This month marks the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the Clean Power Plan, President Obama and the EPA’s regulation to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants. While the Clean Power Plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it also includes a program to make sure all communities benefit from a clean energy transition. This program—the Clean Energy Incentive Program—is currently open for comment, providing an important opportunity to shape the environmental justice and rural implications of the Clean Power Plan.
As the effects of burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) continue to overheat the climate with the ‘greenhouse’ effect, policy-makers shifted to favoring what appeared to be the least damaging of these alternatives, natural gas. Combustion of natural gas releases a fraction of the atmospheric carbon generated by burning oil and coal.
It is a tribute to the limitations of our habits of thought, strongly supported by conventional politics, that in the flurry of concern over the harsh impacts of climate on Georgia’s tidal marsh, there’s virtually no discussion of the causes of climate change.
The jury is in, substantiated by the vast majority of climate scientists – it’s the greenhouse gases (GHGs), folks!
America’s drive for cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars, SUVs and trucks is approaching a major signpost, and it looks like we’re picking up speed.
A government report expected any day will provide a snapshot of our historic progress, while illustrating the potential for even greater pocketbook savings for motorists—if only we keep a foot on the pedal. Keeping our vehicle standards strong will bring ever cleaner and healthier air—and a more stable climate for our planet.
Despite the setback delivered by the Supreme Court’s stay, action around the Clean Power Plan continues. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency’s historic regulation is on the verge of another public input period and is also the focus of a recent Harvard study.
What’s more, EPA has a new proposal out and an upcoming public comment period related to the voluntary early-action piece of the Clean Power Plan, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). After hearing from stakeholders during a previous public comment period that ended in mid-December 2015, EPA has made some significant changes to the proposed CEIP. Most importantly, EPA has expanded the range of projects eligible for CEIP participation to include solar projects implemented to serve low-income communities.
Another one bites the dust!
We suspect that Kinder Morgan's recently announced decision to set aside the Palmetto Pipeline project was driven as much by economics as by politics and environmental opposition - though all are interrelated, of course.
Don Sebastian was on a roll, trying to explain to the large group gathered at his tree nursery business the depth of his transformation: “We always thought trees were a problem, only to be cut for corn crops and firewood—but now look!” He waved his arms proudly at the large tree nursery behind him containing almost 35,000 fast-growing native alder seedlings, as well as pine seedlings, avocado and peach tree “whips,” and even a section for the delicate and endangered pinabete tree.
Ocean Advocate Says Those Watery Depths Hold Solutions To Earth’s Most Alarming Challenges
At a time when the world faces a multitude of potential calamities – ranging from climate change to a struggling oil industry to rapid population growth – the solution could be all around us.
Water, the world’s most valuable element, is the key ingredient to solving Earth’s most vexing problems, says Peter Neill, director of the World Ocean Observatory (www.worldoceanobservatory.org) and author of “The Once and Future Ocean: Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society.”
Despite obvious reasons for shifting away from fossil fuels, Georgia’s coast is under assault from three major fossil-fuel related proposals, which if built would severely jeopardize private property, coastal quality of life, and environmental features that are vital to our economy.
The Palmetto petroleum pipeline, offshore drilling, and the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are woefully unjustified and risky ventures, yet they remain on the table as if serving the public rather than threatening us. Moreover, these projects are increasingly obsolete, working against the nation’s urgently needed conversion to clean energy.
America’s first regulation aimed at reigning in carbon pollution from our nation’s power sector may avoid some of the increasing politicization of our legal system in part due to the sudden and unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. A staunch conservative who sided more often with industry plaintiffs than with environmental advocates, Justice Scalia left a lasting legacy in environmental cases by offering strict interpretations for what constitutes “legal standing” and “harm.”