Countries agree on Paris accord rulebook at COP24 but punt some issues to 2019
Following about two weeks of climate talks in Poland, more than 195 nations including the U.S. and China on Dec. 15 adopted rules for implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change but punted some key issues to the next annual meeting.
NY governor calls for 'green new deal,' carbon-free grid by 2040
Citing New York's total Democratic rule coming out of the 2018 midterm elections, with control of both houses of the state legislature plus the governorship, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined an aggressive 20-point policy agenda and urged lawmakers to act on it in the first 100 days of the 2019 legislative session.
Dominion asks to recover about $114M for upgrades at coal plants
Dominion Energy Virginia is asking Virginia regulators to approve cost recovery on more than $300 million of environmental upgrades at three coal-fired power plants.
New Jersey proposes rules to rejoin regional cap-and-trade program
New Jersey took another step Dec. 17 to once again participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, proposing two rules to steer the state's re-entry into the northeastern U.S. carbon allowance trading program.
Calif. board adopts rule to transition public bus fleet to zero-emission engines
The California Air Resources Board passed a rule requiring public transit agencies in the state to transition their public bus fleets to run solely on electricity or fuel cells by 2040.
Investors file resolution asking Exxon to outline emissions reductions targets
Several institutional investors said Dec. 16 they have filed a resolution at Exxon Mobil Corp., calling for the U.S. oil and gas major, for the first time, to set and publish emissions reductions targets.
Energy transition advocates push financial tools for smooth exit from coal
While U.S. mining companies push for policies to support the coal-fired power generation units that make up much of their customer base, power generators and the bodies that regulate them are increasingly being directed to tools that will allow them exit from coal in the most painless ways possible.
Nearly all of Georgia's coal plants are polluting groundwater, report finds
A new report published Dec. 13 by environmental groups shows that 11 out of 12 of Georgia's coal-fired power plants have contaminated groundwater with one or more toxic pollutants. The report, produced by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, draws on data utilities were required to publicly post online under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2015 Coal Combustion Residuals rule.
Canada finalizes plan to end most coal-fired power generation by 2030
While the U.S. government continues to seek out ways to support the coal industry, Canada finalized a plan on Dec. 12 to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity, transition to cleaner energy and cut carbon pollution in a little more than a decade.
Extreme weather, natural disasters may affect energy sector credit, Fitch says
Natural disasters and extreme weather are increasingly affecting U.S. energy infrastructure operators, with possible ramifications for their financial performance, Fitch Ratings warned.
Governors' alliance offers guide for new officials to tackle climate resilience
With an eye toward potentially expanding their ranks in 2019, a coalition of 17 governors issued a guide aimed at helping new incoming governors establish climate-related resilience initiatives in their states.
Air pollution experts urge US EPA to reinstate disbanded advisory panels
Air pollution researchers and public health experts on Dec. 12 publicly urged the EPA to reconstitute a recently disbanded panel tasked with helping the agency's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, or CASAC, review the health impacts of tiny airborne particles.
Studies show scientists can increasingly link extreme weather to climate change
The rate and pace at which scientists are linking extreme weather events to climate change appear to be accelerating, a London-based think tank and a scientific journal indicated in recent separate findings.
Trump administration moves to limit definition of federally protected waters
The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers unveiled a new definition of federally protected waters Dec. 11 that would reduce the number of wetlands covered by the Clean Water Act. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the proposed rule — the second part of a two-step process to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule — was crafted to give states and landowners greater regulatory certainty.
Report suggests growing interest in carbon capture as tool to meet climate goals
Amid a global push to meet emission-reduction goals outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change, 2018 "may well go down as the year when the stars started to again align" for carbon capture, according to a new report from the Global CCS Institute.