Biden Plans to Move Fast With a ‘Climate Administration.’ Here’s How.
President-elect Joe Biden is already drafting orders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and seeking nominees who will embed climate policy not only in environmental agencies but broadly across the federal government, the New York Times reports. Top candidates include Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary and Lael Brainard for treasury, longtime supporters of climate action.
(The New York Times)
An Unlikely Alliance of Farm and Environmental Groups Takes on Climate Change
The American Farm Bureau Federation has long pushed against climate legislation and worked closely with the fossil fuel industry to defeat it. But this week, the country's largest agricultural lobby group announced that it had joined an unlikely alliance—the American Farm Bureau Federation—whose goal is to reduce the industry's greenhouse gas emissions.
Britain Says It Will Ban New Gas-Powered Cars Starting in 2030 as Part of the Country’s Net-Zero Goal
Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, five years earlier than previously planned, as part of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is casting as a "green revolution" to cut emissions to net zero by 2050. The plan will make nearly $16 billion in government spending available to create and support 250,000 highly skilled green jobs by 2030, Johnson added.
Tesla and Uber Join Forces With Utilities to Form Lobbying Group for the Electric Vehicle Industry
Automaker Tesla and rideshare giant Uber have joined forces with major utilities and other groups this week to form a new lobbying group that aims to significantly boost electric vehicles sales in the United States. The Zero Emission Transportation Association says it will push for more federal EV financial incentives, a phasing out of gasoline vehicles and tougher auto emission standards.
In Protest of Line 3 Approval, Majority of Minnesota Environmental Justice Advisory Group Resigns
Twelve out of 17 members of a group that advises the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on environmental justice issues have resigned in protest of the agency's approval late last week of a key water quality permit for the contentious Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project, Minnesota Public Radio reports. The pipeline now needs federal approval before developers can begin construction.
Mayors Unveil $60 Billion Plan to Support Midwest Energy Transition
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and other mayors from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia unveiled last week the "Marshall Plan for Middle America," a $60 billion blueprint to help the region transition away from fossil fuels toward a greener, more sustainable economy, Utility Dive reports. The plan includes providing financial incentives, loans and grants for clean energy projects.
Trump Plan to Sell Arctic Oil Leases Will Face Challenges
Even if in its waning days the Trump administration succeeds in selling oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, the leases may never be issued, the New York Times reports. Legal experts said the leases would face strong and likely insurmountable headwinds from two directions: the incoming Biden administration and the courts.
(The New York Times)
More People Can Access Surgery. That's Great For Them, Awful For The Planet
As energy intensive surgeries become more accessible, their climate footprint is growing, NPR reports, prompting researchers to call for efforts to make them more energy efficient. Studies have found that health care is responsible for about 4.6 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, with a quarter of that coming from the United States.