(December 30, 2010)
New York Times
The first phase of new EPA regulations on greenhouse gases took effect on Sunday, January 2, 2011. These regulations require permits for new coal plants and for modifications on existing plants, but the oldest and dirties plants will be modified at a later date. While the immediate effect on industry is quite small, with only an estimated 400 facilities affected in the first few years, the EPA plans to regulate all GHG sources in every industry and region in the next decade.
Further regulations that move the limiting of GHG further forward must keep in mind that moving too far too fast could result in a “Congressional backlash that could set back the effort for years.” At the same time, by attempting to further limit the EPA, a Republican-led Congress risks public outcry, wedging the agency in a fierce political battle of regulation power that seems to result in climate change legislation stalemate for the next Congressional session.
(December 30, 2010)
With a Republican-controlled house, energy and environmental legislation compromise in the new Congress is expected to come from the Senate. Members of both parties have shown interest in establishing a new or broader federal renewable power mandate, while mandatory carbon controls appear to be out of the question. This article notes 10 senators in particular who could be key players in upcoming energy and environmental policy.
(January 1, 2011)
For the second year in a row, construction did not begin on any new coal power plants in 2010. While coal plants produce nearly half of the US’s electricity, environmental regulations, economic conditions, and low natural gas prices and discoveries have prevented groundbreaking on any new plants. Plants begun earlier are still under construction, however, and new ones are expected in order to supply projected future energy demands. In the end, a switch toward new, less expensive natural gas plants, along with more renewable energy sources to meet state-adopted measures is expected.
(January 2, 2011)
Surprisingly, many of the top Republican presidential candidates have warned about climate change threats and pledged to limit greenhouse gases in recent years. While many of these GOP leaders would perhaps like to forget these statements in a conservative voting base, this article presents a thorough selection of quotes from them affirming previous commitments to fighting climate change.