Tag Archives: clean power plan

Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Steph Speirs thinks about solar the way one might think about a community garden. Why go through the trouble of planting panels on your roof when you could instead plug into a shared neighborhood resource? Through her company, called Solstice, Speirs and cofounder Steve Moilanen roll out community solar gardens that allow people who don’t own their properties — or who don’t have the means or interest in installing a home setup — to tap into a local solar project and save a few bucks on electricity.

Solstice identifies locations for new community projects, works with local developers to arrange financing and installation, and ensures subscribers see credits on their electricity bills. Speirs’ company has earned seed funding from Echoing Green, a social entrepreneurship fellowship, and was recently picked for the selective Techstars startup accelerator. Solstice currently has solar gardens scattered around Massachusetts and intends to expand nationwide.

Community solar isn’t a new idea, but Speirs and her team are working hard to make it more accessible. Example: In 2015, the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, couldn’t install panels on its roof because of its status as a historic building. Last year, the church leadership became aware of Solstice and its existing community solar program in Bridgewater. The congregation voted to plug into the project, thus saving 10 percent on its electricity bill and putting its sustainable values into practice. Better yet, individual parishioners followed the church’s lead and signed up, too. “We’re proud that these are typical stories at Solstice,” Speirs says.


Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.

Link:  

Scott Pruitt is now offering lessons in the art of the burn.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Crown, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, Northeastern, ONA, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The EPA chief’s post-election message: Keep calm and carry on.

Somehow, Gina McCarthy — who could very well see much of her work at the Environmental Protection Agency reversed in the next administration — is not freaking out.

In her first public remarks since Election Day, McCarthy told the National Press Club that the U.S. is making solid progress even without the federal government forcing states to clean up their act in the power sector.

“I truly believe, guided by President Obama’s deliberate vision, history will show that the Clean Power Plan marked a turning point in American climate leadership,” she said. “But the global transition to a low-carbon economy is much more than one regulation … If you take nothing else from my speech today, take this: The train to a global, clean energy future has already left the station.”

As McCarthy rattled off, power plant carbon emissions are already down 24 percent below 2005 levels, more than halfway to CPP’s target reduction of 32 percent. Meanwhile, nearly half the country (24 states) have already surpassed their 2022 emissions goals.

Ironically, the same stats suggest that the CPP wasn’t doing anything special to lower U.S. emissions in the first place, except to bring overly coal-reliant states into the 21st century.

Original article – 

The EPA chief’s post-election message: Keep calm and carry on.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, ONA, solar, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The EPA chief’s post-election message: Keep calm and carry on.

Court hears attacks on Obama’s big climate initiative

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

President Obama’s signature climate change initiative had its day in court Tuesday, as lawyers for 27 states, nonprofit groups, and utility companies argued that it is unconstitutional.

The rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, would enforce a 32 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels). As part of the implementation, the Environmental Protection Agency would require states with at least two coal-fired power plants to submit plans for emissions reductions. If a state chose not to submit an acceptable plan, the EPA would impose one on it. The plan was a critical piece of the Obama administration’s successful efforts to forge the landmark Paris climate agreement last year.

The administration is relying on a section of the Clean Air Act as justification for the regulations, arguing that the law, originally passed by Congress in 1970 and later amended, empowers the EPA to “protect public health and welfare” from pollutants — in this case, carbon emissions that are driving global warming.

But the Clean Power Plan’s path has not been an easy one. Even before the regulations had been finalized, opponents sued to block it — a move that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected last year. Opponents had more success once the final version of the rule was adopted. In a 5-4 decision in February, the Supreme Court issued an unusual stay, which prevented the rule from being implemented before it made its way through the courts. Yesterday’s arguments were the latest episode in the legal drama.

A panel of 10 federal judges heard the case in a marathon session that pitted the administration’s lawyers and environmental groups against a slate of opponents who argued the regulations exceed the EPA’s authority. West Virginia Solicitor General Elbert Lin charged that the rule would create a complex “new energy economy.” Others, such as attorney David Rivkin, who represents the state of Oklahoma, argued the Clean Power Plan intrudes on states’ rights to regulate their own electric grids. There were also several hours of highly technical arguments relating to inconsistent language in the House and Senate versions of a 1990 amendment to the Clean Air Act.

At a panel discussion on Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose state is part of the coalition suing to block the rule, said the Clean Power Plan “represents an unprecedented expansion of federal authority.”

Others, such as attorney Allison Wood, who represents utility industry groups, told the court that the EPA can’t regulate emissions from sources like power plants under one section of the Clean Air Act when it already does so under a different section.

But Judge Cornelia Pillard, an Obama appointee, questioned this “double regulation” argument, pointing to laws that require motorists to drive on the right side of the road while also following the speed limit.

On constitutional grounds, the plan has one unlikely critic: Laurence Tribe, a liberal Harvard lawyer and former mentor to Obama who is participating in the case on behalf of the opponents to the rule. During Tuesday’s hearing, Tribe argued the Clean Power Plan violates the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. If the Obama administration wants to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, he told the judges, “the solution is to go to Congress.”

But advocates say the Supreme Court has already determined that the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide. In the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA case, they note, the court found that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.

After a long day of arguments, supporters of the plan were optimistic. “I think it was a remarkable day,” said Howard Fox, counsel for Earthjustice, an environmental law organization that signed on to a motion in support of the Clean Power Plan, on a conference call with reporters.

Where will the fight over the Clean Power Plan end up, and what does it mean for Obama’s legacy on climate issues?

If the D.C. Circuit were to find that the EPA exceeded its authority, it would remand the case to a lower court and the “EPA would essentially redo the rule,” Joanne Spalding of the Sierra Club told Mother Jones at a briefing. That would leave the country’s climate regulations in the hands of an administration led by either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Another pathway is to the Supreme Court. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who has led the charge against the Clean Power Plan, speculated at a panel discussion that if the current case doesn’t go his way, it could wind up at the Supreme Court in the fall of 2017. This time around, the result could be very different; Justice Antonin Scalia died in February shortly after casting one the deciding votes to put the regulations on hold. With the court now potentially split 4-4 on the issue, the fate of the Clean Power Plan could be tied to the ongoing fight over Scalia’s replacement.

The D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion in the case is expected to come out near the end of this year or early next year, according to David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports the plan.

Whichever way it goes, the stakes are high. As Brett Kavanaugh, one of the D.C. court’s most outspoken judges during the arguments, said, “This is a huge case.”

Election Guide ★ 2016Making America Green AgainOur experts weigh in on the real issues at stake in this election

This article is from: 

Court hears attacks on Obama’s big climate initiative

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, Landmark, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Court hears attacks on Obama’s big climate initiative

States are already complying with the Clean Power Plan rules they are challenging in court.

Or so says Lyft’s cofounder and president in a manifesto published on Sunday. John Zimmer writes that he has loved cars ever since getting introduced to Hot Wheels as a 3-year old. But then college ruined all the fun.

“Next time you walk outside, pay really close attention to the space around you,” Zimmer writes, referring to an uncomfortable realization picked up in a city-planning class. “Look at how much land is devoted to cars  — and nothing else.”

For decades now, those with similar epiphanies have concluded that we just need to take that space away from cars, period.

Zimmer proposes something else: a Lyft-branded car subscription service. Composed of both self-driving and people-driven automobiles, it would eliminate the need for private ownership of cars, Zimmer argues. And as this goal gets within reach, the space formerly occupied by parking spots will gradually return to public space.

Zimmer doesn’t have a particular date that this subscription service will be rolled out, which is sensible, because it would have to take a very long time. For now, though, Zimmer’s proposal should be read for what it is — high-quality futurism.

Continued: 

States are already complying with the Clean Power Plan rules they are challenging in court.

Posted in alo, alternative energy, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, ONA, The Atlantic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on States are already complying with the Clean Power Plan rules they are challenging in court.

Possible Clinton VP pick has a weird appeal with enviros, fossil fuel groups

Sen. Tim Kaine REUTERS/Jason Reed

citizen kaine

Possible Clinton VP pick has a weird appeal with enviros, fossil fuel groups

By on Jul 13, 2016Share

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, one of Hillary Clinton’s potential picks for vice president, appears to have an uncanny ability to appease special interests across party divides.

Kaine is no Elizabeth Warren on the environment, but he’s no Jim Webb either, getting good reviews from surprising quarters. As Politico reports, he opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, protected 400,000 acres of land from development as governor of Virginia, supports the Clean Power Plan, and has worked to make coastal communities prepare for climate change and sea-level rise. The League of Conservation Voters has given him a lifetime score of 91 percent.

Kaine, however, has also supported offshore drilling in the Atlantic — contradicting Clinton’s position — and supported a bill to fast-track the construction of natural gas terminals. Even fossil fuel interests have taken a liking to him. “We’re encouraged by the reasonable approach he’s taken on oil and natural gas, that he hasn’t been swayed by politics and ideology,” Miles Morin, executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Council, told Politico.

Of course, being on good terms with the fossil fuel industry is a cause for concern among some greens. “If Kaine is the pick, Hillary will need to stake out much clearer positions on drilling, fracking, and new fossil fuel infrastructure,” said 350.org policy director Jason Kowalski. R.L. Miller, Climate Hawks Vote cofounder and a chair of California Democrats’ environmental caucus, responded to Kaine’s record with a resounding, “meh,” citing his mixed record on fossil fuels as why he’s a bad pick to lure progressive Democrats to the polls.

Clinton is expected to announce her choice after the GOP convention next week.

Find this article interesting?

Donate now to support our work.

Get Grist in your inbox

This article is from: 

Possible Clinton VP pick has a weird appeal with enviros, fossil fuel groups

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, FF, GE, Jason, ONA, The Atlantic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Possible Clinton VP pick has a weird appeal with enviros, fossil fuel groups