Welcome to Wednesday’s show on energy and the environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-inscription.
Today we are looking at ways to get around Joe manchinJoe ManchinBiden administration pushes two large-scale solar projects in California Nuclear power has no business case and could worsen climate changeEPA opposition to major environmental legislation, new research on how to decarbonize transportation, and another EPA reversal of Trump-era policy.
Defenders, Democrats seek climate plan B
Senator Joe manchin (DW.Va.) dealt a fatal blow to Democratic plans on climate change on Sunday, leaving climate hawks to scramble to find other avenues for meaningful action as we approach the mid-term of 2022.
The Build Back Better program represented the best hope for legislative action on climate change, and without Manchin’s support, it’s unclear how major legislative progress can be made next year.
It could also delay efforts for years to come, given the chances of a GOP takeover of the House and possibly the Senate after mid-term. You wouldn’t expect a GOP congress to tackle climate change aggressively, if at all.
So this is it? Defenders of the Build Back Better bill have urged the administration to resume talks with Manchin despite his stance.
âI think the negotiations can continue. And I also think we have to come to ‘yes’, âsaid Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club legislative director.
She said the only path to a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 was a bill similar to Build Back Better.
âSo we have to do it,â she said.
Ben Pendergrass, senior director of government affairs for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, said he also hopes at least some form of the bill’s climate ambitions may survive.
âWe cannot let this moment pass and be held to a certain deadline,â he said. âSo even if it takes a little longer and we have to hold hearings and make some adjustments, changes or additions to the policy, we should be doing these things,â he said.
What does Congress think of this? The White House has not given up on reviving the bill, but it can be a long shot and some lawmakers are talking about different efforts.
In an interview with The Hill, Rep. Jared huffmanJared William HuffmanOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by ExxonMobil – Kerry announces climate statement with China Pelosi defends US ‘moral authority’ on climate action Liberals, moderates strike deal on agenda Biden, paving the way for PLUS votes (D-Calif.) Has not ruled out passing parts of the reconciliation bill piecemeal. He said if he were to identify the most important climate provision it would be the bill’s tax credits.
âThat’s where most of the emission reduction is focused,â he said, adding, âI wish I could do the other parts as well. “
Learn more about the possibilities here.
Using funds on highways could increase emissions
The recently adopted bipartisan infrastructure bill could increase carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector, According to research from the Georgetown Non-Partisan Climate Institute.
The $ 1 trillion package has been touted as a major breakthrough in decarbonizing transport, and research has shown that it could achieve this if it prioritizes electrification and road maintenance. However, an approach that involves building new roads and adding lanes to existing ones could create a phenomenon known as ‘induced demand’ – in other words, the existence of these new roads would induce more traffic. people to borrow them, thus creating additional broadcasts.
In numbers : While the bill allocates just under $ 600 billion for “surface transportation” spending, its specific uses would be largely at the discretion of individual states. Georgetown researchers drew two possible scenarios based on this flexibility. In the higher emission scenario, 27 percent of surface transportation money goes to highway expansion, compared to 23 percent for maintenance.
The low-emission alternative scenario, on the other hand, spends 38% on maintenance and only 4% on highway expansion.
Either scenario could shift the existing baseline emissions trajectory in either direction, the research suggests. In the high-emissions scenario, emissions could increase by up to 1.6% from this baseline, while in the low-emissions scenario, they could fall as much as 1.6% over the next five years. This equates to roughly the equivalent of 4.5 million annual passenger vehicle emissions.
Learn more about the research here.
EPA reverses state control over tribal issues
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday proposed the removal of a Trump-era rule that gave the state of Oklahoma jurisdiction over certain environmental matters over tribal lands.
Last October, the EPA granted the state’s request for such jurisdiction under a waiver of a 2005 law that grants state environmental monitoring “in areas of the state that are in in the Indian country, without any further demonstration of state authority.
Govt. Kevin stitt (R) submitted the claim shortly after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling against McGirt, in which the High Court ruled 5-4 that much of eastern Oklahoma was legally part of the reservation Muscogee (Creek).
Since then, the EPA said in a statement that it had consulted extensively with representatives of the state’s 38 tribal nations earlier, in addition to holding meetings between agency leaders and eight individual tribes. The agency slammed the Trump-era leaders for what it called a “shorthand” consultation on the issue with the tribes that lasted less than a month.
The EPA will accept stakeholder comments on the proposal until Jan.31, with the state retaining the authority granted by the 2020 decision in the meantime.
âToday’s action reflects a careful consideration of their concerns and our commitment to ensure solid consultation on all political deliberations affecting tribal nations,â said Deputy Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida, in a press release. âThe EPA appreciates the invaluable contribution we have received from the tribes of Oklahoma this year and looks forward to continuing dialogue with all parties to develop an effective and sustainable framework for environmental protection in the Indian country. “
Learn more about the proposal here.
WHAT WE READ
And finally, something quirky and quirky: Good girl.
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.