Category: Public policy

This powerful Democrat linked to fossil fuels will craft the U.S. climate plan

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Senator Joe Manchin is already a crucial swing vote in the Democrats’ sweeping budget bill. But he will also write the details of its climate change program.

Oil producers used Facebook to counter President Biden’s clean energy message, a study shows.

Read the full story from the New York Times.

Soon after Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a presidential candidate, released his $2 trillion climate plan last year that promised to escalate the use of clean energy in the United States, the world’s major oil and gas dialed up their presence on Facebook.

Overnight on Facebook’s U.S. platforms, 25 of the biggest oil and gas producers, industry lobby groups and advocacy organizations unleashed a surge in ads promoting fossil fuels, according to ad spending data analyzed by InfluenceMap, a London-based watchdog that tracks corporate influence on climate policy.

Biden’s climate plans are stunted after dejected experts fled Trump

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Hundreds of scientists and policy experts left the government during the Trump administration. The jobs remain unfilled six months into President Biden’s term.

Green Scissors

Green Scissors is produced by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, R Street Institute, U.S. PIRG and Environment America to highlight and end wasteful and environmentally harmful federal spending. This diverse coalition of environmental, taxpayer and free-market groups has come together to show how the government can save billions of tax dollars and improve our environment.

Future perspectives on the role of extended producer responsibility within a circular economy: A Delphi study using the case of the Netherlands

Campbell-Johnston, K., de Munck, M., Vermeulen, W. J. V., & Backes, C. (2021). “Future perspectives on the role of extended producer responsibility within a circular economy: A Delphi study using the case of the Netherlands”. Business Strategy and the Environment, 1– 14. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2856 [open access]

Abstract: Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a proposed policy approach to promoting the circular economy (CE) within the European Union. This research used a policy Delphi to explore perspectives on improving EPR policies to further contribute to the CE goals of the Netherlands. Both the potential improvement and critical reflections discussed by CE and EPR experts and practitioners from this study contribute to a more detailed understanding of the future governance of CE practices. We present various activities to improve EPR and insights from Delphi participants that emerged from the study. This paper shows that whilst actors agree, in essence, that there is a need for modifying EPR, what the specific changes to the form are and to

Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps

Read the full story at The Hill.

A group of more than 80 House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday laid out their vision for a climate jobs program called the Civilian Climate Corps that is expected to be part of a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill filled with Democratic priorities.

A new letter from Democrats spanning the ideological spectrum pushed for the program to prioritize natural climate solutions, clean energy, climate resilience and addressing environmental justice. 

Supporting the Nation’s Coal Workers and Communities in a Changing Energy Landscape

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Analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) finds that, not only it is possible to support coal workers in the shift to a low-carbon economy, but these comprehensive policies are affordable.

UCS and UWUA estimated the number of coal miners and coal-fired power plant workers at risk of losing jobs before reaching age 65 as the coal industry declines, and identified the number of US counties at risk due to their direct link to coal.

Comprehensive support for these workers would include five years of wage replacement, health coverage, continued employer contributions to retirement funds or pension plans, and tuition and job placement assistance.

In total, the analysis finds these supports would cost roughly between $33 billion over 25 years and $83 billion over 15 years—a fraction of the trillions of dollars of needed investments in the energy system in coming decades as we shift to a low-carbon economy.

As the energy mix changes—rather than offer false hope for reinvigorated coal markets—we must plan thoughtfully and offer support to the workers and communities that have sacrificed so much to build this country.

The fight to define what ‘clean’ energy means

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

After four years of backsliding under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. is back to increasing its climate ambitions. But there’s a fight brewing over what exactly constitutes zero-carbon energy, showing that challenges decarbonization faces.

President Joe Biden has proposed a clean electricity standard to reduce emissions, and various proposals and bills would create one for the U.S. On Wednesday, though, 650 organizations including Climate Justice Alliance, Greenpeace, Food and Water Watch, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Earth sent an open letter to Congress asking it to eschew the clean electricity standard proposals and take another route to clean energy, known as a renewable electricity standard, instead.

Scientists in State Politics

Addressing almost any issue – from facial recognition usage and automated vehicles to wildfires, superstorms and the many ramifications of pandemics – requires policymakers at all levels of government to quickly make critical decisions that are informed by increasingly complex scientific data and understanding.

With this database, the Eagleton Science and Politics Initiative presents the first iteration of a publicly accessible national inventory of elected state legislators with scientific, engineering and healthcare training.

Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics launches first public database of scientists in state politics

Read the full story from Rutgers University.

The Science and Politics Initiative at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics has launched the first publicly accessible national database of elected state legislators with scientific, engineering and health care training.

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