Shrinking Colorado River hands Biden his first climate brawl

Read the full story at Politico.

A fracas among the seven states along the drought-stricken Colorado River is forcing the first major reckoning for the Biden administration over who should bear the pain of adapting to a changing climate.

At issue is whether it’s fair to use century-old rules, created during an era of relative abundance, to ration water from the rapidly shriveling river now that the West is on the precipice of climate disaster. With California and its six neighbors locked in a dispute over two competing approaches to divvying up the cuts in water deliveries, whatever the administration decides will almost certainly end up in court.

Competition heats up for U.S. direct air capture program

Read the full story at E&E News.

At least four groups have expressed interest in a new federal program that aims to fight global warming with the use of machines that can suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Two startups and two universities have signaled that they plan to apply for a piece of $3.5 billion in federal funding that’s available to help build four direct air capture (DAC) facilities in the United States.

Concrete traps CO2 soaked from air in climate-friendly test

Read the full story from Reuters.

A California startup using rocks to soak up carbon dioxide from the air has teamed up with a Canadian company to mineralize the gas in concrete, a technological tie-up that is a first and they say could provide a model for fighting climate change globally.

Biden administration acknowledges it can force Bitcoin mines to disclose pollution

Read the full story at The Verge.

Federal agencies have the authority to force crypto mining companies to divulge how much energy they use and greenhouse gas emissions they create, according to letters between the agencies and Democratic lawmakers shared exclusively with The Verge.

Bitcoin miners have flocked to the US over the past couple years, triggering concerns about electricity usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the proliferation of crypto mines across the US, there hasn’t been solid data on what impact they each have on the power grid and national climate goals.

That could soon change as Democratic lawmakers pressure federal agencies to speed up plans to require crypto mining companies to report their emissions and energy consumption. That kind of transparency is an early, crucial step toward reining in pollution from crypto mines.

Webinar: Designed to Deliver: Lessons Learned from Architects, Engineers, and Contractors in Zero-Carbon Buildings

Feb 14, 2023, 10 am CST
Register here.

Architects, engineers, and contractors (A/E/C) are essential in designing and delivering buildings that offer top value to clients while meeting energy and carbon goals. This discussion will highlight the A/E/C and client barriers to routine design and delivery of zero-carbon buildings, in addition to resources developed by the Better Buildings Design and Construction Allies that address the challenges.

Illinois coalition pins hopes on federal funding for regional hydrogen hub

Read the full story at Energy News Network.

Illinois business leaders and researchers are hoping to leverage hundreds of millions of federal dollars to develop a thriving “hydrogen economy.” 

The vision involves using the state’s plentiful nuclear power and renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water, and then using the resulting fuel to power industrial processes and heavy-duty vehicles.

The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, or MachH2, is among more than 30 contenders seeking funding from a $7 billion U.S. Department of Energy program to jumpstart six to 10 regional hydrogen hubs across the country. Each will be aimed at producing and distributing pure hydrogen that is thus far in short supply. 

The coalition behind the Illinois bid includes universities, utilities, economic development agencies, manufacturers, Argonne National Laboratory, and power producers like Constellation Energy and Invenergy, which has launched its own pilot program producing hydrogen in Illinois.

Federal lawmakers reintroduce bills calling for billions in food waste recycling and prevention grants

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Two bills meant to provide billions of dollars in funding for food waste prevention efforts and support composting projects have been reintroduced in Congress.

The Zero Food Waste Act would offer U.S. EPA grants over ten years for projects that divert or prevent food waste or gather data about food waste practices. The Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion Of Sustainable Techniques Act (COMPOST Act) would offer grants and loans for both large-scale and smaller-scale composting infrastructure. 

Prairie Research Institute offers summer internships

In collaboration with the Graduate College’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP), PRI is offering hands-on summer internships that will enable undergraduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate study at Illinois to explore careers in applied science. This opportunity is open to students at any U.S. undergraduate institution. 

During the eight-week summer program, interns will be immersed in hands-on field and lab projects led by scientists from INHS, ISWS, and ISTC. Interns will also participate in professional and career development activities and will learn about the pathway to graduate study.

Each summer intern will receive a $4,000 stipend, funds to cover travel to and from Urbana-Champaign, and on-campus housing and meals, plus supplies for workshops and symposiums.

There are opportunities in atmospheric science and climate; biology, ecology, and environmental science; sustainable energy; and water supply and safety. To see all of the internship options and to apply, visit

The deadline to apply is Fri., March 3, 2023. 

DOE report touts chemical recycling R&D opportunities while noting plastic’s environmental justice issues

Read the full story at Waste Dive and download the report.

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to invest in long-term research and development to improve existing plastic recycling technologies and invent new methods it hopes will cut U.S. energy consumption and prevent pollution.

The DOE recently published its Strategy for Plastics Innovation report, which calls for advancing certain chemical recycling technologies and improving mechanical recycling. It also calls for doing more with biodegradable and bio-based plastics technology and approaching R&D projects with a more intentional environmental justice focus. 

Coca-Cola invests in new partnerships to upcycle CO₂

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

CCEP Ventures (CCEPV) has announced two new partnerships with European research groups at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Tarragona, Spain and the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands, to accelerate research into carbon capture technology.