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Politics Overnight Energy & Environment — Spotlight on solar

01:55  09 september  2021
01:55  09 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

EXCLUSIVE: Biden administration aims to cut costs for solar, wind projects on public land

  EXCLUSIVE: Biden administration aims to cut costs for solar, wind projects on public land EXCLUSIVE: Biden administration aims to cut costs for solar, wind projects on public landLOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration plans to make federal lands cheaper to access for solar and wind power developers after the clean power industry argued in a lobbying push this year that lease rates and fees are too high to draw investment and could torpedo the president's climate change agenda.

Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Spotlight on solar © Greg Nash Overnight Energy & Environment — Spotlight on solar

Today we're looking at an Energy Department study on expanding solar power, new Biden administration decisions on drilling in the Arctic and the latest research on averting catastrophic warming.

For The Hill, we're Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Write to us with tips: rfrazin@thehill.com and zbudryk@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RachelFrazin and @BudrykZack.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden urges climate action amid Ida devastation

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden urges climate action amid Ida devastation Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Today we're looking at President Biden's climate comments on his trip to New York and New Jersey, House Democrats' proposal for climate research and more in the reconciliation bill and a push to delay this year's U.N. climate conference because of the pandemic. ForToday we're looking at President Biden's climate comments on his trip to New York and New Jersey, House Democrats' proposal for climate research and more in the reconciliation bill and a push to delay this year's U.N. climate conference because of the pandemic.

Let's jump in.

Solar use could hit 45 percent by 2050

a close up of a flag: Department of Energy © Provided by The Hill Department of Energy

The Biden administration on Wednesday released a new report that shows how the U.S. could boost its use of solar power to as much as 45 percent of U.S. electricity use, an effort that could help the U.S. meet goals to limit climate change.

The Energy Department study outlines three possible scenarios, including two in which the U.S. grid is 95 percent decarbonized by 2035 and an ambitious third one in which the grid is fully decarbonized by 2050. One way to fulfill that scenario would be to have solar power comprise 45 percent of electricity generation by 2050.

Bullish goals: To reach the target, the U.S. would need to produce twice as much solar energy annually as it did in 2020 over the next four years before doubling the output again between 2025 and 2030.

Daily on Energy: Oil and gas allies rally against Democratic methane fee

  Daily on Energy: Oil and gas allies rally against Democratic methane fee 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 Default Image - July 2021 RALLYING AGAINST METHANE FEE: Oil and gas groups and Republicans from fossil fuel states are making a full-court press against Democrats’ proposal to include a fee on methane emissions as part of their reconciliation package. Industry and their allies are focusing their appeals to centrist Democrats representing oil and gas states such as Sen.

State of play: The release of the blueprint comes a day after President Biden toured areas of New York and New Jersey that experienced severe flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida last week. Biden on one of his stops said such incidents related to climate change are here and only likely to get worse.

Biden is also focused on including a number of provisions to reduce the U.S. carbon output as part of a $3.5 trillion spending package that Democrats hope to get to his desk this fall.

In a statement, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm emphasized that the plan would have to rely on cooperation from Congress, which is currently considering both the spending package and a bipartisan infrastructure bill containing major climate provisions.

Read more about the roadmap here.

Interior reevaluates plan to open Arctic reserve for drilling

a large green field with a mountain in the background © Provided by The Hill

The Interior Department is reevaluating the Trump administration's plan to open up 82 percent of an Arctic oil reserve to drilling.

Daily on Energy: Oil and gas industry claims success for voluntary program to cut methane emissions

  Daily on Energy: Oil and gas industry claims success for voluntary program to cut methane emissions 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 Default Image - July 2021 INDUSTRY CLAIMS SUCCESS: The oil and gas industry is touting voluntary efforts of companies to cut emissions of methane and declaring progress on reducing flaring as the EPA gets set to issue new regulations for the potent greenhouse gas.

In a memo released as part of a court case Tuesday, Interior official Laura Daniel-Davis directed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to "undertake an evaluation" of the plan and an environmental review that were completed last year regarding the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).

Daniel-Davis, the department's principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, also wrote that the review may prompt a new decision on how much of the reserve should be open for drilling.

And in the meantime?: Until that time, the BLM won't offer leases for drilling on tracts of land that were newly opened up for drilling last year.

Daniel-Davis wrote that the department's initial assessment indicates that the 2020 plan is "inconsistent" with a Biden executive order titled "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis."

But the department hasn't yet made a final determination and thus will carry out its review.

Daniel-Davis specifically raised concerns about opening up the "biologically sensitive" Teshekpuk Lake Special Area. Opponents of the plan have raised concerns about drilling in that area, citing its importance for wildlife.

Overnight Energy: US communities say dire predictions in UN climate report already unfolding

  Overnight Energy: US communities say dire predictions in UN climate report already unfolding HAPPY 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 at @BudrykZack.Today we're looking at some communities saying they're already facing climate change impacts, the Energy Department's projection for solar and a reinstated mask mandate for some spaces within national parks.APOCALYPSE NOW? US communities say dire predictions in UN climate report already unfoldingFor many U.S.

Read more about the plan here.

To limit warming, study says most fossil fuel must remain untapped

coronavirus COVID-19 mines mining coal industry demand slow struggling bankrupt Trump environment mercury climate change west virginia essential states spread © Provided by The Hill coronavirus COVID-19 mines mining coal industry demand slow struggling bankrupt Trump environment mercury climate change west virginia essential states spread

The majority of the planet's oil, gas and coal must remain in the ground to provide just a 50 percent chance of limiting the amount the Earth has warmed to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that 58 percent of the planet's oil, 59 percent of its gas and 89 percent of its coal as of 2018 needed to remain unextracted in the year 2050 to provide a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It said that this means that many parts of the world will need to reach peak fossil fuel production soon and shouldn't start new fossil fuel projects.

"This implies that most regions must reach peak production now or during the next decade, rendering many operational and planned fossil fuel projects unviable," the study said.

What else?: It also said that its findings likely underestimate the changes needed because more planet-warming fuel would need to remain untapped to get more than a 50 percent chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees and because of uncertainties about how soon emission-reducing technologies will be deployed.

Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense'

  Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' Welcome to Monday's Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Today we're looking at Joe Manchin's opposition to a key environmental component of the Democrats' reconciliation package, moderate House Democrats with their own reservations and a U.N. report with grim projections for the future of migration. For The Hill, we'reToday we're looking at Joe Manchin's opposition to a key environmental component of the Democrats' reconciliation package, moderate House Democrats with their own reservations and a U.N. report with grim projections for the future of migration.

The scenario pitched in the study would have U.S. oil production grow until 2025 and then decline after that.

It said that for the U.S., gas should have peaked last year and should decline by about 8.1 percent per year to avoid more dramatic warming.

The scientists used an energy systems model to assess the levels of fossil fuels to make their calculations.

Read more about the study here.

FOLLOWING CALIFORNIA'S LEAD

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will require all passenger vehicles sold in the state to be emission-free by 2035.

The law will make New York the second state after California to phase out greenhouse gas emissions in cars and light trucks. It also aims to eliminate emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045, and requires the creation of a detailed plan for zero-emissions vehicle development by 2023.

Separately, Hochul signed an order instructing the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to develop a regulation cutting the pollution emitted by trucks. While Hochul's office did not release details of the proposed regulation, it projected it would "accelerate" sales of zero-emission trucks.

"New York is implementing the nation's most aggressive plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting our climate and to reach our ambitious goals, we must reduce emissions from the transportation sector, currently the largest source of the state's climate pollution," Hochul said in a statement. "The new law and regulation mark a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles, while helping to reduce emissions in communities that have been overburdened by pollution from cars and trucks for decades."

Clean energy wins and woes in Biden's budget

  Clean energy wins and woes in Biden's budget Clean energy policies should meet the needs of the moment, not find the quickest ways to spend billions of dollars. The spending bills' biggest win is funding to build new electric transmission lines - wires that get the power from where it's generated to where it's used. A basic problem for many clean energy projects is a lack of transmission capacity. The locations best suited for wind and solar power generation are far away from the population centers that use that electricity.

Read more about the new law here.

WHAT WE'RE READING

  • Gazprom Plans to Start Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline Next Month, Bloomberg reports
  • Madagascar faces one of the world's first climate change famines, The Thomson Reuters Foundation reports
  • Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: What We Know, The New York Times reports

ICYMI

  • Judge orders dam improvements to aid salmon in Oregon...
  • Kerry says rest of world 'doomed' unless 20 nations take climate action...
  • Magnitude 7 quake strikes near Acapulco...
  • Former GOP energy regulator regrets partisan past...
  • Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support $3.5T spending plan...

Offbeat and off-beat: Going bananas

That's it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill's energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you Thursday.

Daily on Energy: House and Senate Democrats face differences on clean energy tax subsidies .
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 Default Image - July 2021 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOUSE AND SENATE: The House Ways and Means Committee advanced its sweeping green energy tax plan yesterday as part of what Democrats called the single most important piece of climate legislation Congress has had the chance of passing.

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