democrats will pass legislation to crack down on alleged price gouging by oil and gas companies this week as broader talks on a cornerstone energy and climate package continue in Senate back rooms. It’s another make-or-break week for Democrats as they attempt to deliver on the Biden administration’s climate promises while also addressing the immediate pain their constituents are feeling at the gas pump. The clock is ticking, with Memorial Day recess beginning at the end of next week and pivotal midterm elections on the horizon.

Biden’s battling one energy price nightmare. Here comes another.

Source: By BEN LEFEBVRE, Politico • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

The Biden administration has been trying for months to dodge the political fallout from high gasoline prices. Now it has an even bigger energy headache to worry about. A new record high for gasoline at $4.40 a gallon drew a fresh spate of headlines this week. But prices for another crucial fossil fuel — natural gas — have also surged to their highest levels in more than a decade, raising costs for everything from home heating and cooking to fertilizer, chemicals and wholesale electricity.

Surging natural gas prices squeeze U.S. industrial sector

Source: By Marcy de Luna in Houston and Bianca Flowers in Chicago, Reuters • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

Skyrocketing natural gas prices have raised manufacturing and transportation costs across many U.S. industries, and the situation should persist as the United States exports more gas to Europe to make up for Russian supplies lost to sanctions. U.S. natural gas futures have doubled this year, far more than the increases in retail gasoline and diesel that have made Americans angry at the U.S. energy industry and the government.

Largest oil and gas producers made close to $100bn in first quarter of 2022

Source: By Oliver Milman, The Guardian • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

The tumult of war and climate breakdown has proved lucrative for the world’s leading oil and gas companies, with financial records showing 28 of the largest producers made close to $100bn in combined profits in just the first three months of 2022. Buoyed by oil commodity prices that soared following the turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, major fossil fuel businesses enjoyed a bonanza in the first quarter of the year, making $93.3bn in total profits.

Analysis: White House weighs inflation vs. farmers in new biofuel mandates

Source: By Jarrett Renshaw and Stephanie Kelly, Reuters • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

The White House National Economic Council, led by Brian Deese, is pouring over numbers to gauge whether lowering blending mandates for ethanol and renewable diesel will help blunt rising food and fuel prices, according to two sources familiar with the process. Cutting mandates for ethanol and advanced biofuels like biodiesel could theoretically cut food costs by reducing demand for corn, soy and other staple crops that have become more scarce since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Trimming the mandates could also potentially take pressure off pump prices by reducing blending compliance costs for some oil refiners.

Cutting air pollution from fossil fuels would save 50,000 lives a year, study says

Source: By Steven Mufson, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2022

Eliminating air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels would prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths and provide more than $600 billion in health benefits in the United States every year, according to a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. Published in the journal GeoHealth, the study reports the considerable health benefits of removing from the air harmful fine particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced by electricity generation, transportation, industrial activities, and building functions such as heating and cooking. Highway vehicles make up the largest single share.