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Politics Overnight Energy: EPA takes major step to battle climate change

01:20  04 may  2021
01:20  04 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Kids are taking governments to court over climate. And they are starting to win.

  Kids are taking governments to court over climate. And they are starting to win. It was early in the morning when Luisa Neubauer got the call from her lawyer. She was staying at her mother's house, frantically trying to finish a book she'd been working on, so she said it took her a moment to realize what had happened. © David Young/picture alliance/Getty Images Luisa Neubauer was organizing climate strikes across Germany before launching her legal case. The 25-year-old climate activist had taken the German government to court last year and won.

MONDAY AGAIN. Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE.

logo: environment emissions electric vehicles environmental protection agency EPA rule emissions california waiver rollback review trump biden © Getty Images environment emissions electric vehicles environmental protection agency EPA rule emissions california waiver rollback review trump biden

Today we're looking at the EPA's latest move on greenhouse gases, the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's request on tailpipe emissions, and a lawsuit over a federal permit for pipeline construction.

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  Daily on Energy: Granholm touts carbon capture as area for bipartisanship Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 A POSSIBILITY FOR BIPARTISANSHIP? Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is touting major spending on carbon capture as key to finding agreement with Republicans on infrastructure spending.

GREENHOUSEKEEPING: EPA proposes major rule to reduce certain greenhouse gases

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a major step Monday to battle climate change with the formal proposal of a rule phasing down the use of planet-warming gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used as refrigerants, the agency announced Monday.

The reduction will decrease HFC production and use in the U.S. by 85 percent over the next 15 years. The rule is being issued under a law passed last year by Congress.

The EPA said that phasing down the use of the gases globally would avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2100.

How would the EPA enforce the rule?: The agency said it will create an allocation and trading program under which it will issue an allowance for how much of the gases can be used for 2022 by Oct. 1.

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  Overnight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy IT'S TUESDAY!!! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at the GOP asking for documents related to special climate envoy John Kerry's securityToday we're looking at the GOP asking for documents related to special climate envoy John Kerry's security clearance, an EPA move to step up environmental enforcement in overburdened communities and our profile of one of the Flint water crisis prosecutors.

It will also determine how much of the gases can be used for 2023 by that date next year.

The agency said that it will create a framework within the legal timeline for the phaseout, and will revisit allocating HFCs for 2024 and beyond.

Read more about the proposed rule here.

PEOPLE WHO DRIVE IN CARPERS: Carper asks EPA to require half of new cars to be zero-emissions by 2030

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) on Monday called for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop national tailpipe emissions standards for new cars in line with those proposed by California.

The standards Carper called for would require half of all new light passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by decade's end, and for all of them to be zero-emission by 2035.

In a letter to EPA administrator Michael Regan, Carper notes that Trump-era EPA rules both relaxed emission standards and authorized the federal government to overrule state-level emissions and electric vehicle standards.

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  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan $35B water infrastructure bill HAPPY THURSDAY!!! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com and follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin. Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com and follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack. Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at a court ruling paving the way for a ban on a pesticide linked to developmental issues, Ryan Zinke's potential return to Congress and a water infrastructure bill that passed the Senate.

How does the U.S.' progress compare to the rest of the world?: While Carper acknowledges the Biden administration has announced several steps to revisit those rules, he also cites moves by other countries, particularly China, that are "better preparing" for a transition away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

"If the U.S. does not establish a robust policy that leads to zero emission vehicle deployment ... we will be at risk of losing our automotive jobs and industry leadership to other nations, as well as enduring unnecessary public health impacts from pollution," Carper wrote.

"The future of automobile manufacturing sector is at a crossroads. The Clean Air Act provides sufficient authority for the U.S. EPA to rise to this challenge," he added. "EPA can establish requirements on new cars that would significantly reduce air pollution harming communities, put the nation on track to maintain its leadership in vehicle technology, and make significant progress in fighting climate change."

Read more about the letter here.

HARDCORPS: Environmental groups sue Army Corps of Engineers over pipeline permitting

The problem with the big climate pledges we've heard this week

  The problem with the big climate pledges we've heard this week It's been a big week for climate. US President Joe Biden's new emission cutting target has sparked a game of climate one-upmanship among leaders of the world's most polluting countries.It's been a big week for climate. US President Joe Biden's new emission cutting target has sparked a game of climate one-upmanship among leaders of the world's most polluting countries.

A coalition of five environmental groups on Monday sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying the corps did not properly analyze environmental impacts when issuing a broad pipeline permit.

The plaintiffs, which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance and Montana Environmental Information Center, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Montana.

The permit at issue, Permit 12, is a so-called nationwide permit that streamlines the pipeline permitting process. The corps estimates its 2021 version will be used more than 40,000 times over the next five years.

What does the lawsuit state?: In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that although national permits are intended for activities with negligible environmental impacts, the projected uses of Permit 12 will affect more than 3,000 acres of U.S. waters and threaten endangered species. It would also allow major pipelines to begin construction under the nationwide permitting process instead of undergoing stricter regulatory scrutiny.

The lawsuit further argues that the permit violates the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act

While the Biden administration has called for a review of nationwide permits, it has also allowed the 2021 version of Permit 12, reissued in the final days of the Trump administration, to take effect, according to the lawsuit.

Opinion: It's time to hold climate polluters accountable

  Opinion: It's time to hold climate polluters accountable Doctors Carroll Muffett and Kert Davies write that in light of a recent study that found that one in five deaths worldwide could be attributed to air pollution, there must be a bigger effort to fight back the discrediting campaigns against science.Panic spread through Los Angeles when the city was first overrun by smog in July 1943, in the middle of World War II. With dense smog cutting visibility, irritating eyes and making it difficult to breathe outside, some locals believed they were being hit by a Japanese chemical attack.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

ON TAP TUESDAY:

  • The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the Energy Department's climate and energy science research
  • The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on housing resilience to Climate Change
  • The Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that seeks to help restore coral reefs

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ICYMI: Stories from Monday and the weekend...

Ex-Trump Interior, EPA leaders find new posts

52 percent say there is a climate emergency: poll

Carper asks EPA to require half of new cars to be zero-emissions by 2030

Environmental groups sue Army Corps of Engineers over pipeline permitting

EPA proposes major rule to reduce certain greenhouse gases

Maryland governor gives nod to cicadas, declares May and June 'Magicicada Months'

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EPA relaunches website tracking climate change indicators .
Major indicators of climate change in the past three years include the loss of Alaskan permafrost, more severe summer heat waves in U.S. cities and the recession of winter ice in the Great Lakes, according to data released Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.The EPA on Wednesday announced the relaunch of its website tracking climate change indicators in the U.S. for the first time since the beginning of the Trump administration. The assessment, delayed under the Trump presidency, includes information on 54 phenomena associated with climate change, including temperature increases, flooding, droughts, rising sea levels and ocean acidity.

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