Trump’s energy plan doesn’t mention solar, an industry that just added 51,000 jobs

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The White House website may not even mention it as part of Trump’s “America First Energy Plan” — but the U.S. solar industry continues to post dramatic job growth numbers.

According to a new annual report by the nonprofit Solar Foundation, more than 51,000 solar industry jobs were added in 2016, a 24.5 percent increase over 2015. Overall, the foundation finds, some 260,000 Americans now work in the solar industry.

The hearing was titled, ‘Making EPA great again.’ Scientists are afraid the opposite will happen.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

A hearing held Tuesday by the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology promised to focus on “Making the Environmental Protection Agency great again” — but its panel of industry-affiliated witnesses and its discussion of possible new legislation had some lawmakers and scientists worried the opposite may occur.

The hearing’s focus, broadly, was intended to be an examination of the EPA’s “process for evaluating and using science during its regulatory decision-making activities.”

Comment Period Extended for Two Rules on TCE

EPA is extending the comment period for two proposed rules on Trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical with human health concerns identified by EPA in a 2014 risk assessment. EPA proposed these rules in December and January to ban certain uses of the chemical in aerosol degreasing, as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning facilities, and in commercial vapor degreasing.

The comment period for the proposed ban on TCE as an aerosol degreaser and for spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities is extended to March 16.

The comment period for the proposed ban on TCE as a commercial vapor degreaser is extended to April 19.

Read more about the rulemaking here.

EPA Publishes 2017 Annual Report on Chemical Risk Evaluation

The Agency is meeting another requirement of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemicals Safety for the 21 Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), by publishing an annual report on risk evaluation.  The reformed TSCA requires that EPA identify the chemical substances that will undergo risk evaluation during that year, those for which risk evaluation will be initiated and those for which risk evaluation will be completed, including status and schedules.  This report must also identify the resources necessary to complete these tasks.  Read the report.

Milwaukee bans coal-tar sealants after study shows they pollute streams

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Milwaukee banned coal-tar sealants Tuesday after a study blamed them for contaminating streams.

The Milwaukee Public Works Committee recommended a city ordinance to the general council that would ban the use of coal-tar sealants. The council approved the ban unanimously.

The ban was proposed in the wake of a recent study that found that as many as 78 percent of Milwaukee streams have toxic levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

Electricity costs: A new way they’ll surge in a warming world

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

Climate change is likely to increase U.S. electricity costs over the next century by billions of dollars more than economists previously forecast, according to a new study involving a University of Michigan researcher.

This Chart Illustrates Why Infrastructure Investment Is a Good Idea

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Earlier this week, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution held an event exploring the ins and outs of infrastructure investment. While a panel full of superstar economists agreed that the United States is approaching full employment and doesn’t need much in the way of fiscal stimulus right now, they nonetheless argued that government investment in infrastructure might still be a good idea. As illustrated by the chart below, which comes from a framing paper that the Hamilton Project released in advance of the event, the U.S. is just not spending nearly enough money on infrastructure.