News

EPA floats sharply increased social cost of carbon

Source: By Niina H. Farah, Lesley Clark, E&E News • Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2022

EPA has proposed a new estimate for the social cost of carbon emissions, nearly quadrupling an interim figure that has already drawn legal challenges from a host of Republican-led states. The metric puts a price tag on the damages created by each metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Agencies can then use it as part of their analyses of the costs and benefits of more stringent climate regulation on sources ranging from power plants and automobiles to the oil and gas sector. The Biden administration has been using the Interagency Working Group’s interim value of $51 per metric ton of CO2. But earlier this month, EPA quietly proposed increasing that number to $190.

Gas Prices Decline Ahead of Thanksgiving

Source: BBy Hardika Singh, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2022

Millions of Americans expected to hit the road this Thanksgiving holiday will get some relief at the gas pump. The U.S. average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for two consecutive weeks, to $3.64 a gallon, GasBuddy data show, down 16.4 cents from a month ago.

Who Were the Worst Climate Polluters in the US in 2021?

Source: By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News • Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2022

The increase is the largest year-on-year rise in emissions tallied across more than a decade of reporting and comes at a time when global climate pollution must quickly be curtailed to limit further warming.  The emissions, 2.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, were self-reported to the agency by more than 8,100 of the nation’s largest climate polluters under the agency’s mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The emissions represent about half of all U.S. climate pollution and the annual update provides the most comprehensive, site-by-site assessment of the nation’s largest polluters. 

Oil Prices Slide as Investors Worry Energy Demand Is Slowing

Source: By Clifford Krauss, New York Times • Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2022

Saudi Arabia is slashing oil exports. U.S. crude oil in storage is dropping. Members of the European Union will soon sharply reduce how much fuel they buy from Russia. Those developments would normally send oil prices sharply higher. Yet oil prices have been sliding. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, fell to about $80 a barrel on Friday from more than $90 at the start of the month.

Inside the Saudi Strategy to Keep the World Hooked on Oil

Source: By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times • Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2022

Saudi interests have spent close to $140 million since 2016 on lobbyists and others to influence American policy and public opinion, making it one of the top countries spending on U.S. lobbying, according to disclosures to the Department of Justice tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. Much of that has focused on bolstering the kingdom’s overall image, particularly after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 by Saudi operatives. But the Saudi effort has also extended to building alliances in American Corn Belt states that produce ethanol — a product also threatened by electric cars. Behind closed doors at global climate talks, the Saudis have worked to obstruct climate action and research, in particular objecting to calls for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels.

House Republicans prepare big energy package for 2023

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, November 20th, 2022

House Republican leaders said Thursday the party is preparing an energy and environment package that could emerge in January as one of the first pieces of major legislation passed by the GOP-controlled chamber. Largely based on legislation already put forward by the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, and the Natural Resources Committee’s top Republican, Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, the package would seek to unleash domestic fossil fuel production along with critical mineral mining.

U.N. Climate Talks End With a Deal to Pay Poor Nations for Damage

Source: By Brad Plumer, Max Bearak, Lisa Friedman and Jenny Gross, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Diplomats from nearly 200 countries concluded two weeks of climate talks on Sunday by agreeing to establish a fund that would help poor, vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters made worse by the greenhouse gases from wealthy nations. The decision on payments for loss and damage caused by global warming represented a breakthrough on one of the most contentious issues at United Nations climate negotiations. For more than three decades, developing nations have pressed rich, industrialized countries to provide compensation for the costs of destructive storms, heat waves and droughts linked to rising temperatures.

How Pelosi shaped U.S. climate policy

Source: By Emma Dumain, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, November 20th, 2022

On energy, environment and climate issues, Pelosi will always be known for pursuing the big stuff. In 2007, before the end of her first year as speaker, she oversaw passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which improved federal fuel efficiency standards and created the first renewable fuel standards. During her floor speech yesterday announcing her decision to step down from leadership, Pelosi referred to that bill when she recalled with pride the “historic investments in clean energy” she secured during the George W. Bush administration.

GM expects EV profits to be comparable to gas vehicles by 2025, years ahead of schedule

Source: By Michael Wayland, CNBC • Posted: Sunday, November 20th, 2022

General Motors expects its new electric vehicle profits to be in-line with cars and trucks with traditional engines by 2025 – years ahead of schedule and what many thought was possible. GM CEO Mary Barra on Thursday said the updated forecast factors in federal incentives under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes money back for companies that produce EVs in North America as well as for consumers and fleet customers that purchase the vehicles.

More stringent rules for carbon capture pipelines draw lawsuit from Ames company

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Sunday, November 20th, 2022

An Ames company that wants to build a $4.5 billion carbon capture pipelineacross Iowa has filed lawsuits against Story and Shelby counties over new ordinances that would require increased distances between the project and homes, churches and schools. Summit Carbon Solutions filed the suit this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, saying county supervisors have adopted ordinances that attempt to preempt state and federal oversight. The company asks the court to throw out the new rules.