Energy and Environment – Biden Officials Target Transportation Emissions

A new federal program is spending more than $6 billion on reducing transportation emissions, the EPA plans to reduce gas plant emissions, and the General Services Administration announces an emissions milestone.

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Department of Transportation deploys $6 billion to tackle emissions

Federal Highway Administration will invest more than $6 billion in state’s carbon reduction efforts, transportation secretary says Pete Buttigieg announced Wednesday.

The Carbon Reduction Program (CRP), funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, will go toward local and state projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions on highways. These could range from installing infrastructure to electrify freight vehicles to improving terrain for bicycles.

What’s on the program? The program will include $6.4 billion in formula-based funding over a five-year period for states and localities, which would be tied to reducing transportation-related emissions.

“As the most carbon-emitting sector in the U.S. economy, transportation must play a leading role in solving the climate crisis,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “The Carbon Reduction Program will help reduce pollution from transportation and bring us closer to the President’s ambitious goal of halving emissions by 2030.”

How is it different from other transportation programs? A Department of Transportation official on a Wednesday press call confirmed that the program would be separate from transportation initiatives with similar goals such as the Road Safety Improvement Program.

“The idea is to provide states with both funding but also flexibility to allow them to make investments that must meet the main objective of the program…but at the same time give them flexibility to [the fact that] each state may have a different mix of investments they wish to make,” the official said. “There is of course some overlap with these other programs, but each program has its own rules, its own eligibility.”

Learn more about the program here.

EPA proposes emission reductions for gas plants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing ways to reduce global warming emissions for gas-fired power plants pending a Supreme Court ruling that could limit its regulatory power.

The agency released a new technical “white paper” on Thursday that outlines potential ways to limit plant contributions to climate change.

These methods include efficiency improvements, the co-combustion of natural gas with other fuels like hydrogen, and the implementation of carbon capture technology to prevent factory emissions from spilling into the environment. air and heat the planet.

The agency said in a statement that its document is not “targeted” to any specific policy, it expects the document to help inform its future rulemaking efforts.

The document comes ahead of an early ruling by the Supreme Court that could limit the scope of its authority to regulate climate contributions from power plants.

The court is weighing whether the agency can attempt to reshape parts of the economy like the energy sector through regulation, or whether its powers are limited to the source of climate pollution.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan told Congress he was waiting for that decision before moving forward with regulating power plants.

“We’re going to be ready to go as soon as the Supreme Court rules,” he said.

The story so far: The regulation of power plants has been at the center of a major partisan battle. The Obama administration proposed a “Clean Power Plan” which aimed to limit emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants.

It has also sought to set emissions targets aimed at moving away from coal-fired power plants in particular.

The Trump administration repealed that plan and only proposed regulations for coal-fired power plants. The Trump plan was expected to have far fewer climate benefits than the Obama plan.

Learn more about the plan here.

GSA ANNOUNCES EMISSIONS REDUCTION STEP

The General Services Administration (GSA) — the federal agency in charge of government products, services and facilities — announced a major step towards its climate goals on Thursday.

The agency said that, compared to a 2008 baseline, owners and tenants of federal buildings have reduced their emissions by 51%. This represents savings of 1.1 million tonnes of emissions each year compared to 2008, the agency said.

The GSA said this puts it “more than a decade” ahead of the government’s target to halve emissions by 2032.

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone and will continue to push to achieve the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a statement. communicated.

“As a country, we must continue to invest in and upgrade our more than 1,500 federally owned properties to build a cleaner, healthier future for America,” Carnahan added.

As part of his overall strategy to reduce the country’s contribution to climate change, President Biden called on the federal government to reduce its own emissions, calling on him to achieve carbon neutrality along with the rest of the country by 2050. .

He has also pushed the federal government to buy greener products like electric vehicles, though that has run into obstacles at the Postal Service, a major owner of government vehicles, which is run by a appointee from the former president. Trump.

Learn more about the announcement here.

DARK GREEN

Major social media companies are not disclosing their policies for combating climate misinformation, climate and human rights groups said in a new report released Wednesday.

The report, published by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Avaaz, ranked public policies on climate misinformation from Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.

The report says the companies are “widely leaving the public in the dark” about efforts to tackle this misinformation.

“There is a glaring lack of transparency as these companies conceal much of the data on the prevalence of digital climate disinformation and any internal measures taken to combat its spread. Pinterest and YouTube have taken notable steps to combat climate misinformation, while Facebook, TikTok and Twitter are lagging behind in their efforts,” the report said.

Based on the criteria the groups used to assess the reach and transparency of platform policies, Twitter was ranked the worst.

TikTok was ranked second to last, with Facebook just above. Pinterest and YouTube both held the top spot, but even those companies only received 14 of the 27 total points the report used to assess the policies.

Learn more about Rebecca Klar of The Hill.

THE NEWS YOU NEED, THE NAMES YOU NEED TO KNOW

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WHAT WE READ

  • California wildfire lobbyist ousted over sexual harassment case (The Sacramento Bee)
  • Biden’s oil country EPA chief builds bridges with GOP and industry (Bloomberg Law)
  • EPA Unions Want Science Protected From Another Asset (BuzzFeed News)
  • Oil Trade Group drafts carbon tax proposal that could raise pump prices (The Wall Street Journal)

ICYMI

And finally, something quirky and quirky: A little off.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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