This new working paper examines how the Energy Policy and Conversation Act (“EPCA”), and the DOE regulations promulgated thereunder, place limits on the ability of states and cities to outlaw the use of inefficient appliances and equipment. It surveys existing state efficiency laws that cover products beyond federal jurisdiction, and discusses several steps states can take to advance appliance and equipment efficiency including: (i) seeking EPCA waivers from DOE to create and enforce statewide standards for federally covered products (and, if necessary, litigating the rejection of any such waiver petition); (ii) regulating non-federally covered products such as computers; (iii) encouraging the use of more efficient appliances and equipment through local building codes for new construction; and (iv) revising procurement laws to require the use of products that exceed federal efficiency standards.
Read the full story at e360.
President Trump plans to end U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries finance climate-related projects. But his decision ignores the reality that this cost-effective global initiative protects the strategic interests of the United States.
This report presents findings from the Spring 2017 National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) fielded just prior to President Trump’s June 2017 announcement to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 international climate agreement negotiated in Paris and subsequent pledges by a number of states to continue to honor their share of Paris emission reduction commitments. The data suggest that these state-level pledges match the expectations of a majority of Americans who feel that in the absence of federal action, state governments have a responsibility to act to address climate change. Furthermore, while it is still unclear what specific policies states will seek to uphold their pledges, our data finds the suite of policy options that have previously formed the backbone of state climate policy are likely to enjoy broad-based public support across the political spectrum. This even holds among those who don’t necessarily think that climate change is occurring.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.
Trump is facing science-focused problems and issues with a key limitation: lack of staffing. As of June 6, Trump had announced a nominee for just seven, or 15 percent, of 46 top science posts in the federal government that require Senate confirmation, according to a Post analysis.
Below is a roundup of some of the most recent stories about the effect of President Trump’s proposed budget on energy and environmental agencies. I’ll do additional roundup posts as more information becomes available.
- Trump plans a 69 percent budget cut, large staff reductions at clean energy office (WaPO)
- Trump proposes sharp cuts at Interior Department while pushing for more drilling on public lands (WaPO)
- Trump’s budget proposal ‘savages’ climate research, scientists say (USA Today)
- White House budget aims to ‘slow’ gains in weather prediction, shocking forecasters (WaPo)
Read the full story at Waste Dive.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a new multi-agency “Methane Reduction Plan” that is part of the state’s goal to reduce energy sector emissions 40% by 2030, based on 1990 levels. According to the plan, landfills account for 58% of the state’s methane emissions and 5% of overall emissions.
- Recovering or recycling organic waste from large generators is listed as the state’s top priority for reducing emissions from landfills. This is said to include support and funding from multiple agencies for food donation networks, composting facilities and anaerobic digesters.
- As for landfills themselves, the report cites proposed revisions to the Part 360 permit system that would require the installation of horizontal gas collection wells in newly constructed landfills or cells. The state also plans to review strategies for active or closed sites and review its guidance in comparison to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas reporting criteria to identify any potential regulatory updates.
Read the full story from Michigan State University.
Most Michigan residents would prefer policymakers prioritize the environment over economic growth, finds a new survey by Michigan State University researchers.