After a month of hotly debated budget talks, New York passed its 2024 fiscal year budget late Tuesday night, and with it, took a long-awaited step towards decarbonizing New York’s building sector. The budget deal includes first-in-the-nation legislation to ban fossil fuel-powered appliances and heating in certain new buildings across the state by 2026 and all new buildings by 2029, effectively mandating the electrification of new buildings. New York is the first state to enact such a ban,… More
Category Archives: GHG
EPA Looks to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption with New Vehicle Emission Standards
On April 12, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new pollutant emissions standards for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles and heavy duty vehicles. The proposed rules set new, aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits for all three vehicle classes and criteria pollutant standards for light and medium duty vehicles.
Big picture: Both proposed rules are premised on a sweeping shift from internal combustion vehicles to electric vehicles as well as,… More
The National EV Charging Network is Preparing for Takeoff
On February 15, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the next steps in its plans to create a national EV charging network. This included establishing minimum standards for federally funded EV infrastructure, publishing an implementation plan for the Build America and Buy America EV charging requirements, and announcing that applications will soon open for $700 million in discretionary grant program funding.
Standards for Federally Funded EV Charging Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration published its final rule establishing regulations setting minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the NEVI and other federal funding programs. … More
Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption in 2022
This past year represents a real turning point in the transition to electric vehicles, demonstrated by new major incentives and regulatory activities at both federal and state government levels and several notable accomplishments in the private sector. First, the U.S. government approved EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with an estimated $4.155 billion in funding going to states in the next five years to build out EV infrastructure.… More
Electric Buses Are On the Move
On October 26, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced the award of nearly $1 Billion from EPA’s Clean School Bus program for 389 school districts nationwide, through a program established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The money will purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. These awards are the first of the five-year program that will eventually provide $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,… More
Biden Announces New Initiative on “Game-Changing” Technologies for Achieving Net-Zero Emissions
On November 4, 2022, the White House announced a new initiative to support research and development projects on 37 “game-changing” technologies to advance the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Led by an interagency working group, the “Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative” will direct billions of dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act,… More
Massachusetts to Require Disclosure of Energy Usage from Large Buildings
Lost amid the more high profile items in Massachusetts’ recently enacted Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind is a requirement that the Department of Energy Resources establish a program requiring large buildings across the Commonwealth to report energy usage on an annual basis. The requirement goes into effect on July 1, 2024, but DOER has an additional year (until July 1, 2025) to draft implementing regulations and establish the parameters of the reporting program. … More
Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill Turbocharges the Adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and Clean Transportation
Based on numerous sources, Governor Baker has now signed an Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind. This bill includes a number of key advancements for increased adoption of zero emission vehicles and clean transportation throughout the Commonwealth. The law:
- Outlaws the sale of internal combustion vehicles by any dealership after January 1, 2035 by making it an unfair or deceptive act or practice under Chapter 93A;…
Inflation Reduction Act Aims to Propel EV and Clean Fuel Vehicle Adoption
The Inflation Reduction Act looks to accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles by reforming the related tax credits in a number of key ways. Specifically, the bill does the following.
- Eliminates the 200,000 clean vehicles sold quota per manufacturer.
- Previously, Tesla, GM, and Toyota were all over the 200,000 vehicle threshold and thus ineligible for the tax credit.
- Preserves the existing up to $7,500 tax credit for new qualified vehicles including electric,…
Biden-Harris Administration Announce New Proposed Rules for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network
On June 9, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to set minimum standards and requirements for projects funded through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (“NEVI”), which was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Generally, NEVI will distribute $1 billion per year, for FY 2022-2026, in appropriations to help fund the construction of EV charging stations and related infrastructure. … More
Climate Policy at 30: Glasgow Climate Pact.
Each year since 1995, with the exception of 2020, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has hosted a Conference of Parties (COP), where members of the UNFCCC negotiate issues relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other matters relating to climate change. The 26th COP concluded in Glasgow on November 13 with a Climate Pact that continues the evolution of global climate policy over the past 30 years.… More
Climate Change Is Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying — And Terrifying
The IPCC has released its Sixth Assessment Report on the physical science basis of climate change. I would say that it makes sobering reading, except any sane person’s immediate response to AR6 would be to go out and have any number of stiff drinks. Here are a number of the lowlights:
It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.… More
D.C. Circuit 2019 RVO Decision is a Mixed Bag for Biofuels
The biofuels industry has had a challenging season in the courts. Several weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that had limited EPA’s ability to grant waivers to small refiners that allow them to escape compliance obligations under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program. Then, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C.… More
New York Updates Distributed Energy Tariff and Sets Course for Further Deliberation
Hours before a technical conference on potential future pathways for solar development in New York State, the New York State Department of Public Service (“DPS”) unexpectedly updated the Environmental Value (“E-Value”) component of State’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (“VDER”) Tariff “Value Stack.” However, the update was not the one advocated for by the solar industry based upon the December 2020 cost of carbon guidance from the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”),… More
The Massachusetts Climate Bill is Very Much “Not Dead”
In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.” I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct. The climate bill is very much alive.
Last week, the Legislature passed a new version of the bill, which adopted most of the Governor’s technical suggestions and almost none of his substantive changes. … More
Biden Faces Challenges at Home as U.S. Rejoins Paris Agreement
As promised, President Biden has recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement. He’s also undertaken sweeping executive action to undo the previous administration’s environmental rollbacks. But after four years of lagging behind the rest of the world, the U.S. will face significant challenges in achieving meaningful emissions reductions without new legislation. And that means a tough road ahead working with an evenly divided Senate and moderates in Biden’s own party from states that remain dependent on fossil fuels.… More
Make a U-Turn and then Full Speed Ahead: Clean Air
Within hours after being sworn into office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order (“EO”) that teed up a slew of clean air issues as top environmental priorities. The Biden administration signaled its plan to unwind four years of environmental and energy policies marked by aggressive deregulation and sidelining efforts to combat climate change.
Although only allotted a short paragraph in the EO,… More
Perhaps, Some Day, There Will Be a Carbon Tax
There are few people left, at least in my orbit, who don’t share the goal of prompt decarbonization of the economy. The quaintly named $64,000 question ($64 trillion question?) is how we get from here to there.
Today, the New England Power Generators Association released a report prepared by Analysis Group that explains how an economy-wide price on carbon can help New England do just that. … More